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The most thorough coverage of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago's city council, including analysis and news from veteran City Hall reporter Fran Spielman.

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Chinatown leaders eye Daley family’s 11th Ward stronghold for first Asian American-majority city ward

A proposed redrawing of Chicago’s ward map would create that majority by combining parts of Bridgeport, Armour Square and McKinley Park in a new 11th Ward.

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No property tax increase? Aldermen aren’t buying Lightfoot’s argument

The mayor contends the capital plan responsible for $25 million of the levy increase was approved last year and so was tying property taxes to the consumer price index. The remaining $28.6 million was captured from “new property.”

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Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th)

Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th), chairman of the City Council’s Hispanic Caucus and Mayor Lori Lightfoot's former floor leader, said 5,000 of Chicago’s neediest families would have been collecting $500 monthly checks since last spring, if only Lightfoot hadn’t dragged her feet on the ordinance he championed.

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City’s new vaccination plan aims to vaccinate 77% of all residents by year’s end

The Protect Chicago 77 vaccination initiative draws its name from the city’s 77 official community areas.

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Lightfoot stalled universal basic income pilot to use it as budget sweetener, former floor leader says

Ald. Gilbert Villegas said 5,000 of Chicago’s neediest families could have been getting $500 monthly checks since spring had the mayor not dragged her feet. Dozens of U.S. cities and towns already have such programs.

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Nothing short of new stadium along the lake will keep Bears in Chicago, consultant says

Chicagoan Marc Ganis has advised numerous NFL teams on their stadium financing and has closely followed the Bears’ stadium saga for decades, including past team flirtations with Hoffman Estates and Gary, Indiana.

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Plan to keep the Bears in Chicago complicated by constraints of Soldier Field

Two architects who worked on the $660 million renovation — which won’t be paid off until 2032 — said only modest expansion is possible at the 61,500-seat stadium. And a retractable roof would be architecturally challenging, if not impossible.

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Despite united opposition from police unions, Lightfoot won’t budge from Oct. 15 vaccine mandate for city workers

"The deadline is not gonna be pushed back," the mayor said Wednesday. "We are not gonna retreat from that because the only way that we can create a safe workplace is by getting people vaccinated."

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With half of kids quarantined at W. Side school, union pushes for more safety measures, district official backs vaccine mandate

Some 173 students at Jensen Elementary are in quarantine.

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Chicago City Council on the clock to pass new ward map by Dec. 1

Mike Kasper for decades was the election law expert for deposed Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Now he’s guiding aldermen through the politically excruciating process of dividing the city’s 2.7 million residents into 50 wards, each with a target population of 54,923.

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As CPS board OKs new $11M police contract, community groups praise district’s progress on school cops

The unified message ahead of the vote is a stark departure from this time last year, when students and police-free school advocates marched through the city and protested outside the downtown Chicago Public Schools headquarters.

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City looks to add 100 miles of bike lanes by end of 2022

Chicago Department of Transportation will spend $17 million over the next two years to add bike lanes across the city, with a focus on the South and West sides.

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Joe Pecoraro, Chicago’s most famous lifeguard, serving under eight mayors, dead at 91

‘Joe Pec’ helped establish national standards for the profession. ‘How many lives have been saved because of Joe Pecoraro’s impact?’ a colleague from California said.

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‘Disappointed’ Lightfoot admits CPS’ COVID testing, contact tracing falling short

"In anticipation of the opening of school, there should have been a much more robust plan and infrastructure in place," the mayor told WTTW News.

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Ex-cop gets probation for off-duty beating outside Andersonville bar

Erik Elkins, 47, also has to perform 40 hours of community service and is banned from working in law enforcement.

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Mayor Lightfoot proposes a budget for people living through hard times

The mayor’s spending plan recognizes Chicago’s tough times by providing some relief for those who are struggling most without a big tax hike.

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Possible indoor vaccine mandate faces flak from city restaurant group

The plea against an indoor vaccine mandate is in response to a letter eight aldermen sent to the city health commissioner, urging her to require proof of vaccination for entrance to some gathering spots, such as restaurants, bars, gyms and theaters.

