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.
JAN 27, 2022
Ald. Anthony Beale (9) speaks about his proposal to establish separate legislative counsel for the City Council during Wednesday’s council meeting. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

Aldermen during the year’s first City Council meeting quickly approved three payments to resolve police-related lawsuits, but a rift emerged between aldermen about how to establish independent legal representation for the City Council.

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Aldermen spar over dueling plans to create City Council independent counsel, approve police misconduct settlements

Ald. Anthony Beale (9) speaks about his proposal to establish separate legislative counsel for th...
JAN 10, 2022
City Council rules committee chair Ald. Michelle Harris (8) and Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11) during a committee hearing on Friday

A chaotic and abortive meeting of the City Council Committee on Committees and Rules on Friday showed that aldermen remain as divided as ever over the city’s decennial remap as the drop-dead deadline to avoid a voter referendum draws nearer.

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Remap stalemate hardens as inaugural 2022 hearing breaks down into process squabbles

City Council rules committee chair Ald. Michelle Harris (8) and Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11) ...
JAN 06, 2022
Ald. Pat Dowell (3) during a Dec. 15, 2021 City Council meeting. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

Ald. Pat Dowell (3) on Wednesday became the first candidate to throw in her hat to succeed Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) in Congress since Rush announced he will not seek a 16th term representing Chicago’s South Side and south suburbs.

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Dowell announces run for Rush’s Congressional seat, leaving behind SoS bid

Ald. Pat Dowell (3) during a Dec. 15, 2021 City Council meeting. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line] Ald...
JAN 03, 2022
Starting this year, expired smoke detectors with detachable batteries must be replaced with more modern hard-wired devices.

The new year brings a panoply of fresh rules into effect for Chicago residents and businesses, including a litany of measures designed to help the city’s most vulnerable residents while simultaneously making life easier for entrepreneurs.

The following is a roundup of major city legislation that took effect when the clock struck midnight on Friday night, as well as subsequent city policies set to take place in the months to come.

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New city rules for sign permits, wage theft, smoke detectors take hold after Jan. 1 implementation

Starting this year, expired smoke detectors with detachable batteries must be replaced with more ...
DEC 28, 2021

Erin and Alex on Chicago government in 2021

A hard-fought and long-delayed commission to oversee the Chicago Police Department. A bitter fig...
DEC 09, 2021

Chicago’s top doctor is set to brief aldermen Thursday on the twin threat of a mounting winter surge in COVID-19 cases and the worrying new Omicron variant. And a popular outdoor dining program is set to remain on the books for at least one more year. A proposal related to towing storage lots was held in committee on Wednesday. 

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News in brief: Arwady to brief aldermen on Omicron, COVID surge; Outdoor dining program set for extension; Towing lot ordinance hits snag

Chicago’s top doctor is set to brief aldermen Thursday on the twin threat of a mounting winter su...
DEC 01, 2021

The Chicago City Council’s months-in-the-making push to redraw the boundaries of its 50 wards ground to a crawl on Tuesday, throwing the process into confusion hours before a critical deadline that could soon put the issue in the hands of voters.

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Aldermen head ‘back to the table’ on remap, drawing out talks as Lightfoot heads to D.C.

The Chicago City Council’s months-in-the-making push to redraw the boundaries of its 50 wards gro...
OCT 22, 2021
One provision of the budget Management Ordinance set for approval on Friday would extend the authority of the Department of Water Management commissioner to replace the city's lead service lines. [Pexels] 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $16.7 billion budget plan is set to clear another major hurdle on Friday, as her administration’s more than 600-page budget appropriation ordinance (O2021-4238) comes up for a committee vote.

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New contracting equity office, lead pipe replacement among grab-bag of budget changes up for committee vote

One provision of the budget Management Ordinance set for approval on Friday would extend the auth...
OCT 15, 2021
The City Council rules committee is planning a hearing to consider overhauling the City Council's decennial remap process, but this year’s process is already well underway.

The City Council had been poised during a Friday afternoon hearing to consider pitches for an overhaul of the council’s once-in-a-decade remap — even as aldermen are already waist-deep in this year’s redrawing process. But the meeting was abruptly canceled on Thursday.

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Hearing on remap reform delayed as aldermen dive into redrawing their own ward boundaries

The City Council rules committee is planning a hearing to consider overhauling the City Council's...
OCT 14, 2021
A Lime worker places scooters during the city's 2019 scooter pilot. [Hannah Alani/Block Club Chicago]

Up to 6,000 e-scooters will be scattered across the city next spring, potentially more than doubling soon thereafter, under an ordinance set for final approval by the City Council on Thursday.

