Protests at City Hall
After the fatal shooting of sixteen-year-old Seandell Holiday on May 14 in Millenium Park, Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded by tightening Chicago’s weekend curfew for teens. Residents across the city expressed concern amid fears police will further target and criminalize young people of color. More than twenty teens organized a “die in” on May 23 outside City Hall to urge the City Council to vote no. The young demonstrators laid down on the ground as if dead to symbolize Chicago youth who have died from violence. Teens said they want to be included in decisions around gun violence and additional programming. Chicago City Council approved Lightfoot’s curfew ordinance by a 30-19 vote. The same day, a group of sixty-five community groups from across the city signed an open letter calling Lightfoot to address gun violence by looking at the root causes. Parents also criticized the mayor for pushing a casino, stating that she should “put priorities in place” with education and safety being at the top. Community members also demanded Lightfoot use COVID-19 federal relief funds to invest resources in communities.
Expect a smaller light bill
Chicagoans could expect smaller light bills in the future because of the Carbon Mitigation Credit program, a part of the recent Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). The program provides support for nuclear power facilities in Illinois, which have a lower carbon footprint than power plants based on fossil fuels, until such time as Illinois is able to create more clean energy solutions. A provision of the program is that if electricity prices rise too much—as they have recently due to COVID-19 supply shortages and the Russian invasion of Ukraine—that consumers will receive credits to make up for it. ComEd submitted a filing with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) indicating that from June 1 of this year to May 31 of 2023, it will provide a credit to consumers equal to 3.087 cents per kWh, lowering bills by about $19.71 per month and saving the average family around $237 per year.
Lightfoot gets to appoint another alderperson
Last week, 24th Ward Alderperson Michael Scott Jr. announced he would be resigning his post to work at Cinespace Studios, a movie and television studio within his ward. Scott Jr., who was elected to the position in 2015, told reporters that the job had been too consuming and that he wanted to spend more time with his family. His resignation allows Mayor Lori Lightfoot to appoint the alderperson for the ward, who will stay in the position at least until next year’s election. Earlier this year, Lightfoot appointed Nicole Lee for the 11th Ward following former Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson’s conviction for tax fraud. Though there will be an application and screening process, set to begin June 1, the final decision will be Lightfoot’s. Scott Jr. will be the head of community and industry relations at Cinespace, a company that has expanded in North Lawndale despite protests from residents that important streets have been cut off and filming takes place on their blocks without consent, as well as lack of employment opportunities for Black and brown residents of the area. Cinespace has donated at least $17,000 to political groups affiliated with Scott Jr. in the last few years. Those interested in applying for the aldermanic position should email their resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to 24th Ward Vacancy Committee at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60602, by June 7.