- Public Meetings Report – March 18, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – April 1, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – April 15, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – April 29, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – May 13, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – May 27, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – June 10, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – June 24, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – July 08, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – July 22, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – August 05, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – August 19, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – September 30, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – October 14, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – October 28, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – November 11, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – November 25, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – December 9, 2021
- Public Meetings Report – January 13, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – January 27, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – February 10, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – February 24, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – March 10, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – March 24, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – April 7, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – April 21, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – May 5, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – May 19, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – June 2, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – June 22, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – June 30, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – July 14, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – July 28, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – August 11, 2022
- Public Meetings Report – August 25, 2022
- Public Meetings Report — October 20, 2022
- Public Meetings Report — November 17, 2022
- Public Meetings Report — December 1, 2022
- Public Meetings Report — January 12, 2023
- Public Meetings Report — January 26, 2023
During its brief meeting, the City Council deferred major 2023 budget items to November 7, the Council’s next meeting. A public commenter marred the meeting with an anti-semitic remark, which was denounced by Alderwoman Debra Silverstein. Mayor Lightfoot directed the clerk to add a statement of values to the public comment instructions for speakers, and to cut the microphones for such speakers in the future. The Council passed a resolution naming November 2022 as Native American Heritage Month in Chicago, and a group of young public commenters spoke on the concept of Afro-Indigenous identity and the need for the inclusion of modern descendants of enslaved people in the concept of Indigeneity. The Council approved a resolution urging the Illinois General Assembly to make central voting sites a permanent fixture of Chicago’s elections, before appointing Sandra Blakemore as Commissioner of the Department of Assets, Information, and Services. The relatively new department supports City operations and services, and was formed as a cost-saving measure through the consolidation of two other departments in the City’s 2020 budget.
A months-long budgeting process culminated at this meeting as the City Council passed the City’s 2023 budget. Some Council members expressed disappointment at what they believed were underfunded opportunities to address homelessness and violence in the city. “I do not think this budget addresses gun violence in a sophisticated way,” said Alderwoman Sophia King (4th Ward), who has mounted a campaign for mayor. Alderman Thomas Tunney (44th Ward) said, “Whether it is the North Side or the West Side, people do not go out at night anymore.” He emphasized that his constituents do not feel safe and that morale among police officers serving his ward is low. Other Council members were more optimistic about mental health funding, which has increased to $89 million in 2022 from $12 million in 2019. In that year, 3,200 people received mental health services .75,000 are projected to be served in 2023. Alderman James Cappleman (46th Ward) noted that all of Chicago’s seventy-seven neighborhoods are slated to have a mental health center by the end of 2022.
The Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) Land Transactions Committee approved several projects at its meeting, including an additional factory kitchen for the Pintaito Gourmet restaurant, a land agreement to restore and develop abandoned property, and a resolution to further develop the Underground Railroad historical landmark along the Little Calumet River, which the Weekly has reported on. That development covers preservation efforts, more agricultural development, and the addition of a community bike center. Chicago housing and building agencies, along with their partners, are working to restore unused or dilapidated properties in uncertain economic conditions.
A special City Council meeting called to consider the Bring Home Chicago ordinance fell flat due to a lack of quorum. A revised proposal would put a referendum question on the February 2023 ballot asking voters if the Real Estate Transfer Tax on transactions over $1 million should be increased to create a dedicated revenue stream for homelessness services and affordable housing. After several quorum calls and recesses, the meeting was adjourned with no action being taken. Nineteen Council members attended the first meeting, a number that grew to twenty-five after a recess, but this was not enough to continue the meeting.
At its meeting, the City Council Committee on Finance passed fifteen items offered by the City Departments of Housing, Planning and Development, and Law. The items passed despite committee members’ dissatisfaction with some presenters’ lack of preparation, and confusion over the details of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funding. An observer referred to the dissatisfaction as “general hostility” toward some presenters. Among the measures passed were authorization for the City to enter into an agreement with a developer for seventy senior housing units at 9633 South Cottage Grove Avenue. Another was a recommendation to enter into an agreement with Yellow Banana, LLC, which would utilize TIF assistance to acquire, rehabilitate, and operate six full-service grocery stores serving five wards on the South and West Sides. Some committee members raised concerns that preliminary plans were drawn up without adequate consultation with the members and their communities.
At its meeting, the City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate heard more about Northwestern Medicine’s plans for a 120,000-square-foot advanced outpatient care center on the 4800 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue. Construction could begin in summer 2023 with completion two years later. A few of the economic and community benefits include a $130 million investment, a thousand or more construction jobs, 130 permanent employment positions, and 7,500 square feet of community space. Northwestern is committed to meeting the City’s policy goals for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) and the fifty percent residency requirement for hiring. Concern was raised about overlapping of services with the nearby University of Chicago medical facilities. A Northwestern representative said that both providers discussed services and that the new facility will plug a “big gap in care” in the area. He also said that it “will not hinder any of their services. We think it’s additive for the community.” The committee voted to recommend the plan be brought to a full council vote.
At the Chicago Park District Board of Commissionersmeeting, a proposed budget plan for 2023 included reengaging After School Matters as a way to hire more lifeguards for the summer and boost hiring for other positions. Large music festivals like Lollapalooza and Riot Fest that are hosted in the parks will now have to seek event permit approval from the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners, following months of pushback from Douglass Park-adjacent communities, as reported by the Weekly and others.
This information was collected and curated by the Weekly in large part using reporting from City Bureau’s Documenters at documenters.org.