Hagerty hosts Covid-19 QA; Public meetings set re City Manager; Mayor's update on race, policing

'Coronavirus Q&A' on Phase 4 Recovery Plan, June 30


Mayor Hagerty and City staff will discuss Phase 4 public health guidelines and the City's safe reopening and recovery plans as part of a live "Coronavirus Q&A" on Tuesday, June 30 at noon.


Illinois and Evanston are expected to enter Phase 4, Revitalization, of the State's Restore Illinois recovery plan this Friday, June 26. Under Phase 4, certain businesses and activities may resume with public safety guidelines in place.

The live question and answer session will be broadcast on City Channel 16 and streamed on the City's Facebook page and YouTube channel, and will feature representatives from the City's Health and Human Services Department, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, Evanston Public Library, Economic Development Division, Public Works Agency, and Administrative Services Department.


Residents can to submit questions in advance or live during the broadcast using the City's online question form. Questions may also be submitted by calling or texting 847-448-4311.



City to Host Public Meetings On City Manager Recruitment, June 30, July 7


The City of Evanston is beginning the recruitment and selection process for the next city manager and has contracted with GovHR USA to facilitate this process.


In order to make this a transparent and public process, the City is soliciting feedback from the community regarding the characteristics and traits the new city manager should possess as well as the opportunities and challenges he/she may face. 

The City will host two virtual public meetings to solicit community input on the search. Meetings will be hosted through the Zoom platform. For security purposes, community members are required to register in advance of these meetings.

  • Tuesday, June 30, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

  • Tuesday, July 7, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

The city manager is the chief administrative officer of the City and reports to the mayor and City Council. The city manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the City, including appointment and supervision of all City staff; recommendation of policies, procedures and ordinances; and the development of the City’s budget for the mayor and City Council’s consideration and approval.


Spanish and sign language interpretations will be available at the meeting on July 7.


All interested community members are encouraged to attend either of the meetings to learn about the search process and timeline, and to provide input. Community members can submit questions prior to the meeting here.


Community members may also submit their input and feedback through a confidential survey available in English or Spanish by Friday, July 10, 2020. Surveys are available here. GOVHR will incorporate feedback received through these surveys and public meetings to assist with candidate recruitment during its nationwide search. 


Read the letter by Evanston resident Lesley Williams on what qualifications she believes the next city manager should possess.


Read OPAL's letter calling for a fair and transparent search for Evanston's next City Manager.



Mayor Hagerty's update on Covid-19 and on race/policing


Yesterday, Mayor Hagerty sent out a statement via email providing updates on Covid-19 in Evanston, and outlining steps the city has taken to address race and racism in Evanston. Here's a summary of that email.


Coronavirus


  • Evanston has seen a significant decline of new confirmed COVID-19 cases, with an average of two new cases per day over the last seven-days, with a test positivity rate of under two percent.

  • 8,000 residents have been tested so far.


  • The effective reproductive rate continues to decline, with each COVID-19-positive person infecting less than one other person, on average.


  • Cases per 10,000 residents is holding steady at 102, less than Skokie and Chicago.


  • As of yesterday, Evanston has had 775 confirmed cases and 68 deaths. (View mobile data dashboard). Currently there are 25 active cases of COVID-19. Evanston's fatality rate continues to be high relative to Skokie and Chicago, due in part to the fact that Evanston has 11 IDPH-licensed long-term care facilities with 1,360 beds, significantly more than nearby communities.

"These fatalities are a reminder that we must remain vigilant in our efforts to stem the spread," said Mayor Hagerty. "I cannot stress this enough – we are susceptible to a second wave, as happened in 1918. This means we must continue to wear face coverings, physically distance, stay at home when sick, and frequently and thoroughly wash our hands."


This will be even more important as Illinois move into Phase 4, Revitalization, this Friday, June 26. As one meme recently put it, said Hagerty, “The relaxation of isolation rules doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. It means they have room for you in the ICU.”


Racial injustice and inequity


"Unlike the novel coronavirus, there’s nothing new about racism. It has been with us 400+ years and has caused untold deaths, injustices, unfairness, inequality, and anguish to people of color. It has not only held African Americans back, but our entire nation back from its ultimate potential. Its harm to this country is enormous and its eradication is essential," Hagerty said in his statement.


"To do so requires a willingness on the part of each of us and our institutions to acknowledge it, systematically remove it, and establish means by which we can uplift our Black residents through greater investments in housing, education, jobs, workforce development, and healthcare."



"With the encouragement of Evanston residents," Hagerty said, "over the last three years in Evanston, the City Council has been working on efforts related to racial equity and improved policing."


Mayor Hagerty's daughter's been encouraging him too!


So far, said Hagerty, Evanston has:


  • Committed to create a $10 million Reparations Fund, the first of its kind in the United States, using cannabis tax revenue.


  • Established the Equity & Empowerment Commission to identify and eradicate inequities in City services, programs, human resource practices, and decision making.


  • Established a Citizen Committee to review the police complaint process and recommend improvements.



  • Established the Alternatives to Arrest Committee to reassign misdemeanor charges from the Criminal Courthouse to the local Administrative Adjudication process; automatically expunge juvenile municipal records; and connect youth with Family Advocates who help them and their family assess their needs, navigate public health benefits, and access restorative justice.


"We recognize these efforts are only a beginning," said Hagerty.


Since the protests in Evanston, Hagerty said, the City has:




  • Appointed nine residents to serve on the Citizen Police Review Commission, which will review complaints and investigation of complaints and provide a report to the Evanston City Council’s Human Services Committee.


  • Conducted an investigation, including a review of all body worn police video, into a May 2020 use of force (take down). The findings and recommendations will be reviewed by the Citizen Police Review Commission and the City Council’s Human Services Committee, which will both be public meetings.


In addition, Hagerty said, the City will conduct a review of the City’s police operations, which will be directed by the City Council. This review will include an examination of the police budget, functions, and practices.


"I will also help organize a series of community listening sessions, conversations, presentations, and idea generating sessions on policing and racial equity starting in July," said Hagerty.


Finally, he said, the City Council will identify its initial Reparations Fund investments during the second half of 2020.



Editor's note:




  • Find out about the work of the Citizens Network of Protection, an Evanston organization that promotes police accountability, transparency, and oversight.


  • Connect with OPAL, which worked hard to push for a transparent search for Evanston's next City Manager.



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