|CITY COUNCIL REPORT, JUNE 2012|
Yesterday was an eventful meeting of the City Council. Two major pieces of legislation that I've been working on were easily passed. I also introduced another important and practical piece of legislation, which will legalize a burgeoning business industry.
The decriminalization/reclassification of marijuana ordinance passed, 43-3
. I was an original co-sponsor of this ordinance when my friend Alderman Solis introduced it back in October last year.
I wrote this blog
for the Huffington Post then to explain why I believe the so called "War on Drugs" is a complete failure and needs to end because it has become a de facto war on poor people, minorities and reason.
Our vote yesterday was an important but obvious step to recognize reality. We voted to free our police officers to actually police and, hopefully, this measure will stop the criminal systemization of many of our, mostly minority, young people. The law goes into effect on August 4th.
After a completely unnecessary delay of three months my Live-Work Ordinance finally passed yesterday. This ordinance will allow many of our city's small businesspeople to reside in their workplace.
Instead of having to pay rent at two locations, these small business owners can now focus on expansion and creating jobs. CBS reported
on this legislation's passage through Committee, back in March. The summary of the ordinance is posted on my Tumblr blog and can be read here.
Along with 6 of my colleagues and the Mayor, I introduced an ordinance
that will legalize and regulate Food Trucks. The council has been going back and forth on this issue since before I was in office. What we introduced yesterday, while not perfectly satisfactory to many Food truck operators, is a workable and, more importantly, passable compromise.
The ordinance was referred to the License and Consumer Protection Committee, where I expect it to pass easily and be voted on (and passed) by the full Council at our next meeting.
Also yesterday, one of our community's future leaders, Ethan Dooley from LaSalle II was "Alderman for the day." He met the Mayor, had a tour of City Hall and learned about the importance of civic engagement and municipal government. Ethan picked a good council meeting for this occasion.