Stories by heather cherone

Lightfoot Unveils Plan to Boost Supply of Affordable Housing Across Chicago

(WTTW News)

The plan is designed to give developers incentives to build in parts of the city where there is little affordable housing or where longtime residents are vulnerable to displacement, officials said.

City Council Poised to Vote on New Rules for Industrial Developments in Effort to Reduce Air Pollution

South Deering (WTTW News)

Aldermen are sharply divided on the issue after a proposal from Mayor Lori Lightfoot was significantly revised. Alds. Jason Ervin, Maria Hadden, Byron Sigcho-Lopez and George Cardenas weigh in.

7 States Added to Chicago’s Travel Order, Including Michigan: Officials

(StelaDi / Pixabay)

Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said the uptick in virus cases in Michigan is of special concern because it appears to be driven in part by the spread of more transmissible variants of COVID-19.

As COVID-19 Cases Rise 23% in a Week, Chicago’s Top Doctor Says She is ‘Really Worried’

(WTTW News)

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus have risen 23% in Chicago during the past seven days, prompting Chicago’s top health official, Dr. Allison Arwady, to say Tuesday she is “really worried” the city could be on the cusp of another surge of the pandemic.

Alderman Withdraws Plan to Require Special Permission for House Museums After Outcry

The North Kenwood house Muddy Waters bought will be preserved as a museum, recording studio and more. (WTTW News)

The ordinance drew fierce opposition from cultural and preservation groups and those working to turn the homes of civil rights icon Emmett Till and blues legend Muddy Waters into museums, who said it could block their efforts. 

Competing Proposals to Create Elected Board to Oversee CPD Craft Unified Compromise to Take on Lightfoot

(WTTW News)

The Chicago City Council and Mayor Lori Lightfoot are set to face off over an effort to create an elected police oversight body.

Aldermen Vow to Keep Pressure on Banks that Hold the City’s Cash to Lend Equitably

(WTTW News)

Aldermen endorsed a measure Monday that would allow the city to expand the number of banks authorized to hold its cash — even as city officials vowed to keep pressuring financial institutions to do a better job lending to Black and Latino Chicagoans.

Lightfoot Tosses Cold Water on Plan to Require Special Permission for House Museums

The former home of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, at 6427 S. St. Lawrence Ave. in Chicago’s Woodlawn community. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot says that a proposal requiring museums to get special permission from city officials before opening in residential neighborhoods is “highly problematic.” Her criticism makes it unlikely that the measure, which has drawn fierce opposition, will advance this week.

Push to Slow Gentrification in Pilsen and Along 606 Trail with Demolition Fee Advances

(WTTW News)

Property owners and developers who want to demolish existing buildings in Pilsen and near the 606 trail would be required to pay a fee that would be used to fund affordable housing projects across the city, under a proposal set for a final vote Wednesday.

Lightfoot Mourns the 5,062 Chicagoans Dead From COVID-19, Touts Pandemic Response

Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses the city Friday, March 19, 2021 to mark the anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chicago Mayor's Office)

COVID-19's deadly toll has hit Black and Latino Chicagoans hardest, accounting for 71% of all deaths in Chicago, while those groups make up just 66% of the city’s population, according to city data. 

More Essential Workers to be Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine Starting Monday: Pritzker

The first doses of the Pfizer vaccine in Chicago were administered at the Loretto Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. (WTTW News)

Illinois residents who work in higher education, government and media will be eligible for the COVID-19 starting Monday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday. The expansion of the vaccination effort does not include residents of Cook County or Chicago.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot Marks Somber COVID-19 Anniversary, Sees Hopeful Trends

Mayor Lori Lightfoot appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom. (WTTW News)

A year after the coronavirus swept Chicago and upended life as Chicagoans knew it, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city is poised to recover after one of the most difficult years in its history, and she is optimistic that there will be an ample vaccine supply in the city in April and May.

Suburban Cook County to Vaccinate Residents with Underlying Conditions Starting Monday

(WTTW News)

Officials will open new appointments at the county’s five mass vaccination sites for the residents who are newly eligible at noon Friday. More than 68% of individuals 65 and older in suburban Cook County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, officials said.

