2020 was a year unlike any other.
In the first two months of the year, Illinois legalized recreational cannabis, the Senate acquitted President Donald Trump of both articles of impeachment, and Trump commuted the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
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Then, the coronavirus took hold.
In March, Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued an executive order telling residents to stay home. With millions unemployed and a damaged economy, local and state governments looked to the federal government for help. In November, City Council stared down a $1.2 billion shortfall, approving a $12.8 billion budget.
After the governor’s graduated income tax amendment failed in November’s election, the state is looking at a roughly $4 billion deficit.
All the while, Black and Brown communities have been disproportionately impacted by the virus. In Chicago, Black residents make up 39% of deaths, Latino residents make up 34% and white residents, 20%, according to city data as of Dec. 29.
In late May, the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody sparked protests in Chicago and cities across the U.S. In some cases, civil unrest led to looting and property damage.
Gun violence in 2020 drastically increased in the city and across the country, nearing levels last seen in 2016 — Chicago’s deadliest year in decades.
In November’s general election, Trump lost to former Vice President Joe Biden, but continues to promote unfounded claims of voter fraud.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the alleged ComEd bribery scheme is picking up steam. Earlier this year, members of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s inner circle were indicted and his speakership hangs in the balance. Nineteen Democratic state representatives say they won’t vote for Madigan to be speaker again in January.
As the year closes with more than 332,000 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the U.S., the country begins rolling out two vaccines and prepares for the incoming administration President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Laura Washington, Chicago Sun-Times and ABC7 Chicago | @MediaDervish
Steve Daniels, Crain’s Chicago Business | @DanielsABC11
Kelly Bauer, Block Club Chicago | @BauerJournalism
Dave McKinney, WBEZ | @davemckinney
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