Stories by Amanda Vinicky

Mayor Lightfoot: Where’s CTU’S Urgency?

Bargaining sessions between the Chicago Teacher's Union and the city started late and ended early on Thursday, the first day students missed classes with their teachers on strike, causing Mayor Lori Lightfoot to question the union’s sense of urgency. 

Can Illinois Save $1M a Day by Consolidating Pension Funds? Governor Says Yes

Gov. J.B. Pritzker appears at a signing ceremony for the $40 billion spending plan Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (WTTW News)

Consolidating scores of local firefighter and police pension funds could save Illinois taxpayers between $820 million and $2.5 billion in the next five years, according to a report published by a state task force.

What the Feds Were Searching for When they Raided Sandoval’s Office

In this file photo, state Sen. Martin Sandoval speaks with WTTW News.

Besieged Illinois Sen. Martin Sandoval resigned his post chairing the chamber’s transportation committee Friday, the same day the Senate released an uncensored version of a search warrant for Sandoval’s office in Springfield.

No New Taxes in Cook County Budget

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.

Two years after Cook County implemented and hastily repealed a notorious tax on sugary drinks, Board President Toni Preckwinkle proposed a $6.18 billion budget that’s balanced.

Climate Activists: ‘The Oceans Are Rising, And So Are We’

Activists on Monday evening closed down the streets in front of Chicago City Hall and the James R. Thompson Center as they called on Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker to declare a “climate emergency.”

Schiff: Trump’s ‘Rant’ Reinforces Urgency of Impeachment Inquiry

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., listens at a news conference with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as House Democrats move ahead in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, spent Thursday morning in Washington, D.C., as the impeachment inquiry of President Trump began in earnest. By Thursday evening, Schiff is set to be in the Chicago area.

Spotlight Politics: Watchdog Releases Sexual Harassment Report

A state watchdog’s highly anticipated report on sexual harassment is finally public. Our politics team dives into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

Teachers, Support Staff, Park District: A City on Triple Strike?

SEIU Local 73 members gather at City Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. (WTTW News)

Everything is set in motion for a Chicago teachers strike, but teachers aren’t the only ones considering a walkout. The city of Chicago could be facing multiple government employee strikes – all at once.

Controversial Chemical Company Sterigenics Ceasing Illinois Operations

A company under fire for using a carcinogenic gas to sterilize medical equipment announced Monday it is permanently closing its sole Illinois facility on account of an “unstable legislative and regulatory landscape.”

Spotlight Politics: Another Day, Another Politician, Another FBI Raid

Federal agents zero in on another powerful Chicago politician. Our politics team dives into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

Raid at Home, Office of Powerful State Sen. Martin Sandoval

In this undated file photo, state Sen. Martin Sandoval speaks with WTTW News.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has honed in on another powerful elected official from Chicago, but it isn’t saying why.

‘Don’t be a Fossil Fool’: Chicago Youth Demonstrate for Environmental Justice

Protesters take part in a youth-led climate strike Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 in downtown Chicago. (WTTW News)

Protesters marched from Grant Park to Federal Plaza on Friday to demand action on climate change. The youth-led event was one of several in Chicago, and one of many dozens throughout the world. 

Will New Owner Joe Mansueto Light Up the Chicago Fire? We Ask Him

Joe Mansueto speaks with WTTW News on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.

He’s one of about a dozen Illinois residents who regularly makes Forbes’ list of the richest people in America. We sit down with Morningstar founder Joe Mansueto.

Spotlight Politics: Signs of Struggle Ahead for Lightfoot?

Are there early signs of a revolt that could make life harder for Chicago’s mayor? Our politics team takes on that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

Cook County’s Chief Judge Fends off Opposition to Keep Top Spot

Chief Judge Timothy Evans appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 8, 2019.

By a vote of 143-102, Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans’ peers on Thursday voted for him to keep the job he’s held since 2001 for another three years.

Chicago Rolls Out Plan to Curb Deadly Traffic Accidents

Can Chicago eliminate deadly traffic crashes? It’s trying. (Petr Kratochvil / Public Domain Pictures)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city plans to act with a sense of urgency on it’s just-announced Vision Zero safety plan, a $6 million effort to eliminate the number of traffic-induced serious injuries and deaths.

Spotlight Politics: Illinois Has a New Supreme Court Justice

Ald. Ed Burke faces federal corruption charges, but his wife is in line for a promotion. Our politics team takes on that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

Corporations Balk at Progressive Plan to Reinstate Corporate Head Tax

Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 35th Ward, speaks with a coalition of progressive and labor groups Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot says Chicago needs to close an $838 million budget gap. A block of progressive groups and some aldermen are looking to corporations to close it.

Disability Rights Community Mourns Loss of Pioneer Marca Bristo

Marca Bristo (Courtesy Access Living)

Marca Bristo died from cancer Sunday morning, according to Chicago’s Access Living, the organization she founded in 1980. She was 66 years old.

Study Shows ‘Clear Evidence of Rising Rents’ Near Obama Center Site

Ald. Jeanette Taylor, 20th Ward, speaks at a press conference Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. Taylor is the sponsor of a City Council that seeks to guarantee her constituents are not displaced by the development of the Obama Presidential Center.

Former President Barack Obama’s planned presidential center is still years from opening, but a new report suggests it may already be having an effect on the surrounding neighborhoods.

Spotlight Politics: Lightfoot Leans on Springfield as Chicago Teachers Ready to Strike

Chicago students returned to their classrooms this week, but there are early signs they could be back on break come early October. Our politics team takes on that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

Willie Wilson to Run as Independent for US Senate Against Dick Durbin

Willie Wilson appears on “Chicago Tonight” on March 28, 2018.

Wealthy businessman and Chicago pastor Willie Wilson announced Tuesday he’ll run as an independent against U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. “As an independent Democrat I want to go into the belly of the beast in Washington, D.C.,” Wilson said.

Cook County Democrats Make Picks for 2020: Foxx, Neville, Cabonargi

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Dec. 20, 2018.

Cook County Circuit Court Clerk candidate Michael Cabonargi, Illinois Supreme Court candidate P. Scott Neville and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx will have the coveted endorsement of the Cook County Democratic Party in next year’s elections.

Democratic Slating for the State’s High Court

Nathaniel Howse, a candidate for Illinois Supreme Court justice, speaks with WTTW News.

Leading Cook County Democrats on Friday will choose which candidates they’ll give a boost to in next year’s election. The focus Thursday: a rare election for a spot on the Illinois Supreme Court.

Spotlight Politics: Politicians Hit Illinois State Fair

Democrats take the stage for Governor’s Day at the state fair in Springfield. Our politics team tackles the 2020 election and more in our weekly roundtable.