The first two of the 12 goals adopted last month by City Council – enhancing community safety and developing a federal/state/regional government affairs agenda – were discussed, refined and solidified at the Oct. 12 Council meeting. Safety, as the discussion on Sept. 21 suggested, is greater than the protections afforded by the police and fire departments; it encompasses the well-being of neighborhoods and the community as a whole. 

Safety

Goals 11, 12 and 13 of the City’s 2008 strategic plan deal with safety: Define Evanston neighborhoods and ensure that they are safe, clean and attractive (Goal 11). Provide opportunities for and engage Evanston youth and young adults to become active and productive citizens of the Evanston community (Goal 12). Strive to ensure that all Evanston residents have access to heath-care as well as basic food, housing and shelter.

During the Oct. 12 discussion on safety, City Council enumerated the issues they wished the City to address: youth, bicycle and pedestrian safety, crosswalks, community policing, criminal “hot spots’ and gun control.

Federal/State/Regional Government Affairs Agenda

Placing Evanston issues in the context of state, regional and federal issues, legislation and programs could help the City maintain its autonomy, said City Manger Walter Bobkiewicz in an Oct. 5 memo. It would also help alert the Council about pending federal and state legislation dealing with transportation, economic development, public safety, homeland security and the environment.

While the City has membership in the Northwest Municipal Conference, the National League of Cities and the U.S. Mayors Council, Mr. Bobkiewicz said City staff will now monitor the agendas of those agencies more closely for issues that affect Evanston.

According to his Oct. 5 proposal, “The City of Evanston … will take positions on proposed legislation, rules and/or regulations that affect local control and [that] support the goals and principles of the City.”

Council members authorized Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl to lobby for anything that “has to do with getting money” for the City, as Ald. Rainey put it.

Mayor Tisdahl and Mr. Bobkiewicz were scheduled to travel to both Washington, D.C., and Springfield to meet with the Obama and Quinn administrations.

For more in depth coverage of these issues see the upcoming paper edition of the RoundTable.