Seven Chicago newsrooms launch examination of Mayor Lightfoot’s first year

As Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot marks the first six months of her tenure, a collaboration of seven local news organizations is launching a series of articles examining the Lightfoot administration’s progress toward its stated goals.

The participating newsrooms are the Better Government Association, Block Club Chicago, Chalkbeat Chicago, The Chicago Reporter (all members of the Institute for Nonprofit News), as well as The Daily Line, La Raza and The TRiiBE. The project is being managed by INN, an organization of 240 nonprofit news organizations around the country dedicated to public service and investigative reporting.

Each participating newsroom will bring its own editorial focus to the project, which will culminate on May 20, 2020, a year after Lightfoot took office. Together the news organizations will provide ongoing and comprehensive reporting on the administration of the city’s first African American female mayor.

The collaboration was made possible by a grant from the McCormick Foundation, as well as support for INN from the McCormick and Joyce foundations. The individual newsrooms also are committing substantial resources for the project.

The first story, published today by The Daily Line, looks at the ramifications of Lightfoot’s attempt to eliminate “aldermanic prerogative,” a longstanding practice that gave aldermen the final decision on matters in their wards, including licensing, permitting, landmarks and zoning.

Among the topics expected to be covered in the series will be affordable housing, TIF reform, environmental enforcement, adherence to the Freedom of Information Act, Chicago’s school funding formula, an elected school board, investment in the black community, retail vacancies in black and brown communities, and the Hispanic perspective on Chicago’s sanctuary city status. The content will be housed on the individual publications’ websites and collected on a project site hosted on

The Amplify News Project, which works to strengthen and expand the reach of INN newsrooms in the Midwest, published its first collaboration in October about the efforts to save rural hospitals.

For more information, contact Sharon McGowan, INN Amplify project manager, at