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

June 8 

The Cook County Commission on Social Innovation focused its meeting on policies to prevent gun violence and related deaths. In a presentation, Selwyn O. Rogers, Jr., MD, a surgeon, public health expert, and founding director of the University of Chicago Medicine Trauma Center, discussed the young victims who have died at hospitals ill-prepared to treat trauma. He explained that more than one-third of all violent crimes in Chicago occur within five miles of the Hyde Park center, with the center’s service area covering twelve ZIP codes and twenty-eight South Side communities. Rogers emphasized the urgency of investment in violence prevention and mental health services, as well as the expansion of trauma care into neighborhoods in need. Rogers contended that “wraparound services” are critical, and offered to assist the Commission in exploring their development. The Commission also considered challenges concerning battery-charging stations, food deserts, and disparities in neighborhood banking services. 

In a meeting of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks and Permit Review Committee, three properties advanced on their journeys to Chicago landmark status, including the Greater Tabernacle Cathedral, the South Side church where Barack Obama worked as a community organizer before attending Harvard Law School. The church was part of the “Pullman Lands,” some of which were used to build the Town of Pullman (now a national historic landmark). Trolley service between the church and the Obama Presidential Center was also discussed. The second property was Old Town’s Eugenie Lane Apartments, of interest in part because of the 1962 design’s emphasis on fitting into an area considered historic. The third property under consideration was the Warehouse, a West Loop club known as the birthplace of House music, which was later approved.

June 13

A plan for a mixed-income development at the former site of the Cabrini-Green Homes on the Near North Side can move forward, thanks to a vote by the Chicago Community Development Commission at its meeting. The Commission authorized the Department of Housing to negotiate redevelopment with Parkside Phase III. The redevelopment would create townhomes, one eight-story building of sixty-nine units, and three-story walk-ups with a total of eighteen units. Studio to four-bedroom units would follow, with thirty (about a quarter) set aside for low-income tenants at or below the sixty percent area median income (AMI) threshold. The project is expected to cost about $65.7 million, with more than sixteen million dollars coming from TIF funds. Four other development projects were also approved, including a project at 4319 S. Indiana Avenue, which would reclaim an overgrown lot for redevelopment; and another, to sell land at 4032 S. Michigan to a private business for a parking lot. The Commission also approved extending the TIF boundaries for the Northwest Industrial Corridor to account for four “blighting factors,” which include building deterioration, structures that may violate minimum code standards, lack of economic growth, and inadequate utilities. It was announced that Commissioner Ivette Treviño was resigning.

Five appointees were given an initial stamp of approval to serve on special service areas (SSAs) at the City Council Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development meeting. SSAs are hyperlocal tax districts that give chambers of commerce or other community organizations a portion of local tax revenue (from area businesses) to provide economic development and beautification services beyond basic citywide services. For example, SSAs may be responsible for street-located trash cans. The appointees are to serve on SSAs for Calumet Heights/Avalon Park, Andersonville, Uptown, and Lincoln Square. 

June 14

After being cautioned that a trial for a wrongful conviction and imprisonment lawsuit could cost the City $65 million, the City Council Committee on Finance approved a settlement of $7.2 million with Arthur Brown in its meeting. In 2018, Brown, now seventy-two, filed suit against the City for being wrongfully convicted and serving twenty-nine years in prison. The case involved the 1988 arson of a South Side video rental store in which two people died. Brown contends that the arson was instead carried out by police officers. The officers have since died, and the Cook County Circuit Court has certified Brown’s innocence. Jessica Felker, the City’s deputy corporation counsel, informed the committee that if a settlement were not approved, the case would be decided during a costly trial. The Committee also heard requests for TIF funds for property-related expenditures for the Steep Theatre Company, the Overton Center of Excellence (formerly Overton School), and the Chicago Park District.

June 15

During its meeting, the Chicago Plan Commission rezoned the former site of West Englewood’s Woods School, enabling an INVEST South/West development to move forward. The school was closed alongside numerous other Chicago schools in 2013. Nicknamed “The Regenerator,” the Woods School redevelopment will feature forty-eight units of affordable housing in a sixty-thousand-square-foot facility and a mixed-use resource hub for formerly incarcerated people and their families. Services are to include job training and medical support. The project is supported by several City Council members and community organizations, including the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), Resident Association of Greater Englewood (RAGE), Teamwork Englewood, and E.G. Woode.

The Chicago Police Board made clear during its meeting that deceitful officers should be held accountable based on Rule 14 of CPD’s fifty-five rules of conduct. Rule 14 prohibits police officers from “making a false report, written or oral.” This rule is critical, explained one board member, so that courts can consider the testimony of law enforcement officers with confidence. The Board has come to understand from a study that some officers who have broken the rule are still on the job, despite law enforcement agencies agreeing that lying should not be tolerated. The chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), Andrea Kersten, noted that the office received 309 complaints in May. Interim Police Superintendent Fred Waller reported that 335 new officers which highlight the diversity and strength of CPD have been hired, which he deemed “an uptick.” Four public commenters expressed specific concerns about their districts: the lack of a community relations officer; the removal of officers from their area during the upcoming NASCAR race; a “public threat” in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood that could be mitigated by combining police districts; and that police officers have a difficult job.

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

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