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City News

Montage by Julie Cowan

Landmark Reparations Vote Echoes Around the World. The vote by Evanton’s City Council to approve the release of funds for a housing grant-based reparations program for Black residents reverberated far beyond our City borders. The decision, the first of its kind by a municipality in the U.S., was covered far and wide by news organizations across the country and around the world.

Landmark Reparations Proposal Approved By City Council. Evanston City Council members approved a landmark reparations resolution on March 22, setting in motion housing assistance for eligible Black residents to redress some of the injustices they suffered over a half century of discriminatory practices.

Daniel Biss

Déjà Vu On the Ballot – It Doesn’t Count. Mayor-Elect Daniel Biss said he was “very surprised” to learn that he is listed as a candidate for mayor on the ballot in the April 6 general election. Voters casting mail-in ballots and early voters have seen that there is the opportunity to vote for Mr. Biss or a write-in candidate for mayor. These votes will not be counted, said James Nally, who serves as legal counsel to the Cook County Board of Elections. “This action does not affect the election of Mr. Biss in February. … He remains the Mayor-Elect of Evanston and will be sworn in in May,” he said.  

Group Places Possible Change in City’s Government at Center of Election Debate. Since the City adopted the Council-Manager form of government in 1952, it has been an accepted piece of how Evanston operates. But picking up on comments made by candidates during the campaign, Evanston Together LLC, a new political group, is framing its support around candidates who back the current system.

Group Goes on Attack in Local Campaign. First Ward aldermanic candidate Clare Kelly said a mailing last week from a new Evanston political organization, charging her with uncivil behavior, is resorting to “an age-old sexist trope” about women in response to the challenge she is posing to incumbent Judy Fiske. The group, Evanston Together LLC, highlighted several past instances of alleged uncivil behavior by Ms. Kelly in a mailing last week.

$45 Million in Federal Funds Could be Heading Evanston’s Way. Evanston stands to receive a major financial boost as a result of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 federal stimulus package recently signed into law. City Manager Erika Storlie, giving a brief update at the start of the March 22 City Council meeting, estimated the City will be receiving $45 million.

The Traffic Guy with a mask

The Traffic Guy Hears . . . that street-sweeping has resumed full bore. Parkers should read and heed the signs. It may be better to exercise, even if it means walking most of a block to read the sign, than to get exercised about writing a check to pay a ticket. If street-sweeping has begun, can construction season be far behind?

Truck Crashed Into CNE Yard, Smashed Evanston’s First Community Fridge, But Dashed Determination Not One Bit. Partnering with Evanston Fight for Black Lives, Childcare Network of Evanston, 1335 Dodge Ave., was set to be the first organization in Evanston to host a community refrigerator, with a ceremonial “plug-in” this week.

E3R’s Reparation Seminar Provides Insight Into Common Ground and Divergence Around Evanston Reparations Program. City Council adopted Resolution 37-R-27 authorizing the implementation of the Evanston Local Reparations Restorative Housing Program and the initial program budget of $400,000. The historic 8-1 vote took place four days after former mayoral candidate Sebastian Nalls led a live-streamed event, “E3R’s Reparation Seminar.” Nine aldermanic candidates and incumbent Tom Suffredin responded to questions that focused mainly on whether the Restorative Housing Program is an appropriate first step toward repairing damages to Evanston’s Black community.

COVID-19 Update on March 26: ­­­­10 New Cases in Evanston, 3,002 in the State. Since March 8, Illinois has seen 10 days of increases in the seven-day rolling average for hospital admissions.

Schools

How Much of School District 65’s Business Is Being Conducted by School Board Members in Private Meetings with Administrators? Two of the most important issues facing School District 65 in the past year are reopening the schools for in-person learning and addressing the District’s projected deficits. Several members of the District 65 School Board have discussed these matters in private with District 65’s top administrators. A Resolution adopted by the Board on Aug. 10, 2020, even required the Superintendent to consult with the Board’s President when making significant changes to the District’s reopening schools plan.

District 65 School Board Approves $1.9 Million in Cuts for FY’22. On March 22, the District 65 School Board unanimously approved a list of proposed cuts in expenses for the 2021-2022 school year (FY’22) totaling about $1.9 million. These proposed cuts were discussed at the March 8 Board meeting.

District 65 School Board Adopts ‘Land Acknowledgment and Acknowledgement of the Contributions of the Enslaved.’ On March 8, the District 65 School Board discussed a proposed “Resolution on Native Lands and the Contributions of Enslaved Peoples,” together with a draft land acknowledgment. At that same meeting, a six-member panel discussed the importance of a land acknowledgement and its purpose.

Dr. Horton: All Students Will Be Able to Return to In-Person Learning in the Fall. Superintendent Devon Horton said that School District 65 would be able to provide additional seats for in-person learning after spring break.

Arts & Life

Evanston Dimensions | Ask the Historians. When and why did small convenience stores disappear from Evanston?

My Children are Angry. Dear Gabby,  My sister will not get a COVID vaccine, despite the fact that she is eligible because she (ironically!) works in health care. She has been struggling with infertility and is concerned that getting a vaccine could somehow jeopardize her chances of conceiving or even harm her future not-yet-conceived child. How should I handle this?

A Conversation with Riva Lehrer, Author of ‘Golem Girl’. Riva Lehrer, portrait artist, educator, curator, and author of the critically acclaimed memoir, “Golem Girl,” spoke to the Levy Lecture crowd on March 2 about her life, her book, and her art.

Making Art for artruckISH: A New Rx for COVID. Artist Julie Cowan is not waiting for an all-clear signal from COVID to reinvigorate the arts community she began drawing together when she launched artruck, an art exhibit and festival, in 2011. She is inspiring artists now with a virus-inflected exercise she is calling artruckISH.

Charlie Hosch, “Chuckaluck” (Photo provided.)

Bass Legend Charlie Hosch Returns to Evanston, This Time With Activism at the Forefront. Charlie Hosch Jr., better known as the Windy City bass legend “Chuckaluck,” grew up on the west side of Chicago. He attended Grant Grammar School and remembers seeing the Black Panthers practice their drills in his schoolyard on Western Avenue and Monroe Street where Fred Hampton lived. Between living on the road, Chicago and Los Angeles, Mr. Hosch moved to Evanston in 2005. He left later for Las Vegas, but recently returned to Evanston and is ready to take what he has learned over the course of his musical career and share it with Evanston youth.

Sports

Late Field Goal Lifts Hawks Over Inspired Wildkits Football Team. Maine South’s dominance in the Central Suburban League South division over the past 20 years in football isn’t solely because the Hawks have the best football players year in and year out. Those players all seemed to have the knack for making opponents pay — not just for some mistakes — but for seemingly EVERY mistake committed by a foe. Opportunity knocked for the opportunistic Hawks again Friday night at Lazier Field and Maine South escaped with a heart-wrenching 10-7 victory over Evanston.


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