Coronavirus Chicago: City Council focuses on COVID relief measures

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's been exactly one year in office for Mayor Lori Lightfoot and several new aldermen. At Wednesday's virtual City Council meeting, the mayor urged new and veteran members to put city over self as they continue to offer COVID relief for residents.

"These include the COVID-19 Anti-Retaliation Ordinance, protecting employees who've been demoted or fired if they're under quarantine or isolation due to public health orders," Lightfoot said.

Coronavirus in Illinois: Latest news on COVID-19 cases, Chicago area impact

The council also passed an ordinance providing relief for concessionaires at O'Hare and Midway and $3 million is earmarked to keep affordable housing developments stable and safe, although one alderman called it nothing more than a developer giveaway.

The mayor also introduced a new measure that would allow basements, attics and coach houses as legal dwellings.

"This ordinance is an almost invisible way to increase moderate cost rental opportunities across the city," Chicago Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara said.

The Lightfoot administration is also proposing to extend the window of time landlords must give tenants notice to move out from 30 days to 60 days.

And as summer approaches, there were more questions about when the lakefront will open safely.

"We are going to have to take some very specific measures to limit access and to make sure there is compliance, and we are working on those plans," Lightfoot said.

As Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker starts to ease restrictions beginning on May 29, Mayor Lightfoot wants to remind residents to celebrate Memorial Day safely - and at home - this weekend.

She said she's concerned that residents will go to reopened Indiana and Wisconsin, be exposed to more people, then return home to Chicago.
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