Stories by heather cherone

(WTTW News)

Push to Use Downtown Property Taxes to Fund Far South Side Red Line Extension Faces Key Vote

The city must match an expected federal grant of $2.16 billion before the first track can be laid — but it is not clear whether the City Council will give the project signal clearance.

(WTTW News)

Spurred by Death of 3-Year-Old, Key City Panel Advances Plan to Step Up Bike Lane Enforcement

The City Council’s Transportation Committee advanced the measure six months after 3-year-old Lily Shambrook died while riding in a carrier on her mother’s bicycle.

(WTTW News)

Scrap Plans for New Chicago Gang Database, Interim Police Oversight Board Urges

The dispute over the future of the gang database represents the first clash between the Police Department’s leaders and the commission made up of Chicagoans given the authority to set policy for the department in an attempt to restore trust in its operations.

(Photo by logan jeffrey on Unsplash)

Uber to Pay Chicago $10M to Resolve Claims Delivery Apps Hurt Restaurants During Pandemic

A spokesperson for Uber, said firm officials were “pleased to put this matter behind us.” 

Max Bever of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners conducts a lottery on Dec. 6, 2022, to determine the order of candidates in the Feb. 28 election. (Heather Cherone/WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Ja’Mal Green Nabs Top Ballot Spot in Mayor’s Race — If He Can Turn Back Challenge

Ja’Mal Green, one of the six candidates for mayor who filed at 9 a.m. Nov. 21, won a lottery for that coveted pole position on the ballot, one that many people believe could offer a boost in a crowded race.

Flanked by supporters, U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García launches a campaign for mayor of Chicago. (Heather Cherone / WTTW News)

Operating Engineers Union Backs García, Ensuring Split Among Powerful Labor Groups in Mayor’s Race

The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 backed U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García in the Chicago mayor’s race, splitting from the Chicago Teachers Union and Service Employees International Union Local 73.

A rendering of the proposed training facility for the Chicago Fire on the city's Near West Side. (Provided)

Lightfoot Hit with Ethics Complaint After Taking $25K Donation from Chicago Fire Owner Involved in Training Facility Land Swap

Mayor Lori Lightfoot should be investigated for accepting a $25,000 contribution to her re-election campaign from Chicago Fire owner Joe Mansueto, according to a complaint filed by Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th Ward), who is running for re-election to the City Council.

Ald. Ed Burke is pictured in a file photo. (WTTW News)

Indicted Ald. Ed Burke Will Not Run for 15th City Council Term

Burke, 78, faces a November 2023 trial on racketeering, bribery and extortion charges centered on allegations that he repeatedly — and brazenly — used his powerful position at City Hall to force those doing business with the city to hire his private law firm.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot prepares to file more than 40,000 signatures to make her bid for a second term official on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022. (Heather Cherone/WTTW)

Lightfoot, García, Sawyer Make Bids for Chicago Mayor Official By Filing Thousands of Signatures

A total of nine major candidates filed to run for mayor of Chicago. Early voting is set to start Jan. 19, with Election Day set for Feb. 28.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

COVID-19 Risk Back at ‘Medium’ Across Chicago, Cook County: Federal Officials

Chicago hospitals and health care providers are also coping with sharp increases in flu cases and illness caused by RSV, a respiratory virus, officials said.

(WTTW News)

More Than 3 Years After Watchdog Warned Chicago Police Gang Databases Were ‘Deeply Flawed,’ New System Poised to Launch Despite Objections

The interim Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability will hold a virtual meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday to discuss a draft of the policy that would govern the new gang database, dubbed the Criminal Enterprise Information System.

Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

As Lightfoot Considers 12th Ward Aldermanic Appointment, Few Residents Weigh In

A survey designed to determine what residents of the Southwest Side’s 12th Ward think should be the highest priority for their new alderperson received just 25 responses, according to results posted on the city’s data portal on Monday.

Cleopatra Watson, waits to file her petitions to run for 9th Ward alderperson at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 21, after waiting in line for nearly 72 hours. (Heather Cherone / WTTW News)

6 Candidates for Chicago Mayor File Thousands of Signatures to Get on Feb. 28 Ballot

Willie Wilson, Ja’Mal Green, state Rep. Kam Buckner, Paul Vallas, Brandon Johnson and Ald. Sophia King (4th Ward) all filed to run for mayor of Chicago.

Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Race for Chicago Mayor: Who’s In and Who’s Out for 2023 Election

A wide-ranging and still-growing field of challengers are seeking to deny incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot a second term in February 2023. 

Advocates staged a tent city in the lobby of City Hall during Mayor Lori Lightfoot's budget address on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, calling on Chicago to provide a dedicated stream of funding to tackle the problem of homelessness. (Nick Blumberg / WTTW News)

Push to Hike Taxes on Sales of Million-Dollar Homes to Fight Homelessness Faces Mounting Obstacles

The last time Chicago voters passed a binding referendum that applied to the entire city was 1885, according to city records. As supporters’ paths to the ballot have been nearly closed off, they have begun shifting the fight to the 2023 campaign for mayor and City Council.

A file photo shows 34th Ward Ald. Carrie Austin at a Chicago City Council meeting. (WTTW News)

Indicted Ald. Carrie Austin Tells Judge She is Too Ill to Stand Trial, Says She’ll Leave City Council March 1

Austin, 73, pleaded not guilty to charges that she accepted bribes from a developer and lied to FBI agents. Indicted in July 2021, Austin has never appeared in person before Judge John Kness because of her ill health and restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

WTTW News Explains: How Are Cook County Property Tax Bills Calculated?

Property taxes can be a doozy. Or rather, how they are calculated can be. WTTW News Explains walks you through the ins and outs of the process. 

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

COVID-19 Risk Bounces Back Down to ‘Low’ Across Chicago, Cook County: Federal Officials

The move is likely to reduce fears, at least temporarily, of an imminent surge of COVID-19 once colder weather settled over Chicago for the duration, forcing people indoors.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn holds up a flyer from one of his first campaigns to change Illinois laws. (Heather Cherone / WTTW News)

Former Gov. Pat Quinn Announces He Will Not Run for Chicago Mayor

The former governor said he will instead focus on reform efforts designed to expand the initiative effort. Instead, Quinn said he would focus on efforts to beef up the ability of voters to reform Illinois government through the initiative and referendum process.

(WTTW News)

4 People Apply to Fill Vacant 12th Ward Chicago City Council Seat, Including Outgoing Alderperson’s Pick

The applicants include Anabel Abarca, Ald. George Cardenas’ former chief of staff and a candidate in the Feb. 28 election.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during a news conference after the Nov. 16, 2022, City Council meeting. (WTTW News)

Lightfoot Pushes City Council to Use Downtown Property Taxes to Fund Far South Side Red Line Extension

Lightfoot formally introduced a proposal on Wednesday to the Chicago City Council to create a new tax-increment financing district along the southern branch of the CTA Red Line to fund the extension of the train line first envisioned by former Mayor Richard J. Daley in the 1950s. 

Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Lightfoot Agrees to Allow Heads of Chicago Public Schools, CTA to Testify at City Council Meetings

Mayor Lori Lightfoot initially opposed efforts by members of the City Council to require the heads of the city’s sister agencies to answer questions from the City Council but dropped her objections Wednesday. 

(WTTW News)

Cook County Property Tax Bills Arrive After Months of Delays and Finger-Pointing

The second-installment of property owners’ 2021 tax bills will be more than 150 days late amid months of bureaucratic wrangling and finger pointing among Cook County officials.

(WTTW News)

City Council Set to Pay $5M to Family of Teen Shot and Killed by Chicago Police Officer in 2019

The Chicago City Council is set to pay $5.8 million to resolve three lawsuits alledging misconduct by Chicago Police officers.

Members of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless blast half of the City Council for failing to show up for a hearing on a proposal to tax the sale of properties worth more than $1 million to fight homelessness on Monday, Nov. 14. (Heather Cherone / WTTW News)

Lightfoot, Allies Block Hearing on Proposal to Hike Taxes on Sales of Million-Dollar Homes to Fight Homelessness

Dozens of Chicagoans who waited hours to get their turn to address the Chicago City Council were prevented from speaking because a majority of the Chicago City Council attended Monday's special meeting.

Brandon Johnson speaks after receiving the backing of SEIU Local 73 in his bid for mayor on Nov. 9, 2022. (WTTW News)

SEIU Healthcare Illinois Becomes Latest Union to Back Brandon Johnson for Mayor

The 90,000-member union that represents hospital, nursing home, home care and child care workers throughout the Midwest backed Brandon Johnson, a Cook County commissioner, four days after U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García entered the race for mayor, scrambling the contest.