City Hall

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

The Better Government Association and the League of Women Voters say the newly elected City Council, which should be seated in a couple of months, should take on the task.
Neither the city’s longtime negotiator, Jim Franczek, nor Mayor Lori Lightfoot commented on the situation.
The Fran Spielman Show
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and other groups backing Vallas stayed neutral in February. Brandon Johnson, meanwhile, touted support from a group of Black firefighters, paramedics, Council members and leaders in the city’s Polish community.
Willie Wilson’s endorsement of Paul Vallas for mayor — and the endorsement of the pastors who stood with him Sunday — could persuade Black voters to cross racial lines.
Their backgrounds — Paul Vallas, a technocrat devoted to school choice, and Brandon Johnson, a teachers union organizer — help explain clashing views on school reform.
Jim Franczek described Vallas as a “pretty independent guy” while he’s wary of Johnson’s ties to the Chicago Teachers Union.
U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia finished in fourth place with 13.8% of the vote on Feb. 28, but his endorsement was coveted by both Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas.
Chicago’s public health commissioner and COVID-19 point person says she doesn’t get recognized as much as she used to. But that’s OK with her, especially given the “scary mail” she’s received.
During their first televised debate last week, Brandon Johnson was the undisputed aggressor. That night, Paul Vallas played it safe by trying to remain above the fray. On Thursday, it was a dramatically different Vallas who showed up to debate his runoff opponent at ABC7 Chicago.
People arriving at O’Hare after 10 p.m. must have a boarding pass or employee badge, the city says. The policy has been in place since 2020.
Pedro Soto was facing up to six months in prison after pleading guilty. But a judge issues a lighter sentence of 18 months’ probation, citing his cooperation with the feds.
Outreach workers say fewer shelter beds and Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s recent crackdown on people sleeping at O’Hare has forced more unhoused people onto trains and buses.
Paul Vallas touted endorsements from the Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2, former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr. and five City Council members.
The official results, including all eligible mail-in ballots counted by the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners on Wednesday, put Ald. Chris Taliaferro 25 votes shy of the majority he needed to win a third term outright.
A new batch of cameras will be mounted on CTA buses and other public transit vehicles. Drivers caught impeding traffic flow in bus and bike lanes and loading zones will be fined automatically after one warning.
Plan to boost number of Council’s committees unprecedented, unneeded and unfunded, critics say.
The 27-year-old community activist said he secured promises he believes will improve the lives of African Americans. Illinois attorney general applauded Johnson’s vision for a “safer, stronger Chicago.”
Under state law, local governments can prohibit video gambling machines from operating at restaurants or bars within their city limits. But both mayoral candidates favor lifting Chicago’s longstanding ban on the machines.
At the debate at UIC Tuesday, mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson said defunding the police is a political goal, but not his goal. Meanwhile, his opponent Paul Vallas denied he had said police were handcuffed and said he wants to restore proactive policing.
Chicago has everything New York says it can offer the 2024 Democratic convention except the Statue of Liberty and garbage on downtown streets.
If the Council requires providers to sign labor peace agreements, it won’t trigger unionization, but it will allow employees to organize and join unions if they choose, without fear of retaliation. But the mere threat of higher costs is scaring social service agencies.
Change is necessary since the current requirement that property owners shovel is seldom enforced, a coalition of alderpersons and mobility advocates say.
PAC chief says she doesn’t trust Vallas to support women’s reproductive rights, while 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares blasts Johnson’s vow to end $33M ShotSpotter gunshot alert contract.
Three committee chairs are working behind the scenes to reorganize and empower the City Council before a new mayor and Council are seated.
Chicago’s next mayor will have to live with the controversial zoning change Mayor Lori Lightfoot muscled through the City Council allowing the Chicago Fire soccer club to build an $80 million training center on CHA land formerly occupied by the CHA’s ABLA Homes.