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Political News

Local and State Headlines for 11-28-2020

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Lightfoot savors hard-fought budget victory despite narrowest winning margin in decades

The closest vote — 29 to 21 — was on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to raise property taxes by $94 million, followed by annual increases tied to the consumer price index.


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Lightfoot offers $250K break to the Cubs after season without fans that cost the Ricketts family $100 million

The mayor proposed delaying the team’s $250,000 payment to the Cub Fund until 2024. The fund was created in 2014 to bankroll neighborhood infrastructure improvements, including street resurfacing and lighting projects.


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City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin disputes former top aide’s reported claim she was wrongfully fired

The allegations came after Conyears-Ervin moved to terminate four of her employees over the weekend.


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Why I am asking you to support one of the most painful budgets in Chicago’s history

If there were a responsible way to close our budget gap that didn’t involve raising taxes or requiring furloughs for employees, we already would have taken it.


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Lightfoot accused of strongarm tactics on pandemic budget passage

On the eve of a final budget vote, representatives from the DefundCPD Campaign, Black Lives Matter, the Grassroots Collaborative and United Working Families put the mayor on blast and aldermen on notice.


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City Council caps restaurant delivery fees

With a two-thirds vote to make it effective immediately, the City Council reined in what critics call "predatory" delivery fees that third-party services charge restaurants. They’d be capped 10% or 15%, including all fees and commissions.


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Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson proposes ground delivery tax

The grandson and nephew of Chicago’s two longest-serving mayors wants a $1.25 tax on packages weighing 50 pounds or less, and $2.50 for packages over that. Prepared food, prescriptions and medical appliances would be exempt.


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Lightfoot’s $12.8 billion budget sails through committee

A day after the Finance Committee approved the mayor’s $195.7 million revenue package, the Budget Committee approved the spending plan 26-to-8.


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Standing by their man: Chicago Federation of Labor president still has Madigan’s back

"The people that you’ve worked with to help make everyday peoples’ lives better — you can’t just walk away from that situation," said Bob Reiter, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor.


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Wrigley Field granted federal landmark status

The move would make the Ricketts family eligible for federal tax credits.


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Chicago program adds social equity to holiday shopping list

The city’s Black Shop Friday effort will have more than 500 listings for shoppers eager to support Black-owned businesses.


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Mayor takes ‘nothing for granted’ on final budget vote after Finance Committee OKs $94 million property tax hike

The 21-to-12 vote could signal smooth sailing in the full Council next week on the full $12.8 billion budget, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday she’s not gloating.


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Lawsuit accusing city of ‘towing without telling’ granted class-action status

Lisandra Velez said the city metaphorically crushed her mother’s legs when they towed her wheelchair accessible van in 2018.


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Chicago’s fourth coronavirus testing site opening next week at Midway Airport

With the virus raging through the city in ways not seen since the onset of the pandemic, and long lines forming at testing sites, Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded by boosting Chicago’s testing capacity.


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Mayor Lightfoot struggles to find votes for property tax increase, and has herself to blame

The chickens are coming home to roost for a political newcomer who failed to cultivate relationships of trust with aldermen but now is asking them to walk the tax plank.


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Feds to Lightfoot: Don’t issue General Iron a city permit

A federal housing official tells City Hall that a civil rights complaint makes "persuasive" arguments the metal shredder’s move to the Southeast Side would cause "serious and irreparable injury."


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Aldermen support reining in online restaurant delivery fees

The stage is set for a two-thirds vote by the full City Council needed to throw an immediate lifeline to restaurant owners.


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Chicagoans keep shopping amid stay-at-home advisory

Shelves in Garfield Park, Humboldt Park and Belmont-Cragin remained stocked with groceries and essentials like toilet paper — which became scarce during the initial lockdown in March — were limited to one or two per person.


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Proposal would add apartments, stores near Green Line

The plan by Habitat and P3 Markets could boost affordable housing and transit development along 43rd Street.


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Mayoral ally proposes legalizing video gaming, but comes up snake eyes with Lightfoot

Ald. Matt O’Shea’s endorsement helped propel Lightfoot’s landslide win last year, but that didn’t prevent his video gaming idea from being sent to the Rules Committee, a traditional burial ground for legislation the mayor opposes.


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Aldermen propose 10% cap on third-party restaurant delivery fees

The ordinance proposed by two mayoral allies would automatically end 90 days after restrictions on indoor capacity are eased to allow at least 40% capacity. The catch is, Chicago restaurants only get the break immediately if two-thirds of the City Council approves.


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Lightfoot sweetens budget pot even more in quest for 26 votes

The mayor emphasized that the $94 million property tax increase will not impact Chicago taxpayers until 2022, when coronavirus vaccines are expected to be widely-distributed. The idea is to give Chicago’s pandemic-ravaged economy time to fully re-open and recover.


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Protesters call on Lightfoot to deny permit for Southeast Side metal shredder: ‘You can’t beautify what’s killing us’

The company that owns General Iron in Lincoln Park wants to set up shop on the Southeast Side. Community members call the move "environmental racism."


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Lightfoot cancels 350 layoffs tied to her ‘pandemic’ budget

Revenues generated by the sale of recreational and medical marijuana have "gone through the roof," allowing the city to cancel the layoffs.


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Lightfoot’s budget threat to Black Caucus makes her ‘no different than Daley or Rahm,’ alderman says

Rookie Ald. Jeanette Taylor (16th) said she was outraged by the threat and told Mayor Lightfoot that she wouldn’t stand for it.


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FOP: City, CPD not doing enough to protect cops from COVID-19

The Fraternal Order of Police contends officers who attend mandatory in-service training "have the potential of becoming superspreaders of the virus."


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Developer who secretly recorded Mike Madigan for feds pleads guilty to wire fraud

See Wong made a secret 2014 audio and video recording for the feds of then-Ald. Danny Solis and House Speaker Michael Madigan, according to court records and sources. It became part of the investigation that led to the indictment of Ald. Edward M. Burke.


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María Cerda, first Latina on Chicago Board of Education, dead of coronavirus at 86

She later was a founder of the Latino Institute, Her daughter and 93-year-old husband David Cerda also have COVID-19, complicating her burial plans.


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Mayor playing hardball to get votes for $94 million property tax increase, aldermen say

Lightfoot told the Black Caucus said she’ll play hardball when choosing projects in her $3.7 billion capital plan. She’s also tying the budget to removing loopholes in the Welcoming City ordinance that allow police to assist immigration authorities in some cases.


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Lightfoot issues stay-home ‘advisory,’ puts 10-person limit on social gatherings

Two weeks before Thanksgiving, the mayor implored Chicagoans to buy small turkeys and fight the urge to open their homes to extended family. Otherwise, we’re "on track to lose 1,000 more Chicagoans" — or more — by Dec. 31.


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New ideas — and a little more hope — for avoiding city layoffs during the pandemic

The best development for Chicago and other big cities in the last week was the election of Joe Biden as president. He favors a pandemic relief package worth as much as $3.5 trillion.


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Group sues to block city from giving away NW Side firehouse

The Copernicus Foundation said officials unfairly spurned its $300,000 offer for the Jefferson Park property.