Heather Cherone

Bio

Chicago politics reporter for @wttw. Dynamo, political junkie, pop culture aficionado, Chicago native, mom. Formerly of @thedailylinechi. [email protected]
APR 17, 2019
The American Conservative Union Foundation on Tuesday rated the General Assembly’s as being much less conservative in 2018 as compared with 2017, according to the group’s annual scorecard out this week, while the Chicago chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America backed two bills designed to expand access to abortion.

Morning briefing — Conservative group’s rating of Illinois lawmakers falls; Chicago DSA backs abortion bills

The American Conservative Union Foundation on Tuesday rated the General Assembly’s as being much ...
MAR 22, 2019
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle responded Thursday to the results of a survey that found only half of her employees were confident that an allegation of sexual harassment would be fully investigated by officials as she continued her run for Chicago mayor. Comm. Bridget Gainer mourned her father, a veteran of the Daley administration, who died Saturday.

Morning briefing — Preckwinkle responds to harassment survey; Bill Gainer mourned

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle responded Thursday to the results of a survey that f...
MAR 19, 2019
As early voting expands citywide, North Side wards — including some where Lori Lightfoot showed the most strength during the first round of voting — and young voters led the way. Two more incumbent aldermen facing tough runoffs benefited from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s promise to leave no City Council ally behind.

Trail reports — North Side wards, young voters lead vote-by-mail requests; Emanuel boosts O’Connor, Reboyras

As early voting expands citywide, North Side wards — including some where Lori Lightfoot showed t...
MAR 29, 2018
One of the leaders of an effort pushing to impose community oversight on the Chicago Police Department called a pair of rival ordinances from one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s aldermanic allies a “slap in the face” that threatened to waste two years of work.

Ariel Reboyras (30) defends his community police oversight ordinances that critics called a "slap in the face." Photo: AD Quig, The Daily Line


Dueling Community Oversight Ordinances Introduced; Grassroots Coordinator Calls it ‘Slap in the Face’

One of the leaders of an effort pushing to impose community oversight on the Chicago Police Depar...
MAR 27, 2018
 

Perennial candidate Dr. Willie Wilson has apparently joined the 2019 fray for mayor, while Cook County Comm. Richard Boykin (D-1) steps down in a close race and aldermen consider a new diversity task force and a number of gun measures.

Morning Briefing - Wilson In, Boykin Concedes; Gun Measures, Diversity Hiring Up in Committee

 Perennial candidate Dr. Willie Wilson has apparently joined the 2019 fray for mayor, while Cook ...
MAR 01, 2018
Infuriated by the deaths of Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer on Feb. 13 and 17 students in Parkland, Florida, aldermen demanded that state and federal lawmakers impose tougher gun control laws.

Aldermen observe a minute of silence to remember Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer and the 17 high school students slain in Parkland, Florida. Credit: Heather Cherone, The Daily Line


FEB 28, 2018
The City Council will gather Wednesday for its first full meeting since CPD Commander Paul Bauer was slain steps from City Hall on Feb. 13 and a gunman armed with an assault rifle killed 17 students in Parkland, Florida,  on Feb. 14.

Both incidents have reshaped the debate over gun control nationwide and in Illinois, giving new life to a proposed state law —  now named for Bauer — that would ban extended-gun magazines, like the one used to kill the commander outside the Thompson Center.

The council is expected to adopt a resolution of support for that law, a day after Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson traveled to Springfield to lobby for the measure. That law would also limit the use of body armor by members of the public.

Aldermen plan to recess the meeting for a symbolic 17 minutes, one minute for every victim of the Parkland shooting.

Face Lift Looms For O’Hare Airport

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is also expected to introduce an $8.5 billion project to expand and modernize O’Hare Airport that has been the subject of intense negotiations.

The project would add dozens of new gates and several new terminals to bring the airport into the 21st century, officials said.

The council is also expected to approve a host of new 15-year rental agreements designed to pump $37.5 million into the effort to expand and modernize O’Hare Airport’s ground and cargo operations.

Aldermen are also expected to approve $150 million in bonds to be issued to build the Aeroterm cargo development at O’Hare. While the firm needed the city’s blessing to get the bonds at a low rate, taxpayers are not obligated to repay the funds.

