- 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
Using Chicago Public Schools (CPS), alderpersons’ offices, and community-based organizations, the Chicago Department of Public Health plans to distribute 1.9 million KN95 masks on a first-come, first-serve basis. At a monthly hearing of the City Council Committee on Health and Human Relations, Dr. Allison Arwady, the City’s public health commissioner, shared this information and other statistics related to the City’s ongoing COVID-19 response. Arwady discussed the “science on returning back to school” but did not comment on negotiations on reopening between CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union. Arwady reported that as of December 30, there were fifty-three outbreaks (two or more cases linked within fourteen days) across fifty-one CPS schools, with an average of 2.5 cases per outbreak.
At its meeting, the Cook County Board Health and Hospitals Committee learned that seventy-five percent of suburban Cook County residents hospitalized due to severe cases of COVID-19 had not been vaccinated. Representatives of the Cook County Department of Public Health also reported other suburban vaccination statistics: 80.3 percent of residents had received at least one dose, 60.8 percent a full vaccine series, and 38.4 percent a booster shot. The COVID test positivity and hospitalization rates were the highest since the pandemic began, the department reported. Some pop-up testing sites are charging fees, which is not illegal but is considered “inappropriate.”
Alderpersons at the second remote ward remap hearing this year debated whether to hold an in-person hearing, but did not talk about redistricting. The discussion occurred at a meeting of the City Council Committee on Committees and Rules. At least one committee member noted that gathering in person or in a hybrid format changed “the tone of the conversation” and that negotiations are more productive. Others argued for staying with remote meetings because the spread of the Omicron variant was increasing.
At its monthly meeting, the Chicago Transit Board voted to approve a $30,000 insurance policy to cover spills, leaks, injuries, and legal actions. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) stores more than 10,000 gallons of bus diesel fuel in forty-five underground storage tanks and has more than 1,800 buses in its fleet. The agency plans to transition to an all-electric fleet by 2040. The CTA’s amended 2021 budget shows a surplus of about $45 million. Both revenue and expenses were less than expected. The agency still has $32 million in CARES funding available and has not used other federal funds yet.
The Cook County Board of Commissioners will prioritize improving broadband internet access this year, specifically in county-run public housing, suburban courthouses, and rural areas, the Cook County Board of Technology and Innovation Committee learned at its meeting. Each county department shared its technology priorities for 2022. County officials have long expressed concerns about an outdated midframe and mainframe system, and this system is expected to be phased out by 2023. Departments tend to run their information technology operations independently and use systems they select.
Several Canaryville residents, including former 11th Ward Alderman James Balcer, again protested the City’s proposed remap of that ward during public comment at the City Council Committee on Committees and Rules hearing. The City’s proposed map shifts the 11th Ward, which centers on Bridgeport and north toward Chinatown, to create the City’s first majority-Asian ward. It splits Canaryville, a small neighborhood located between Pershing Road and 49th, Halsted, and Canal streets. The proposed redistricting would divide blocks between 43rd and 49th between the 11th and 15th wards. The meeting was adjourned after public comment and did not discuss redistricting.
At its meeting, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to make $285 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds available as community initiative grants. Specific grant priorities include $37 million to support small businesses, $35.9 million to prevent violence, and $30.5 million to improve transportation infrastructure. Last December, Cook County published a community engagement report after months of surveying residents on how it should spend ARPA funds.
Renovations of Albany Terrace (3030 W. 21st Pl.), a seventeen-story, 350-unit senior apartment building in La Villita, is a key project this year, Commissioner Francine Washington reported at a Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Board of Commissioners meeting. Several contracts were approved by the board, including biohazard cleanup and remediation at CHA properties ($1.1 million with Spaulding Deacon), waste and recycling services across sixty-three CHA properties ($13,775,154 with Waste Management of Illinois), and architectural and engineering services ($25 million) with twenty-seven vendors yet to be determined and including the Albany Terrace renovations.
A vacant City-owned parcel could become an additional parking lot for the Beloved Family Community Wellness Center in Englewood. Members of the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) Community Development Commission approved the sale for five dollars at its meeting. The property is located in the 67th/Wentworth Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Redevelopment Area. It’s separated from the wellness center campus by another privately owned vacant lot that’s not for sale.
A vote to approve $30 million in year-end, retroactive tax revenue for the CTA at a meeting of the City Council Committee on Budget and Government Operations was postponed when alderpersons realized no one from the CTA was in attendance. Council member Leslie Hairston (5th Ward) scolded City Budget Director Susie Park for failing to invite a CTA representative. Council member Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th Ward) noted that CTA president Dorval Carter Jr. is receiving a thirty-three percent pay increase this year. The committee recessed to give Park time to call CTA. No one was available, so the committee decided to reconvene on January 25 at 2 p.m.
A new voting system received a two-year interim approval by the Illinois State Board of Elections (SBE) at its meeting. The technology includes ballot design and tabulation software, electronic polling stations, ADA-accessible options, printers, and scanners. The board appointed acting executive director Bernadette Matthews to a four-year term as executive director and swore in new board member Tonya L. Genovese. Former SBE executive director Steve Sandvoss was placed on administrative leave in April after he was targeted in an online extortion attempt. Although the attack did not appear to be related to his job, Sandvoss later announced that he would retire.
Stroke patients treated at Stroger Hospital tend to be “younger, Black, and Hispanic,” neurology division chair Dr. Lakshmi Warrior reported during a meeting of the Cook County Health Quality and Patient Safety Committee. The median age of stroke patients at Illinois hospitals is seventy; at Stroger it is sixty. Warrior described aspects of Stroger’s stroke program, which include conducting a CT scan and addressing food insecurity post-discharge.
At the meeting of the Department of Planning and Development Chicago Plan Commission, public commenters spoke largely in favor of the Saint Anthony Hospital development that Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22nd Ward) was seeking to rezone after he said he received more than two hundred letters of support of the project. The CEO of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Jame Di Paulo, said “it will serve as a symbol of equality and diversity.” The executive director of the Little Village Chamber of Commerce, Ivette Treviño, said “the development will create much needed jobs.” Grace Rappe of HRD Architects said “the hospital will be the most prominent building” in the area, reaching 240 ft. Commissioners also discussed a planned warehouse in the 11th Ward and developing the area next to the 10th District police station that would include affordable housing.
Counting total population instead of voting-age population could create a “mirage” of political power and representation that doesn’t translate to the ballot box, American University professor Allan Lichtman told the City Council Committee on Committees and Rules at its meeting. Chair Michelle Harris (8th Ward) invited Lichtman to speak about proportional representation and the legality of the map sponsored by her committee and the map proposed by members of the Latino Caucus under the Voting Rights Act. The primary conflict between the proponents of both maps is whether or not citizen voting-age population (CVAP) should form the basis for drawing Chicago’s wards, rather than total population. CVAP excludes non-citizens and people under the age of eighteen. Supporters of the Latino Caucus map argue that total population should be the standard from which the ward lines are drawn because alderpersons represent everyone who lives in their ward, not just the people who can vote or who voted for them. “Bottom line is,” Lichtman said, “whichever plan this body in its wisdom adopts… there’s no voting rights case to be made against it.”
This information was collected in large part using reporting from City Bureau’s Documenters at documenters.org.