Lightfoot Calls Atlanta Shootings ‘Hate Crime’ as Police Step Up Patrols

Our Spotlight Politics team weighs in on ‘Chicago Tonight’

(WTTW News)

The murder of eight people Tuesday at three spas in the Atlanta area constitute a hate crime, and former President Donald Trump’s “hateful rhetoric” is partly to blame for the violence, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday.

Chicago to Launch Next Phase of COVID-19 Vaccine Effort March 29: Lightfoot

Dr. Marina Del Rios receives the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by city officials on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 at The Loretto Hospital. (WTTW News)

The next phase of Chicago’s vaccination effort will allow all essential workers and those with underlying health conditions to get doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday.

Officials Won’t Use Tax Returns to Pay Debts for Low-Income Illinois Residents

(Steve Buissinne / Pixabay)

Low-income residents who are in debt to the state or city won’t have their state tax return used to settle those bills under a plan announced Monday by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Comptroller Susana Mendoza, who said she was spurred to act because “families on the edge” need their tax returns to cover overdue bills.

Aldermen Advance New Rules for Industrial Developments in Effort to Reduce Air Pollution

Protesters gather near the Logan Square home of Mayor Lori Lightfoot to voice their opposition to General Iron’s plans to move to the Southeast Side on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. (Annemarie Mannion / WTTW News)

The revised measure is designed to tighten regulations on recycling centers and industrial operations in an effort to reduce air pollution on the South and West sides. A final vote is scheduled for the full City Council meeting on March 24.

Use $50M from COVID-19 Relief Package to Send Chicagoans Cash, Aldermen Urge Mayor

(WTTW News)

Several aldermen on Thursday called on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to use approximately $50 million from the city’s share of the latest COVID-19 relief package to fund cash assistance payments to Chicagoans struggling to stay afloat. Lightfoot declined to support cash assistance payments to Chicagoans in a statement to WTTW News.

Aldermen Vow to Get to Work on Reparations at Long-Delayed 1st Meeting

(benscripps / Pixabay)

Aldermen on Thursday said they would do more than just talk about whether the city should pay reparations to Chicagoans who are the descendants of enslaved African Americans, but acknowledged that it had taken too long to even begin the discussion.

Cases of More Transmissible UK COVID-19 Variant Up 36% in Illinois: Officials

(WTTW News)

Twenty-five more cases of a COVID-19 variant first discovered in the United Kingdom that is believed to be more transmissible have been found in Illinois in the past seven days, according to data released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Chicago Cites 5 Restaurants, Bars for Violating COVID-19 Restrictions as Officials Issue St. Patrick’s Day Warning

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

Since March 2020, city inspectors have conducted more than 8,809 investigations and cited 462 businesses for violating COVID-19 regulations, officials said. The latest round of citations comes as city officials warned residents about St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Lightfoot Unveils Plan to Boost Businesses Owned by Black, Latino and Female Chicagoans

(WTTW News)

A new program in Chicago will offer minority-owned firms that have city contracts access to financing from the federal government as part of the city’s effort to help businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Final Decision on Taste of Chicago, Air and Water Show This Summer Coming Soon, Officials Say

The Blue Angels are a fan favorite of Air and Water Show observers. (Courtesy of Blue Angels)

Will two massive summer events take place this year amid an accelerated rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine — and the possible end to the pandemic? Or can Chicagoans expect another round of “re-imagined festivals” in 2021, with virtual concerts replacing in-person events?

Groups Join Forces to Form Independent Commission to Redraw City’s Ward Map

A map of Chicago includes boundaries for some of the city’s 50 wards. (WTTW News via Google Maps)

Frustrated that the mayor and City Council have yet to back a plan to create an independent commission to redraw the boundaries of Chicago’s 50 wards, a coalition of groups determined to change the way Illinois’ legislative boundaries are drawn announced they would take matters into their own hands.

Chicago Eases Travel Order as COVID-19 Pandemic Slows Across US

(WTTW News)

Visitors to Chicago from 26 states and Puerto Rico no longer have to quarantine for 10 days or record a negative test for COVID-19, according to the city’s travel order, updated on Tuesday.

Opening of United Center Mass Vaccination Site Marred by Confusion Over Eligibility

(WTTW News)

Even as the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered Tuesday morning at the United Center, confusion swirled over how many appointments remained available, who was eligible for those slots and when they would open for thousands desperate for the life-saving shot.