Stories by Jennifer Cotto

(WTTW News)

Chicago Rideshare Drivers Push for Safety Precautions, Improved Working Conditions

With high gas prices and carjackings a growing job risk, gig workers from companies like Lyft, Uber and DoorDash are demanding more from their employers.

(WTTW News)

As Rents Rise, Push to Eliminate Illinois’ Ban on Rent Control Grows

Rent prices rose 9.4% in 2022, according to data firm CoStar Group. In response, groups of local tenants are unionizing in hopes of pushing for an end to a rent control ban that was passed in 1997.

George Washington High School. (WTTW News)

CPS Teachers Who Are Keeping Their Jobs After Dispute Say Students’ General Iron Activism is Free Speech

The teachers say they were encouraging students to participate in the process of free speech by protesting metal scrap company General Iron, which planned to move into their South Side community.

(WTTW News)

CTA Service Slowdowns, Crime Issues Make Transit Rides Difficult for Chicago Commuters

Riders returning to public transit have seen a noticeable slowdown in service and a breakdown in reliability. In the last three weeks, there have been at least two major stabbing incidents and a host of attempted robberies on city trains.

(WTTW News)

A Closer Look at Mayor Lightfoot’s Soldier Field Renovation Project

The mayor has a new proposal to upgrade Soldier Field, but can it really sway the Bears to stay? 

(WTTW News)

Financial Columnist Terry Savage on Personal Finance Decisions Amid Interest Hikes, Inflation

If you were planning to buy a new home, should you do it before rates rise again?  What if you need to upgrade your car? And is it good to pay off your credit card completely, or should you carry a small balance to boost your credit score?

(Kristina Tripkovic / Unsplash)

Domestic Violence Shootings, Homicides Jump 64% in 2021: Report

During the height of the pandemic in 2021, domestic violence cases saw a sharp increase in Illinois. The numbers come from a new report released earlier this week by The Network an advocacy group against domestic violence.

(WTTW News)

After Roe Overturned, Researchers Look Toward Impact on Maternal Health

Some researchers say the Supreme Court’s move overturning Roe v. Wade could have a negative impact on maternal health.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul appears on “Chicago Tonight” on June 30, 2022. (WTTW News)

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Abortion Rights, New Firearm Tracing Database

Incumbent Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination. In November, he will face Republican Tom DeVore, an attorney who successfully fought against Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s mask mandates in public schools.  

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi appears on “Chicago Tonight” on June 29, 2022. (WTTW News)

Fritz Kaegi to Face Nico Tsatsoulis in November Election

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi was able to fight off challenger Kari Steele, putting him one step closer to a second term in office.

(WTTW News)

Republican Tom DeVore to Face Incumbent Attorney General Kwame Raoul

Republican Tom DeVore won yesterday and is looking to replace incumbent Kwame Raoul, who is seeking reelection. DeVore, an attorney, has been behind several lawsuits against the state over mask and other COVID-19 mandates, leading to some tough words from the governor.

Courtesy of “Hiding in Plain Sight”

New Documentary Explores Lives of Young People With Mental Health Challenges

WTTW is premiering the two-part film “Hiding in Plain Sight,” which explores some of the mental health challenges today’s youth faces.

A PAWS employee plays with kittens at the Lincoln Park shelter on June 20, 2022. (WTTW News)

PAWS Chicago Celebrates 25 Years as No-Kill Shelter Works to Reduce Animal Deaths

Paula Fasseas, founder and executive chairman of PAWS Chicago, said she started the shelter as a grassroots organization in 1997 after learning that every year more than 42,000 homeless animals were being euthanized in Chicago.

Supply Chain Issues Lead to Tampon Shortage

People who menstruate are scrambling to find tampons and sanitary pads as manufacturers say securing the cotton and plastic used to make the products is volatile.

Illinois Secretary of State Republican candidates Dan Brady and John Milhiser join “Chicago Tonight” June 16, 2022. (WTTW News)

Candidate Forum: GOP Secretary of State Candidates Dan Brady and John Milhiser

After more than 20 years in office, Secretary of State Jesse White is retiring. We hear from the two Republican candidates vying for his job.

Electoral College Lawsuit: Complaint Accuses Fake Electors of Filing Bogus Paperwork

A group of Wisconsin Republicans tried to file fake electoral documents in favor of Donald Trump. A nonprofit law firm is suing to bring criminal charges.

(WTTW News)

Cook County Desirable Destination Amid Climate Change Study Says

A new study concludes that Cook County has become one of the most desirable places for those escaping the extreme effects of climate change. Climate refugees seeking more stable environments look to cities across the Midwest. But is the Midwest really a safe haven? 

(WTTW News)

Study Finds Police Departments Limit Civilian Oversight

Today marks two years since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. His death triggered protests across the country and calls for civilian oversight of law enforcement.

A warehouse at the Greater Chicago Food Depository is pictured on May 10, 2022. (WTTW News)

Food Pantries See Increase in Demand Due to Inflation

Anyone who’s bought groceries lately can tell inflation continues to push the cost of food to record highs. And people who can’t afford the higher prices are showing up at food pantries across Chicagoland.

(QuinceCreative / Pixabay)

Biden Administration Considers Student Debt Cancellation

The Biden Administration has floated vague proposals to eliminate billions in collective student debt. It could set a limit of anywhere between $10 and $50,000 and apply only to non-wealthy earners. The details have yet to be ironed out, but not everyone is on board with the idea.

(WTTW News)

Chicago Creeps Up American Lung Association’s List of Most Polluted Cities

Chicago has been creeping up the list for a few years. In 2019, the city ranked number 18. Three years later, the levels of pollution landed the Windy City in the 16th spot.

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy speaks to Nequa Valley High School students on April 18, 2022. (WTTW News)

Expanded State Program Aims to Help Address Youth Mental Health Issues

Public health officials are sounding the alarm about an increase in mental health issues among young people, saying the pandemic aggravated what was already a crisis.

(WTTW News)

American Library Association Director Says Book Bans Aim to ‘Suppress Social Change’

Tracie Hall, executive director of the American Library Association, says the books that are being banned in the past year target topics like racism, sexuality and sexual orientation.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Gov. Pritzker to Follow State Health Department Lead on Masking

The Illinois Department of Public Health is warning about a slow rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the state. It comes amid rising cases nationwide, and after Philadelphia announces it will reinstate its indoor mask mandate.

( sasint / pixabay )

Rates of Sexually Transmitted Disease Increase Across the Country for 7th Consecutive Year

Even before the pandemic began, the rates of sexually transmitted diseases were on the rise across the U.S. But now Congress is cutting funding to clinics that help provide testing and combat the spread of illness.