Evanston RoundTable

Clare Kelly, pictured above right, edges out incumbent Judy Fiske by 26 votes.

Good morning, Evanston.

We have a winner! Cook County Clerk certifies Clare Kelly as winner of the First Ward aldermanic seat. Ms. Kelly, a longtime activist, received 587 votes, 26 more than Ald. Fiske, who was first elected to the Ward seat in 2009.

The District 65 Student Assignment Project (SAP), which may result in redrawing attendance areas and establishing a new school in the Fifth Ward, is underway with the selection of members of the Student Assignment Advisory Committee.

The 36 members include 11 community leaders and partners, nine parents, seven District 65 administrators, seven District 65 union members and two District 65 School Board members. Parents were the most eager applicants. Some 140 parents and PTA members applied to serve on the committee, representing 92% of all 154 applicants submitted to the District. After it was determined that no Latinx parents with school-age students were included in the initial selection of the committee members, Dr. Horton said that five additional members will be appointed from the Latinx community in May.

When is it ok to use a leaf blower
Part of City flyer of current leaf-blowing rules

Changes to the City’s leaf blower ordinance – including reducing the days and times leaf-blowers can be used and holding property owners responsible for violations – moved a step closer to passage at the April 26 City Council meeting. Aldermen approved for introduction the staff-recommended changes to the City’s ordinance. Council members are expected to take a final vote on the issue at their May 10 meeting.

The next Evanston City Council may not only see a change in who’s filling the seats, but also in the title by which aldermen – er, alderpersons – are addressed. City Council members introduced a proposal at the April 26 meeting that would amend City Code to allow gender-neutral terms, such as “Alderperson,” “City Council Member,” or “Council Member” to be used as the titles of elected officials.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable Website

City to Move Forward With a Study that Will Evaluate the Potential Relocation of the Civic Center. City Council members approved a resolution at their April 26 meeting that will begin the process of evaluating the costs and feasibility of relocating the Civic Center and consolidating several City functions.

Four Community Members Appointed to Serve on Evanston’s Reparations Committee, joining the 2nd, 5th and 8th Ward Aldermen. Residents appointed to serve on the committee include Bonnie Lockhart, lifelong resident and current board member of Dementia Friendly Evanston; Claire McFarland Barber, founder and executive director of Elder Law & Wellness Initiative; Robin Rue Simmons, National African American Reparations Commission board member and outgoing 5th Ward Council member; and Carlis Sutton, a 50-year resident of Evanston and retired District 65 and District 202 teacher.

COVID-19 Update on April 26: ­­­­Twelve New Cases in Evanston, 2,556 in the State. Governor JB Pritzker signed the Health Care and Human Services Reform Act into law today. “This legislation advances a key belief of mine that I know is shared by everyone standing with me, and millions of residents across Illinois: healthcare is a right, not a privilege,” said Gov. Pritzker.

Wildkit Girls Sink No. 1 Ranked Water Polo Team. Evanston’s girls scored the upset of the high school water polo season Saturday, dumping defending State champion Stevenson by a 9-2 score in a quad meet at Naperville. It marked the first defeat for the top-ranked Patriots since the 2018 season.

COVID-19 by the numbers: We are checking in with many sources to keep you updated on COVID-19 cases and vaccine information.

  • Twelve new cases were reported yesterday in Evanston; the seven-day average is 12.
  • There were no fatalities reported yesterday. Evanston has lost 116 residents to the pandemic.
  • Our City’s positive test rate for the past seven days is 1.3% and in Illinois it is 3.5%. 
  • The number of cases per 100,000 population over the past seven days is 112 in Evanston and 149 in Illinois.
  • Illinois received 987,500 doses and used 740,200 doses of the vaccine in the past seven days and has about 916,500 doses, about one week of supply, in inventory. Illinois has used 80% of the 11.1 million doses received to date.
  • Some 3.8 million or 30.1% of total Illinois residents are fully vaccinated, including 419,000 in the past seven days.

Variants: The Illinois Department of Public Health now reports 2,622 cases of more infectious COVID-19 variants including 1,768 cases of variant B.1.1.7 (U.K.), 536 cases of P.1 (Brazil) and 275 cases of B.1.427/429 (California). 

Evanston Vax Facts: According to City figures, 76% of Evanston residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 48% of residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated. Nearly 100% of residents 65 and older have received at least one dose and 89% are fully vaccinated. More details are available on the City’s Vaccine Dashboard.

When will the majority of Illinois residents be vaccinated? If current vaccination rates persist, half of all Illinois residents will be fully vaccinated by early June and 70%, the threshold at which some experts believe herd immunity is achieved for COVID-19, by mid-July.

Vaccination has opened up in Illinois: Everyone 16 and older is eligible for vaccination in the State of Illinois. Given the limited supply of vaccines the City of Evanston is receiving, you may be able to schedule an appointment earlier at vaccination sites in suburban Cook County, the State of Illinois or Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sites. 

The FEMA drive-through site in Gary, Indiana has appointments available. The site is located at Roosevelt Park, about a 70-minute drive from Evanston. 

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