Evanston RoundTable
Members of 2021 class of Leadership Evanston.

Good morning, Evanston.

The Evanston Community Foundation held a recognition ceremony last week for the 2021 Leadership Evanston graduates who persevered despite the pandemic. The class came together to recognize the conclusion of this year’s program and, for the first time in over a year, were able to celebrate the accomplishment in person. 

At Monday night’s meeting, the District 65 School Board selected Cordogan Clark & Associates, an architectural, engineering and construction management services firm, to develop a master facilities plan for the District. Raphael Obafemi, the District’s Chief Financial and Operations Officer, said, “The master facilities plan itself is part of the process of reimagining what the District’s facilities look like, and it’s also part of the way to look at the student assignment process.” It will also help manage the projected budget deficit as well as the structural deficit, according to Mr. Obafemi. The plan will cost $165,000.

In an open letter to Mayor Daniel Biss, the Evanston City Council, City Clerk Stephanie Mendoza, and City Manager Erika Storlie, the Community Alliance for Better Government expressed concerns about the decision-making process that lead to the resignation of Police Chief Demitrous Cook. “This is emblematic of long time concerns with the high-handedness and arrogance Evanston City government has displayed in making personnel decisions,” the letter states, continuing, “Chief Cook’s ‘retirement’ follows a pattern of high-ranking Black employees being disciplined and dismissed under questionable circumstances, in many cases leading to lawsuits and unfavorable publicity.”

In other news, the City of Evanston will hold its second American Rescue Plan Act town hall meeting via Zoom this afternoon, from 4 to 6 p.m., to gather public input on Evanston needs and priorities ahead of the City’s receipt of approximately $43 million in federal funds.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable Website

I walked from Evanston to the Bean. On June 10, I walked from my home in Evanston to the Bean in downtown Chicago. As a California native, I miss going on long hikes, and I’ve had trouble accessing Cook County trails without a car. The 13-mile trek to the Bean felt like the perfect all-day excursion to keep my restlessness at bay, so I forced my friend Payton Miner to join me, and at 11:30 a.m., we began our journey. 

Evanston Arts Council Awards Cultural Fund Grants. A total of $30,000 was awarded to 22 organizations. One-third of the grant winners were new applicants and 86% were Black, Indigenous, and People of Color organizations or for projects primarily serving BIPOC or underserved populations.

Evanston Fight for Black Lives Hosts Book Drive for Incarcerated People.
Evanston Fight for Black Lives will host a book drive for incarcerated people from noon to 2 p.m. on June 20 at the corner of Lake Street and Elmwood Avenue. Books requested include high school and middle school level educational fiction and non-fiction, financial literacy books, and books in Spanish and Polish. 

COVID-19 Update on June 16: No New Cases in Evanston in the Last Six Days, 352 in the State Today. The chart above shows that the weekly number of new cases per 100,000 in Evanston, suburban Cook County, Chicago, and the State are each below 20. There has been a total of 4,650 COVID-19 cases among Evanston residents during the pandemic, seven of which are active. No Evanstonian has died from COVID-19 since May 31. The number of deaths in Evanston due to COVID-19 is 118.

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