Erin Hegarty

Erin Hegarty has covered City Hall for The Daily Line since September 2020. She previously covered the City of Naperville for the Naperville Sun/Chicago Tribune for four years, and prior to that covered the northwest suburbs for the Daily Herald. Erin enjoys biking around the city and eating her way through different neighborhoods.

Contact Erin at [email protected]

Bio

Covering Chicago City Hall for @thedailylinechi. Send tips to [email protected] More coffee, always.
SEP 10, 2021

Ald. Scott Waguespack (32) used a committee meeting Thursday to ask whether Chicago Board of Ethics members think the city should be involved in the Chicago Park District’s probe into sexual abuse among its lifeguards. Aldermen advanced an update to the city’s excavation rules. A group of aldermen sent a letter to city health officials asking them to impose a requirement for proof of vaccination in indoor spaces. And the City Council Committee on Contract Oversight and Equity is set to advance an extension of the city’s minority hiring program, weeks before the program is set to expire. 
 

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News in brief: Ethics board pressed on Park District scandal; minority contracting rules set for extension

Ald. Scott Waguespack (32) used a committee meeting Thursday to ask whether Chicago Board of Ethi...
AUG 27, 2021
DCA Developments received approval from the Plan Commission Thursday for a 213-foot building with 288 apartments at 1217 W. Washington Blvd. [Department of Planning and Development]

The West Loop building boom is not slowing down.

DAC Developments received approval from the city’s Plan Commission Thursday for a 213-foot, 19-story building at 1227 W. Washington Blvd. 

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West Loop apartment tower plan moves forward, would bring 288 units to area

DCA Developments received approval from the Plan Commission Thursday for a 213-foot building with...
AUG 26, 2021

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a vaccine mandate for city workers, but some of the city's largest labor unions are resisting. And the city's mental health emergency response system is set to launch Monday.

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News in brief: Lightfoot imposes vaccine mandate as ‘starting point;’ city to launch mental health emergency response system

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a vaccine mandate for city workers, but some of the city's largest...
JUL 22, 2021
Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks in a news conference after Wednesday's City Council meeting. [Alex Nitkin/The Daily Line]

A series of key legal restrictions designed to control the proliferation of new pot dispensaries in Chicago would be lifted under a new ordinance proposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday, one of dozens of new ordinances and resolutions tossed into consideration in advance of the City Council’s August recess. 

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Loosening of pot rules, legalized sports betting, grant database among new ordinances introduced

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks in a news conference after Wednesday's City Council meeting. [Alex Ni...
JUL 20, 2021
The City Council finance committee approved a $60 million infrastructure deal surrounding the Michael Reese site on Monday, priming it for zoning and land acquisition approval on Tuesday.

A five-year back-and-forth over how to reactivate one of Chicago’s most prized slices of publicly-owned property is on track to culminate on Tuesday, as City Council committees consider zoning approval and a redevelopment agreement for the sprawling “Bronzeville Lakefront” mega-development on the former site of Michael Reese Hospital.

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Reese site redevelopment plan set for final test after years of city-led negotiations

The City Council finance committee approved a $60 million infrastructure deal surrounding the Mic...
JUL 13, 2021

Aldermen are scheduled Tuesday to advance a pair of tax incentives and probe World Business Chicago leaders on how they’re marketing the city. Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on Monday the recipients of Neighborhood Opportunity Fund grants. And the Chicago Board of Ethics issued a new round of advisory opinions.

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News in brief: Hearing set on Chicago tech industry; Lightfoot announced NOF grant recipients; Board of Ethics restricts personal favors

Aldermen are scheduled Tuesday to advance a pair of tax incentives and probe World Business Chica...
JUL 02, 2021
Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson is set to step down in October, capping three four-year terms in office. [Heather Cherone/The Daily Line]

Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson will step down from his post this fall after 12 eventful years overseeing investigations of waste, fraud and abuse in city government, he informed Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a letter Thursday evening.

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Ferguson to step down in October after 12 years as city’s top watchdog

Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson is set to step down in October, capping three four-year...
JUL 01, 2021

Aldermen will gather virtually for a special City Council meeting Friday to probe Chicago Police Department leaders on their summer anti-violence strategy. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle made a rare joint appearance to unveil a new monument to journalist Ida B. Wells. And a trio of freshman alderman emphasized their support for efforts to create a citywide network of bike lanes. 

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JUN 25, 2021
Up to three companies would be allowed to operate e-scooters in Chicago under an ordinance set to be proposed by an alderman and city transportation officials on Friday. [Hannah Alani/Block Club Chicago]

Reinstated renter protections, a permanent citywide e-scooter program and two proposals meant to combat systemic racism in home lending are among the dozens of new measures set for introduction at Friday’s City Council meeting. The raft of new legislation was set to be rolled out on Wednesday, until the meeting abruptly adjourned following a dispute over the appointment of Corporation Counsel Celia Meza.

