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.
JUL 21, 2022
Ald. Michele Smith (43) speaks at a March 2022 City Council meeting. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

Lincoln Park Ald. Michele Smith (43) will retire from the City Council next month, capping her City Council career at 11 years and giving Mayor Lori Lightfoot her third opportunity this year to appoint a new alderman, she announced on Thursday.

The sudden announcement, citing a desire to spend more time with family and friends, comes one day after Smith scored a major legislative victory with the City Council’s passage of an ethics reform ordinance she championed.

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Smith announces abrupt retirement from City Council, setting up another Lightfoot appointment

Ald. Michele Smith (43) speaks at a March 2022 City Council meeting. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]...
JUL 12, 2022

Cook County leaders laid the groundwork Monday for annual spending talks and late tax collections in an unusual budget year. And Chicago transportation officials unveiled plans to give away 5,000 bikes through 2026.

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News in brief: Cook County looks ahead to budget season; CDOT details plans to give away 5,000 bikes

Cook County leaders laid the groundwork Monday for annual spending talks and late tax collections...
JUL 05, 2022

Ald. James Cappleman (46) at a City Council meeting in February 2020. [Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago]

Ald. James Cappleman (46) will not run for a fourth term in the City Council next year after more than a decade at the helm of Uptown’s radical transformation, he announced in a note to constituents on Tuesday.

The news comes as three contenders have already lined up to succeed him — including one challenger who came within a hair’s breadth of unseating him in 2019.

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Cappleman to call it a career after 12 years as Uptown’s alderman as crowded field emerges to replace him

Ald. James Cappleman (46) at a City Council meeting in February 2020. [Colin Boyle/Block Club Chi...
JUN 09, 2022
Ald. Walter Burnett (27) voices an endorsement for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign alongside fellow West Side elected officials Ald. Emma Mitts (37), Ald. Jason Ervin (28) and retiring Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Comm. Barbara McGowan.

A trio of West Side aldermen showcased an early mark of political force for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s fresh-off-the-ground reelection campaign, highlighting her efforts to jump-start economic activity in historically overlooked neighborhoods while she faced unprecedented headwinds.

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Lightfoot’s tightest City Council allies rally around her nascent reelection campaign

Ald. Walter Burnett (27) voices an endorsement for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign alongside fell...
MAY 23, 2022
Aldermen quizzed Chicago Chief Financial Officer Jennie Huang Bennett (top right) and Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Samir Mayekar (top left) during a committee hearing on Friday.

A key City Council committee hit the pause button Friday on the $1.7 billion Chicago casino plan championed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration amid a flurry of questions over how much oversight aldermen will have over the deal. Lightfoot’s deputies and committee chair Ald. Tom Tunney (44) are holding on — for now — to a schedule that would keep the plan on track to move to a final City Council vote this week.

But as a range of aldermen beg for more details and language tweaks to a nearly 150-page agreement between casino developer Bally’s and the city, Tunney made it clear that the mayor’s target of a floor vote on Wednesday is no sure bet.

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Casino plan stumbles but remains on course for approval this week as aldermen demand more oversight

Aldermen quizzed Chicago Chief Financial Officer Jennie Huang Bennett (top right) and Deputy Mayo...
MAY 17, 2022
A coach house on Chicago’s Northwest Side. [Lichter Realty]

Chicago property owners have applied to build 361 new basement or attic apartment buildings and 166 new backyard coach houses in the approximately one year since their construction has been legal, city officials said Monday as they weigh whether they should accelerate the legalization push. But while some aldermen point to the numbers as a sign that the new homes — known as Accessory Dwelling Units or Additional Dwelling Units (ADUs) — have been a success, others remain skeptical.

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City Council remains divided on coach houses, basement additions as ADU pilot readies for 1-year check-in

A coach house on Chicago’s Northwest Side. [Lichter Realty] Chicago property owners have applied ...
APR 11, 2022
Photo by Manuel Martinez, WBEZ / Treatment by Jason McGregor, Crain’s Chicago Business/iStock photo

Virtual public meetings and better systems of accountability have sharply boosted aldermanic attendance rates at City Council meetings since 2019, according to a joint analysis by The Daily Line, WBEZ and Crain’s Chicago Business. The average Chicago alderman showed up to do the work of the City Council about four out of every five times they were required to since the start of the term in May 2019.

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Some of the most powerful Chicago aldermen show up to work the least

Photo by Manuel Martinez, WBEZ / Treatment by Jason McGregor, Crain’s Chicago Business/iStock pho...
APR 11, 2022

WBEZ, Crain’s Chicago Business and The Daily Line analyzed publicly available attendance records for 519 City Council meetings and committee meetings that occurred between May 2019 and December 2021 and found that Chicago aldermen attended an average of about 86% of the meetings required of them.

You can look up your alderman’s meeting attendance rate using our tool below.

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We ranked City Council members by meeting attendance. Check your alderman’s score.