Final Approval Set For New Englewood High School

Plans for a new $85 million high school on Robeson High School’s campus will be up for final approval Wednesday.

Simultaneously, the Chicago Board of Education is expected to vote to close Robeson, Harper, Hope and TEAM Englewood high schools, which district officials consider under enrolled.

Although a self-imposed moratorium prevents the district from closing schools, officials have said they are acting at the request of Englewood residents who are demanding better schools with more resources for their children. However, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Sunday that the leading advocate voices for the new high school came from suburban residents as well as a Chicago Public Schools contractor.

The three-story, $85 million steel-frame building will eventually house 1,200 students. It cleared the Plan Commission earlier this month and is scheduled to open to a freshmen-only class of 300 students in 2019.

Ald. Danny Solis (25) said the state-of-the-art school would “inspire parents and students to excellence,” while Ald. George Cardenas (12) applauded CPS for embracing a “go big or go home” philosophy.

Other Items Slated for Approval

  • New Sexual Harassment Provisions (O2017-8684) – Aldermen approved language changes that would broaden the city’s definition of sexual harassment in the city’s Governmental Ethics Ordinance. Under the changes, constituents, business owners, and lobbyists who interact with aldermen can bring a harassment complaint to the city’s Board of Ethics. Our story.  Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26) announced on Twitter that he would introduce a new city law that would also require city “contractors to have a comprehensive sexual harassment policy.”


  • $20 Million Settlement for Off-Duty Crash – The settlement with the families of Andrew Cazares and Fausto Manzera will be considered Wednesday by the full City Council. Both died in a fiery car wreck after Chicago police Detective Joseph Frugoli drunkenly crashed into their car. The suit alleged the city was liable for their deaths because Frugoli escaped punishment for two previous accidents after being protected by other officers. Frugoli, the suit said, came to believe that he could “drink and drive with impunity.” Our story.


  • Tax Break for Old Main Post Office (O2018-657) – The redevelopers of the Old Main Post Office, 601W Cos., will make up for part of its $292 million spend to rehabilitate the art deco building that hovers above the Eisenhower Expressway and Amtrak rails. Aldermen approved a $100 million break on their city real estate taxes for the next 12 years, granting the building its Class L break. Our story.


  • New Euthanasia, Humane Policies for Shelter Animals (O2018-178) – Resident animal defender Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) won approval for two ordinances. One requires Animal Care and Control Commissioner Susan Russell to develop a written euthanasia policy that specifies the grounds on which animals are selected to be put down and outlines a “humane procedure” for conducting the procedures. Earlier this year, the city’s Animal Care and Control Center became so overcrowded the center warned it would have to begin euthanizing animals. Aldermen also endorsed another ordinance authored by Lopez (O2018-180) that would require all animals deemed dangerous to be treated “humanely at all times” while in the city’s shelter. Our story.


  • Vienna Beef Sale (O2018-159) – The city sold a piece of land near the once-cluttered intersection of Damen, Elston, and Fullerton to Vienna Beef. The company plans to redevelop the property with a Chick-fil-A and a Panera, both with drive-thrus. The $765,000 sale is part of a continued back and forth with the city at that site over several years - some of which likely benefited Ald. Ed Burke (14). Ald. Deb Mell (33) voted against the measure because of traffic concerns. Our story.


  • Eight Long-Term Riverwalk Cafe Licenses (O2018-639, O2018-624, O2018-637, O2018-643, O2018-642, direct introductions) – Eight businesses won multi-year rights to set up shop along Chicago’s riverwalk in the Housing Committee. Neighbors in the condominiums across from one of those licensees, Island Party Hut, wanted assurances the city would monitor noise coming from the tiki-themed bar. Those licenses will help the city pay back a multimillion dollar federal loan to fix up the riverwalk. Our story.


  • Resolution for Haitians to stay in the U.S. (R2018-37) – This latest resolution aimed at President Donald Trump asks him to allow Haitians to stay in the United States under provisional legal residency because of the lingering effects of a massive earthquake in 2010 and the cholera epidemic and humanitarian crisis that followed. Our story.


