This is a developing story; check back for updates.

Mayor Brandon Johnson will preside over his first Chicago City Council meeting today. This is the first official City Council meeting since April 19, which was just two weeks after the runoff election. 

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. It will be streaming on the City Clerk’s website and here.

What to watch for: A measure allocating $51 million to assist asylum-seekers will likely be contentious. The TRiiBE has learned protests of the funding are planned for today.

Update 5/24: Protesters interrupted a press conference at City Hall before the meeting that was called by 25th Ward Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez to announce his proposal to assist both asylum seekers and residents experiencing homelessness.

Johnson’s new committee structure is also up for a vote. In March, council members passed a plan to expand the number of committees and pick committee chairs themselves. Choosing committee chairs has historically been the sole purview of the mayor. Earlier this month, Johnson unilaterally increased the number of committees by just one, from 19 to 20, and installed his allies in many key chair roles.

Update 5/24: A motion to table the measure establishing the new committee structure only garnered 8 votes, and failed. The measure passed, 41 to 9. Alds. Beale, Quinn, Lopez, Moore, Tabares, Waguespack, Napolitano, Reilly, and Gardiner voted no.


Today’s meeting will have a City Council that is radically different from the one that met just a month ago. It’s now more diverse than ever before.

Last year, 15 City Council members stepped down, announced plans to retire, or launched campaigns to challenge Mayor Lori Lightfoot in the 2023 mayoral election, which led to a wave of progressive and diverse voices being elected to the council. 

More than a quarter of the city council are newly elected. There are now 14 Latiné and two Asian American alders, and more female and LGBTQ alders than on previous councils. 

With 13 brand-new alders joining one of the most politically and demographically diverse City Councils in Chicago history, one of Johnson’s challenges will be to coalesce enough votes to advance his progressive agenda. He has pledged to pass major pieces of legislation in his first 100 days in office. 

The Bring Chicago Home ordinance would raise the transfer tax on high-end real-estate sales to fund homelessness; Treatment Not Trauma would expand the City’s mental-health crisis response program and reopen shuttered clinics; and GoodKids MadCity’s PeaceBook ordinance would create “Neighborhood Peace Initiatives” to tackle violence. All three ordinances languished in committee under Lightfoot’s administration.

That said, Johnson enjoys broad support among activists and community organizations. If, like Harold Washington, he can engage such groups effectively, Johnson may be able to implement his progressive vision at the grass roots.

During his first week as mayor, Johnson signed  four executive orders to boost youth employment, establish a deputy mayor for Immigrant, Migrant and Refugee rights, establish a deputy mayor for community safety to address the root causes of violence, and establish a deputy mayor for labor relations to foster and promote the welfare of wage earners, job seekers and retirees.

This is a developing story; check back for updates.

is a multimedia reporter for The TRiiBE.