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.
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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JUN 03, 2021

Ordinances in the City Council Rules Committee remain stuck for the time being. Aldermen will participate in a hearing on e-scooters on Thursday. Mayor Lori Lightfoot enlisted a “working group” to reduce carbon emissions from buildings. And the Chicago Cultural Center reopened.

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News in brief: Rules committee meeting canceled; Hearing set for e-scooters; Chicago Cultural Center reopens

Ordinances in the City Council Rules Committee remain stuck for the time being. Aldermen will par...
MAY 05, 2021

Lightfoot, Pritzker expressed optimism about full reopening by July 4. A House committee anticipates holding a hearing on a recent audit about the LaSalle Veterans’ Home. And Catholic bishops expressed concern about one of Pritzker’s proposed tax changes.

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News in brief: Lightfoot wants Chicago fully reopened by July 4, Pritzker ‘optimistic’ state is on a similar timeline

Lightfoot, Pritzker expressed optimism about full reopening by July 4. A House committee anticipa...
MAY 03, 2021

City health officials will update aldermen on city’s pandemic response as COVID-19 case numbers decline. Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined other Great Lakes mayors in calling for federal dollars to help replace lead water pipes. And Senate President Don Harmon weighed in on elected school board negotiations.

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APR 22, 2021
Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36) during a City Council meeting on Wednesday. Villegas’ proposal to use federal stimulus money to fund a basic income program was sabotaged by Ald. Jason Ervin (28). [Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times/Pool]

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s long-promised overhaul of the city’s highest-profile affordable housing policy cleared the City Council in a 42-8 vote on Wednesday, setting it up to guide most new residential construction proposed after Oct. 1.

The ordinance was the most controversial of dozens of measures approved during the City Council’s first in-person meeting since February 2020.

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Affordable housing overhaul clears City Council; Basic income proposal knocked off track

Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36) during a City Council meeting on Wednesday. Villegas’ proposal to use ...
APR 19, 2021
Chicago Chief Financial Officer Jennie Bennett [left] and Budget Director Susie Park during a Novermber budget hearing

Chicago’s Department of Finance would be required to publish monthly reports on the city’s cash intake under a proposal set for consideration on Monday.

The one-page ordinance (SO2020-5902), introduced by Ald. Brendan Reilly (42) last December, is set for consideration by the City Council’s Committee on Finance during its 10 a.m. meeting on Monday. If approved, city finance and budget officials will be legally bound to publish “monthly reports” on the department’s website that detail the city’s “total collections for each revenue category” from the previous month, plus the “variance” between actual revenues and those anticipated under the annual budget.

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Aldermen to consider forcing monthly budget reports from city finance officials

Chicago Chief Financial Officer Jennie Bennett [left] and Budget Director Susie Park during a Nov...
APR 15, 2021
Ald. Gilbert Villegas’ proposal to license tow truck operators stalled in committee Wednesday.

A proposal from Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36) to license towing companies in the city will sit in committee for at least one more month to allow for more discussion after the measure hit a wall on Wednesday.

Villegas told members of the City Council Committee on License and Consumer Protection during its Wednesday meeting that the ordinance (O2020-4817) he introduced last October to combat “rogue towers” has been “a labor of love.”

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Proposal to license ‘unscrupulous’ tow truck operators stalls in committee

Ald. Gilbert Villegas’ proposal to license tow truck operators stalled in committee Wednesday. A ...
APR 14, 2021

Lincoln Towing, based at 4882 N. Clark St. in the 47th Ward, has kept its business license despite attempts by state regulators to shut it down.

Aldermen are poised on Wednesday to consider an ordinance designed to rein in towing companies that have long been accused of predatory or duplicitous behavior against drivers.

The City Council’s Committee on License and Consumer Protection is scheduled during its 2 p.m. meeting on Wednesday to consider an ordinance (O2020-4817) introduced late last year by Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36) that would require towing companies to apply for licenses with the city.

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Aldermen to consider licensing ordinance to crack down on ‘predatory’ towing companies

Lincoln Towing, based at 4882 N. Clark St. in the 47th Ward, has kept its business license despit...
APR 09, 2021

News in brief: Aldermen approve ordinance protecting Chicago’s 16 ‘traditional parades;’ Arwady: ‘Big drop’ in vaccine doses driven by ‘spoiled’ Johnson & Johnson batch   

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APR 08, 2021
Mayor Lori Lightfoot responds to results of the Chicago Index survey during a news conference on Wednesday

The city is headed in the wrong direction and its political leaders likely aren’t helping, according to the results of a new statistical survey of more than 2,000 Chicago-area residents published Wednesday.

