This Monday night at 7 p.m. will be the first Evanston City Council meeting since before the holidays and since City Council allowed Interim City Manager Erika Storlie to fire Youth and Young Adult Services Manager Kevin L. Brown, despite unanimous and vociferous public outcry over the last three consecutive City Council meetings.
Gail Schechter, convener of the group Community Alliance for Better Government (formerly Reinstate Kevin Brown) speaking on behalf of the group's coordinating committee, told Dear Evanston that the group encourages Evanston residents to show up on Monday evening with two messages for City Council and Mayor Steve Hagerty:
-- We hold the City Council accountable to its public pledge to support, strengthen, and ensure stability of the Youth and Young Adult Division and its essential mentorship role; and
-- We advocate for a racial equity audit as soon as possible by a neutral third party (and not by the City's own staff) of City staff operations.
The coordinating committee includes Bennett Johnson, Rick Marsh, Dino Robinson, and Oliver A. Ruff and the group comprises about 25 Evanston residents.
"Kevin Brown is the well-respected thought and action leader behind the success of Evanston's Youth and Young Adult Division, which serves predominantly Black youth facing many challenges, including poverty," Gail said. "To the people of Evanston, the City's decision to terminate Kevin Brown's employment -- and its silence -- is inextricably intertwined with the City's commitment to this population, and to racial justice overall."
The group especially urges youth, educators, community partner organizations, and those who have been helped by Kevin and the Youth and Young Adult Division to speak out.
"Our goals," said Gail, are "to push for positive, progressive change in the name of racial and social justice through bottom up, grassroots collective action, to support the youth and young adults served by the Youth and Young Adult Division, to end the pattern of terminations and disproportionate resignations of highly placed Black City staff members, and to promote an Evanston City Council that reflects the will of the people for racial and social justice."
You can sign up for public comment here.
Let Gail know that you are speaking by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org