WBEZ, Crain’s Chicago Business and The Daily Line analyzed publicly available attendance records ...
MAR 24, 2022
Nicole Lee will be nominated by Mayor Lori Lightfoot to be the next alderman for the 11th Ward. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

Less than a day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she needed “more time” to settle on a pick to succeed convicted Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11) in the City Council, she announced she had settled on United Airlines executive and Chinatown native Nicole Lee as her pick.

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Who is Nicole Lee? 11th Ward alderman pick has background in corporate giving, Chinese American organizing and oil consulting

Nicole Lee will be nominated by Mayor Lori Lightfoot to be the next alderman for the 11th Ward. [...
FEB 23, 2022

Chicago leaders confirmed the city will loosen its COVID-19 mask and vaccination requirements on Monday. A 42-unit apartment proposal in West Lakeview was the largest development proposal to earn approval from an uncharacteristically light zoning committee meeting on Tuesday. And the City Council is set to vote on a measure approved by a key committee on Tuesday that would allow electronic voting during council meetings.

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News in brief: Mask & vax mandate to end Monday; Lakeview apartment complex among zoning approvals; remote voting comes closer to reality

Chicago leaders confirmed the city will loosen its COVID-19 mask and vaccination requirements on ...
DEC 12, 2022
Mayor Lori Lightfoot picked Anabel Abarca as the next 12th Ward alderman. [Friends of Anabel Abarca/anabelfor12.com]

Mayor Lori Lightfoot picked Anabel Abarca to serve as the next 12th Ward alderman, marking the fourth appointment to the City Council Lightfoot has made this term.

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Lightfoot picks Cardenas’ former chief of staff Anabel Abarca as next 12th Ward alderman

Mayor Lori Lightfoot picked Anabel Abarca as the next 12th Ward alderman. [Friends of Anabel Abar...
NOV 28, 2022
Ald. Ed Burke (14) during a City Council meeting. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

After more than 50 years on the Chicago City Council, Ald. Ed Burke (14) will not run for reelection next year.  

Burke did not file petition signatures by Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline for candidates seeking to run for election next year, Chicago Board of Elections spokesperson Max Bever told reporters Monday evening.  

Burke, who is the longest serving alderman on the Chicago City Council, was indicted in 2019 on 14 counts including bribery, attempted extortion and racketeering. 

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Ald. Ed Burke won’t run for reelection after more than 50 years on the City Council

Ald. Ed Burke (14) during a City Council meeting. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line] After more than 50...
NOV 23, 2022

The Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability along with representatives from the police department and the city’s inspector general will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday to discuss the police department’s proposed overhaul of its controversial gang database.

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Civilian police oversight commission will hold meeting Monday to discuss CPD’s proposed gang database revamp

The Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability along with representatives from the...
NOV 18, 2022
CTU President Stacy Davis Gates, who chairs United Working Families, speaks during a news conference announcing endorsements on Thursday. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line]

The progressive organization United Working Families on Thursday endorsed 18 people hoping to win aldermanic elections in wards across the city during next year’s municipal election.

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United Working Families makes endorsements in 18 aldermanic races

CTU President Stacy Davis Gates, who chairs United Working Families, speaks during a news confere...
NOV 18, 2022

Former governor of Illinois Pat Quinn announced he won’t run for mayor. The mayor’s office on Thursday made public the names and resumes of four people hoping to be the next 12th Ward alderman. And the Plan Commission approved an affordable housing development in Lincoln Square.

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NOV 17, 2022
The City Council met for its regular meeting on Wednesday. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line]

The City Council on Wednesday approved $13.5 million in tax-increment financing (TIF) dollars for a Black-owned company that plans to spruce up six Save-A-Lot grocery stores on the South and West sides.

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City Council grants $13.5M in TIF to rehab Save-A-Lot grocery stores as same company looks to take over closed Whole Foods in Englewood

The City Council met for its regular meeting on Wednesday. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line] The City...
NOV 17, 2022
Members of the Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday will consider a proposal for a 63-unit affordable development in Lincoln Square. [City of Chicago}

Members of the Chicago Plan Commission are scheduled to meet on Thursday to consider a 63-unit, 100 percent affordable residential development proposed for Lincoln Square and the renovation of a building on the Near South Side to bring a mixed-use development with 38 residential units to the community.

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Plan Commission to consider 63-unit affordable development in Lincoln Square

Members of the Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday will consider a proposal for a 63-unit afforda...
NOV 16, 2022
The City Council is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line]

Aldermen during Wednesday’s City Council meeting could finally vote on a controversial proposal to legalize private booting of cars citywide, according to a notice filed with the City Clerk’s office on Monday.

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City Council could finally vote on proposal to legalize private booting of cars citywide

The City Council is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line] Alderme...
NOV 15, 2022
Supporters of the Bring Chicago Home proposal attend a news conference outside City Hall Monday. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line]

A public hearing on whether to ask voters this February if they support raising the real estate transfer tax to help fund affordable housing and homelessness services did not occur after not enough aldermen showed up to council chambers to meet the required quorum.

