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

June 30

The Cook County Board of Commissioners Cook County Independent Revenue Forecasting Commission was created by ordinance in 2019 to “develop and analyze the [County’s] five-year consensus revenue forecast,” according to the County’s website. The Commission’s meeting launched its fourth year without a quorum, but a staff report received positive feedback as other members arrived. Even though inflation uncertainty makes predictions difficult, the Commission has made strides in its analyses and processes to provide predictions for future budgeting. Especially evident was a focus on different case predictions—best, mid, and worst—for future planning by stakeholders. There was no public comment.

July 6

Some confusion over primary objectives and direct actions slowed the meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners Alternative Health Intervention and Response Task Force. The task force was created to develop a pilot program to change how the County responds to mental and behavioral health emergencies so that, when appropriate, mental health professionals and their actions are emphasized over law enforcement. Another goal is to release law enforcement from using resources and applying techniques that are less effective in mental health crises. County officials and healthcare leaders reviewed and discussed research results that will be used to issue a report to the County Board identifying “next steps and recommendations.” That section of the report is currently divided into three parts: areas to investigate, areas to contribute to and collaborate on, and areas for direct action. A key issue is whether to follow a continuum-of-care model or a crisis-stabilization model. 

July 7

The Chicago Landmarks Commission delayed its recommendation on the fate of two historic early twentieth century Loop buildings during its meeting. Some $52 million has been earmarked for the demolition of the Century (1915) and Consumer (1913) buildings in the Federal Infrastructure Bill now before Congress, according to Preservation Chicago’s website. The not-for-profit organization’s site also notes that decades of advocacy to save the buildings is at a “critical stage.” During the Commission’s meeting, a case for each outcome–demolition or preservation—was made and discussed. The Commission directed staff to prepare a report and present it at the Commission’s next meeting. The Commission members also unanimously approved four sites to be recommended for status as National Historic Places. They are the Cornelia Ward 46, the Chicago Vocational School Ward 8, the Motor Row Ward 3, and the James E. Plew Building Ward 3.

At its meeting, the Cook County Commission on Social Innovation heard two presentations related to the problems and solutions for achieving economic growth and community development through innovative social programs. Jens Ludwig, a professor of public policy at the University of Chicago presented actionable social economic policy in connection with the high rate of gun violence and incarceration. His conclusion after fifteen years of study: “We’ve made little progress on how to solve this problem.” For example, Black neighborhoods remain disproportionately affected by violence, and the gap is widening, he noted. He emphasized the value of several programs, including Becoming a Man (BAM), Choose to Change (C2C), and the Heartland Alliance. He noted that “gun violence is the number-one priority” and that “I see opportunities to deliver”: the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) and the Sheriff’s Anti-Violence Effort (SAVE). Irene Scheer, Dominic Tocci, and Elizabeth Schultz presented on behalf of the Bureau of Economic Development, a County department designed to promote equitable growth and development. They reported on several programs, including the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the County’s Small Business Source initiative, the Guaranteed Income Plot program, and Talent Solutions programs that emphasize employer needs. “The search for talent is the single most important need for employers today,” they noted. “ARPA has invested $15 million to connect talent with employers.”

July 12

Six public commenters representing the Obama Community Benefits Agreement coalition had their say at a meeting of the City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate. The Committee also considered fifteen items related to the sale and leasing of various City properties, including the sale of City-owned land to the Chicago Police Department for expanded mental health infrastructure. Among the commenters, a thirty-year-old South Side resident said he had moved fifteen times because he couldn’t find affordable housing; another, though he understood support for condo owners, objected to taking money from affordable housing resources for that purpose; and a third asked that all vacant South Shore lots be used for affordable housing and that renters should have opportunities to become homeowners. The Obama CBA coalition is a grassroots group fighting displacement in connection with The Obama Presidential Center.

In a one-hour meeting, the Community Development Commission considered five agenda items. The Commission approved a request by the Department of Planning and Development to issue and advertise a request for proposals for the sale and redevelopment of City-owned property located 1717 W. Pershing Road and 1769 W. Pershing Road. It also agreed to public reviews by the Joint Review Board and public hearings for two items. They are the amended redevelopment plans for the proposed 79th Street Corridor Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Project Area Amendment No. 3 and for the proposed Homan-Arthington Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Project Area Amendment No. 3. The Commission authorized other TIF-related requests. One is to advertise the Department of Housing’s intention to enter into a City Lots for Working Families redevelopment agreement with an investment firm for twenty properties on West Huron (two), North Ridgeway Avenue (six), North Lawndale Avenue (four), West Ohio Street (seven), and one on North Monticello Avenue. Another is to enter into a negotiated sale from the Department of Planning and Development for property on South Burley Avenue.

July 14

At the end of a meeting of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) that covered forty-eight agenda items, a single public commenter pleaded for “all Black people, white, Hispanic and Asian [people] to come to the meetings. It is very important.” The specific reason was unclear. On this day, the agenda covered a variety of topics, including one intriguing contract for capturing carbon and nutrients from wastewater using algae. Others were investments, procurement bids, awarding of contracts, advertising for millions of dollars of project work (for example, snow plowing, sewer work, legislative consulting services, farm management), real estate development, operations and maintenance, workers compensation, and the authorization to “Conduct a Pilot-Scale Demonstration of Carbon Capture and Nutrient Recovery from Wastewater Using Revolving Algae Biofilm System at the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant.” 

July 15

The meeting of the City Council Committee on Public Safety emphasized the importance of ensuring the mental health of CPD’s approximately 12,000 uniformed officers, especially in the wake of recent officer suicides. Twenty-two clinicians are being hired—one for each of CPD’s twenty-two districts—and office space being leased to house new services. The committee heard from Chief Inspector General Deborah Witzburg, who delivered her office’s 2021 Annual Public Safety Report, and from Bob Boik, executive director of CPD’s Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform. Reports continue to show racist patterns in policing, with Black Chicagoans overrepresented in interactions such as traffic stops and search warrants. Boik expressed confidence that consent decree compliance was moving forward in a timely manner. Witzburg countered that compliance is not measured on paper but “on the street.” According to the Chicago Justice Project, the committee “plays a vital role in overseeing and managing accountability systems” for CPD.

✶ ✶ ✶ ✶

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

Leave a comment

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