Evanston RoundTable

Happy Friday, Evanston.

It’s the last official day of summer vacation for many high schoolers, with ETHS set to open bright and early Monday morning. Our photographer Richard Cahan caught up with ETHS junior Chris Brown (above), who was hanging out at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Center. Brown said he and his friends like to “race everywhere, from Lincolnwood to Old Orchard.” After meeting on the basketball court, Brown and his buddies planned on biking to the beach.

Now, here are our top stories this morning.

City budget revenues were looking “pretty stable, pretty strong” at the mid-year mark, including in some areas previously down due to COVID, the city’s top financial officer told City Council members at their Aug. 8 meeting. Council members are not slated to begin discussing the 2023 budget for several weeks, but talk of a property tax hike or staff and program cuts – standard items of discussion in past budgets and especially during COVID – did not make it into the normally cautious official’s presentation.

Northwestern University announced Thursday that Michael Schill (above), the current president of the University of Oregon, will take office as Northwestern’s 17th president this fall. Before becoming Oregon’s president in 2015, Schill previously served as dean at the law schools of the University of Chicago and UCLA, and as a chaired professor at NYU and the University of Pennsylvania. His selection comes exactly one month after the previous president-elect, University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, announced she was stepping down after being diagnosed with “an aggressive form of cancer.”

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

District 65 101: Everything you need to know before the first day of school. Local middle and elementary schools start again on Wednesday, Aug. 24, but first, families have to sift through paperwork, including student fees, meal applications, health forms and more. Here’s a full guide from the RoundTable with resources and dates to keep in mind to ensure you start the year on the right foot. 

Should Evanston still limit the number of unrelated co-habitants? Currently, Evanston has an ordinance in place forbidding more than three unrelated people to rent and live together. But the city may change its definition of a family unit or alter the cap on the number of unrelated individuals who can rent an apartment or house together, Council Member Clare Kelly (1st Ward) said during a Thursday meeting of the Planning and Development Housing subcommittee.

COVID-19 update as of Aug. 11: Evanston moves to “low” community risk level, Cook County stays at ‘high’ level. The total number of new cases of COVID-19 in Evanston was 119 for the week ending Aug. 10, compared to 163 for the week ending Aug. 4, a decrease of 27%. The seven-day average of new cases in the state decreased by 4.7%; hospitalizations, though, increased by 6.3%.   

City partners with Northwestern to launch guaranteed income pilot program. The program will provide 150 households in Evanston with direct monthly financial assistance for one year. Once a month for a year, participants will each receive $500 loaded onto a prepaid debit card to spend as they see fit. The program is funded largely by Northwestern University and the City of Evanston, including $700,000 in federal Rescue Plan funds.

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Around the web

Illinois workers would see boost in wages if a proposed constitutional amendment passes, study finds. The Illinois Right to Collective Bargaining Amendment, also known as the Workers’ Rights Amendment, will be on the ballot for voters in the November 2022 election and, if passed, would guarantee all workers in the state the right to collectively bargain for agreements with management on wages, working conditions, hours and more. A new study found that more unions and collective bargaining agreements would raise wages and boost the local economy.

Get To Know The People Behind Chicago’s Honorary Street Signs: ‘There Are All Kinds Of Ways To Do Good’. Back in 1984, Chicago started a program to honor Chicagoans and their contributions to the city with the now iconic brown street signs in their name. Curious about the process for getting that recognition, Linda Zabors created Honorary Chicago, a book and website that chronicles the stories and backgrounds of the people who receive the honorary signs.

Do-good bake sales lure an eclectic mix of adventurous home cooks. The latest bake sale in a series of sales to raise money for people either currently or formerly incarcerated in Illinois prisons is set to take place in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood this Saturday. This time, so many people signed up as bakers for the event that the organizers had to turn volunteers away.

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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...