The City Council’s Health Committee will consider a grab bag of proposals–from coyote management to regulating tanning bed usage and body piercings. But no action will be taken on an ordinance from Ald. Jason Ervin (28) that was introduced back in January to increase staffing and new managed care contracts at the city’s existing mental health clinics, or several introductions from Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) regarding the city’s Animal Care and Control policies–including on euthanasia and impoundment.
On today’s agenda:
- Coyote Management: An ordinance requiring more humane handling of wild coyotes from Ald. Brian Hopkins (2) calls for the city’s Department of Animal Care and Control “utiliz[e] education and humane hazing methods as primary methods and using lethal force only in the event of an incident or an attack” when dealing with coyotes in the city. Some have been spotted as far south as Streeterville. Hopkins argues the animals are effective pest managers and generally stay away from humans.
- Self-inspection penalties for restaurants: A municipal code amendment submitted by the mayor would change penalties for restaurants the city considers low-risk for health code violations (ones that primarily sell beverages or pre-packaged foods, requiring no or minimal food handling or preparation). Low-risk restaurants are allowed to self-inspect and report back to the city. This ordinance adds a provision that would immediately suspend the restaurant’s license for failure to submit that report on time, “pending resolution of the failure to the commissioner’s satisfaction.”
- Tanning, Body Piercing: First proposed by Mayor Emanuel in December 2015, the ordinance would ban those under 18 from using tanning salons, allow anyone 18 and up to get tattoos, and require those under 18 who would like to get an oral piercing (the ordinance doesn’t designate lip or tongue) to have a parent sign an official form issued by Public Health Commissioner Julie Morita. Those 18 and up are already allowed to get tattooed in the state. Some parlors ignore city code (or reportedly, don’t know it exists) and allow younger customers to get inked.
- Dog Waste Clean-Up: An ordinance from the mayor and a small group of aldermen calls for property owners to clean up “pet waste” from their own yards or face fines, ranging from $50 to $500. The preamble of the ordinance cites Chicago’s distinction as the country’s “rattiest city” by pest company Orkin, and says 311 rodent complaints are on the rise. The amendment reads: “Feces from pets deposited upon any private property must be collected and removed daily by the property’s owner or agent, by bagging and placing them in a city-issued or other rodent-resistant lidded waste container.”
- Asphalt Pilot: Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36), a frequent transportation and infrastructure advocate, has sponsored a resolution calling for the city to participate in a statewide pilot program that aims to increase the amount of recycled material used in the production of asphalt. According to the the resolution, the use of high amounts of recycled materials in asphalt paving projects can provide “significant cost savings.”
- Health in All Policies: This proposal from city’s health department calls for elected officials and city departments to apply a health lens to all policy development. The proposal is part of the department’s latest initiative, Healthy Chicago 2.0, which aims to address inequity in health outcomes that have disproportionately impacted lower income and minority residents. The resolution also calls for establishment of a health task force that includes all commissioners or their designees, led by the Department of Public Health. The task force must submit a report to the City Council by December 1, 2016 addressing short, medium, and long term recommendations for changes to policies, practices, and procedures to improve community health, and sources of funding to implement a Health in All Policies approach in the city.