With just 16 percent of respondents rating her “good or excellent,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot got the poorest marks of almost any public official included in the inaugural report of the Chicago Index, a quarterly sentiment index produced by The Daily Line, Crain’s and ABC7.

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Lightfoot ‘not surprised’ she and City Council scored poorly on inaugural Chicago Index survey

Mayor Lori Lightfoot responds to results of the Chicago Index survey during a news conference on ...
JUN 18, 2021
Aldermen are scheduled to vote on a pair of police oversight ordinances Friday. [Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago]

After months of delay, aldermen are set to vote Friday to pick a plan for civilian oversight of the Chicago Police Department, potentially teeing up a full City Council vote on the issue next week. 

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Committee vote on civilian oversight of CPD expected to be close as aldermen arm proposal with ‘parliamentary tools’

Aldermen are scheduled to vote on a pair of police oversight ordinances Friday. [Colin Boyle/Bloc...
JUN 18, 2021
Plan Commissioners were split on a proposal to add a 34-unit residential building to an industrial area near Lincoln Yards.

Members of the Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday gave unanimous approval to two proposals from LG Development expected to bring more than 1,000 new residential units to Fulton Market. But commissioners were split on a proposal for a new 34-unit residential building proposed across the street from the Lincoln Yards mega-development. 

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Plan Commission bristles at adding 34-unit building next to Lincoln Yards, approves 1,000-plus new homes in Fulton Market

Plan Commissioners were split on a proposal to add a 34-unit residential building to an industri...
JUN 17, 2021
A proposed development would add 665 residential units in two buildings on either side of Lake Street to the Near West Side. [Chicago Department of Planning and Development]

Members of the Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday are set to consider proposals that would together add more than 1,000 new residential units to the Near West Side, among other plans. 

The Plan Commission is scheduled during its 10 a.m. meeting to weigh approval of a 33-story building with 486 residential units proposed for the south side of 1150 W. Lake St. and a 20-story, 179-unit residential building proposed on the north side of the street (O2021-1495).  

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More than 1,000 new residential units set for Plan Commission approval

A proposed development would add 665 residential units in two buildings on either side of Lake St...
JUN 17, 2021
Aldermen grilled Celia Meza on Wednesday before approving her appointment as Corporation Counsel.

Wednesday’s meeting of the City Council Committee on Budget and Government Operations opened the door for aldermen to question a wide range of topics, including why aldermen don’t have their own separate legal counsel, the status of replacing lead service lines and why the city should contract out work on its own five-year capital plan. 

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Aldermen resurface call for separate legal office to represent City Council

Aldermen grilled Celia Meza on Wednesday before approving her appointment as Corporation Counsel....
JUN 16, 2021
From left: Rosa Escaro, Michael Jacobson and Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) speak during Tuesday’s workforce development committee meeting.

Aldermen on Tuesday unanimously approved two sweeping ordinances meant to help Chicago workers, particularly domestic workers and those in the hotel industry, now that the city has fully reopened. 

Members of the City Council Committee on Workforce Development asked few question about the proposal (O2021-2182) from Mayor Lori Lightfoot designed to protect workers as part of her “Chi Biz Strong Initiative” and offered congratulatory remarks on Ald. Ed Burke’s (14) and Ald. Raymond Lopez’s (15) “Hotel Worker Right to Return to Work" ordinance (O2020-5778).

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Sweeping worker protections ordinance, hotel workers ‘return to work’ measure approved unanimously

From left: Rosa Escareño, Michael Jacobson and Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) speak during Tuesday’s wor...
JUN 16, 2021
David Reynolds is the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Assets, Information and Services.

Aldermen are set on Wednesday to consider allowing the city’s assets department to contract with outside entities to manage city-owned properties, a move officials say will help the city with planned renovations to libraries and police stations.  

The City Council Committee on Budget and Government Operations is also scheduled during its 10 a.m. meeting Wednesday to appropriate (O2021-2155) more than $100,000 in new and carried over grant funds.  

