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Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, November 8, 2017.
Cook County commissioner John Fritchey has announced plans "to place an advisory referendum on the March 20 ballot that would allow county voters to weigh in on whether the state should legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older," according to Sun-Times. Fritchey estimates that legalizing pot could generate between $350 and $700 million in revenue for the state, and argues that it would allow the justice system to focus on more serious offenses. "It's about unclogging our criminal justice system with cases that are consistently dropped," Fritchey said. "It's about having a common-sense policy in place that recognizes that the so-called 'war on drugs' has been a failure on every front." [Sun-Times]
Mayor Rahm Emanuel slammed President Donald Trump for "pointing fingers" at Chicago's gun violence issues again instead of focusing on gun control measures after a devastating massacre at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, left 26 people dead. Trump used Chicago's gun laws as an example of why he refuses to support stronger gun control legislation. "The city with the strongest gun laws in our nation is Chicago," he told reporters in South Korea Tuesday. "And Chicago is a disaster, a total disaster." Despite criticizing Trump, Emanuel refused to criticize his attorney, alderman Ed Burke, who has filed a sixth lawsuit seeking bigger tax refunds for the Trump International Hotel and Tower. "The point is not about Burke. The point is where is the city as it relates to President Trump and his policies. And I couldn't have been clearer," the mayor said. [Sun-Times]
A journalist is accusing Reverend Jesse Jackson of sexually harassing her at a media event, and she details the incident in an article for the Root. "I walked toward Jackson, smiling, and he smiled back at me," Danielle Young wrote. "His eyes scanned my entire body. All of a sudden, I felt naked in my sweater and jeans. As I walked within arm's reach of him, Jackson reached out a hand and grabbed my thigh, saying, 'I like all of that right there!' and gave my thigh a tight squeeze." A spokesperson for Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition said, "Although Rev. Jackson does not recall the meeting three years ago, he profoundly and sincerely regrets any pain Ms. Young may have experienced." [the Root] [h/t NBC Chicago]
Chicagoan and former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos became the talk of the political world October 30 when it emerged that he'd pleaded guilty to "lying to the FBI about his efforts to connect the Trump camp with Russian officials who promised 'dirt' on rival candidate Hillary Clinton," according to the Tribune. But few details about Papadopoulos have emerged despite reporters' efforts to interview people who know him. The Tribune has compiled what little info it's uncovered about the "mystery man." [Tribune]
The sudden shutdown of hyperlocal news outlets DNAinfo Chicago and Chicagoist shook the city last week, but one expert thinks Joe Ricketts closed the sites for economic reasons rather than in response to DNAinfo New York's recent vote to unionize. "The union issue is a sideshow. It really is an economic issue," Owen Youngman, professor of digital media strategy at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, told Chicago Tonight. The problem is that popularity doesn't always translate into profitability: "It's difficult to scale up," Youngman said. "The larger problem will be who will pay for information of this kind. How can it be sustainable?" [Chicago Tonight]
Chicago Brauhaus, a favorite for German food and culture in Lincoln Square for 52 years, is set to close December 11. "For over five decades, the Chicago Brauhaus has been a mainstay in wonderful Lincoln Square," the restaurant wrote in a closing message left on its tables Monday. "Our sincere, heartfelt appreciation to all our customers and friends—we thank you all. We will miss you and never forget you. Thank you." [Eater Chicago]