  • The appointment of Amanda Carter to the Chicago Electrical Commission (A2018-2)– Carter replaces Morris Toporek, who resigned. The commission, whose website has not been updated since 2016, enforces the Chicago Building Code. Aldermen also approved a change to the revamped Electrical Code in Rules Committee (O2017-8554).


  • Another Homeshare Ban from Quinn (O2018-133) – Ald. Marty Quinn (13) breezed by reporters at License committee to speak in favor of another ban against Airbnb or other home-sharing services from setting up shop in his Southwest Side ward. This measure would ban it in the 14th precinct. Our story.


  • New West Loop Library (SO2018-156)– The committee approved a redevelopment agreement with 118 N. Aberdeen LLC for renovation of a two story building into a new library and regional office. Developer Sterling Bay’s density bonus payments for the nearby development at the former Coyne College site (330 N. Green, below) will help pay for the project. Our story.


  • West Loop Towers (02017-8983) – The committee approved the $260 million Sterling Bay project, which includes a 20-story office building at 330 N. Green St. and a 19-story office building at 333 N. Green St. Both buildings will have shops on the first floor, and replace the Coyne College building and its adjacent parking lot. The developments will add $9.1 million to the city’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund. Our story.


  • Lakeview TOD (O2017-9003) – This eight-story, 140-unit transit-oriented development at 3300 N. Clark St. in Lakeview will have five affordable units on site. The developer will pay $1.125 million into the Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund. Our story.


  • West Town TOD (O2017-6218) – A seven-story 97-unit transit-oriented development at Milwaukee and Chicago avenues in West Town got a green light from the Zoning Committee. Plans call  for 19 on-site affordable units (of 97 total) in this mixed use building. Total project cost is $17.9 million. Our story.


  • Old Town’s Father and Son Plaza Replacement (O2016-8617) – A new 12-story, 261-unit apartment complex near the CTA Brown Line at 633 W. North Ave. Seven affordable units will be included in the project, and the developer will contribute $2.4 million to the city’s affordable housing fund in lieu of the other 19 required affordable units, officials said. Our story.

February 2018 Full City Council Preview: Council Mourns Slain Commander, High School Students; New Englewood High School Set For Final Approval

The City Council will gather Wednesday for its first full meeting since CPD Commander Paul Bauer ...
JAN 19, 2018

  • Aldermanic Black Caucus Chair Roderick Sawyer (6) endorsed Assessor Joe Berrios for re-election, per a release sent Thursday afternoon. At an event at Captain’s Hard Times in Chatham, Sawyer said “Berrios has worked with our community and made the assessment process easier for seniors and homeowners. As chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party, Joe Berrios has ensured that our party slate reflects the diversity in the Cook County. I’m glad to be supporting him.” Sawyer parted with his Progressive Caucus colleague Scott Waguespack, who endorsed Frederick “Fritz” Kaegi in the Assessor’s race two weeks ago.


Morning Briefing: City Council Introduction Roundup, Ald. Sawyer Backs Berrios, OIG Targets Menu Money Again

Aldermanic Black Caucus Chair Roderick Sawyer (6) endorsed Assessor Joe Berrios for re-electio...
JAN 16, 2018
Aldermen meet for a packed schedule beginning at 10 a.m. to consider a direct introduction of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new five-year deal with the 31 unions representing 7,700 city workers, and John Tully’s appointment as commissioner of the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation.

Morning Briefing: COUPE Deal Up in City Workforce Committee, Lincoln Towing Hearing Scheduled at ICC

Aldermen meet for a packed schedule beginning at 10 a.m. to consider a direct introduction of May...
APR 13, 2020
The Chicago City Council will meet for the first time in nearly two months on Wednesday, but the Council Chambers will be empty. 

Instead, aldermen will meet virtually via videoconference to adopt new rules to permit the City Council to meet with no aldermen present. The City Council had been scheuled to meet March 18, before Gov. JB Pritzker ordered that gatherings of more than 10 people be banned. 

