Stories by heather cherone

Alderpeople Call Special City Council Meeting to Try to Roll Back Vaccine Mandate

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 at the Chicago City Council meeting. (WTTW News)

Thirteen alderpeople invoked state law to call a special meeting of the Chicago City Council for 11 a.m. Friday in an attempt to force a vote on a measure that would reverse Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s order that all city employees disclose their vaccination status.

City Council Approves Lightfoot’s $16.7 Billion Budget with Support from Progressives

(Regina Shanklin / Pixabay)

The Chicago City Council approved Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $16.7 billion budget on Wednesday with the backing of progressive members who celebrated the spending plan’s focus on affordable housing, mental health, violence prevention, youth job programs and help for unhoused Chicagoans.

Trial of Ald. Daley Thompson Rescheduled for Feb. 1 on Charges That He Failed to Pay Taxes, Lied to Feds

A file photo shows Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th Ward) at a Chicago City Council hearing on April 12, 2016. (WTTW News)

Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson is one of three sitting members of the Chicago City Council to be charged with federal crimes.

Boosted by Wall Street, Lightfoot Says Budget Set for Final Vote Is Path to Long-Term Stability

(Photo by Johnell Pannell on Unsplash)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot made her closing argument for her $16.7 billion 2022 budget on Tuesday, saying the spending plan would allow Chicago officials to “build a stronger and more prosperous city” amid the wreckage of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. 

‘This Is Not Going to be the Hunger Games’: Chicago to Get Plenty of COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids, Top Doc Says

(WTTW News)

The city is poised to get nearly 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for kids during the first week after the vaccine is authorized, officials said. 

Four States Removed from Chicago’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory

(WTTW News)

City officials removed Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland and Mississippi from the travel order, joining Florida, Hawaii, California, Connecticut, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Effort to Roll Back Vaccine Mandate Blocked as Police Union President Vows Retribution

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks Monday, Oct. 25, 2021 at the Chicago City Council meeting. (WTTW News)

Authored by Alds. Silvana Tabares (23rd Ward) and Anthony Napolitano (41st Ward), the measure to give alderpeople the final say over whether employees could be disciplined for flouting the vaccine mandate was sent to the legislative purgatory of the City Council’s Rules Committee.

$16.7B Chicago Budget Poised for Approval After Lightfoot Backs Changes Demanded by Progressives

(David Mark / Pixabay)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposal to spend $16.7 billion in 2022 is on track to be approved next week by the Chicago City Council after she agreed Friday to demands from the Progressive Caucus that the city boost spending on mental health services and affordable housing programs.

Lines Drawn in Coming Battle Over New Ward Map as Latino Caucus Reveals Plan

A proposed Chicago Ward Map from the Chicago City Council's Latino Caucus. [Provided]

The Chicago City Council’s Latino Caucus on Friday unveiled a map that would reduce the number of wards with a majority of Black voters by two to 16 wards and add two wards where a majority of voters are Latino.

Dozens of Signs Installed Proclaiming Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive

Ald. David Moore (17th Ward) and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, left, celebrate the renaming of Lake Shore Drive to honor Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable on Thursday, Oct. 21. (Credit: Chicago's Mayor Office)

Even though Mayor Lori Lightfoot opposed the push led by Ald. Sophia King (4th Ward) and Ald. David Moore (17th Ward) to honor Chicago’s first non-native settler by changing the name of the city’s most well-known roadway, the three gathered Thursday near Buckingham Fountain to celebrate the compromise all three settled on.

Lightfoot’s Budget Passes 1st Test, As Plan to Raise Property Taxes, Borrow $660M Advances

(WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposal to hike property taxes by $76.5 million cleared a key hurdle Thursday, with the City Council’s Finance Committee advancing the mayor’s $16.7 billion spending plan to the full City Council.

Lightfoot’s Budget Faces Pivotal Votes as Negotiations Continue Behind the Scenes

(Jürgen Polle / Pixabay)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposal to spend $16.7 billion in 2022 faces two critical votes in the coming days, as members of the City Council wrangle behind the scenes on how to spend nearly $2 billion in federal aid while closing massive shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rahm Emanuel Defends Handling of Fatal Shooting of Laquan McDonald, Says Death ‘Sits With Me’

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel discusses his book on “Chicago Tonight.” (WTTW News)

“A grave tragedy occurred seven years ago. And that tragedy sits with me, as it has, every day and every week for the last seven years,” Rahm Emanuel said during a hearing before the Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday that took place on the seventh anniversary of Laquan McDonald’s murder.

