Public Meetings Report. Illustration by Holley Appold/South Side Weekly
Public Meetings Report. Illustration by Holley Appold/South Side Weekly
  1. Public Meetings Report – March 18, 2021
  2. Public Meetings Report – April 1, 2021
  3. Public Meetings Report – April 15, 2021
  4. Public Meetings Report – April 29, 2021
  5. Public Meetings Report – May 13, 2021
  6. Public Meetings Report – May 27, 2021
  7. Public Meetings Report – June 10, 2021
  8. Public Meetings Report – June 24, 2021
  9. Public Meetings Report – July 08, 2021
  10. Public Meetings Report – July 22, 2021
  11. Public Meetings Report – August 05, 2021
  12. Public Meetings Report – August 19, 2021
  13. Public Meetings Report – September 30, 2021
  14. Public Meetings Report – October 14, 2021
  15. Public Meetings Report – October 28, 2021
  16. Public Meetings Report – November 11, 2021
  17. Public Meetings Report – November 25, 2021
  18. Public Meetings Report – December 9, 2021
  19. Public Meetings Report – January 13, 2022
  20. Public Meetings Report – January 27, 2022
  21. Public Meetings Report – February 10, 2022
  22. Public Meetings Report – February 24, 2022
  23. Public Meetings Report – March 10, 2022
  24. Public Meetings Report – March 24, 2022
  25. Public Meetings Report – April 7, 2022
  26. Public Meetings Report – April 21, 2022
  27. Public Meetings Report – May 5, 2022
  28. Public Meetings Report – May 19, 2022
  29. Public Meetings Report – June 2, 2022
  30. Public Meetings Report – June 22, 2022
  31. Public Meetings Report – June 30, 2022
  32. Public Meetings Report – July 14, 2022
  33. Public Meetings Report – July 28, 2022
  34. Public Meetings Report – August 11, 2022
  35. Public Meetings Report – August 25, 2022
  36. Public Meetings Report — October 20, 2022
  37. Public Meetings Report — November 17, 2022
  38. Public Meetings Report — December 1, 2022
  39. Public Meetings Report — January 12, 2023
  40. Public Meetings Report — January 26, 2023
  41. Public Meetings Report — February 9, 2023
  42. Public Meetings Report — February 23, 2023
  43. Public Meetings Report — March 9, 2023
  44. Public Meetings Report — March 23, 2023
  45. Public Meetings Report — April 20, 2023
  46. Public Meetings Report — May 4, 2023
  47. Public Meetings Report — May 18, 2023
  48. Public Meetings Report — June 1, 2023
  49. Public Meetings Report — June 15, 2023
  50. Public Meetings Report — June 29, 2023
  51. Public Meetings Report — July 13, 2023
  52. Public Meetings Report — July 27, 2023
  53. Public Meetings Report — August 10, 2023
  54. Public Meetings Report — August 24, 2023
  55. Public Meetings Report — September 7, 2023
  56. Public Meetings Report — September 21, 2023
  57. Public Meetings Report — December 7, 2023
  58. Public Meetings Report — February 1, 2024
  59. Public Meetings Report — February 15, 2024
  60. Public Meetings Report — April 11, 2024
  61. Public Meetings Report — May 9, 2024
  62. Public Meetings Report — May 23, 2024
  63. Public Meetings Report — July 18, 2024

August 16 

At its first meeting since the firing of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady on August 11, the Chicago Department of Public Health Chicago Board of Health learned that 47,625 Illinois residents have lost Medicaid coverage since August 1, including access to treatment and prescriptions. Acting Health Department Commissioner Fikirte Wagaw said the state estimates that number could increase to 700,000. In Chicago, the department is working with Chicago Public Schools to coordinate Medicaid enrollment. A two-year suspension of Medicaid “redetermination,” which requires reporting of income, has been lifted, and many individuals have not satisfied reporting requirements. Wagaw said that the health department is coordinating enrollment in cooperation with Chicago Public Schools. In addition, the board learned that beginning in September, vending machines in five locations will offer free naloxone, fentanyl, and xylazine test kits, feminine hygiene kits, socks, and underwear. Free Narcan nasal spray will be available at all eighty-one Chicago Public Libraries. Before Dr. Arwady’s firing, the board sent a letter to the mayor that acknowledged her work and spelled out qualities board members hope to find in her successor.

