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

April 11

City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate meeting

At its meeting the City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate recommended that several agenda items be approved. The Committee determined that 2020 changes to an ordinance encouraging developers to build more affordable housing have been so successful that they should be implemented retroactively. One of the changes incentivized developers to build family-sized rental units in addition to one-bedrooms and studios. The other change made income requirements more flexible. The changes are now slated to apply to fifty-nine stalled housing projects. The Committee also recommended approval of a grant of more than $1 million for renovations to Greenstone United Methodist Church in Pullman. The site was recommended for Chicago landmark status nearly a year ago. A negotiated sale for City-owned property in Washington Park was authorized to Center Court Development LLC for construction of duplexes and townhomes. XS Tennis and Education Foundation Village plans to house elite student tennis players in the twenty-three-unit complex while they train at the organization’s athletics facility. The project includes four affordable housing units.

April 17

Local School Council (LSC) Advisory Board meeting

Most of the Local School Council (LSC) Advisory Board meeting was taken up with a presentation by Jadine Shou, the CPS chief of safety and security, titled “Whole School Safety Planning Process” and the following discussion about CPD-supplied school resource officers (SROs). The issue of school safety has been ongoing and at times contentious. In 2020, the CPS Board charged the LSCs with deciding whether to retain SROs. In the first vote in the summer of 2020, fifty-five schools retained the officers and seventeen removed them. Now, forty schools are using SROs. The Board had also directed CPS to identify and implement “alternative systems of safety for CPS students.” Chou explained a number of issues and procedures connected with school safety–for example, student-SRO interactions, training for SROs and school personnel, criteria for lockdowns, and others. Schools voting to eliminate SRO positions have used the overall $3.8 million in savings for other actions, such as hiring climate and culture coordinators, security officers, and restorative justice coordinators and developing other programming. “There are so many things we can do that are not police solutions,” Chou said. CPD has been valuable in working with CPS on safety, she explained. “But there are also things we can do with CPS ourselves.” After completing a public planning and education process, the LSCs whose schools have SROs must take a stay-or-go vote no later than June 2.

City Council Committee on Finance meeting

Members of the City Council Committee on Finance heard extensive public comment at their meeting, mainly in connection with an agenda item “concerning the authority to amend Municipal Code Chapter 11-12 regarding the Utility Billing Relief Program.” Public speakers complained about unusually high, accumulating water bills ($55,000 for an unoccupied building, for example, and $19,000 for a bill that has gone to collections) and the difficulties in resolving them. One speaker described bureaucratic issues as egregious. The Committee took no action in connection with the UBR Program. The Committee did approve a recommendation for a one-hundred year, one-billion-dollar agreement to supply water to the City of Joliet. A presentation by Jennie Huang Bennett, Chicago’s chief financial officer, indicated that the deal would help to position the city for growth in the face of challenging financial issues. The Committee also reviewed, discussed, and passed several TIF allocations for development projects involving millions of dollars in funding.

April 18

City Council Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards meeting

Three proposals passed review by the City Council Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards during its  meeting. The proposals would designate Promontory Point as an official Chicago landmark, allow commercial urban produce growers to more easily sell their produce directly to consumers, and rezoning of the Lu Palmer Mansion in Bronzeville to enable it to be used as a museum by the Obsidian Collection. The group’s website describes it as a “hub of resources for Black journalists, content creators, media outlets and archivists who define the narratives of our community.” Lu Palmer was a Chicago journalist and activist who was a leader in the voter registration drive leading to the election of Harold Washington, Chicago’s first Black mayor, in 1983.

City Council Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight meeting

Taking no action, the City Council Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight reviewed a proposal at its meeting seeking to transfer the power to make certain government reports public from the City of Chicago’s corporation counsel’s office to the Office of the Inspector General, which is considered apolitical. Council member Michael D. Rodriguez (22nd Ward), who co-sponsored the ordinance with Council member Maria Hadden (49th Ward), said the move would support “a more transparent government that citizens can rely on and have faith that our decisions are independent.” Hadden noted that “people want to know what the results of [an investigation] are  . . .  I think it’s better for the public good; it’s better for the public trust.” A process governing redactions would be developed. Also discussed was reinstating the position of a Chief Administrative Officer, which, though required by Municipal Code, has been vacant since 1988, Harold Washington’s successor as mayor, Eugene Sawyer, was in office. The role of Chief Administrative Officer is to coordinate the activities of the city’s departments.

April 19

City Council meeting

Over an hour and forty-five minutes, a number of resolutions recognizing several individuals, groups, and events were heard and approved. Beginning with appreciation for outgoing City Council members and Mayor Lightfoot, they also included recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Chicago Public Library, the DePaul College Prep 2A state champion basketball team, the basketball coaching career of Simeon Academn’s Robert Smith, and April March as Arab American Heritage Month. Among twelve committee reports the Council members heard—which mostly stated the date of the committee’s most recent meeting—was a list of $60 million designated for seven TIF projects approved by the Finance Committee.  

April 25

Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability meeting
This meeting of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA) consisted of the third CPD Superintendent Search Public Forum. Two previous public forums were conducted in person; this one was virtual using Zoom. CCPSA is required to hold at least four such forums to gather information and feedback on its nomination of three candidates for the next CPD superintendent from a pool of applicants. The mayor can select someone from that list for the City Council to approve or ask CCPSA to nominate three new people. This forum saw demands for better accessibility at the meetings, support for nominations from officers currently serving CPD, and support specifically for Commander Roderick Wilson, 3rd District. Three more forums are scheduled for Thursday, May 4, at Roosevelt High School; Wednesday, May 10, at Kennedy High School, and Monday, May 22, at Beverly Arts Center. All forums begin at 6pm.

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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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