Despite opposition from a Chicago newspaper and from two frequent speakers at public comment, Evanston alders moved unanimously toward adopting a “civility pledge” Monday night.
The Rules Committee vote came without any debate, except for a statement from City Manager Luke Stowe that the measure wasn’t directed at any one incident, or any one council member.
The “civility pledge” language was recommended by the Illinois Municipal League at its board of directors meeting in April.
That was followed in Evanston by an incident May 1 in which Ald. Devon Reid (8th) walked out of a Human Services Committee meeting after denouncing his colleagues as “a status quo council that only takes up issues that impact our wealthy northern residents.”
Stowe made his referral recommending adoption of the “civility pledge” on May 22.
The pledge contains no enforcement mechanism or penalty for refusing to sign, but three days after Evanston Now broke news of the pledge proposal on May 29, the Chicago Tribune published an editorial arguing Reid should not “have to sign a pledge,” and that “raucous debate is good for Evanston.” It also defended Reid’s “right to storm out of meetings.”
Those sentiments were echoed at public comment Monday night by residents Mike Vasilko and Trisha Connolly.
It will require another vote, likely at next Monday’s City Council meeting, to complete the “civility pledge” approval process.