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

January 30

Alderperson Matthew O’Shea (19th Ward) proposed an ordinance to protect firefighters and emergency medical personnel from violence during emergency calls, citing, in part, a “paramedic” who told him there has been “a significant increase in attacks.” The measure received unanimous support from members of the City Council Committee on Public Safety at its meeting and will be sent to the City Council for consideration. “We’ve had ambulances shot at,” Joe Senorski, political action director for Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2, told the committee. Several members spoke in favor and reported conversations they’ve had with EMTs and others. “Conditions have become quite difficult,” said Alderperson Samantha Nugent (39th). “Respect for our first responders has gone out the window,” said Alderperson Felix Cardona, Jr., (31st). Penalties under the proposal would include fines. 

January 31

A proposed ordinance to provide $2.5 million in TIF construction financing for a new theater on North Lincoln Avenue eventually passed with one dissenting vote during a meeting of the City Council Committee on Finance. Delaying the vote was a contentious back-and-forth about the speed with which North Side projects moved forward versus those on the South Side. The debate began when Alderperson Susan Sadowski Garza (10th Ward) commented that she has waited six years for new sidewalks in her ward. The proposed American Blues Theater building at 5627 N. Lincoln Ave is part of an improvement plan led by Alderperson Andre Vasquez (40th) that began with the Ainslie Arts Plaza in May 2021. Several committee members complained about the timelines for projects on the South and West Sides developed by the Chicago Department of Planning and Development. 

Multiple speakers and arguments supporting both sides of the proposed Establishment of Human Service Workforce Advancement Ordinance were heard at a joint meeting of the City Council Health and Human Relations and Workforce Development committees. Also characterized as a labor peace agreement, the proposed ordinance, in essence, would require nonprofits with city contracts of a million dollars or more not to engage in anti-union actions, intimidation, or harassment of staff seeking to unionize. Alderperson Roderick T. Sawyer (6th Ward) suggested framing the question this way (paraphrased): What are the differences between nonprofits in human services and for-profit businesses that include collective bargaining units? A key issue is that proponents want the measure passed in a short time period while opponents say a more considered review and discussion are necessary. Proposed in 2019, the ordinance was delayed by the pandemic. No action was taken.

February 1

The City Council considered two major pieces of legislation at its meeting that could affect Chicagoans for decades. The expansion of the Norfolk Southern railway yard in Englewood was approved, even though some uncertainty remains over environmental impacts and effects on nearby communities. The $150 million planned expansion would double the size of the yard. (The derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying toxic materials in Ohio occurred on February 3, two days after the Council vote.) Discussion of Mayor Lightfoot’s proposal to extend ComEd’s franchise contract as the city’s energy supplier by fifteen years was in effect tabled until after the municipal elections on February 28, which will change the composition of the Council and perhaps result in a new mayor. Council members also said they needed more time to consider the measure. The next Council meeting is scheduled for March 15. 

February 2

Several financial items including purchase orders and the awarding of contracts were 

approved at a meeting of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Board of Commissioners. For example, commissioners authorized an allowance for change orders of no more than approximately $1.4 million (five percent) to an approximately $28.9 million contract for “service tunnel rehabilitation”; a purchase order not to exceed $1.632 million to AT&T for “telemetry services”; and a contract not to exceed $2.25 million for “underground infrastructure cleaning at various locations” to the National Power Rodding Corporation. A $245,000 contract to keep “various locations” supplied for one year with “paper filters, crucibles, and petri dishes” was also approved. A more than fifty-year-old Shakman consent decree against biased hiring at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) has been lifted.

February 8

Two modes of locomotion–one powered by muscle, the other by electricity–may well find themselves operating side-by-side thanks to a sale approved at a meeting of the Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) Land Transactions Committee. Committee members  approved the only item on the agenda: the sale of land at 1030 W. 111th Street to Carshena Ross, owner of Transportation for All, Inc. Before the pandemic, the company used the property in connection with its bus services. Now, Ross explained in a presentation, plans call for an investment of between $200,000 and $300,000 to establish an open-air museum dedicated to a once world-record-holding Black cyclist, Marshall “Major” Taylor, for whom the adjacent Taylor Trail is named. The museum will offer a juice bar and a greenway with seating. Ross intends the area to be a place where cyclists can rest and enjoy a mural tribute to Taylor. In two to three years electric vehicle charging services–inspired by her frustrations as an EV owner–are planned. From 1898 to 1904 Taylor was known on three continents as the fastest bicycle rider in the world and the holder of seven world records.

The Cook County Board of Commissioners Committee heard reports from the Board’s finance committee and the Cook County Board of Ethics during its committee meetings. County Comptroller Lawrence Wilson reviewed his use of data analytics to manage the Board’s revenue and expenses for 2022. The committee received an update on the Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot and related initiatives to help households with incomes below the poverty level. The program, which began issuing payments on December 15 of last year, provides 3,250 qualified households chosen by lottery for $500 a month for two years. This money, according to the Illinois Department of Human Services, is “exempt unearned income for all cash, SNAP, and medical programs.” The ethics board presented its annual report and reviewed some key goals for 2023: instituting more campaigns, providing data for the public, and implementing a comprehensive data management system. One commissioner noted a sixty-four percent increase in ethical training for supervisors as well as an increase in training and fines for managers. 

February 9

At its meeting the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved the use of funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to support development of the Metra station on 95th Street station near Chicago State University. The proposed project is slated to cost $40 million and to be funded using state, federal, and other sources. The Board passed a resolution to address environmental injustice in low-income and underserved communities and focused on systemic racism and climate change issues. The Board considered a nearly $1.75 million contract to support the courts with interpreting services in addition to Spanish and Polish. 

February 15

News of Black History Month celebrations, a dance performance, and a vote supporting the preservation of Promontory Point highlighted a meeting of the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners. The Board recognized February as Black History Month, noting that fifty city parks are named after prominent Black leaders and that the district is offering activities and events to celebrate. Chicago Park District Central Region Director Farah Tunks listed some of the events, which include vendor fairs, civil rights walks, and family fun nights. The Homan Square Community Center is hosting an Umoja celebration of unity for families with performances, storytelling, and food. The Columbus Park Line Dancers performed at the meeting. One public commenter reported that the Mandrake Park Fieldhouse needs several improvements, including a new roof, freezer, stove, and a security guard. The facility is owned by the Chicago Housing Authority but used as a park district facility. CEO Escareno plans to schedule a walk-through at the park. Some public commenters voiced concerns about outdoor festivals in quiet zones near hospitals and concerts in residential areas without community engagement meetings. The board approved some larger events for the summer and fall.

Have Your Say: Vote!What happens in public meetings affects your daily life. Have your say by voting in the Chicago municipal elections on Tuesday, February 28, or now during early voting. Here’s how. Register to vote. Know your ward, police district, candidates, and polling place. Vote early or on Election Day. To learn more, check out these FAQs.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *