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(benscripps / Pixabay)

Chicago owes $32.9 billion to its four employee pension funds representing police officers, firefighters, municipal employees and laborers, according to the 2020 Certified Annual Financial Report — an increase of nearly 3.5% from 2019. 

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Labor activists join some public officials downtown for a rally in support of raising the minimum wage in August 2019. (WTTW News)

The nationwide Fight For $15 movement pushed the challenges facing Chicago’s lowest-paid workers — who are primarily Black and Latino — to the top of the agenda for city officials.

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(David Mark / Pixabay)

The delay comes as city officials wait for U.S. Treasury Department officials to decide whether they will give Mayor Lori Lightfoot the green light to use $465 million in federal funds to pay off high-interest debt the city incurred to balance its 2020 and 2021 budgets.

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(Jürgen Polle / Pixabay)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has vowed to “force a reckoning” on the issue of pensions, which she called “the biggest problem” facing Chicago’s finances.

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Chicago police officers work a crime scene in this file photo. (WTTW News)

Concerned that a surge in violence that begin in 2020 will turn into a bloody summer, aldermen urged city officials to spend the city’s $1.9 billion share of the latest federal COVID-19 relief package on efforts to stop shootings and murders by funding mental health services and job programs.

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(WTTW News)

Work is underway on a yearslong effort to repair Chicago’s crumbling streets, sidewalks, bridges and shoreline with billions of dollars of borrowed money, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday. 

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(stokpic / Pixabay)

A permanent casino could open as soon as 2025 in Chicago, although slot machines could start ringing at O’Hare and Midway airports much sooner — with tentative plans for a temporary gaming palace also in play. 

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(WTTW News)

The proposal authored by Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th Ward) would send 5,000 families $500 per month for a year as part of an effort to study whether a universal basic income could help Chicagoans recover from the economic catastrophe of the coronavirus pandemic and fight poverty.

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot address the news media on April 6, 2021. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants to set aside about half of the $1.9 billion the city of Chicago expects to get from the American Rescue Plan signed by President Joe Biden in March to cancel high-interest debt.  

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(WTTW News)

Some retired firefighters could see their pensions grow after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a measure to boost the annual cost-of-living increase added to their checks. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the measure would create an “unfunded mandate” that would force Chicago officials to raise taxes or cut services.

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The now-closed Paladar Restaurant in Logan Square. (Facebook photo)

Progressive groups launched a campaign Thursday to ratchet up the pressure on Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago City Council to spend the city’s $1.9 billion share of the latest federal COVID-19 relief package on direct aid to Chicagoans struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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(benscripps / Pixabay)

“These conversations are a slap in the face to people that have suffered great atrocities over time in this country," said Ald. Jason Ervin, the chairman of the City Council Black Caucus.

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(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.

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(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.

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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?

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot presides over the city’s first virtual City Council meeting on April 15, 2020. (@chicagosmayor / Twitter)

Aldermen blocked a Wednesday vote on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to spend federal COVID-19 relief funds, prompting the mayor to utter an expletive caught on a hot mic during the meeting.