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City banking reforms, permanent e-scooter program among new ordinances set for introduction

Up to three companies would be allowed to operate e-scooters in Chicago under an ordinance set to...
JUN 15, 2021

Aldermen advanced a measure to expedite fire code enforcement at the city’s airports. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she supports making Juneteenth an official city holiday, and she once again called on state lawmakers to pause their push to create an elected Chicago school board. And the Cook County Democratic Party’s semi-annual slating session, usually a summer affair, will take place in August this year.

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SEP 20, 2021
Mayor Lori Lightfoot is set to introduce her 2022 budget proposal on Monday. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line] 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is set to unveil her 2022 spending plan Monday, about one month earlier than the city’s typical budget schedule, amid calls for the city to pump directly into communities nearly $1.9 billion in federal pandemic-related grant money.

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Lightfoot set to introduce 2022 budget proposal, plan to spend $1.9B in federal stimulus money

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is set to introduce her 2022 budget proposal on Monday. [Don Vincent/The Dai...
SEP 20, 2021

Aldermen on Friday re-referred three proposals related to public safety that had been temporarily banished to the council’s Committee on Committees and Rules. And the City Council Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight advanced the nominations of two members of a search committee tasked with finding the city’s next inspector general.

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News in brief: Aldermen rescue 3 public safety-related proposals from rules committee; IG search committee nominations gain initial approval

Aldermen on Friday re-referred three proposals related to public safety that had been temporarily...
SEP 17, 2021
The Chicago Plan Commission unanimously approved plans for a 282-unit residential building proposed for 160 N. Morgan St.

A 282-unit Near West Side residential building approved by the Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday would be the first major development required to meet the demands of the city’s new Affordable Requirements Ordinance, officials said. 

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Near West Side development OK’d for ‘first instance’ of city’s new affordable requirements ordinance

The Chicago Plan Commission unanimously approved plans for a 282-unit residential building propos...
SEP 16, 2021
Rush University Medical Center is proposing to build a new five-story inpatient hospital building in the 28th Ward. 

Two Chicago hospitals are seeking approval from the city to add new medical buildings to their campuses. 

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Rush University Medical Center, new Swedish Hospital buildings on tap for Plan Commission approval

Rush University Medical Center is proposing to build a new five-story inpatient hospital building...
SEP 15, 2021
Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaking during a news conference after Tuesday's City Council meeting [Alex Nitkin/The Daily Line]

The City Council voted on Tuesday to approve a collective bargaining agreement with the Chicago Police Department’s rank-and-file employees, ending the union’s four-year absence of a contract. 

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FOP contract approved as Lightfoot’s proposals on pot shop zoning, gang lawsuits stall

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaking during a news conference after Tuesday's City Council meeting [Alex...
SEP 10, 2021
Greater Englewood is split among six wards — more than any other neighborhood.

Greater Englewood is one of several communities throughout Chicago carved up into numerous wards and represented by multiple aldermen. While some of those aldermen agree with a prominent community group that wants ward boundaries to be redrawn so they more closely mirror neighborhood lines, others argue it is beneficial to Greater Englewood to be represented by the six aldermen who currently each claim a piece of the neighborhood 

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Resident group calls for ward remap to make Englewood whole: ‘we’ve always felt like the step-children’

Greater Englewood is split among six wards — more than any other neighborhood. Greater Englewood ...
SEP 10, 2021
Maura McCauley speaks during a committee meeting Thursday. 

The one-month extension of a rental agreement between the city and a downtown hotel to use 175 rooms as shelter for single men experiencing homelessness cleared a committee hurdle Thursday.

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Aldermen OK extending $540K-per-month agreement to use downtown hotel for homeless residents

Maura McCauley speaks during a committee meeting Thursday.  The one-month extension of a rental...
SEP 09, 2021
Aldermen on Thursday are set to consider extending an agreement with a downtown hotel for COVID-19 quarantine space amid the pandemic. [Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago]

Aldermen are set on Thursday to extend a contract with a downtown hotel that has served as a quarantine location for city and nursing home workers, and to approve the allocation of at least $900,00 in new grant money. 

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Agreement to use hotel as COVID-19 quarantine space for city workers up for extension

Aldermen on Thursday are set to consider extending an agreement with a downtown hotel for COVID-1...
SEP 08, 2021
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) [left] and Ald. Walter Burnett (27) speak during Tuesday’s housing committee meeting. 

Aldermen used a City Council committee meeting on Tuesday to air frustrations with the Chicago Housing Authority to board members before approving their reappointments unanimously.

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Aldermen rail on CHA commissioners over safety, Latino representation: ‘They need to do more’

Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) [left] and Ald. Walter Burnett (27) speak during Tuesday’s housing commit...
SEP 07, 2021
Mayor Lori Lightfoot during a June news conference. 

Aldermen on Tuesday are set to consider the sale of multiple city-owned properties on the city’s South and West sides for various developments, including a plan to bring 100 affordable single-family homes to North Lawndale.

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Aldermen to consider sales of city-owned parcels on South, West sides for affordable housing

Mayor Lori Lightfoot during a June news conference.  Aldermen on Tuesday are set to consider the ...
SEP 03, 2021
Pictured above is an automated no-touch shop at Midway Airport. A similar shop could be coming to O'Hare Airport.

