Public Meetings Report. Illustration by Holley Appold/South Side Weekly
Public Meetings Report. Illustration by Holley Appold/South Side Weekly

September 27

Larry Snelling, a thirty-one-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, was unanimously confirmed as the department’s superintendent at a special meeting of the City Council. Snelling became the first superintendent to be vetted by the newly created Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, as the Weekly reported. Among the public comments were a plea for more support for asylum seekers and a request by a former police academy cadet for Mayor Brandon Johnson to review his expulsion. Virtual attendance was announced as 277. Several council members spoke in favor of Snelling, while others raised concerns about police accountability and trust in the department. 

September 28

A meeting of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Board of Education was supposed to focus on a new five-year strategic plan due to be launched in summer 2024. But public commenters hammered away at what they see as continuing issues CPS hasn’t addressed effectively. The strategic plan proposes allocating as much as $14.4 billion to repairing and modernizing facilities across the system’s more than 500 school buildings. Some $3.1 billion of that work was characterized as “critical.” CPS has a $628 million budget gap projected for 2025. Special needs teachers are being hired to work with immigrant children, most of whom don’t speak English. Others must deal with challenges more severe than not attending classes or doing homework. Officials said that the Black Student Success Plan will address many challenges students in majority Black communities face. Public commenters also challenged the board about poor oversight of some school executives and conditions, especially in connection with the Marine Leadership Academy. CEO Pedro Martinez said the ongoing transportation crisis will not be resolved until the second quarter of the school year due to a lack of bus drivers.

At its regular monthly meeting, the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA) moved forward with an amendment to Chicago Police Department General Order G08-03. Last updated in 1997, the order bans Chicago police from active memberships in “criminal or biased” organizations, primarily targeting street gangs. After CPD came under fire for retaining officers with ties to extremist groups (the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, for example), the CCPSA has asked CPD to update and publicize its list of prohibited organizations. The amendment would extend the prohibitions to involvement with hate and terrorism groups, including interaction on social media. The CCPSA was gathering community feedback in preparation for a vote.

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

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