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A bigger, better Soldier Field? Lightfoot makes pitch to keep Bears in Chicago

"I am a Bears fan. I want the Bears to stay in the city of Chicago. And we are willing to work with them to try to address their concerns. But I’ve got to do it in a way that is fiscally prudent and doesn’t preclude other uses in that stadium," Lightfoot told the Sun-Times editorial board.

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Lightfoot unveils 2022 budget proposal; goal is ‘a safer, strong and more prosperous city’

The mayor proposed a $16.7 billion budget that raises the property tax levy by $76.5 million, but uses one-time revenues, debt refinancing and $1.9 billion in federal relief funds to make scores of other strategic investments.

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Divided City Council relaxes zoning requirements for marijuana sales

Six days after two of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s most outspoken City Council critics used a parliamentary maneuver to delay the vote, alderman approved her plan to help minorities who have been shut out of the so-called "green rush."

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Discover’s Chatham call center notching company’s highest customer ratings

"This tells me we made a great decision," CEO and President Roger Hochschild says of putting the call center in a disinvested community.

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We need a City Council that reflects Chicago’s diversity

The census numbers should serve as a reminder of what should motivate us to keep pushing forward to have a local government that best represents its citizens.

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Sneak peek at mayor’s spending plan shows millions for community development, affordable housing and homeless support

The grand total of new investments is $1.2 billion. Some influential aldermen got an advanced look.

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Youth group calls on Lightfoot to drop proposal to to sue, seize assets of gang members

The ordinance would do harm to people who are unaffiliated with gangs.

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Lightfoot plans to increase Chicago’s property tax levy by $76.5M in 2022, aldermen told

The levy increase covers $22.9 million for the automatic escalator tied to the consumer price index; $25 million to bankroll the 2022 installment of Lightfoot’s $3.7 billion capital plan; and $28.6 million captured from "new property."

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Domestic workers applaud new city ordinance that gives them the right to a written contract with an employer

Arise Chicago plans to offer training sessions to teach workers about their new rights.

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Black Caucus Chairman Jason Ervin delivers early endorsement of Lightfoot reelection

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said it’s "not a gimme" she will seek a second term. If Lightfoot does run again, she’ll have a powerful ally in her corner: Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), chairman of the Chicago City Council’s Black Caucus.

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Chicago teams are betting on a Daley to win City Hall OK for ‘sports book’ wagering at arenas

Cook County Commissioner John Daley’s son is lobbying the Chicago City Council to approve sports betting at or near Sox park, Wrigley Field, Soldier Field and the United Center.

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Hear the one about the Chicago pol saying no to some extra cash? No joke, five in City Council reject salary boost

The five taking a pass on the raise are a mix of North, Northwest and Southwest Side Council members. all in their first or second term — Raymond Lopez (15th), Silvana Tabares (23rd), Felix Cardona (31st), Gilbert Villegas (36th) and Matt Martin (47th).

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‘No family left behind’ — Pilsen’s latest affordable housing project takes stand against gentrification

On Thursday, the Resurrection Project broke ground on their fifth affordable housing development in Pilsen.

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Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson used same accounting firm that cleared Bridgeport bank before it failed

Defense attorneys in the alderman’s criminal case point to mistakes by the bank, the Bansley & Kiener accounting firm and even Thompson himself, writing that, "Mr. Thompson’s lack of organization and lack of attention to the details of his personal financial affairs are central to his defense."

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Who is Pedro Martinez, CPS’ new CEO?

The new head of public schools in Chicago, a CPS graduate, has dozens of relatives who either attend or work in the district. But some critics from San Antonio say his record as superintendent there doesn’t match his working class background.

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New CPS CEO says a united district can be ‘best in the country’

Pedro Martinez, the superintendent of San Antonio public schools, was named CPS’ new leader at Benito Juarez H.S., his alma mater.

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Family of teenage drowning victim sues Chicago Park District, calls for life rings to be installed along entire lakefront

"This is not only about Miguel. It’s about preventing other families from going through this tragedy," said Maria Diaz, whose son, Miguel Cisneros, drowned last month.

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Sergeant files whistleblower lawsuit over order to guard his boss’s Bridgeport home during riots, looting last year

The police lieutenant, when confronted about his use of cops to guard his home, said "Mind your own f------ business, this is my unit and I will do what I want with my people," according to the suit.