Aldermen were divided on Thursday over a new concession agreement set to bring vending machines and an automated no-touch shop to O’Hare Airport, as members of the Latino Caucus said the city didn’t do enough to attract Hispanic firms to get involved.  

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O’Hare concession agreement clears divided committee as Latino aldermen question its ‘parity’ and ‘equity’

Pictured above is an automated no-touch shop at Midway Airport. A similar shop could be coming to...
SEP 03, 2021
Potential new commissioners for the Chicago Park District Myetie H. Hamilton [left] and Modesto Tico Valle answered questions during a committee meeting on Thursday.

Aldermen used a Thursday City Council committee meeting to grill newly nominated commissioners for the Chicago Park District Board on the ongoing investigation into sexual abuse by lifeguards and other recent issues facing the park district. 

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Aldermen grill prospective park district commissioners on sex abuse investigation, Amazon lockers

Potential new commissioners for the Chicago Park District Myetie H. Hamilton [left] and Modesto T...
SEP 02, 2021
Matt Richards (right) with the city’s Department of Public Health and Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33) speak during a Wednesday committee meeting.

City officials on Wednesday began briefing aldermen and residents on a “co-responder” pilot program launched Monday that sends different combinations of mental health professionals, paramedics, police officers and recovery specialists in response to residents experiencing mental health crises.  

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As city rolls out 'co-responder' program, alderman says community organizations deserve more credit

Matt Richards (right) with the city’s Department of Public Health and Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanc...
SEP 01, 2021
Ald. Andre Vasquez (40) speaks during a City Council Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology meeting on Tuesday.

A review of Chicago’s 311 service request system would not only make the tool more useful and accurate for residents but could also help city departments make their case for a bigger slice of the city’s budget, according to an alderman. 

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Updating city’s 311 system could net more money for forestry, streets and sanitation: alderman

Ald. Andre Vasquez (40) speaks during a City Council Committee on Economic, Capital and Technolog...
AUG 31, 2021
City workers filling potholes. Chicago residents can submit service requests including graffiti removal and tree plantings on the city’s CHI 311 website and app. [Quinn Ford/DNAinfo]

Upgrades made two years ago to the city’s 311 system could soon be reviewed in an attempt to make the service request system more accurate and helpful for residents and city officials. 

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Aldermen to consider proposal requiring assessment of 311 system upgrades

City workers filling potholes. Chicago residents can submit service requests including graffiti ...
AUG 30, 2021
Ald. Daniel La Spata (1) and advocates laid out their arguments for the "Water for All" ordinance, which would codify a permanent end to water shutoffs.

The lead sponsor of an ordinance that would make permanent a ban on city water shutoffs and expand the city’s affordable billing program says he hopes his proposal, which aldermen were supportive of on Friday, is passed by the end of the year.

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‘Water for All’ ordinance would provide ‘accessible, affordable’ water delivery, alderman says

Ald. Daniel La Spata (1) and advocates laid out their arguments for the "Water for All" ordinance...
AUG 27, 2021
The Chicago Plan Commission during its Thursday meeting approved Onni Group’s multi-tower proposal for Goose Island.

With little discussion and ample support from the local alderman and city officials, the Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday gave an initial green light to Onni Group’s proposal to transform a portion of Goose Island into a five-tower mixed-use development, complete with public open space and a pedestrian bridge over the Chicago River.

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Plan Commission unanimously approves Goose Island multi-tower, mixed-use development

The Chicago Plan Commission during its Thursday meeting approved Onni Group’s multi-tower proposa...
AUG 26, 2021
Members of the Plan Commission on Thursday will consider Onni's proposal for a massive development on Goose Island.

A massive mixed-use development that would bring Goose Island its first residential units in decades and a 300-key hotel is expected to get an initial OK from the city during Thursday’s Plan Commission meeting.

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Massive Goose Island development stands to get initial go-ahead from city

Members of the Plan Commission on Thursday will consider Onni's proposal for a massive developmen...
AUG 25, 2021
Signs posted in Logan Square urge the city to stop the use of ShotSpotter. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line]

The ShotSpotter technology the city of Chicago uses to detect where guns are fired is not “effective” in “developing evidence of gun-related crime,” a report published Tuesday by the Office of Inspector General found. 

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ShotSpotter ‘seldom’ detects gun-related crimes for investigation, watchdog report shows

Signs posted in Logan Square urge the city to stop the use of ShotSpotter. [Erin Hegarty/The Dail...
AUG 25, 2021
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and city finance and budget officials gave a forecast on the 2022 budget earlier this month.

The Kroll Bond Rating Agency on Tuesday upgraded Chicago’s general obligation debt from “negative” to “stable,” but analysts remained wary about effects of the COVID-19 Delta variant and the city’s reliance on “non-recurring revenue.” 

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Kroll upgrades outlook on Chicago’s debt to ‘stable,’ citing rebounding economy

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and city finance and budget officials gave a forecast on the 2022 budget ea...

Bio

Covering Chicago City Hall for @thedailylinechi. Send tips to [email protected] More coffee, always.