Chicago News

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    Ald. Bennett Lawson (44) is pictured during a council meeting in November 2023. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    Ald. Bennett Lawson (44) has filed an ordinance that would require the city’s public health commissioner to receive City Council confirmation before their appointment was finalized.

    While Lawson said the ordinance (O2024-0007880) would not apply retroactively to require the City Council hold a confirmation vote for Public Health Comm. Olusimbo Ige, he said the legislation was sparked by questions that arose during a recent committee discussion with the recently appointed health commissioner.

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    Mayor Brandon Johnson is pictured at a January 2024 news conference. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration released a detailed plan on Wednesday for how the city’s housing and planning departments intended to spend $1.25 billion in bond proceeds should the City Council approve the proposed borrowing plan. 

    The bond proposal (O2024-0007838) for housing and economic development was referred to the City Council rules committee Wednesday, though the mayor told reporters that was simply democracy at work and that he wasn't worried about passing it out of that committee. He also said he was not planning any special meeting to get the proposal approved. 

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    Ald. Matt O'Shea (19) is pictured during a council meeting in October 2023. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    Following an impassioned speech by Ald. Matt O’Shea (19), the City Council voted overwhelmingly in favor of an ordinance (SO2023-0004978) that places limits on where new dollar stores may open citywide. 

    The council voted 42-7 to pass the new law, which prohibits small box retailers, stores such as Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Family Dollar, from opening within one mile of an existing dollar store owned or managed by the same company.

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    Mayor Brandon Johnson is pictured at a press conference in January. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    The City Council approved millions of dollars in police-related legal settlements, two mayoral appointments and a bag tax amendment Wednesday. But Mayor Brandon Johnson’s proposal for a $1.25 billion borrowing plan is in limbo.

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    The City Council meets in December 2023. [Michael McDevitt/The Daily Line]

    The City Council will meet Wednesday and take up a proposal to limit the number of dollar stores citywide.

    The council will also consider final approval of millions of dollars in police-related legal settlements, confirmation of the city’s new housing commissioner and an ordinance providing for a comprehensive staffing analysis for the police department. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in council chambers.

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    Chicago’s mayor announced a massive lawsuit against multiple oil and gas companies and an oil industry trade association. And Cook County has received additional philanthropic dollars for a criminal justice reform program.

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    Acting Department of Housing Comm. Lissette Castañeda. [Mayor's Press Office]

    The city’s housing committee unanimously recommended confirming Mayor Brandon Johnson’s pick to lead the Department of Housing during a meeting Friday, sending the final approval to the City Council. 

    Acting Department of Housing (DOH) Comm. Lissette Castañeda was appointed by the mayor to the position in December after former Comm. Marisa Novara exited the role last summer. 

    The City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate voted to confirm Castañeda Friday after a public comment period where she received glowing endorsements from housing and development organizations and after alderpeople questioned her on various housing-related issues.

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    The CPD emblem adorns the public safety headquarters in this file photo. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    The City Council voted for a second time Thursday to reject a contract provision that would allow police officers facing termination or suspensions of at least a year to have their cases heard behind closed doors instead of the Chicago Police Board. The rejection makes it more likely the matter will be decided by a Cook County judge.

    In an 18-32 vote — and with Ald. Scott Waguespack (32) voting in favor of arbitration after voting no last time — the council voted down the provision for the second time since December, when the matter was rejected 17-33.

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    Chicago Department of Housing Comm. Lissette Castañeda [Courtesy of Mayor's Press Office]

    The City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate will vote on the appointment of a new housing commissioner on Friday, the purchase of land for a new streets and sanitation facility and multiple sales of city-owned lots.

    The housing committee is slated to meet at noon on Friday in City Council chambers.

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    The Chicago Police Department emblem outside of Chicago's public safety headquarters is pictured in this file photo. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    The City Council is expected to vote Thursday on the arbitration option for police officers accused of serious misconduct, the only outstanding provision of the new contract between the city and Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) yet to be adopted. 

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    City Hall is pictured in this file photo. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    The City Council Committee on Finance on Wednesday approved four agreements totaling millions of dollars to settle lawsuits stemming from injuries allegedly caused by the actions of Chicago Police officers.

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    The city’s license committee recommended explicitly exempting shoeshine and shoe repair businesses from the city’s checkout bag tax, and the city is attempting to intervene in a lawsuit to throw the real estate transfer tax increase off the March ballot.

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    Chicago Public Health Comm. Olusimbo Ige is pictured during a press conference on migrant housing on Jan. 29, 2024. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    The Committee on Health and Human Relations held an introductory hearing with Chicago Department of Public Health Comm. Olusimbo Ige, giving alderpeople the chance to ask questions of the new health commissioner in a public forum for the first time since she was appointed. 

    Mayor Brandon Johnson appointed Ige last fall after he terminated Allison Arwady in August. Whether or not Ige should receive a confirmation vote from the City Council became a point of contention during Tuesday’s hearing.

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    The historic Hoyt building is pictured. [Commission on Chicago Landmarks]

    A City Council panel gave the OK to a tax incentive for a project to rehabilitate and reuse a vacant historic building in the Cermak Road Bridge District.

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    Alderpeople will on Wednesday consider adding a new exemption to the city’s paper and plastic bag tax law and consider approving the annual special events ordinance. Additionally, the council’s finance committee will consider approving millions of dollars in police-related legal settlements.