Chicago

As Moratoriums End and Bills Come Due, Cities Offer Utility Relief

Many residents are struggling to pay utility bills during the pandemic, dealing with escalating balances. But local relief programs aren't designed to help everybody.

California Child Care Providers Struggling, With Some on the Financial Brink

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Missouri AG intervenes in local gun case … New York Assembly passes bill to protect undocumented immigrants … Shooting in Chicago leaves 15 wounded.

Opioid Overdoses Keep Surging in Chicago, Killing Black People on the West Side

Half of Cook County’s confirmed opioid-related deaths have been among Black residents, even though they make up less than a quarter of the county’s population. Officials warn that the coronavirus pandemic has overshadowed the crisis.

Hoping to Spur Participation, City Unleashes the Census Cowboy

The "census cowboy" will ride on horseback to 10 neighborhoods in Chicago with the lowest participation rates in the federal census, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said this week.

Millions of Homeowners Who Need Flood Insurance Don’t Know It—Thanks to FEMA

It is FEMA’s job to warn homeowners about major flood risks, but its approach is notoriously limited. In Cook County alone, researchers found about six times as many properties in danger as FEMA estimated. Look up your address with a new tool.

Know a Teen Who Needs a Summer Job? Covid-19 Response Is Hiring.

Officials in several states are expanding existing seasonal job programs to include new opportunities to help with government-led coronavirus response efforts.

Black Homeowners Pay More Than ‘Fair Share’ in Property Taxes

Many tax assessors still routinely saddle Black and minority residents with property tax bills that are too high given the value of their homes.

One City Considers Creating a Reparations Commission

In Chicago, the city council is discussing a measure that would create a group to investigate ways the city could redress systemic racism.

Senior Citizens in Subsidized Housing Have Been Dying Alone at Home, Unnoticed Because of Coronavirus Distancing

The patchwork system of well-being checks in some of Chicago’s public and subsidized housing was not enough to prevent deaths in heartbreaking circumstances.

A City Looks to Expand Its Virus Tracing Workforce in Distressed Neighborhoods

Chicago is one of the latest jurisdictions around the U.S. seeking to beef up its contact tracing program. Experts say it’s a key step towards reopening the economy.

Chicago Is Making the Case for Releasing Pregnant Inmates

Women in jail typically have limited prenatal support and return to custody soon after giving birth. One program is testing a different approach.

Cities and States Look to Tap More Tax Revenue From Expensive Real Estate Sales

“It basically allows for luxury housing to pay for affordable housing,” said a Boston city council member describing a "transfer" tax proposal there.

Chicago Mayor Wants an Exception to Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Louisiana governor election results … New York to consider commercial rent controls … Shooting in California high school. 

Why Chicago Is Backing Off Collecting All Its Ticket Debt

Chicago has built a significant percentage of its city budget off of fines and fees. City leaders are now saying that isn’t fair.

As the Strike Approached in Chicago, Teachers Taught Labor

“I asked the kids, ‘Do you want to know what we’re fighting about?’” said one teacher. They did.

People Who Live in Violent Neighborhoods Are More Likely to Be Lonely

A new study from Chicago finds that adults in places with high rates of violent crime are more likely to say they feel lonely, a consequence that can come with health repercussions.

A Plan to Spruce Up Vacant Lots to Reduce Gun Violence

A program in Chicago that beautifies abandoned properties is aimed at providing work and reducing crime. But some local residents say more needs to be done to involve people in the neighborhood.

Why Are America’s Three Biggest Metros Shrinking?

After a post-recession boomlet, the New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago areas are all seeing their population decline.

911 Dispatchers Frequently Release Personal Information of Callers, Report Says

A report out of Chicago finds that the city’s 911 dispatch center is understaffed and doesn’t have clear policies around what information should get relayed on police scanners—creating the perfect environment for mistakes.

Should City Council Be a Full-Time Job?

A proposal in Chicago would ban side gigs if they cause ethical conflicts. It’s the latest addition to a national debate about what the salaries and time commitments of city council members should be.