Fire Health Department Official, Punish 2 Other City Employees After Smokestack Implosion: Watchdog

A still image from a video taken of the demolition of the Crawford Coal Plant smokestack, April 11, 2020. (Alejandro Reyes / YouTube)

The final report from former Inspector General Joseph Ferguson did not detail why he concluded that the three employees should be disciplined, or whether city leaders would follow his recommendations.

Florida, Hawaii, Washington, D.C. Removed from Chicago’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory

(WTTW News)

The advisory now covers 45 states as well as Guam and the Virgin Islands, officials said.

Indicted Former City Club President Fined $75K by Ethics Board for Violating Lobbying Rules

(WTTW News)

Jay Doherty has pleaded not guilty to bribery conspiracy charges that accused him of being part of a scheme to reward those loyal to former House Speaker Michael Madigan with money and jobs. 

Chicago Sky Owner Pays $5,000 Ethics Fine for Lobbying Lightfoot Without Registering

The Chicago Sky are the 2021 WNBA champs. (Chicago Sky / Facebook)

Sky owner Michael Alter asked for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s help convincing state lawmakers to grant the Sky a gambling license.

After Botched Police Raid, City’s Response ‘Revictimized’ Anjanette Young: Former Watchdog

Former Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Oct. 18, 2021. (WTTW News)

The city’s response to the botched police raid in February 2019 that left Anjanette Young handcuffed while naked and pleading for help left the social worker “revictimized,” the city’s former watchdog told WTTW News’ Chicago Tonight. 

Just 54% of Chicago Police Officers Tell City Officials They Are Vaccinated Against COVID-19

(WTTW News)

More than 35.6% of the Chicago Police department — 4,543 employees — are in jeopardy of being disciplined and eventually fired for failing to disclose their vaccination status to the city. 

City — Not ComEd — Responsible for Outages at Roseland Pumping Station: Watchdog

(Holger Schue / Pixabay)

Despite the watchdog's findings, Chicago officials insisted that ComEd was responsible for the outages.

Gardiner Rebuked by Cook County Democratic Party After Probe of Profane, Misogynistic Texts

Ald. Jim Gardiner declined to respond to questions from WTTW News about the reports of an FBI probe while at City Hall on Sept. 14, 2021 for a meeting of the Chicago City Council. (WTTW News)

Ald. Jim Gardiner's actions disgraced all Cook County Democrats, according to a statement from party leaders after a probe.

Judge Orders Police Union President to Stop Bashing City’s Vaccine Mandate

John Catanzara (WTTW News)

A Cook County judge ordered Police Union President John Catanzara on Friday to stop making public statements on social media or in the media that encourage police officers not to comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate until a hearing Oct. 25.

Lightfoot Names Interim Inspector General to Replace Ferguson

(WTTW News)
A 21-year veteran of the office of the inspector general, William Marback’s selection surprised several members of the Chicago City Council, who had expected Deborah Witzburg, the deputy inspector general for public safety, the No. 2 official in the inspector general’s office, to serve as the city’s watchdog at least on an interim basis.

‘Legitimacy’ of Chicago Police Department at Risk Amid Vaccine Mandate Fight: Lightfoot

Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses the news media Friday Oct. 15, 2021. (Chicago's Mayor's Office)

Police and other first responders — who come in close physical contact with Chicagoans — must be vaccinated to protect the health and safety of Chicagoans, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. 

Stop Police Union from Blocking Vaccine Mandate, Lightfoot Asks Judge

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President John Catanzara appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Thursday, May 14, 2020. (WTTW News)

Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara's actions and rhetoric "threatens the health and safety of Chicago’s residents and first responders," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

Shared E-Scooter Program Gets Green Light from City Council

Chicagoans took approximately 540,000 rides on electric scooters during a four-month second trial run in 2020, officials said. (WTTW News)

City officials are hopeful that the two-wheeled vehicles will reduce congestion and encourage the use of public transportation throughout Chicago.