Best online publication following the astounding things your alderman does

Aldertrack

aldertrack.com, @aldertrack

We all know how it goes around here: what the mayor wants, the City Council rubber-stamps. But there really is more to the story, and Aldertrack reports on its many twists, turns, and central characters. Cofounder Jimm Dispensa launched the first version of the site in 2007 as a way of following the zaniness of ward races around the city. (Last month, Dispensa became 11th Ward alderman Patrick Daley Thompson’s chief of staff.) By this past round of elections and the mayoral runoff, Aldertrack specialized in original reporting, most notably interviews with more than 150 candidates. Even after the votes were all counted, the Aldertrack team decided there was no reason to quit doing its thing. Now, in addition to its free morning news roundups, the site offers subscription-only coverage of both the broader trends and smallest details of city government, from an interview with the director of the council’s new Office of Financial Analysis to rundowns of the latest zoning applications. “There’s plenty of reporting about what the mayor is up to or wants people to know about, but not much about the business of the city,” says cofounder and publisher Mike Fourcher. “For us politics is not a sport—it’s a business.”