Updated: Jul 22, 2020
“City Urged To Reconsider Firing Of Community Services Manager”
Read Jonah's powerful Patch report here.
I've known Kevin and the Team Outreach team for the past four years. Each has courage, integrity, and an absolute dedication to Evanston's most vulnerable youth.
Kudos to Kevin for appealing his termination and to former Team Outreach member Porschia Davis for speaking up about the sexual harassment she says she experienced by Lawrence Hemingway, director of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services -- and the comments she says he made suggesting she help him "get rid of" Kevin.
Some serious questions have been raised about the Director’s integrity and judgement.
Some serious questions have been raised about parking enforcement and payment procedures and practices in the City.
And some serious questions have been raised about the severity of the Interim City Manager's punishment of Kevin's alleged crime.
At the very least, there should be a full investigation by an independent entity of the grounds on which Kevin Brown was terminated.
At most, and as soon as possible, Brown should find himself back where he belongs--leading the outstanding team of outreach workers who help prevent violence and change the trajectory of many of Evanston's young people's lives.
More than 40 Evanston residents, beginning with Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, spoke in support of Kevin at Monday's City Council meeting. To a person, they praised him. To a person they expressed utter amazement at the severity of the discipline for the crime of which he's been accused. To a person, they asked the Interim City Manager to reconsider her action.
Give Kevin his job back.
Then let's talk about how to ensure that the staff and services that are most needed in Evanston--those that address the needs of our Black and brown residents--are supported and celebrated.
And above all, let's talk about racism ... and reparations.