Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) and a handful of other aldermen want plastic carryout bags banned in Chicago.
Tuesday, members of the city council’s Committee on Health and
Environmental Protection heard more than two hours of testimony on a plastic bag reduction ordinance, which Moreno first introduced in November 2011.
“Plastic bags of today are the Styrofoam containers of yesterday, and we moved past that,” Moreno said at the hearing. Read more »
Ald. George Cardenas (12th) said Thursday that the health
committee he chairs will hold a hearing to review cuts in the city’s
2012 mental health care budget – including the outlined closing of six
of the city’s twelve mental health clinics.
The Southside Together Organizing for Power coalition used the final
City Council meeting of the year Wednesday to pillory Rahm Emanuel and
the City Council for closing down six of the city’s twelve mental health
clinics. The City Council passed the 2012 budget 50-0 last month, a budget that will shutter the clinics as well as privatize seven health centers and lay off 155 city health workers.
STOP protesters sang, “Holiday carols
to save our clinics” outside of City Council chambers. For example, to
the tune of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, two-dozen or so protesters
belted out, “Mayor Emanuel’s budget/Wants to make our clinics close/All
of the City Council/Shrugs and says, ‘That’s how it goes.’” Read more »
Several community organizations, social service groups, volunteers, law firms, private and religious groups have teamed up with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to launch a "deportation family support hotline."
Wednesday’s City Council meeting was jam packed with policy and
ordinance proposals. See Progress Illinois’ cheat sheet for an update:
Ranges - Mayor Rahm Emanuel got an ordinance through the full
committee that allows gun ranges in the city. Practicing at a range --
which previously meant a trip to the suburbs -- is part of the process
in obtaining a permit. The ordinance will allow indoor ranges to set up shop in
areas zoned for manufacturing and would require city and Chicago Police
approval. Passing the ordinance lets the city get a hold on two related
federal lawsuits that are pending. Read more »
Here are few reactions from City Hall and beyond to outgoing Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's final budget proposal, wrapped up from around the web:
"It’s kind of like a homeowner that has to sell their dining room set in
order to pay next month’s rent. It doesn’t sound like a good idea. But
if they don’t get next month’s rent, they don’t have a roof." -- Ald. Ed Burke (14th Ward)
“If you put a band-aid on a bullet wound, you’re going to bleed through it." -- Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th Ward)
"We can no longer deny that we are living beyond our means. We must go
beyond the temporary fixes to confront our structural deficit in a
permanent way." -- Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel
"By spending money generated on the expectation of
future generations’ revenue, the Mayor’s plans could be nothing more than a bad
payday loan that our children will have to pay back." -- Illinois Public Interest Research Group field director Celeste Meiffren
And Wednesday on WTTW's Chicago Tonight, four aldermen -- two sympathetic to the mayor, two who are much more critical -- weighed in. Watch (the full clip is available here):
Hearings about the 2011 budget start next week in City Hall. For ideas about how the city's budgeting process could be improved, be sure to check out story from earlier this week.