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Allowing contractors to manage city-owned properties would speed city’s capital plan, officials say

David Reynolds is the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Assets, Information and Services....
JUN 15, 2021
Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during a news conference on Monday.

Aldermen are scheduled on Tuesday to take up two proposals aimed at helping workers as the city comes back to life post-pandemic.

The City Council Committee on Workforce Development is set to meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday to consider a proposal (O2021-2182) from Mayor Lori Lightfoot designed to protect workers as part of the “Chi Biz Strong Initiative.” Also on the agenda is Ald. Ed Burke’s (14) and Ald. Raymond Lopez’s (15) “Hotel Worker Right to Return to Work" ordinance (O2020-5778).

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Lightfoot’s worker protection package set to advance as hotel workers’ ‘Right to Return’ hangs in balance

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during a news conference on Monday. Aldermen are scheduled on Tuesday...
JUN 14, 2021
A proposed ordinance would allow the fire commissioner to issue citations at O’Hare and Midway airports. 

Aldermen are set on Monday to consider a proposal that would give the city’s fire commissioner authority to issue fire regulation citations at the city’s airports. 

Members of the City Council Committee on Aviation are scheduled during the 10 a.m. meeting Monday to take up the proposed ordinance (O2021-2151) from Mayor Lori Lightfoot that would allow the commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department to issue citations for violations of fire regulations at both O’Hare and Midway Airports.  

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Proposal would allow Fire Department to issue citations at airports; Lightfoot’s Du Sable plan MIA

A proposed ordinance would allow the fire commissioner to issue citations at O’Hare and Midway ai...
JUN 11, 2021
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35) (left) and Ald. Christ Taliaferro (29). Aldermen attended briefing sessions this week on proposals for civlian oversight of the police department.

A little more than one week before they’re set to take an initial vote, aldermen were briefed on the two competing proposals for civilian oversight of the Chicago Police Department, one of which is expected to emerge as the measure the full City Council will vote on during its June 23 meeting. But it’s still unclear which will net enough votes to pass.

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After briefings, some aldermen still unsure how they’ll vote on dueling police oversight plans

Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35) (left) and Ald. Christ Taliaferro (29). Aldermen attended briefing ...
JUN 11, 2021
Chicago Public Health Comm. Allison Arwady addressed aldermen during a hearing on Thursday. 

Aldermen largely focused their questions during a Thursday subject matter hearing with public health Comm. Allison Arwady on whether the city will mandate masks and vaccinations now that it’s fully reopened. 

The city is set Friday to shed almost all of the various health and safety precautions it put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

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Aldermen push for continued mask requirements, mandatory vaccinations as city fully reopens

Chicago Public Health Comm. Allison Arwady addressed aldermen during a hearing on Thursday.  Alde...
JUN 10, 2021

The Department of Family and Support Services is working on a new mobile app to connect students with city programming for youth. And Chicago Department of Public Health Comm. Allison Arwady will face aldermen on Thursday to give an update on the state of COVID-19 in Chicago. 

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News in brief: Partnership for “My Chi My Future” mobile app approved; Monthly COVID-19 hearing set for Thursday

The Department of Family and Support Services is working on a new mobile app to connect students ...
JUN 10, 2021
Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans president Ron Onesti (left) and Ald. Nicholas Sposato (38) during a committee hearing on Wednesday

Proposals to designate October as “Italian American Heritage and Culture Month” and expand city resources for farmers markets both gained unanimous approval from aldermen on Wednesday.  

Members of the City Council Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation during its Wednesday meeting did not ask questions about Ald. Nicholas Sposato’s (38) resolution (R2021-525to designate October as “Italian American Heritage and Culture Month,” but leaders from the Italian American community spoke in favor of the measure. 

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Aldermen declare October Italian American Heritage Month, boost farmers market resources

Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans president Ron Onesti (left) and Ald. Nicholas Sposato ...
JUN 09, 2021
Ald. Nicholas Sposato (38) speaks during a Columbus Day event in October 2020. [Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans]

Aldermen are set on Wednesday to consider designating October as “Italian American Heritage and Culture Month,” as well as tightening regulations for some farmers markets. 

The discussion on the agenda for the City Council’s Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation comes weeks after Cook County hosted a robust county discussion on renaming its Columbus Day holiday, and just under one year after Mayor Lori Lightfoot had Christopher Columbus statues removed from Grant Park and Arrigo Park following police clashes with protesters. 

