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⛽ Gas politics, continued

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


Chicagoans can apply for free gas cards and CTA passes after Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $12.5 million relief plan passed City Council 26–23, one of the closest votes the first-term mayor has seen, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. 

But as gas prices soar, is this an effort to actually help Chicagoans or just the latest political move ahead of next year’s mayoral race?

Self-made millionaire Willie Wilson first started giving out gas last month — shortly before he announced another mayoral bid.

The timing of Lightfoot’s plan, which came out after the fanfare of Wilson’s giveaways, has also faced much scrutiny. 

  • As Lightfoot is preparing to make her own re-election campaign official, Ald. Ray Lopez of the 15th Ward, another mayoral hopeful, called the move a political “gimmick.”
  • She plans to give out 50,000 pre-loaded gas cards worth $150 each and 100,000 pre-loaded CTA pases worth $50 each via lottery.
Want to apply? Here’s how. 

Eligibility: Chicago residents 18 and up who have a household income at or below 100% of the area median income. (Gas card applicants need a current city sticker with correct mailing info for the vehicle.)

Application: Apply online, via mail, or in person at Chicago Public Library.

Process: Winners will be picked through a lottery May through September, prioritizing residents from neighborhoods with “high mobility hardship.”


▪️ In other City Council news, Deborah Witzburg was confirmed as Chicago’s new inspector general after nearly eight months without a permanent top watchdog. [Chicago Sun-Times]

▪️ The Chicago Board of Education voted Wednesday to direct CPS to create a new system to replace the controversial School Quality Rating Policy. [City Cast Chicago]

▪️ Chicago Tribune food critic Louisa Chu is a James Beard finalist for restaurant reviewing. She told us about Chi’s overlooked delicacies!

▪️ A Columbia College professor spent years capturing neighborhoods around Midway Airport: Chicago Lawn, Brighton Park, and more. Take a look at the Southwest Side photo series. [Chicago magazine]

▪️ Tune-Yards and Ric Wilson are among the headliners at Wicker Park’s Do Division Street Fest this summer 🎵


City Cast Chicago readers and listeners aren’t just keeping up with local news, they’re trying new restaurants, seeing shows, volunteering, and exploring neighborhoods.

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With the sun (mostly) shining and the temps (kinda) warm, we’re sharing some love for Chicago parks.

Reader Ned Marto is particularly fond of this Rogers Park beach.

“One of my favorite things to do is comb the lakeshore at Leone Beach looking for drift glass with my partner of a decade. It’s what got me through some difficult times, including the pandemic.”

What’s YOUR favorite park in the city? Why? Don’t be shy, email! We’ll share your answer here.

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