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  1. I totally agree with these business owners. This ordinance is unnecessary and creates bureaucratic nonsense making it even harder than it already is to do business in Evanston. Vote it down.

  2. When the shocking actions of our mayor and council began, I foolishly wrote to my alderman numerous times and even a couple of times to the mayor. When it fell on deaf ears, I stopped and have been quiet ever since.

    Thank you, Evanston Restaurant Owners, for waking me up and reminding me we live in a democracy, and it is my responsibility to speak up. Thank you as well for your beautifully written appeal to the City Council.

    I moved to Evanston from the West Loop when Evanston was thriving, and I remember remarking to the owner of one of my favorite restaurants that Evanston was becoming the West Loop of the North Shore.


    It is hard to believe I said that then when we see what has become of Evanston today.

    Before a small minority of Evanstonians elected this mayor and this city council, Evanston was thriving. Indeed, the Pandemic intervened, yet our mayor and council have avoided actions that support the Evanston economy at every turn. Instead, they have spent taxpayer dollars on initiatives that benefit their pet projects.

    This latest swipe at the Evanston business community is undoubtedly the most egregious.

    Dear Evanston Business Owners, in my heart, I know that our mayor and council are outliers. Please let the residents know what we can do to support you.

    Dear Fellow Evanston Residents and Taxpayers, if you want to live in a thriving community, please remember this and all the destructive acts of our council when it comes time to vote.

  3. Jon, I understand your frustration but Mayor Biss is the co-sponsor of this ordinance. As an investor in a local restaurant, I understand your anger but I don’t think it’s fair to direct it at only one of the sponsors.

  4. I offer a great thank you to the many Evanston restaurants owners who have worked so hard to survive during the pandemic–you have made Evanston a fun, interesting place to live. I moved here years ago not only for the lakefront, but to experience the (at the time) thriving downtown, where there was always something exciting to discover. Today I walk through downtown saddened at the many empty storefronts; the last thing we Evanstonians need are regulations that will further disrupt business. The city council’s recent proposals (bag tax, “fair” workweek, cashless ban) are nonsensical and I also strongly urge them to vote it down.

  5. The city council is determined to increase the cost of doing business in Evanston. If you look carefully, you can see the economic development officers in Skokie, Wilmette, Winnetka, and Glenview smiling.

    Coming out of a pandemic, why are we doing this? We should be reducing burdensome business regulations not increasing them. What members of the city council thought up this mess? Who supports this?

    1. Daniel Biss and Devon Reid are the co-sponsors of this ill conceived ordinance. You should note that candidate Darlene Cannon spoke out against this ridiculous idea.

  6. Thank you, restaurant owners, for hanging in through the pandemic in order to make Evanston a more interesting and enjoyable place to live. Thank you, too, for the jobs you provide. I hope city counsel considers your
    lived experience in making decisions that affect your livelihood.

  7. The damage that one man that sits on council has done to this city is just so so sad… and his lackey’s on council that are scared of being “labeled” and don’t stand up to him are just as bad. Of course he can’t understand why this is the worst of his many terrible ideas… he doesn’t work even when paid as a full time employee as city clerk. He doesn’t understand the toll on small businesses because he lives off the state and views his personal struggles as your and my problems, not his. He can’t pay rent – some social service does it for him. Living expenses? Take a stipend from the state. Hey taxpayer you don’t like it? Move to Wilmette. Don’t want to live in Chicago and moved to Evanston to get away? Too bad, Evanston should be Chicago junior because that’s going so well for them.

    Call me what you will but I am fed up. I put the blame on his constituency that voted him in despite his track record as clerk and said enablers above. He has made living in Evanston a version of Whack-a-Mole… stupid issue brought up by him and you have to organize, push back and knock it down. Then the next one comes up and so on and so on. In his world, it is bad to desire a comfortable life for you and your family derived from a lifetime of hard work. He doesn’t have that and neither should you!

  8. Thank you Evanston Restaurant Association. It’s a sad, sad commentary on the current “leadership” of Evanston that this letter was even necessary. The City Council needs to vote this down now, and the voters need to remember who sponsored this ill-conceived proposal, Mayor Daniel Biss and Ald. Devon Reid (8th).

  9. I know from personal expierence losing a small business is hard. My heart goes out to people who are struggling to run their businesses in this economy. But part of the reason our customers have less disposable income to spend is is because of unfair practices like hiring someone full-time and then underscheduling them.

    If you can’t afford to pay your employees for the full number of hour you agreed that your employee would work every week, then you can’t afford to run a restaurant.

    1. Thank you for this comment, Lacey. The irony of business owners complaining about income fluctuating due to forces outside of their control while their employees have *always* been dependent on their employer’s whims to get enough hours to afford to live.

      It’s been a bit since I waited tables, but I clearly remember anytime I had to call in sick, or was unavailable to cover someone’s shift with zero notice, I was threatened with and frequently punished with a loss of hours. If the folks who signed this are going to argue that they don’t require government oversight, show us some proof that you treat your employees with fairness and dignity without being forced into it.

      Note: saying you “hire our kids” echoes the republican party line about minimum wage jobs not needing to pay enough to live on because they are for teenagers. Is this an intentional reference? Are you saying you don’t need to treat your employees fairly because they’re all high school kids working for pocket money?

  10. I’m also wondering why a security guard who pointed a gun at a patron of the Evanston library is still on the Security staff…admittedly, I don’t know details re the incident, but if it led to his being let go from the Niles police Dept, I’m puzzled as to why he’s still working for the library.

  11. I’m not familiar with the details of this new proposed ordinance, Fair Work Week, but I am impressed by the articulateness of the opposition to it. I especially noted that it appears this ordinance has not come about due to employee complaints or requests, and that where such ordinances exist, they seem to exist only for significantly larger businesses that likely have the resources to meet the requirements of it.
    I especially noticed the reference to a recent consultants’ study of how to support small businesses in Evanston, which this group seems to support…it’s very common for Evanston to spend googobs of cash on such studies, only to ignore recommendations that seem supported by the community they were meant to serve.
    What’s up with Evanston? Come on, folks. We can do better. I’m familiar, as are most residents, with most of the food businesses who signed the letter and I personally support their efforts.