The Committee on Housing and Real Estate will kick off the day with a 9:30 a.m meeting to discuss bridge improvements on South Lake Shore Drive. The only item on the agenda, O2015-7316, is a real estate agreement with the Chicago Parks District to revamp 5 bridges in the 4th Ward. The project includes reconstruction of a bridge for cars at East 31st Street and East Oakwood Blvd., the reconstruction and replacement of pedestrian bridges at East 35th Street and East 43rd Street, owned by the Park District, and construction of a new pedestrian bridge at East 41st Street.

Improvements to the three pedestrian bridges include ramps to accommodate bikes, wheel chairs, and emergency vehicles. The ordinance amends land rights with the Illinois Central Railroad and Metra, which own the railroad tracks the bridges cross over, according to a release from the Mayor’s office. The wheels for this project were set in motion more than 10 years ago, when the Chicago Department of Transportation recommended the City improve pedestrian and car crossing over and under Metra and ICR tracks along Lake Shore Drive. Federal funds will pick up 80% of the $42.5 million tab, with state money funding the rest. More from the Chicago Tribune.

The Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation meets at noon. The only agenda items for the committee are 8 reappointments and 7 new appointments to the Cultural Affairs and Special Events Advisory Council:

  • Jeff Alexander, President/CEO, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, former Vancouver Symphony Society’s President/CEO.

  • Marshall Brown, Architect and Principal, Marshall Brown Projects, an architecture firm selected for this year’s Biennial. Brown’s name has been floated in Obama Library design talks.

  • Graham Elliot, Chef and Owner, Graham Elliot Bistro in the West Loop. Elliot was also a Top Chef contestant and judge on Fox’s MasterChef. Mayor Emanuel designated Sep. 19, 2012 as Graham Elliot Day, when he was admitted to the Chef’s Hall of Fame.

  • Carlos Hernandez, Executive Director, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, formerly a Director of Economic Development for the City of Chicago Treasurer’s Office, Director of the National Museum of Mexican Art’s $7.3 million expansion, and program intern officer with the McCormick Tribune Foundation.

  • Heather Ireland Robinson, Executive Director, Beverly Arts Center. Mayor Emanuel doled out $250,000, part of the surplus from the 2012 NATO Summit, to the arts center in 2013. The center owed Fifth Third Bank $4.7 million at the time, and is still fundraising. Ireland Robinson was formerly E.D. of the South Side Community Art Center in Bronzeville.

  • Amanda Williams, Artist, AW | Gallery, another participant in this year’s Architecture Biennial, who painted buildings in West Englewood Ventra blue alongside Mayor Emanuel as part of this year’s One Summer Chicago.

  • David Woolwine, Director of Reputation, Community Engagement and Public Affairs at Allstate, who leads the company’s efforts on employee volunteerism and strategic philanthropy. He and Mayor Emanuel both spoke at a Kaiser Permanente/Metro Chamber event about how to make Chicago a “go-to city.”

  • Carol L. Adams, Retired CEO, The DuSable Museum (reappointment)

  • Antonia J. Contro, Executive Director, Marwen (reappointment)

  • Nora Daley (Chair), Executive Advisor, Metropolis Strategies (reappointment)

  • Theaster Gates, Jr., Artist and Founder, Rebuild Foundation (reappointment)

  • Marjorie S. Halperin, President, Marj Halperin Consulting (reappointment)

  • Ra O. Joy, Executive Director, Illinois Arts Alliance (reappointment)

  • Michael P. Thornton, Actor, Artistic director and Co-Founder, The Gift Theatre (reappointment)

  • Angel M. Ysaguirre, Executive Director, The Illinois Humanities Council (reappointment)

The Committee on Zoning will meet at 1:00 p.m. to vote on the proposed Lucas Museum. It’s the only item on the agenda, as the committee is expecting a significant amount of public comment on the controversial proposal, and they only have one hour to meet before the next committee takes over the chambers. The Plan Commission approved a 99-year lease of lakefront property for the construction of George Lucas’ $400 million dollar futuristic-looking museum at their monthly meeting held last week.

Once Zoning is done, the Committee on Workforce Development and Audit, chaired by Ald. Pat O’Connor (40), will meet at 2pm to consider a resolution amending employee healthcare benefits. The resolution strikes the word “healthcare” from the municipal code replacing it with “health and welfare coverage”, in addition to changing how health care plans are approved. Instead of giving the Mayor’s office the authority to decide health plans, the resolution amends authorization, requiring a majority vote by the City’s budget director, comptroller, benefits manager, commissioner of Human Resources, and Ald. O’Connor’s committee.

The resolution also allows for the creation of a “working group” to meet “from time to time to consider and resolve questions pertaining to workers’ compensation and return of work.” The working group would consist of seven people, including the Mayor, Finance Committee Chairman, two designees selected by the Finance Chairman and three designees selected by the Mayor.