Public Meetings Report. Illustration by Holley Appold/South Side Weekly
Public Meetings Report. Illustration by Holley Appold/South Side Weekly

Public Meetings Report – August 19, 2021

A recap of select open meetings at the local, county, and state level for the August 19 issue

  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

July 30

COVID-19-related federal funding is not expected to continue into 2022, the Cook County Health and Hospitals System Board learned at its meeting. The impact of the Delta variant on hospital safety was also discussed— specifically, higher rates of positive COVID-19 tests being seen during routine screenings, even among unrelated admissions. Updated screening protocols will be implemented, and masks continue to be required on-site for staff and patients. There are no plans to provide booster shots in alliance with the FDA and CDC; however, mass vaccination sites can be quickly ramped up, and Cook County Health “would be ready to mobilize.” Stroger Hospital was rated “high performing” by US News & World Report in two areas of heart-related care and two of lung-related care. 

Aug 3

At its meeting, the Illinois Department of Public Health Infant and Maternal Mortality Task Force (IMMT) Systems Subcommittee learned that health care providers resumed home visits in July. But concerns over the COVID-19 Delta variant have apparently caused them to cut back visits, according to Glendean Burton, chief of the state’s Bureau of Maternal & Infant Health. The subcommittee also discussed telehealth challenges such as privacy, Internet connections, and Medicaid coverage, in connection with a bill Governor Pritzker signed into law in July that extends insurance coverage of telehealth services. In a report delivered to the General Assembly in January, the state’s Task Force on Infant and Maternal Mortality among African Americans noted that Illinois ranks “36th [lowest] out of 50 states” in infant mortality. 

Aug 5

A more descriptive name for the Chicago Community Land Trust (CCLT), new mission and vision statements, and a one-size-fits-all formula for opting in to home acquisitions and improvements were some of the topics discussed at the CCLT Board of Directors meeting. The goal of a key pilot program launched in 2019 is to provide “working individuals and families with opportunities to purchase homes of their own at prices they can afford.” The program’s original $3 million budget (and relatively low 2020 expenses) were reviewed in connection with anticipated increases for 2021. The areas targeted for the program are Woodlawn, East Garfield Park, Hermosa, Humboldt Park, and Pilsen and Little Village. The CCLT plans to launch a rebranding with a new name and logo in October.

Greater Chicago is on its way to reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a part of its strategy to achieve energy and carbon neutrality within the next decade, reported Commissioner Debra Shore at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago Board of Commissioners meeting. For its part, the MWRD board approved advertising for professional assistance to develop “conceptual plans” for energy neutrality at an estimated cost of $1.1 million. Commissioners also discussed the practice of collecting fees from entities that lease land from the district—specifically, a 1966 agreement with Evanston. In an amended agreement, Evanston will lease approximately ninety-two acres along the North Shore Channel to allow public parking and tailgating during Northwestern University home football games. With the most recent contract, already approved and signed by the City of Evanston before the MWRD board meeting, the district will collect twenty-five percent of annual gross revenue with a minimum fee of $80,000 for each season.

The City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) are ready for in-person classes to return on all campuses this fall with a strict set of COVID-19 guidelines in place. During the CCC Committee on Academic Affairs and Student Services and the Board of Trustees meetings, committee members discussed COVID-19 protocols, which include a face-mask requirement regardless of vaccination status, COVID-19 testing and vaccination opportunities on all campuses, contact tracing, and enhanced air filtration systems (including new equipment) and cleaning procedures. Other topics included emergency grants for students, plans to create a more accessible environment for the disabled community, and a resolution that reviewed the applied cannabis certification program to be piloted at Olive-Harvey and Wright colleges.

Aug 11

Community members voiced concerns over redistricting at the Cook County Board of Commissioners Census Redistricting Committee meeting, worrying that the process would strip communities of resources and Congressional seats. Likely population changes in some districts were noted, including shrinkages in the 1st, 4th, and 5th districts driven by loss of Black residents, and losses of Latinx populations in majority-Latinx districts offset by gains in white population, possibly through gentrification. Commissioners must have proposals of the revised maps drawn and submitted by Sept. 8, and changes must be incorporated and voted on by Sept. 22. 

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This information was collected in large part using reporting from City Bureau’s Documenters at documenters.org.

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