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Lack of quorum grinds to a halt hearing on proposal to hike real estate transfer tax to fund homelessness services

Supporters of the Bring Chicago Home proposal attend a news conference outside City Hall Monday. ...
NOV 15, 2022
Members of the City Council’s finance committee during Monday’s meeting. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line]

Aldermen on Monday gave an initial OK to a measure that would give $13.5 million in tax-increment finance (TIF) dollars to a company planning to lease and rehab six Save-A-Lot grocery stores in the city.

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Aldermen give initial OK to $13.5M in TIF funding to rehab six Save-A-Lot grocery stores

Members of the City Council’s finance committee during Monday’s meeting. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily ...
NOV 15, 2022
Aldermen will meet Tuesday to consider referendum questions proposed for the Feb. 28 ballot. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line]

The outcome of a key City Council committee meeting Tuesday is likely to determine which referendum questions get placed on the Feb. 28 municipal election ballot.

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Rules committee set to consider three referendum questions for Feb. 28 ballot

Aldermen will meet Tuesday to consider referendum questions proposed for the Feb. 28 ballot. [Eri...
NOV 14, 2022
Aldermen will meet on Monday to discuss a proposed referendum to change the real estate transfer tax. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line]

The City Council will convene for a special meeting Monday to discuss a measure that would give voters the choice this February to raise the real estate transfer tax to help fund affordable housing and homelessness services.

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Aldermen to meet in special council meeting to discuss referendum proposing real estate transfer tax hike

Aldermen will meet on Monday to discuss a proposed referendum to change the real estate transfer ...
NOV 11, 2022
Anjanette Young speaks during a meeting of the City Council Committee on Public Safety Thursday. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line]

An ordinance originally proposed by a group of Black alderwomen to establish new rules for residential search warrants in Chicago following the police department’s wrongful raid of Anjanette Young’s home in 2019 did not pass out of a key council committee Thursday.

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Proposal to change search warrant policy fails to move out of key committee for full council approval

Anjanette Young speaks during a meeting of the City Council Committee on Public Safety Thursday. ...
NOV 11, 2022
Chuy Garcia launched into the 2023 race for Chicago mayor Thursday. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

U.S. Rep. Jesus "Chuy" Garcia officially announced his bid for mayor Thursday after spending weeks mulling a run to lead the city.

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Chuy Garcia officially jumps into race for mayor

Chuy Garcia launched into the 2023 race for Chicago mayor Thursday. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line] ...
NOV 10, 2022
Ald. Sophia King (4) speaks during Wednesday’s education committee meeting. [City of Chicago livestream]

Aldermen during a committee meeting Wednesday scuttled a colleague’s proposal to require the head of Chicago Public Schools to attend quarterly hearings in front of aldermen.

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Tied vote in committee blocks proposal to require CPS leadership to attend quarterly hearings in front of aldermen

Ald. Sophia King (4) speaks during Wednesday’s education committee meeting. [City of Chicago live...
NOV 10, 2022
Aldermen are set to hold four committee meetings Thursday. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line]

Aldermen will convene for four committee meetings Thursday with a vote on proposed new rules for residential search warrants and a long-awaited hearing with CTA President Dorval Carter scheduled for morning meetings.

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Packed City Council committee schedule Thursday includes vote on Anjanette Young ordinance, hearing with CTA President Dorval Carter

Aldermen are set to hold four committee meetings Thursday. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line] Aldermen...
NOV 09, 2022
Ald. Sophia King (4) during Monday’s City Council meeting. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

The City Council Committee on Education and Child Development is set to meet for the second time this year on Wednesday.

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Education committee set to meet Wednesday for second time this year

Ald. Sophia King (4) during Monday’s City Council meeting. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line] The City ...
NOV 08, 2022
Members of the City Council during Monday’s meeting. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

Aldermen during a City Council meeting Monday voted 32-18 to approve Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s 2023 spending plan. The vote occurred less than four months before the February municipal election where at least three aldermen are planning to challenge Lightfoot and all 50 City Council seats are up for election.

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City Council approves Lightfoot’s 2023 budget with few votes to spare

Members of the City Council during Monday’s meeting. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line] Aldermen during...
NOV 07, 2022
Mayor Lori Lightfoot during her budget proposal speech in October. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s fourth and final budget of her first term in office will face a vote from the City Council on Monday.

The mayor introduced her $16.4 billion spending proposal last month and aldermen have spent the weeks since then grilling commissioners on their departments’ budget proposals and making their own proposed tweaks to the budget.

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Lightfoot’s 2023 budget proposal to face final council vote Monday

Mayor Lori Lightfoot during her budget proposal speech in October. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line] M...
NOV 04, 2022
Members of the City Council will meet at City Hall Friday but a final vote on the budget is not expected until Monday. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line]

The City Council will meet Friday for a meeting that is expected to be short as aldermen plan to delay a vote on budget-related ordinances until Monday.

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City Council to meet Friday but budget vote not expected until Monday meeting

Members of the City Council will meet at City Hall Friday but a final vote on the budget is not e...

Bio

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