Stories by Alexandra Silets

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: Mayoral Candidates Define Their Visions

Mayoral candidates share their visions for the city. Lawsuits against the Illinois assault weapons ban come fast and furious. Peoples Gas and ComEd seek a bevy of rate hikes. And the Bears introduce their new president.

Paris Schutz hosts "Chicago Tonight: Week in Review" on Jan. 13, 2023. (WTTW News)

Week in Review: Lightfoot’s Response to Campaign Emails; Assault Weapons Ban

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign under investigation for CPS student recruitment. Assault weapons now banned in Illinois as lawsuits await. And the new Hail Mary plans for Soldier Field as the Bears hire a bigwig as new president.

Week in Review: Holiday Travel Hit; Assault Weapons Ban Hearings

Brutal cold blasts Chicago during the busiest travel days of the year. Gun rights advocates protest assault weapons ban proposal. Two dead in a shooting outside Juarez High School. And Cubs and Sox sign big free agents.

Week in Review: Chicago Casino, Red Line Extension Move Forward

The long-awaited Red Line extension and Chicago casino take major leaps forward. Is the Jane Byrne interchange finally finished? And García and Lightfoot attacked for ties to Sam Bankman-Fried.

Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Week in Review: Mayoral Challenges Underway; Pritzker Signs SAFE-T Act Revisions

Let the games begin as mayoral candidates try to knock each other off the ballot. The governor quietly signs the revised SAFE-T Act. A landmark movie theater on the chopping block. And renewed calls to take down the Trump sign.

(Credit: Lee Bey)

Chicago Architecture Critics Team Up to Highlight Inequities, Explore Solutions

What do you get when you put two of Chicago’s preeminent architecture critics together? A thought-provoking book about the city’s storied architecture.

Pat Quinn appears on "Chicago Tonight" on Nov. 17, 2022. (WTTW News)

Week In Review: Pat Quinn Opts Out; Mayoral Race Heats Up

Special counsel appointed to investigate Trump. A high profile, would-be candidate opts out of the mayoral race. Lightfoot institutes a full court press for the Red Line extension. And property tax mailings hit homeowners where it hurts.

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: Pritzker, Illinois Dems Have Big Election Day

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wins reelection handily as Democrats sweep the state. National predictions of a Republican wave fail to materialize. Chuy García enters the race for mayor. And the CTA chief gets an earful.


Week in Review: Biden In Town Ahead of Midterms

Major national figures are in town as local midterm races go down to the wire. Mayor Lightfoot is facing a budget revolt. The Bears pull off huge trades and hedge for the future while the White Sox name a new manager.

Alexi Giannoulias and Dan Brady appear in a WTTW News candidate forum on Oct. 26, 2022. (WTTW News)

Candidate Forum: Open Secretary of State Office Has Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Dan Brady Squaring Off

It’s the first time since 1998 that Jesse White won’t be on the ballot for Illinois secretary of state. Running to fill the office is Republican Dan Brady and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias. 

The Week in Review: Bailey Campaigns With Pastors Who Were at Capitol on Jan. 6

What the just-unsealed affidavit shows about the FBI’s search of Mar-A-Lago. The mayor’s between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the Columbus statue. And student loan debt relief.

Spotlight Politics: Biden Keeps Campaign Promise with Loan Forgiveness

President Joe Biden unveils his student debt relief plan. A conservative group’s political ad darkens Mayor Lightfoot’s skin. Our politics team weighs in on those stories and more.

(WTTW News)

The Week in Review: Politicians Rally Party Faithful at Illinois State Fair

Optimism and discord for both parties at the state fair. Jurors view notorious video in R. Kelly’s Chicago trial. Deaths and injuries in Chicago’s playpen. And CPS prepares to go back to school.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other state Democrats wave to the crowd at the Illinois State Fair’s Democrat Day on Aug. 17, 2022. (WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Illinois Dems Focus on Unity, Target GOP Nominee Darren Bailey at State Fair

Highland Park calls for a ban on semi-automatic weapons. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

The Week in Review: List Unsealed, FBI Removes Nuclear Secrets from Mar-a-Lago

The FBI vs. former President Trump. A scaled-back property tax increase. And tension at the CPD over the firing of the officer in charge of reform.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is pictured at the July 20, 2022, Chicago City Council meeting. (WTTW News)

The Week in Review: Lightfoot Losing Allies, Pritzker Mum on Endorsement

Former Lightfoot allies falling off the bandwagon. Unearthed Darren Bailey Holocaust comments cause bipartisan blowback. Outgoing prosecutors blast Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. And the Cubs and Sox largely stand pat at the trade deadline.

Darren Bailey appears in a 2017 social media video. (Facebook)

Spotlight Politics: Darren Bailey Facing Backlash Over Abortion and Holocaust Comparison

The Republican nominee for Illinois governor, Darren Bailey, is feeling the backlash from both sides of the aisle for comparing abortion to the Holocaust. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

(CNN via WTTW)

The Week in Review: Kinzinger on January 6, Rotering on Assault Weapons Ban

Another alderperson decides to retire before her term is up. Rep Adam Kinzinger leads an explosive Jan. 6 hearing. NASCAR is coming to Chicago. And Pritzker catches COVID-19 after a trip to Florida.

The Week in Review: Bans on Assault Weapons, High-Capacity Magazines Pushed

The prospect of cracking down on assault-grade guns. Hyper-contagious COVID-19. The governor’s race heats up. And City Council changeover.

Spotlight Politics: Friends and Families Demand More Gun Restrictions in DC

Accusations of witness tampering against former President Donald Trump. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

(WTTW News)

The Week in Review: Bailey Apologizes Again, Renewed Calls for Tougher Gun Laws

Processing, mourning, and pushing for change as suburban Highland Park reels from a Fourth of July mass shooting. Plus, what’s next for gun control this election year?

Vice President Kamala Harris walks with Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering during a visit to Highland Park on July 5, 2022. (WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: VP Harris, Gov. Pritzker, Darren Bailey React to Highland Park Shooting

In this week’s edition of Spotlight Politics: our team on Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit to Highland Park and whether gun laws will tighten.

The first graduation ceremony for the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Restorative Justice Community Court in Englewood was held on June 29, 2022. (WTTW News)

First Graduates of Cook County Restorative Justice Program Recognized

Participants in the the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Restorative Justice Community Court spent six to nine months learning conflict resolution and job skills, as well as receiving emotional support.  

Illinois State Rep. Delia Ramirez appears on “Chicago Tonight” on June 29, 2022, after her win in the Democratic primary in the 3rd Congressional District. (WTTW News)

Delia Ramirez Wins Democratic Primary in 3rd Congressional District

Should she prevail against her Republican challenger, Justin Burau, in the general election in November, Ramirez wants to focus on environmental issues as well as Medicare for All and immigration reform.

(WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Previewing Primary Election Day in Illinois

It is the night before the primary election in Illinois and candidates are making a last-minute push for votes. Our Spotlight Politics team of Amanda Vinicky, Paris Schutz and Heather Cherone previews the hottest races in the state.

(WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Billionaires Spend Tens of Millions on Governor’s Race

Our politics team weighs in on Darren Bailey's lead in the GOP primary race for the governor and more.