August 17

At a meeting of the Chicago Police Board, vice president Ghian Foreman expressed transparency concerns in connection with a determination that officers facing serious misconduct allegations could choose to have their cases reviewed out of the public eye. “Police accountability, and ultimately the people of Chicago, will suffer,” he said, “if the most serious police disciplinary cases are removed from the Police Board’s jurisdiction.” The board posts its decisions on the city’s website, but arbitration is a private process that uses neutral third parties to settle disputes. This approach “would be a greater disadvantage to police accountability and the people of Chicago,” he said. Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety Tobara Richardson provided an overview of 2021 findings indicating that the proposed disciplinary grievance procedure lacks the same level of transparency and that “arbitrators exercise broad, unbounded discretion.” Andrea Kersten, chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, reported that thirty percent of the complaints she received in July—“once again”—were for the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. She is also concerned that the reform consent decree enacted recently does not apply to arbitrators and there is no timeline for the arbitration process.

An amended proposal for expansion of the Blackhawks’ training facility on the Near West Side was approved at a meeting of the Chicago Plan Commission. The expansion, which will allegedly be the first public hockey facility on the West Side and create 260 jobs, is scheduled for completion by 2026. The team’s $23.5 million land purchase from Rush University Medical Center will make the expansion possible and was approved by the City Council in April. Sankofa Wellness Village, a $50-million wellness complex in West Garfield Park, will also benefit from Rush’s planned investment of several million dollars in its development. The Commission also authorized repurposing the former Charles Warrington Earle School into affordable housing. Lincoln Park’s Royal George Theatre, which had gone unused during the pandemic, will be demolished to make way for development. 

August 22

The Damen Silos are being considered for demolition and are under permit review by the City. Attended by more than one hundred individuals, a public meeting of the Chicago Department of Public Health revealed a number of concerns. Known as the Damen Silos, the structures are located along the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal near 29th Street and Damen Avenue and were featured in the 2014 movie “Transformers: Age of Extinction.” Community members are concerned about a lack of transparency in connection with demolition, which is seen to be environmentally complex and may involve issues of environmental racism. The site was purchased from the state last year by Michael Tadin, Jr., for $6.5 million. Tadin is a contractor and co-owner of the MAT Asphalt plant in McKinley Park. Public comment was filled with mentions of the 2020 Hilco smokestack implosion in Little Village, which sent a massive dust cloud rolling over the neighborhood. City officials said that the Damen Silos, five grain elevators vacant since a 1977 explosion, will be demolished by excavators; no explosives will be involved. Protests filed with the state had no effect on the sale.

August 23

The Illinois Missing and Murdered Women Task Force held its second meeting to establish fundamental processes and plan next steps. Serving as chair and co-chair are the sponsors of the bill that created the task force, State Senator Mattie Hunter and Representative Kam Buckner, both Democrats. The approximately fourteen or more task force members are required to complete three training courses on ethics, sexual harassment, and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion). The task force has completed some research on similar programs in other states. Summaries from meetings with task forces from Wisconsin and Montana are available as is a plan for a meeting with the Minnesota program leaders. The programs vary considerably. Wisconsin, for example, has thirty-five to forty voting members and about another ninety who serve on four subcommittees—family impact/services, data, systems, and legal. Thirteen indigenous tribes are represented. Montana has thirteen or fourteen members. Each of the two programs employs one or two staff members. The Wisconsin and Montana task forces suggested these reasons that women and girls go missing: human trafficking, extreme poverty, substance use, and child/family violence.

August 24

Nearly thirty public commenters registered to speak at a Chicago Public Schools Board of Education meeting—two exclusively in Spanish with translation—about myriad topics including air conditioning, the need for a new school play lot thanks to a sinkhole (parents have raised money and have solicited support from Springfield), misappropriation of funds and funds approved but not received, the resignation of an entire special education department, discontinuation of transportation for gifted learners and others with three weeks’ notice, praise for “community circles” that celebrate success, the disproportionate closing of schools in Black neighborhoods, shootings of sixteen students over a weekend, a claim that only ten percent of students at a school can read, several invitations for Board members to visit individual schools, and more. CPS CEO Pedro Martinez provided some numbers to launch the new year: 232 more special education teachers, 365 bilingual and special education teachers, 730 education support personnel. Fifty-eight percent of new hires are persons of color. Next year—2024—is a Local School Council election year. A kickoff meeting to explain the process and answer questions is set for September 21, and potential candidates should RSVP by September 20. Revised physical restraint policy standards for schools have been updated and training requirements listed.

This information was collected and curated by the Weekly in large part using reporting from City Bureau’s Documenters at documenters.org

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