Mayor Emanuel introduced a number of new ordinances Wednesday, including asking the Council to establish an advisory committee for Pullman National Park, build new affordable housing in the Washington Park community, and expand the city’s Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF). The Mayor’s office detailed those items and more in a series of press releases issued after the meeting.
Some of his other introduced ordinances not included in the document dump:
[02015-4685] Amends the City’s ethics code as it relates to the definition of “financial interest.” The ordinance cuts several paragraphs relating to city employees that own stock and adds new exceptions to what constitutes financial interest.
[O2015-4652] A ban on perchloroethylene, a hazardous chemical often used at dry cleaners and auto body shops.
[O2015-4657] Amends the municipal code to give the the Aviation Commissioner authority to negotiate and execute airport access agreements with any off-airport parking service provider that picks up or drops off customers at the city’s two airports.
And as is the case at the start of every new term, most of the items Mayor Emanuel introduced involve various appointments and reappointments to city agencies, governing boards, and Special Service Areas. This includes a recommendation to appoint Lisa Morrison Butler as the new Commissioner of the Department of Family and Support Services and Judy Frydland as the new Commissioner of the Department of Buildings.
The Department of Planning and Development also introduced an ordinancerequesting the City Council approve the Landmark Commission’s recent decision to designate Fulton Market as a historical landmark.
Aldermanic Ordinance Introductions: Mandatory Lactation Rooms, Hearings on Uber, Balloon Safety
Aldermen called for hearings on ride share app drivers, domestic violence victims, gas line inspections and the dangers of balloons (yes, balloons apparently cause a lot of damage), among other issues. Ald. Margaret Laurino (39) made most of the hearing requests.
Hearing on Rideshare Apps: [R2015-479] Half of the City Council is backing a resolution Ald. Pat Dowell (3) sponsored requesting the Committee on License and Consumer Protection hold hearings on rideshare apps and how they are impacting the taxi industry.
Hearing on Domestic Violence Abuse: [R2015-480] Ald. Laurino and Ald. Matt O’Shea (19) introduced a resolution requesting the Committee on Public Safety hold hearings on how the City could better serve victims of domestic violence. The resolution points to a training program in Ohio teaching salon workers how to identify these victims, so they can help them report the abuse to the local authorities. The resolution asks that Public Safety Chairman Ariel Reboyras (30) invite advocacy groups, law enforcement experts and trade associations to see if Chicago could do something similar.
Hearing on Gas Inspections: [R2015-476] Ald. Laurino also requests that the Committee on Public Safety hold hearings to shed light on how the City inspects gas lines and addresses complaints of gas odors. She points to a recent incident in New York City where a gas explosion occurred 30 minutes after routine gas inspection.
Hearing on Balloons: [R2015-475] Ald. Laurino also wants the Public Safety committee to conduct hearings to address the environmental hazards of Mylar balloons. The request stems from an April 2015 incident where a stray balloon got caught in power lines and caused an outage at multiple businesses and homes in the area.
Resolution Related to State’s Proposed Medicaid Cuts: [R2015-477] Ald. George Cardenas (12) is calling on the Illinois General Assembly to oppose Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed Medicaid funding cuts to hospitals across the state. Since it is a resolution, it is more of a request than plan of action, and it was referred to Ald. Cardenas’ Health and Environmental Protection committee. According to Cardenas, Chicago area hospitals support over 100,000 direct and indirect jobs.
- Airport Lactation Rooms: [O2015-4679] Ald. Leslie Hairston (5) introduced an ordinance, with Ald. Ed Burke as the co-sponsor, that would require private lactation rooms in all airport terminals. The ordinance calls for Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans to designate a room at every terminal behind airport screening for breastfeeding. Each lactation room would have a lockable door, a chair, a table, an electrical outlet, and a sink. According to the press release Ald. Burke’s office issued before the meeting, the legislation mirrors Cong. Tammy Duckworth’s proposed federal Friendly Airports for Mothers Act, and aldermen plan to invite Duckworth to testify about the proposal. It was referred to Finance Committee.
Antibiotics in Food: [O2015-4678] Ald. Ed Burke introduced an ordinance to increase regulations on antibiotics in food sold in Chicago.