City Council set to meet virtually Wednesday to set rules for coronavirus era 

The Chicago City Council will meet for the first time in nearly two months on Wednesday, but the ...
APR 09, 2020
Chicago officials are counting on at least $1.6 billion in federal aid to reach the city, the Chicago Transit Authority and the Chicago Public Schools in the coming weeks to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday.

City, schools, CTA set to get $1.6B in federal funds to fight coronavirus pandemic

Chicago officials are counting on at least $1.6 billion in federal aid to reach the city, the Chi...
APR 09, 2020

Lightfoot orders booze sales to stop at 9 p.m. as part of crackdown on stay-at-home scofflaws

Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered all liquor stores to close at 9 p.m. starting Thursday, cracking dow...
APR 08, 2020

83K Chicagoans applied for housing assistance grants: officials

Approximately 83,000 Chicagoans who lost their jobs or found their paychecks scaled back because ...
APR 08, 2020

Undocumented immigrants won’t be left behind in city relief efforts, Lightfoot vows

Mayor Lori Lightfoot signed an executive order on Tuesday designed to reassure undocumented immig...
APR 07, 2020
"We see a tiny pinprick of light at the end of the tunnel," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday.  [Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago]
Sounding a “public health red alarm,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot Monday vowed to put the full force of the city government behind efforts to reduce the “devastating” toll of the coronavirus on Black Chicagoans.

‘Those numbers take your breath away’: Lightfoot sounds ‘red alarm’ about toll of coronavirus on Black Chicagoans

"We see a tiny pinprick of light at the end of the tunnel," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday.  ...
APR 03, 2020
Former Dallas Police Chief David Brown addresses the news media while Mayor Lori Lightfoot looks on. [Chicago Mayor's Office]
Mayor Lori Lightfoot chose former Dallas Police Chief David Brown to lead the Chicago Police Department, she announced on Thursday.

Lightfoot taps former Dallas Police Chief David Brown to lead Chicago Police

Former Dallas Police Chief David Brown addresses the news media while Mayor Lori Lightfoot look...
APR 02, 2020
Chicago Police Board President Ghian Foreman addresses the news media in November. [Heather Cherone/The Daily Line] 
The Chicago Police Board tapped three finalists in the search for a new Chicago Police Department superintendent at a chaotic audio-only meeting on Wednesday, the first of its kind during the coronavirus era.

Police Board names 3 finalists to lead Chicago Police during chaotic audio-only meeting

Chicago Police Board President Ghian Foreman addresses the news media in November. [Heather Che...
APR 02, 2020
Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses the news media as Gov. JB Pritzker looks on. [Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago]
Mayor Lori Lightfoot insisted again Wednesday that Chicago’s municipal finances are weathering the storm whipped up by the coronavirus pandemic, even as Gov. JB Pritzker says the state’s budget will be "vastly different" than he planned.

Pritzker says state budget will be ‘vastly different’ because of pandemic; Lightfoot says city is ‘fine’

Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses the news media as Gov. JB Pritzker looks on. [Colin Boyle/Block ...
APR 01, 2020
Gov. JB Pritzker addresses the news media. [Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago]
Illinois residents must stay at home for another 30 days to prevent the state’s health care system from collapsing under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Tuesday.

Acknowledging ‘cascading consequences,’ Pritzker extends stay-at-home order until April 30

Gov. JB Pritzker addresses the news media. [Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago]Illinois residents m...
MAR 31, 2020
As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Illinois continues to double every three or four days, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday that the battle against the pandemic entered a new phase with the announcement that McCormick Place will become a 3,000-bed hospital.

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McCormick Place set to become 3,000-bed hospital as officials prepare for coronavirus peak

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Illinois continues to double every three or four ...
MAR 30, 2020
Chicagoans who lost their jobs or found their paychecks scaled back because of the coronavirus pandemic can apply for $1,000 grants from the city, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday.

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City to use $2M in affordable housing funds to help Chicagoans pay their rent, mortgages

Chicagoans who lost their jobs or found their paychecks scaled back because of the coronavirus pa...
MAR 30, 2020
Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned Chicagoans that they be forced to stay at home to prevent coronavirus from infecting more people and overwhelming the city’s hospitals for several more weeks, and Gov. JB Pritzker did not dispute her prediction over the weekend.

