Today is the first City Council meeting of 2017. It will also be the first meeting with Anna Valencia as the new City Clerk. Aldermen are expected to suspend the rules at the beginning of the meeting to allow Ald. Michelle Harris (8), chair of the Council’s Rules Committee, to report out Valencia’s appointment and request an affirmative vote by the full City Council. Once approved, Valencia will be officially sworn into office and will stand at the front podium the rest of the meeting.  

The Rules Committee met earlier this month to approve Valencia’s appointment. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s former Director of Legislative Affairs is replacing new Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza. At that meeting, Valencia detailed plans to hold a “listening tour” across the city, with the help of aldermen, to get a better sense of how she can improve the City Clerk’s office and roll out a new Municipal ID program.

Today is also the first meeting of the Council since the Department of Justice released its findings from its yearlong investigation into the Chicago Police Department. But it’s unclear if the mayor will use this opportunity to address the report to the Council. The mayor’s office did not respond to a request for comment by publication.  

Likely Introductions:

  • Ald. George Cardenas (12) is expected to introduce a resolution calling on the Emanuel administration to address the city’s surging violence and declare a “public health crisis.” The resolution will call for a joint hearing by the Council’s Public Safety and Health Committees to discuss a plan of action and requests that the city’s Public Health Department develop and fund a prevention plan.
  • Several Council sources have said that an SEIU-backed ordinance is expected to be introduced, requiring higher wages for some 8,000 cabin cleaners, janitors, security officers, wheelchair attendants and other passenger service workers at O’Hare Airport be included in a new lease agreement the city is currently negotiating with United Airlines. Last November, several aldermen joined airport workers when they went on strike demanding a pay increase of $15/hour.
  • Ald. Tom Tunney (44), The Daily Line has learned, has an initiative he plans to introduce today to address youth unemployment. His Chief of Staff, Bennett Lawson, confirmed the ordinance “does pertain to the employment of those 18-20,” but said additional details won’t be made public until the meeting.
  • The Department of Planning and Development is expected to formally introduce a recommendation that the Essex Inn (800 S. Michigan Avenue) be designated as a city landmark. That item will be referred to the Zoning Committee for consideration.

Highlights of items up for a vote today

  • $5 million in legal settlements. The largest payout, $4 million, is related to a false confession and torture allegations lodged against an officer serving under CPD Commander Jon Burge
  • Waiver of building and facility-related permit and license fees for the Public Building Commission
  • Dozens of zoning changes, most are in Fulton Market (highlights are detailed here)
  • A $1 million North Lawndale land sale (about 21 acres) to Clarius Partners, a development firm known for its large-scale suburban office complexes. The site was once an illegal dumping ground part of the federal Silver Shovel investigation.
  • A $4 land sale ($1 per parcel) of city-owned parcels in Woodlawn to Greenline Development, Inc. for the construction of eight eco-friendly single family homes
  • A $450,000 land sale in Pilsen that would support the construction of a new 75,000-square-foot wholesale food warehouse
  • A $12,500 land sale in Pullman to North Carolina-based telecommunications infrastructure company, Eco Site
  • A $1 lease agreement with the Salvation Army for homeless services. The agency is renting space at the Garfield Center, a Department of Family and Support Services-run community center.
  • An amended resolution affirming the city’s support to “honor and protect rights of all residents regardless of race, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, age, immigration status, criminal record, sexual orientation and gender identity.”
  • An ordinance from Ald. Jason Ervin (28) that would lift the ban on food trucks within the Illinois Medical District
  • An ordinance from Ald. John Arena (45) to ban future tavern licenses at the Six Corners shopping district in Portage Park.
  • Appointment of John P. O’Malley, a Director of Corporate Security for private investment banking firm William Blair and Company, to the Chicago Police Board (Meeting Details)
  • Reappointment of Daniel Casey, the deputy director for the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, to the Chicago Emergency Telephone System Board
  • Appointment of Dominique Jordan Turner, the President & CEO of Chicago Scholars, to the Chicago Library Board
  • Reallocation of the city’s bond volume cap to finance a Chicago Housing Authority development in North Lawndale
  • A technical amendment to a refinancing agreement for the Michael Reese Hospital Site (projected to save the city $4.2 million)
  • Intent to issue up to $6.5 million in multi-family housing revenue bonds for the Mayfair Commons Apartments Project, a 97-unit low-income housing project
  • Intent to issue up to $12 million in multi-family housing revenue bonds for the 5525 W. Diversey Manor Apartments Project, a 98-unit building in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood.
  • Waiver of a demolition permit fee for the Jobs for the Future Training Center at 3837 S. Wabash in Bronzeville
  • Selection of Deloitte & Touche, LLP “and a consortium of minority and women-owned accounting firms” to perform the city’s FY2016 audit.
  • Technical amendment to the city’s MBE/WBE contract goals and apprentice program clarifies that the minority requirements will be considered fulfilled when a primary contractor uses “good faith efforts” to meet the applicable requirements of finding a secondary minority-owned contractor.