Evanston RoundTable
Lifeguards watch over one of Evanston’s six public beaches. (RoundTable photo) Credit: photo submitted

Good Friday morning, Evanston.

As a law firm hired by the city continues to investigate the handling of lakefront sexual harassment allegations by local officials, emails newly obtained by the RoundTable show why female lifeguards grew so frustrated with the city’s response.

In one email, a city official told complaining lifeguards that action on their demands would have to wait because “the priority right now is getting the City’s budget passed for 2021.”

And a key city official wrote to another in the summer of 2020 that it was “doubtful that anyone at the City will agree to apologize and admit that it knew this stuff was going on.”

Mayor Daniel Biss emphasized the need for collective action at a “Stop the Violence” rally Wednesday. (RoundTable photo)

Community members and first responders convened at a virtual Fifth Ward meeting on Tuesday, where the conversation included a status update on the victims in the Nov. 28 shooting.

Council member Bobby Burns, Police and Fire Department representatives and residents also discussed how officers triaged the crime scene that night, and the role family and neighborhoods play in addressing the violence.

In the United States, 25% of newspapers have ceased operation, and 2,000 community newspapers have closed in the past 15 years. The vacuum created when local journalism declines poses a serious threat to democracy. Our democracy relies on a free press to educate the public.

Through year-end, your donation to the RoundTable will be matched through commitments from national and local partners.

We have ambitious goals for the future – but we can’t do it alone. 

Invest in Evanston. Invest in local non-profit journalism.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

People of all ages came to express their love for the 17-year-old Niles North senior who lost his life to gun violence. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Dozens gather for balloon release in memory of shooting victim Carl Dennison III. After a Sunday night shooting killed one teenager and left four others injured, a prayerful balloon release was held at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the Mobil gas station in Evanston where Carl Dennison III lost his life to gun violence.

COVID-19 update as of Dec. 2: 27 new cases in Evanston, 11,524 in the State. Amid concerns about the Omicron variant discovered in South Africa last week, community transmission of COVID-19 continues to rise in Evanston.

ETHS District 202 Board approves superintendent search firm. The District 202 Board held a special meeting Wednesday night and unanimously approved search firm Alma Advisory Group to lead the process of hiring a new superintendent in 2022.

Registration opens for incoming kindergarteners on December 6. Families can register students by visiting www.district65.net/registration and navigating to the “Kindergarten Registration” tab.

Downtown Evanston Holiday Light Celebration set for December 4. Downtown Evanston will kick off the holiday season with the annual Holiday Light Celebration at Fountain Square on Saturday, December 4.

Notice of District 65 public hearing: Full-day school improvement days. The District 65 School Board will hold a public hearing Monday, Dec. 13 for feedback on a proposal that would add two Full-Day School Improvement Days per school year.

Around the web

Fewer people in Cook County are being charged with crimes. Why are Black people making up a larger share of defendants? More than 60% of criminal cases in Cook County between 2000 and 2018 were filed against Black residents, despite the county being about 25% Black.

Illinois is getting $18 billion from the feds for infrastructure. Plans for spending it are trickling out. Under President Biden’s new $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, Illinois will have the funds to build and repair roads, trains and highways across the state.

Illinois’ COVID-19 hospitalization count the highest in 10 months. Nearly 2,500 Illinois residents are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, including almost 500 who are in intensive care.

Like what you’re reading? Share it!

If you appreciate the RoundTable newsletter, please forward it to friends and suggest that they sign up!

Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...