Today’s City Council meeting will be one of the busiest agendas of the year. Multiple major regulations that have been working through months of negotiation and committee meetings will be reported out and are expected to be called for a voice vote. Below is a brief review of the big items expected to be on tomorrow’s agenda.

  • Airbnb Regulations – Regulations that cleared yesterday’s joint Zoning and Housing committee meeting include a provision that allows precincts to petition to opt out of allowing rental units in their area. Two of the ordinance’s most vocal opponents, Ald. Michele Smith (43) and Ald. John Arena (45) could not vote yesterday, but could throw a wrench into tomorrow’s vote by moving together to defer and publish.
  • Ride-share Changes – Mayor Rahm Emanuel was nearly taken to the brink when Transportation Committee Chair Anthony Beale (9) passed strict new regulations on Uber and Lyft without objection last Friday. A pared down ordinance is expected to be substituted today, but doesn’t fully appease some Progressive Caucus aldermen or accessibility advocates.
  • Paid Sick Leave – The ordinance’s biggest opponents, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association re-shared a dissenting report last night arguing the mandates for up to five days of paid sick leave and up to 20 hours of rollover family and medical leave will be too hard for small businesses to administer. But advocates, including a coalition of labor groups, argue the benefit to 450,000 mostly low-wage Chicago workers far outweighs the estimated 0.7% to 1/3% increase in labor cost for businesses.
  • Mandatory Arbitration Clause – Ald. Ed Burke’s (14) tough on business ordinance saying the city won’t re-up with companies that include mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts caught many off guard last week. At the behest of the Mayor’s administration, who expressed “serious concerns” with the ordinance after it passed, Burke reportedly agreed to hold the ordinance. If passed by the full Council, millions in city contracts would be affected. Instead, he told Aldertrack yesterday he’s considering adding that mandatory arbitration language to individual ordinances, like those regulating LyftUber, and Airbnb.  
  • $3.4M Police Settlements – Running up the city’s police settlement tab, already approaching $15 million this year, are three settlements the Finance Committee passed yesterday. The largest, $2 million, will be awarded to a mother and her three-year-old struck by a squad car while crossing the street. The other two smaller settlements will go to shooting victims.
  • Erin Keane Comptroller Appointment – If approved by the full City Council, Keane will join Budget Director Alex Holt and Chief Financial Officer Carole Brown as the City Comptroller in time for city departments to submit their first round of budget documents in early July.
  • Eva-Dina Delgado Police Board Appointment – Delgado, a veteran of the Daley administration and a registered lobbyist, would join the Police Board as its president Lori Lightfoot, has been pressing the Mayor and City Council to be more transparent on reforms to the Chicago Police Department, and is considering pressing the Police Board’s authority to introduce its own reforms.
  • TIF Allocations – More than $22 million in TIF money passed the Finance Committee yesterday. One to benefit the relocation of a Whole Foods distribution center in the 9th Ward’s booming Pullman area sailed through, while the other, to benefit a 300-unit luxury building at the site of a long-vacant hospital in Uptown (also seeing a redevelopment rise), passed in a divided vote with some contentious public testimony. More details in the Finance Committee report below. 
  • Tax Breaks for Landmark Developments – 12-year Class L property tax incentives for two landmark properties–a bank turned office space downtown and a two story red brick building in Fulton Market–faced little scrutiny during its committee hearing. The break for the former bank, designed by Daniel Burnham, is expected to save $12 million dollars over the course of the lowered assessment.
  • $5M More For Malcolm X Building Demolition – Aldermen approved $5 million in additional funding from the city to help with remediation for the old Malcolm X College building. Students have moved to a brand new campus, and Rush University and the Chicago Blackhawks plan to split the site for an academic village and training rink that will be open for the community. The Blackhawks already broke ground on the training center in the 27th Ward last week.
  • Towing Bill of Rights – A 10 point consumer-friendly bill of rights proposed by Ald. Ameya Pawar (47) and Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30) has been in the works for some time, and followed an unusual subject matter hearing on towing practices. At that meeting, Ald. Ed Burke (14) recited the lyrics to Steve Goodman’s “Lincoln Park Pirates”. Ald. Pawar sparred with Lincoln Towing’s lawyer, who argued the company doesn’t deserve its terrible reputation, and has been under new management for over a decade.  
  • Wrigley Field Plaza – Despite objections from Chicago Cubs representatives that local Ald. Tom Tunney (44) and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s regulations on Wrigley Field’s new outdoor plaza are too strict, this substitute looks slated to pass. More details in the License Committee summary below.
  • Property Tax Break For Motor Row Hilton Hotel – An “eyesore” in the 3rd Ward received a blighted designation and a new 7(b) property tax break to help along the construction of a 466-room Hilton hotel near Motor Row. The project will support 800 construction and 377 full time jobs, the Department of Planning and Development says, and according to local Ald. Pat Dowell (3), will be a catalyst for change in the area.
  • Transgendered Public Restrooms Ordinance – Only a handful of aldermen, including Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41) and Ald. Nick Sposato (38) expressed reservations about how abuse of this amendment to the city’s Human Rights Ordinance would be enforced, and whether “knuckleheads” might try to exploit the rule. It would make it possible for transgender individuals to use public restrooms associated with the gender they identify with without the threat of having to show a government issued ID. Most praised the change as a rebuke to North Carolina’s controversial law.
  • Three Ballot Referenda – The Rules Committee will report out three new city-wide ballot referenda, one of which, on immigrant IDs, is unwanted by pro-immigrant groups. If the immigrant ID referendum is removed, a fourth referendum might sneak in instead, backed by Progressive Caucus members and SEIU, which would create a new airport authority. The new independent government agency would control all of the airports’ bonding, contracts and management, much like the New York City area’s Port Authority.
  • Solis Rezone of Pilsen Property to Industrial – Zoning Chair Danny Solis(25) flexed his chairmanship, local control, and zoning know-how to outmaneuver a developer who didn’t provide the number of on-site affordable units the community demanded. The downzone to a manufacturing district will subject any other developer who wants to build on the vacant site to a community review process and possibly, approval from the Plan Commission.

Possible Introductions:

  • “Blue Lives Matter” Ordinance – Ald. Ed Burke (14) and other former police officers are expected to introduce an ordinance that would charge a person who assaults an active or retired officer or other law enforcement personnel because of their uniform with a hate crime. Any person found inciting a riot a “hate crime” against a current or retired first responder would be subject to a fine and prison sentence.
  • Mayor’s Property Tax Rebate Plan – After briefing and consulting with aldermen last week on a slate of four different possible property tax rebate plans, Mayor Emanuel is expected to introduce a rebate plan similar to the one former Mayor Richard M. Daley operated in 2010.
  • Public Hearings On Police Reform – Continuing the city’s stutter steps towards police reform, Public Safety Committee Chair Ariel Reboyras (30) and Budget Chair Carrie Austin (34) are expected to announce a set of joint committee hearings on July 6 and 7 to address aldermanic ordinances calling for changes to the Independent Police Review Board and creating a police inspector general, as well as to address reforms proposed by Mayor Emanuel in aldermanic briefings. The hearings were announced in a press release late last month following a press conference by Police Board President Lori Lightfoot where she called for a more transparent, public process for reform. Lightfoot subsequently threatened to use Police Board powers for the first time to make city policing policy.