Is Chicago’s police video release policy violating officers’ privacy? The Illinois Labor Relations Board heard oral arguments in the challenge by the Fraternal Order of Police to a ruling upholding the city's video release policy at its November meeting.
At issue is a ruling by Administrative Law Judge Deena Sanceda, who held that the Chicago Police Department did not commit an unfair labor practice when it unilaterally implemented a policy allowing the public to access videos of officers in use-of-force incidents through Freedom of Information requests. Representing Lodge 7 of the FOP, Laura Finnegan argued that the policy violates police officers' privacy and compromises their safety. She said the city should have negotiated with FOP before implementing the policy, and complained that officers aren't receiving sufficient notice before videos are released.
Monica Lowe, the city's chief labor negotiator, argued that under the Freedom of Information Act, information that bears on the public duties of public employees must be disclosed. She said that the policy is part of a broader effort to increase transparency in order to build trust between the police and city residents.
RELATED: The board is expected to announce its decision at next month’s meeting on December 11.
FIRST NOTICE: Under questioning by ILRB Chair Robert Gierut, Lowe said officers are given 30 to 60 days notice before videos are released. Finnegan said that is not happening in practice | PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT | AUDIO | NOTES.
Cases and Court Closures; Is Expungement for Adults Coming to Cook County?: Cook County Justice Advisory Council staff members Kim Davis-Ambrose, Rebeca Janowicz, and Ali AbId presented updates on the Safety and Justice Challenge supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the Career Launch job training program and legal matters impacting those affected by the criminal justice system including the scheduled closing of two Chicago branch court locations that will take effect after court concludes on January 4, 2019.
The two branch court closings — 155 W. 51st St. in Fuller Park and 2452 W. Belmont Ave. in North Center — were finalized as part of the budget litigation settlement between the county and the court. According to Cook County officials, the closures will help the county avoid $9.2 million in repairs, renovations and maintenance that would be necessary to keep the two buildings safe, operational and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act | CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY.
RELATED: According to Abed, the branch closings impact around 400 cases. Legal advice and bus cards are being provided to people with cases at the closed courthouses but AbId notes that his main concern is "minimizing the impact on individuals". AbId says he has verbal assurance from Illinois Supreme Court Judge P. Scott Neville that judges won’t penalize people who went to a closed courtroom for their care.
FIRST NOTICE: This spring, the JAC is planning to move into the world of expungements for adults, with the creation of a misdemeanor for controlled substance possession. While misdemeanors can be expunged; felonies can't. | LIVE-TWEET THREAD.
Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards—Sans Solis: Ald. Danny Solis, who over the past two decades on the City Council served as an influential behind-the-scenes player in Chicago politics, won’t seek re-election, he said November 24 | CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Solis serves as chair of the influential City Council Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards, which is not scheduled to meet again in 2018.
Patching a Hole in the Healthcare Spectrum: Chicago Lakeshore Hospital CEO David Fletcher-Janzen issued a commentary citing Uptown’s Lakeshore Hospital as “one of the last acute care mental health safeguards in Illinois” following a loss of 450 beds in residential treatment facilities statewide and cuts to psychiatric leadership grants. “When will the state of Illinois do its job and properly fund this important work?” Fletcher-Janzen asks | CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. The next Chicago Department of Health board meeting is December 19.
Public Land, Private Use? From the North Shore to the South Side: The Chicago Sun-Times editorial staff highlights a deal pending with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District that would cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and pave over a public golf course and natural habitat so that one landowner can built as few as two houses on 1.1 acres of land in Wilmette. In a November 22 response, Charlotte Adelman of Wilmette cites the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s “cynical decision” and connects the deal with the Obama Presidential Center’s move on Jackson Park. “What about the South Side of Chicago?” Adelman asks. “Don’t its residents have an even greater need for healthy open space and natural habitat than North Shore residents?” | CHICAGO SUN TIMES. The next Metropolitan Water Reclamation District board meeting and public hearing is December 6, in the meantime the MWRD will hold two “special meetings” on November 29 and December 3, and its annual meeting on December 4.
Black Displacement and Chicago’s Next Mayor: The Chicago Teachers Union’s “The Great Displacement” forum brought together 5 of Chicago’s 18 mayoral candidates—4 of whom were women—November 19 on the Near West Side. The event focused on the disinvestment that has pushed tens of thousands of African American residents out of the city in recent decades. “The fact that we can even name a candidates’ forum at a major labor union about black displacement is a feat in itself,” Stacy Davis Gates told Chicago Sun-Times columnist and former Mayor Harold Washington press secretary Laura Washington | CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. The next Board of Election Commissioners meeting is TKdate.
Has your organization published a blog, op-ed or commentary related to civic processes in Chicago or Cook County? Send us a link and we’ll feature it in an upcoming newsletter.
All Documenters content is submitted by a non-professional network of engaged citizens paid and trained to attend a range of public governance meetings. As such inaccuracies may exist. Your subscription to the Chicago Ledger helps us staff a small team of journalists to fact-check content and report this digest each week.
November 1: Nathan Worcester live-tweeted a Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board of Commissioners meeting where developers clashed with environmental advocates over a golf course.
November 9: Cordell Longstreath took notes at the Justice Advisory Council meeting, a collaborative juvenile justice reform initiative.
November 8: Camille Erickson took notes on a contentious discussion on the public release of police videos at a local panel meeting of the Illinois Labor Relations Board.
November 14: Shabaka Verna live-tweeted Marquette Park’s SSA#14 Commission meeting. The SSA funds a private security force but is being decommissioned after over two decades.
Click “Meeting Details” for more information at Documenters.org, including agendas, past meeting minutes, times, dates, locations and contact information for agency staff.
November 26: The Cook County Health and Hospitals System Board of Directors will consider the nomination and recommendation of candidates in the office of appointed CCHHS Directors | MEETING DETAILS.
November 28: The Regional Transit Authority Board of Directors will meet to hear updates from the RTA Citizens' Advisory Board, certify finance results from the 3d Quarter of 2018 and vote on a resolution honoring T.J. Ross, who has served as head of the Pace suburban bus agency for the past 20 years and is retiring at the end of November | MEETING DETAILS.
November 28: The City Council Committee on Human Relations will call on President Donald Trump to “cease attempts to narrowly define gender as a biological, immutable condition and call for City of Chicago to support and affirm lives of transgender and intersex community” | MEETING DETAILS.
November 28: The Hyde Park/Kenwood Community Action Council will meet to discuss TK. CACs consist of 25-30 voting members who are directly involved in developing a strategic plan for educational success within their communities | MEETING DETAILS.