Evanston reported a continuing decline in new COVID-19 cases yesterday, as Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed today that the State will move to the “Bridge Phase” of the Restore Illinois reopening plan tomorrow, May 14. The Bridge Phase is the final step before the full reopening of Phase 5.
The Fifth Ward of Evanston, the historic heart of the Black community in the west-central part of the City dating to the days of redlining, has not had a District 65 neighborhood school since Foster School was converted to a magnet in 1967 as part of the District’s then-novel desegregation plan.
At the inaugural City Council meeting Monday evening, newly seated Alderperson Devon Reid proposed the City of Evanston eliminate fees for beach tokens and institute hazardous pay for employees of Evanston’s larger retail stores during the COVID-19 pandemic. The motion to place these items on the agenda as special orders of business at the May 24th Council meeting passed 5 to 4.
Last night, Daniel Biss was sworn in as Evanston’s 22nd Mayor, along with the 81st Evanston City Council.
Mayor Biss announced plans to appoint a Reimagining Public Safety Committee. In a letter published earlier in the day, he stated that the new committee will conduct a holistic, data-driven analysis of public safety and make community-informed recommendations in time to be incorporated into the 2022 City budget. He also provided the names of the committee’s 17 members.
Tonight’s City Council meetings have prompted an exchange of opinions over which City Council – the outgoing or the incoming – should vote on the weighty agenda up for consideration. A Chicago attorney, asked to offer a legal opinion, says new City Council members and the City Clerk must be sworn in at the meeting, but Evanston’s Corporation Counsel disagrees.
In case you missed any of the most important news last week, here’s a roundup of the top stories from the RoundTable this past week.
Gov. JB Pritzker announced that the State will move to the Bridge Phase on May 14, and barring any significant reversal, to Phase 5 of the State’s Reopening Plan on June 11.
Gov. Pritzker said that the upward trend of new COVID-19 cases and the upward trend of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 that had been taking place in the last 28 days has stabilized. “The number of people going into the hospital each day with COVID-19 has dropped. The total number of patients fighting COVID-19 in the hospital is beginning to level off, and our Statewide ICU Bed Availability is above 20%,” said the Governor.
How does District 65 plan to spend $10.6 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding? Preliminary discussions about where these dollars would have the greatest impact were started at Monday night’s Finance Committee meeting. Superintendent Devon Horton said his vision would not just be about reimbursing costs for expenses such as ventilation systems: “We want to be sure that we can put our students and our teachers in a better position to accelerate the learning when we return in the fall.”
Last night, the District 65 Board swore in four board members and unanimously elected Anya Tanyavutti to serve another one-year term as President and Biz Lindsay-Ryan to serve another one-year term as Vice President. The District 202 Board elected its previous year’s officers to another term: Pat Savage-Williams, President; Monique Parsons, Vice President; Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Pete Bavis, Secretary; and Chief Financial Officer Mary Rodino, Treasurer. The Evanston Township High School student body elected Barbara Tomaradze as the new Student Board representative.
onight the District 65 and District 202 School Boards will swear in new members for four-year terms and elect new officers. In District 65, Anya Tanyavutti is running for School Board President and Biz Lindsay-Ryan is running for Vice President. In District 202, the Board President will give an update on filling the Board vacancy after only three candidates ran for four seats in April’s election. The District 202 Board meetings are streamed live on the ETHS Wildkits YouTube Live Stream channel, and District 65 meetings are available on the District 65 YouTube channel.