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Aldermen to weigh designating October ‘Italian Heritage Month’ as Columbus Day debate heats up

Ald. Nicholas Sposato (38) speaks during a Columbus Day event in October 2020. [Joint Civic Commi...
JUN 09, 2021
Chaundra Van Dyk [left] and Madeleine Doubek of CHANGE Illinois spoke about a new independent ward remapping commission during a news conference on Tuesday. 

The work of an independent commission hoping to draw a new ward map for City Council will officially begin its work this week after leaders named members of the 13-person commission Tuesday, saying they hope to gain aldermanic support in the coming months. 

Members of CHANGE Illinois on Tuesday touted the diversity of the new commission that aims to use community input to influence the decennial task of redrawing Chicago’s ward boundaries rather than leaving it up to aldermen in a largely closed-door process. 

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Independent ward remap group unveils commissioners, expecting to gain aldermanic support ‘along the way’

Chaundra Van Dyk [left] and Madeleine Doubek of CHANGE Illinois spoke about a new independent war...
JUN 08, 2021
Ald. Carrie Austin (34) and Bureau of Forestry Deputy Comm. Malcolm Whiteside during a virtual committee hearing on Monday

Aldermen on Monday approved the creation of an advisory board to boost the city’s tree-planting efforts, sending the measure to City Council for final approval later this month. 

Members of the City Council Committee on Finance also heard during Monday’s meeting from three city commissioners on how they handle and plan to reduce legal claims brought against their departments.  

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Urban Forestry Advisory Board proposal headed to City Council for approval

Ald. Carrie Austin (34) and Bureau of Forestry Deputy Comm. Malcolm Whiteside during a virtual co...
JUN 07, 2021
An independent advisory committee is hoping to submit a new ward map to be considered by the City Council.

Members of an independent ward remapping commission hoping to submit their own proposed Chicago ward map are scheduled to be announced this week, days after Gov. JB Pritzker’s signing of new General Assembly, state Supreme Court and Cook County Board of Review maps.

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Independent advisory commission on ward remap set to take shape this week

An independent advisory committee is hoping to submit a new ward map to be considered by the City...
JUN 07, 2021
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) introduced a resolution last year calling on the City Council's finance committee to review strategies to reduce legal claims against the city.

Aldermen are set for discussion on Monday of how the city can avoid legal claims against the city. They’re also on track to approve the creation of an Urban Forestry Advisory Board, but a long-debated police transparency ordinance will remain on hold for now.  

The City Council Committee on Finance is set to meet at 10 a.m. Monday to take up the two agenda items. 

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Aldermen to discuss strategies for reining in legal payouts in Monday hearing

Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) introduced a resolution last year calling on the City Council's finance c...
JUN 02, 2021
Aldermen have mixed responses to the title of “alderperson.”

Chicago elected officials aired mixed reactions to an omnibus election bill (SB 825) on its way to Gov. JB Pritzker’s desk that is set to change all official references to municipal elected officials from “alderman” to “alderperson.”

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Change from ‘alderman’ to ‘alderperson’ gets mixed response in City Council

Aldermen have mixed responses to the title of “alderperson.” Chicago elected officials aired mixe...
MAY 30, 2021
Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday signed off on two bills lawmakers approved earlier this year.

A total of 28 newly introduced measures were banished last week to the City Council’s Committee on Committees and Rules, but 23 of the mostly perfunctory proposals are scheduled to be resurrected Wednesday and sent to the “appropriate” committees during a rules committee meeting.

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More than 20 proposals set to be sprung from rules committee, but some will remain stuck

Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday signed off on two bills lawmakers approved earlier this year. A total ...
MAY 28, 2021
Mayor Lori Lightfoot cemented her “comprehensive plan” to honor Du Sable Thursday.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposal to honor Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable, the city’s first non-indigenous resident, pulls out all the stops with multiple statues, public artwork, a new festival and a renamed downtown Riverwalk. But it leaves out the proposal some aldermen and advocates have been pushing for 18 months: renaming a portion of Lake Shore Drive after Du Sable. 

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Lightfoot pitches statues, public artwork, festival to honor Du Sable — but no renaming Lake Shore Drive

Mayor Lori Lightfoot cemented her “comprehensive plan” to honor Du Sable Thursday. Mayor Lori Lig...

Bio

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