After nearly a year of community meetings, hearings, and private briefings, the City Council approved a police reform package that will dissolve the Independent Police Review Authority, the agency in charge of investigating cases of police misconduct, and replace it with a newer agency with a larger budget and stronger authority. While few were fully satisfied with the legislation, the full City Council approved the ordinance at their monthly meeting Wednesday, along with new public decorum rules for council committee meetings. Those rules seemed aimed squarely at concerned citizen George Blakemore.
Meanwhile, as the city prepared for budget season, the Chicago Teachers’ Union is gearing up to strike, prompting renewed efforts by aldermen and education advocacy groups to pressure the Emanuel administration to surplus extra tax increment financing (TIF) money. But not everyone on the City Council is on board with the plan, as TIF dollars are largely used to support economic development in blighted neighborhoods. And some aldermen who represent those areas of the city say they don’t want to hand over their pot of property tax money for what they call a “one-time” fix for CPS.