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E-scooters set to return to Chicago streets next year with ‘sidewalk detection’ controls

A Lime worker places scooters during the city's 2019 scooter pilot. [Hannah Alani/Block Club Chic...
JAN 26, 2022
Following a presentation by zoning attorney Nick Ftikas, Ald. Brian Hopkins (2) urged his colleagues on Tuesday to oppose a 48-residential unit mixed-use development he said does not fit the character of the neighborhood along the 1600 block of North Wells Street in his ward. 

Dozens of zoning-related proposals including affordable housing plans in Humboldt Park and North Lawndale sailed swiftly through a key committee Tuesday, but one alderman pushed his colleagues to reject a 48-unit housing development he says doesn’t fit the character of the neighborhood.

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Hospital relocation approved as alderman blocks mixed-use development he says is ‘out of character’ with the neighborhood

Following a presentation by zoning attorney Nick Ftikas, Ald. Brian Hopkins (2) urged his collea...
JAN 25, 2022

A City Council Committee on Monday approved a measure increasing the minimum wage for some contracted workers at the city’s airports. And another City Council committee is set on Tuesday to revisit a routine measure that was delayed last week when CTA President Dorval Carter was not available to answer questions. 

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News in brief: Wage hike approved for airport workers; CTA president could take hot seat in budget committee

A City Council Committee on Monday approved a measure increasing the minimum wage for some contra...
JAN 25, 2022
Aldermen are set on Tuesday to vote on the relocation of Saint Anthony Hospital. 

Aldermen on Tuesday could approve changes to the city’s construction codes and greenlight several new developments including the years-in-the-making relocation of Saint Anthony Hospital within Little Village. 

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Zoning committee set to vote on construction code changes, relocating Saint Anthony Hospital

Aldermen are set on Tuesday to vote on the relocation of Saint Anthony Hospital.  Aldermen on T...
JAN 24, 2022

Aldermen who support two different ward map proposals brought election experts to a public hearing Friday to discuss the merits of each proposal. And a City Council committee will consider revamping labor rules for some airport workers on Monday. 

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News in brief: Still no ward map vote as final public hearings conclude; airport labor rules set for revamp

Aldermen who support two different ward map proposals brought election experts to a public hearin...
JAN 24, 2022
Andrea Kersten answers questions during a public safety committee meeting. 

Aldermen stalled the approval of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s choice to lead one of the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability over concerns about a report she oversaw recommending discipline for the late Officer Ella French who was killed in the line of duty.

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Lightfoot’s pick to lead COPA stalls as aldermen cite concerns with report including slain officer’s name

Andrea Kersten answers questions during a public safety committee meeting.  Aldermen stalled th...
JAN 24, 2022
Ald. Matt Martin (47) and Ald. Maria Hadden (49) speak during a committee meeting on Friday. 

If the discussion during a Friday City Council committee hearing was any sign, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposal to sue gang leaders for their assets faces a tough road ahead. 

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Lightfoot’s proposal to sue gangs faces harsh questioning from aldermen: ‘a solution in search of a problem’

Ald. Matt Martin (47) and Ald. Maria Hadden (49) speak during a committee meeting on Friday.  I...
JAN 19, 2022

Members of the City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate gave initial approval to the sale of the former Maxim’s Restaurant. A council committee is set on Wednesday to hear the merits of switching the city’s fleet to electric-powered vehicles. And members of the City Council Committee on Budget and Government Operations are set to consider two budget appropriation tweaks during their Wednesday meeting.

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JAN 19, 2022
Aldermen are set on Wednesday to consider an ordinance that would crack down on stolen cell phones. [Erik Solheim/Unsplash]

Aldermen are set on Wednesday to consider a proposal meant to curb cell phone theft and secondhand sales of stolen phones and another proposal that would keep pedicabs from playing loud music.

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Stolen cell phone crackdown, tighter pedicab noise rules set for consideration Wednesday

Aldermen are set on Wednesday to consider an ordinance that would crack down on stolen cell phon...
JAN 18, 2022
The city is set to sell the iconic former Maxim’s Restaurant for $680,000. [Paul Biasco / DNAinfo]

New life could soon be breathed into the former Maxim’s Restaurant in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood.

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City-owned former Maxim’s Restaurant in Goldberg building set to be sold, developed as ‘private social club’

The city is set to sell the iconic former Maxim’s Restaurant for $680,000. [Paul Biasco / DNAinf...
JAN 14, 2022

A public hearing on the city’s ward remap did not bear any discussion from aldermen on new ward boundaries. And Cook County Public Defender Sharone Mitchell is urging aldermen to oppose a proposal from Mayor Lori Lightfoot that would allow the city to sue gang members and seize their assets.

