The next City Council meeting is 1/17/18.
Street Performers Ordinance:
Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward) and Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd Ward) introduced a proposal last spring to amend the street performer ordinance to extend protections to local residents and businesses. The aldermen receive thousands of complaints about excessive noise from residents and businesses affected by street performers, and the current law only serves to move the violating performer to another location. The proposal introduced by the Aldermen sought to remove ambiguities in the existing law and make enforcement of the ordinance easier. The proposal passed the City Council's Committee on Licensing, but amid threatened litigation from the ACLU, it was not considered by the full City Council.
In an effort to work with the ACLU, Alderman Reilly continued to work on alternative locations for the musicians to play before bringing the measure back to the City Council. Following discussions with the ACLU, Reilly introduced a new proposal to revise the existing street performer's ordinance. The measure is still under review but is an attempt to secure more desirable locations for the performers, while satisfying residents and businesses. The ordinance is pending in the Committee on Licensing while Alderman Reilly works with the stakeholders.
Clarification on Sexual Harassment Ordinance:
IHLA is working with the City attorney and Alderman Michelle Harris (8th Ward) to clarify that the sexual harassment ordinance calls for room attendants to have panic buttons as intended. During the negotiating process, wording was deleted from the ordinance to protect hotels, and the end result was a more general ordinance that could be interpreted to include other hotel employees to have panic buttons. IHLA has met with the City attorney and clarified that the ordinance was intended to cover room attendants specifically; the next step is to either make the needed changes in the Rules Committee or pass a clarification amendment. The deadline for hotels to start providing panic buttons to their room attendants is 7/1/18.
2017 Chicago Tourism Numbers:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that a record 55.2 million people traveled to Chicago in 2017. The mayor's office credits the tourism industry with supplying an estimated 146,500 Chicago jobs, more than 20,000 new jobs since 2011. A major contributor to the additional jobs is the opening of new hotels throughout the city. Chicago opened five new hotels in 2017; eight more are scheduled to debut this year.