The special meeting of the Chicago City Council was a last-ditch effort to put the non-binding question to voters on the March 19 ballot.
A key vote by the Chicago City Council’s Rules Committee could come as soon as Thursday on a measure that would ask voters during the March primary whether Chicago should remain a sanctuary city.
Mayor Brandon Johnson said a $3.6 billion plan to build 5.6 miles of new train tracks, as well as four stations, would “right a historic wrong” and provide a “critical connection that has been missing for half a century.”
Led by former allies of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the successful push to rewrite the rules for the City Council — which served as a rubber stamp for decades under Mayors Richard J. Daley, Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel — is the result of years of effort to transform it into a legislative body determined to set policy for the entire city.
Even if the federal grant is approved by Congress, Chicago would need an additional $2.4 billion to cover the total cost of the project, much of which is city officials hope will come from the federal government in future years.
The move will generate $959 million for the project by funneling a portion of the increase in property tax revenues for the next 35 years from the 42nd, 3rd, 4th, 11th and 25th wards — even though the extension of the train line would be miles away from any of those wards.
The $1.74 billion proposal still needs the approval of the Illinois Gaming Board, which must license Bally’s to operate the Chicago casino set to be built along the Chicago River near Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street.
Despite thousands of daily passengers, the CTA’s parking availability pales in comparison to other major cities.
Due to the lack of CTA-provided parking options, South Side commuters are often forced to park on streets, sometimes illegally, risking a ticket or a tow. If they choose to drive the entire commute, they’ll face a packed Dan Ryan Expressway and expensive downtown parking.
Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd Ward) said the plan would be a “bad deal” for residents of Bronzeville and set a bad precedent. The proposal from Lightfoot’s administration would create a new tax-increment financing district along the southern branch of the CTA Red Line to generate $950 million for the project.
The vote capped months of parliamentary shenanigans and came after a concerted effort by advocates for pedestrians and bicyclists to convince undecided members of the City Council the tickets were an effective way to reduce headline-grabbing and heartbreaking crashes.
A push to roll back a law hitting drivers who zip past Chicago parks and schools monitored by speed cameras traveling between 6 mph and 9 mph above the limit with $35 tickets is set to get an up-or-down vote by the Chicago City Council on July 20, according to records obtained by WTTW News.
Ald. Jason Ervin (28th Ward) led the push to prevent a vote on the measure Wednesday, using a parliamentary procedure to delay a vote until the City Council’s next meeting, scheduled for July 20. That tactic is often used by members of the City Council to push back an up-or-down vote when the outcome is uncertain.
The proposal now heads to Wednesday’s meeting of the full Chicago City Council, where its prospects are uncertain at best.
Thirty-three alderpeople currently support the ward map backed by the Black Caucus — eight short of the votes needed to avert a referendum in June.
With efforts well underway to craft new ward boundaries that could shape Chicago politics for the next decade, Chicagoans on Wednesday got a brief glimpse of the heated debate taking shape behind closed doors at City Hall.
A police union contract years in the making heads to city council Tuesday. We talk with alderpeople about that and other city business.