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Pritzker does not dispute Lightfoot’s prediction that stay-at-home order will be extended

Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned Chicagoans that they be forced to stay at home to prevent coronavirus...
MAR 30, 2020
Activists protest the Lincoln Yards and The 78 developments April 10 outside City Hall. (Hannah Alani/Block Club Chicago)


Mayor Lori Lightfoot last month unveiled long-awaited plans she said would restructure how Chicago subsidizes massive private developments with tax dollars originally intended to fight urban blight.

Lightfoot’s administration said the changes were a first step toward fulfilling the mayor’s campaign promise to impose “rigorous standards that eradicate waste and abuse and ensure investments in economically distressed neighborhoods” for the controversial tax increment financing program.



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Lightfoot pushing to make TIFs more equitable but changes lacking for critics she’s tried to win over

Activists protest the Lincoln Yards and The 78 developments April 10 outside City Hall. (Hannah A...
MAR 27, 2020
Dr. Allison Arwady answers reporters questions, as Mayor Lori Lightfoot looks on. [Heather Cherone/The Daily Line]
An angry Mayor Lori Lightfoot closed the entire Lakefront Trail, the Riverwalk and The 606 trail on Thursday, hours after stir-crazy Chicagoans defied a statewide stay-at-home order designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Chicago Police blocked access to all of the parks east of Lake Shore Drive and warned that those who did not turn around and head home could face $500 fines or even arrest.

“Dear God, stay home, save lives,” Lightfoot said. “We can’t mess around with this one second longer.”

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Lakefront, The 606, Riverwalk closed as health commissioner warns ‘window is closing for preventing catastrophe’

Dr. Allison Arwady answers reporters questions, as Mayor Lori Lightfoot looks on. [Heather Cher...
MAR 26, 2020
The busy lakefront trail Wednesday. JUSTIN LAURENCE/ BLOCK CLUB CHICAGO


 Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned Chicagoans who flocked to the Lakefront Trail to stay home, saying she was prepared to shut down the city’s trails and parks to enforce Gov. JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order designed to stop the spread of coronavirus.

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Lightfoot threatens to shut down parks, Lakefront Trail unless people stay home

The busy lakefront trail Wednesday. JUSTIN LAURENCE/ BLOCK CLUB CHICAGO Mayor Lori Lightfoot wa...
MAR 25, 2020
Gov. JB Pritzker acknowledged Tuesday that his month-old $42 billion spending plan for the 2021 fiscal year will have to be completely overhauled because of the growing toll of the coronavirus pandemic on Illinois’ economy.

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Pritzker scraps state budget plan as coronavirus ravages state finances  

Gov. JB Pritzker acknowledged Tuesday that his month-old $42 billion spending plan for the 2021 f...
MAR 24, 2020
Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses the news media. [Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago]
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced her administration would house as many as 5,000 Chicagoans who are sick from coronavirus or awaiting test results in five hotels across the city, as she said she had lost confidence that the federal government will help cities cope with the pandemic.

With aid from the federal government ‘not coming,’ Chicago is ‘stepping up,’ Lightfoot says

Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses the news media. [Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago] Mayor Lori Ligh...
MAR 24, 2020
A New York federal appeals court affirmed a ruling on Monday that prohibits elected officials from blocking people or deleting critical comments on social media, bolstering rules from the Chicago Board of Ethics that regulate regulate how aldermen use Facebook and Twitter.

Appeals court affirms Ethics Board rules against aldermen blocking people on social media

A New York federal appeals court affirmed a ruling on Monday that prohibits elected officials fro...
MAR 23, 2020
Fresh off a win in the Democratic primary in her bid for a second term, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced her office will not prosecute people charged with non-violent, low-level drug offenses amid the spreading Coronavirus pandemic.

Cook County to stop charging people with ‘low-level’ drug crimes amid Coronavirus pandemic

Fresh off a win in the Democratic primary in her bid for a second term, State’s Attorney Kim Foxx...

Bio

Chicago politics reporter for @wttw. Dynamo, political junkie, pop culture aficionado, Chicago native, mom. Formerly of @thedailylinechi. [email protected]