Chicago City Council. (WTTW News)

Mayor Brandon Johnson reversed course Tuesday, averting a showdown at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

City Council. (WTTW News)

The new rules, issued Thursday, came several days after the president of the Better Government Association warned Mayor Brandon Johnson that the administration’s efforts to restrict access to meetings of the City Council were “inequitable and likely illegal.”

Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

New restrictions on where members of the public can sit during meetings of the Chicago City Council are “inequitable and likely illegal,” David Greising, president of the Better Government Association, warned Mayor Brandon Johnson. 

Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Inspector General Deborah Witzburg backed the term limit, saying it will protect the watchdog’s independence and bring “stability, order, independence” to the office.

Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Limiting the city’s watchdog to two terms would bring “stability, order, independence” to the office, which oversees all city departments and contractors as well as the mayor’s office, City Council and its committees, current Inspector General Deborah Witzburg said.

The Chicago Commission on Landmarks meets on Thursday, June 8, 2023, in a nearly empty Council Chambers at Chicago City Hall. (Heather Cherone/WTTW News)

No rules require city officials to stream meetings online or allow members of the public to weigh in virtually, either by Zoom or by phone – putting at risk Chicagoans’ ability to keep tabs on their government with a simple click of a button.

Members of the Chicago City Council meet on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (WTTW News)

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.

Members of the Chicago City Council meet on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (WTTW News)

The proposal – which has not yet been debated in public – could get a final vote on Thursday as part of supporters’ push for a quick vote before the runoff between Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson set for April 4.

Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Chicago City Council has 50 alderpeople, representing around 54,000 people each. That’s compared to 51 council members in New York City, each representing 173,000 people. Los Angeles has 15 council members with each member representing about 257,000 people.

(WTTW News)

A new report shows Gov. J.B. Pritzker's vast investment portfolio includes a dozen companies that earned billions of dollars in state contracts. When he took office, Pritzker promised to shift that portfolio into a blind trust, to eliminate conflicts of interest. But an investigation from the Better Government Association throws into question whether or not the move worked.

Byron Generating Station just south of Byron, Illinois. (Ben Jacobson / Wikimedia Commons)

Radioactive water leaking from Illinois nuclear power plants, despite promised safeguards—an investigative reporter on what’s been done.

After 10 years, the city and labor unions are preparing for a new round of contract negotiations. What you should know about the process.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is supporting a bill that would require testing of groundwater near quarries where construction debris is dumped.

Is CPS denying support services for children with special needs in order to save money? We speak with the author of a new report from the Better Government Association.

A movement is underway to have the Illinois legislature expand what's called "home rule authority." Bob Reed of the Better Government Association explains what that could mean for towns and villages throughout the state.

Former CPS CEO to Plead Guilty to Fraud Scheme

Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett will reportedly plead guilty to a federal bribery indictment along with the co-owners of SUPES Academy, her former employer. We'll talk with the reporter who broke the story and the former CPS Inspector General who blew the whistle, as well as a former federal prosecutor.