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
  60. Public Meetings Report — April 11, 2024
  61. Public Meetings Report — May 9, 2024

August 28

A City of Chicago loan for as much as $13.8 million could help to fund a full rehabilitation of the proposed 240-unit Island Terrace Apartments down the block from The Obama Presidential Center. At its meeting, the Chicago City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate recommended that the Council approve funding that would also draw from federal low-income housing tax credits and COVID relief funds. Coordinating the relocation of residents during the renovation will be Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), a national nonprofit developer that recently bought the building and plans to collaborate with the City’s Department of Housing. In 2020, the City Council committed $4.5 million through the Woodlawn Preservation Ordinance to pilot strategies designed to prevent displacement and to support homeownership. The existing preservation ordinance doesn’t go far enough, contend residents backing a community benefits agreement. Such an agreement could legally bind the Obama Presidential Center and the City to more sweeping and specific commitments.

August 29

During a hearing with the City’s departments of finance and water management, the City Council Committee on Finance explored making water bills more accurate and less burdensome for taxpayers. Some Chicagoans have reported water bills running to tens of thousands of dollars. The meeting reviewed individual anecdotes, media coverage, and research, as well as emphasizing the importance of identifying unknown leaks, unauthorized usage, and inaccurate meter-reading systems as the source of higher costs.

August 31

At its meeting, the C​​ommunity Commission for Public Safety and Accountability adopted changes to how it selects members for the Chicago Police Board, such as streamlining background check requirements and explicit guidance around what constitutes a conflict of interest. Created in July 2021, the commission is to serve as a model for police oversight, accountability, and alternative approaches to public safety. Also on the agenda was discussion about a recent arbitrator’s ruling that a police officer facing firing or suspension for misconduct could choose arbitration instead of the Police Board to decide their case. Implementing this change would require adjusting the City’s contract with the police union and approval by the City Council. One public commenter favored the change, saying that “police officers are human beings and mistakes happen” and that arbitration would improve the fairness of the decision-making process. A commenter opposed to the change argued that arbitration would, in effect, change some laws and would be an “attack on democracy.” Before a presentation by Deputy Inspector General of Public Safety Tobara Richardson, Commission President Anthony Driver, Jr., declared his strong opposition: “Driving this process of police misconduct of the most serious cases behind closed doors in a city that has struggled as mightily as Chicago has is the absolute wrong way to go.”

September 6

At its meeting the City Council Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy recommended retaining Angela Tovar as chief sustainability officer. Appointed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in June 2020, Tovar inherited several challenges, including the controversial Hilco demolition in Little Village and the proposed move of metal scrapper General Iron to the Southeast Side. Tovar told the Committee she would prioritize collaboration with the City and Chicago’s most environmentally impacted communities to create policies that were more just. Mayor Rahm Emanuel had dissolved the City’s Department of Environment in 2012; Lori Lightfoot created the sustainability officer position but stopped short of keeping a campaign promise to revive the department itself. Tovar told the Committee that she supported Mayor Brandon Johnson’s environmental goals.

Accommodating migrant children in schools was a key topic for a meeting of the City Council Committee on Education and Child Development. CPS officials reported that during July and August the district helped some 1,500 students living in migrant shelters and police stations. CPS has a specific classification of students considered “newcomers,” which includes Students in Temporary Living Situations (STLS) and English Learners (ELs). CPS is notified by shelters or police stations when students arrive and CPS then matches them with a nearby school. CPS also takes into account EL support and whether siblings can enroll at the same school. Migrant families were turned away from a school in her ward because there were not enough resources, noted Committee Chair Jeanette Taylor (20th Ward); she asked about the nature of resources. A formula was presented that determines the number of part-time and full-time support staff based on the number of ELs in the school. Schools with more than 600 ELs, for example, will receive two full-time support positions.

September 8

This month, Illinois is to become the first state to implement a system that does not require cash bail as a condition for releasing individuals awaiting trial who are not a flight or safety risk. At its meeting, the Cook County Justice Advisory Council (JAC) heard details of The Pretrial Fairness Act, also known as the SAFE-T Act. Specifically, the act “increases the range of charges for which police may release people… with a citation and notice to appear [in court].” Originally scheduled to go into effect January 1 of this year, the act could not be implemented when a judge ruled that it violated the state’s Constitution. In July, however, the Illinois Supreme Court in effect reversed that ruling, and September 18 became the new launch date. Individuals currently jailed under a cash bail order will get a release hearing. The JAC’s mission is “to promote equitable, human-centered, community-driven justice system and practice.”

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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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