Represent Your Community

While most of us are focused on the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election, local municipal elections are just around the corner in 2021. If you’re interested in serving our community through elected office, view the Cook County Clerk’s 2021 Info for Candidates page and the City Clerk’s Filing for the 2021 Municipal Election presentation for filing dates, qualifications, and requirements. Signed petitions are due no later than November 23.

If you’d rather advise our elected officials than be one, vacancies exist on a number of City boards, commissions and committees, including the Plan Commission, Preservation Commission, Housing & Homelessness Commission, and more. Explore City boards, commissions and committees and apply to serve here.

Finally, Evanston is home to many wonderful organizations serving our community’s needs. You can search local opportunities on the City’s VolunteerEvanston portal.

Strive to Improve

It’s not every day a former President tweets about our City, but that’s what happened this month when President Barack Obama took to Twitter to highlight communities around the country that are working to review and reform their Police Use of Force policies.

In June, I was proud to join more than 300 mayors from across the country in signing the Obama Foundation’s “Reimagining Policing Pledge,” which called for cities to review and reform police use of force policies, redefine public safety, and combat systemic racism within law enforcement. As part of that effort, the City partnered with the Northwestern Neighborhood & Network Initiative (N3) to review the Evanston Police Department’s current Use of Force Policy and offer recommendations to strengthen the policy and achieve greater equity, transparency and accountability. There remains work to be done, but I’m confident we are on the right path.

You can read N3’s report and recommendations, find answers to frequently asked questions, and much more on the City’s Police FAQ page.

Look Out for One Another

As much as we’d like it to disappear, COVID-19 is not going away. Today, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) implemented resurgence mitigations in suburban Cook County (Region 10), including Evanston. The measures include temporarily suspending indoor service at bars and restaurants and limiting gatherings to 25 people or fewer. (View the City’s press release for details.)

Even in Evanston, where we’ve collectively managed to keep cases low relative to our neighbors, we are now seeing cases rise. (Find the latest Evanston-specific COVID-19 data on the City’s interactive dashboard (view on mobile)).

As colder weather sets in, we’ll be spending more time indoors, providing the virus with more opportunities to spread. It’s essential that we continue to exercise good judgment and follow public health directives, including watching your distance, washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, and wearing a face covering in public settings when social distancing is not practical. 

We are all still in this together. Your actions can save lives and help our community recover faster. Thank you for your continued efforts.

Stephen H. Hagerty, Mayor, City of Evanston