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JAN 12, 2022
Ald. Michelle Harris (8) [left] and Ald. Leslie Hairston (5) speaking during a public hearing on the city’s ward remap.

Disagreements over process continued on Tuesday to force stagnation in the City Council’s remap of Chicago’s 50 wards. 

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Process fights continue to plague remap progress as aldermen weigh in-person talks

Ald. Michelle Harris (8) [left] and Ald. Leslie Hairston (5) speaking during a public hearing on ...
JAN 12, 2022

A City Council committee is set to approve $450,000 in funding for infrastructure work at a CPS school. Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a study on Tuesday that found that while speed cameras reduce the expected number of serious crashes, they also disproportionately impact Black and Latino drivers. 

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News in brief: First recreation committee meeting of 2022 set for Wednesday; Lightfoot releases study defending speed cameras

A City Council committee is set to approve $450,000 in funding for infrastructure work at a CPS s...
JAN 11, 2022

Organizers and at least one alderwoman are blasting city finance officials’ indirect use of federal rescue dollars to pay off a short-term loan. And aldermen will make another attempt to push forward remap negotiations in a hearing on Tuesday. And the department that will support the civilian commission charged with overseeing the Chicago Police Department now has an executive director and applications for the citywide commission are open.

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News in brief: Groups call on feds to investigate ARPA spending; Rules Committee preview; Lightfoot appoints head of CPD oversight commission

Organizers and at least one alderwoman are blasting city finance officials’ indirect use of feder...
JAN 11, 2022
State Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) [left] and NAACP West Side Chicago President Carl Brinson speak during a hearing on Monday.

One month after state officials announced a second round of funding for a program that uses cannabis sales tax revenue to help communities harmed by the so-called War on Drugs, Illinois lawmakers grilled organizations Monday on their progress in helping communities they are charged with serving. 

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Community organizations update state legislators on programs funded via cannabis sales tax dollars

State Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) [left] and NAACP West Side Chicago President Carl Brinson sp...
JAN 10, 2022
Spending on surveillance cameras through the menu program nearly quadrupled in 2021. [Chicago Inspector General's Office]

Aldermen spent more than $4.3 million in discretionary funds meant for street infrastructure to buy new police cameras and license plate reader technology last year — more than quadruple what they spent on surveillance in 2020, according to data available on the city’s website. 

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Aldermanic spending on police surveillance nearly quadrupled in 2021

Spending on surveillance cameras through the menu program nearly quadrupled in 2021. [Chicago In...
JAN 06, 2022
Ald. Michelle Harris (8) held a news conference in December with supporters of the ward map proposed by the City Council Committee on Committees and Rules. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line]

Public discussion on the once-a-decade remap of Chicago’s 50 wards is set to resume Friday during the year’s first public hearing on the topic, testing a new strategy by the City Council Latino Caucus that aims to shake loose a months-long stalemate on the topic. 

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Aldermen set to resume public ward remap discussion amid clash over negotiation rules

Ald. Michelle Harris (8) held a news conference in December with supporters of the ward map prop...
JAN 05, 2022
The Chicago Police Department plans to add 200 detectives to its ranks at the beginning of this year to help with caseloads and homicide clearance rates, department leaders announced Tuesday. And Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged aldermen to pass her proposal to sue gang members and seize their assets. 
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DEC 23, 2021
Ald. Jason Ervin (28) speaks during a news conference celebrating the passage of a civilian oversight ordinance [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line] 

A little more than five months after the City Council approved the creation of a long-sought civilian commission to oversee the Chicago Police Department, aldermen are set to open applications for the inaugural interim citywide commission after missing a series of key deadlines. 

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After delay in establishing police oversight commission, applications set to open before year’s end

Ald. Jason Ervin (28) speaks during a news conference celebrating the passage of a civilian overs...
DEC 22, 2021
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other city officials announced a vaccine requirement set to take effect Jan. 3. 

People wanting to dine, drink or workout indoors in Chicago will be required to show proof of vaccination beginning Jan. 3, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and public health officials announced on Tuesday.

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Vaccine requirement for dining, most indoor activities set to take effect Jan. 3

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other city officials announced a vaccine requirement set to take effect...
DEC 21, 2021
Caption: Ald. Daniel La Spata (1) is a lead sponsor on a resolution calling for the city to increase its stock of public bathrooms. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

Nearly 20 aldermen support a new measure calling for the city to consider a pilot program that would bring more public bathrooms to Chicago.  

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Aldermen propose bringing more public bathrooms to Chicago: ‘such a central need that we’ve failed to meet’

Caption: Ald. Daniel La Spata (1) is a lead sponsor on a resolution calling for the city to incr...

Bio

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