After months of debate about whether breasts should be bared in public, Evanston’s Human Services Committee Monday night voted to be vague instead.
Ald. Devon Reid (8th) retreated from his efforts to free breasts from clothing and accepted an amendment from Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th) that leaves decisions about suitable public dress largely to the judgment of police.
Here’s how the City Code reads now:
The version of Reid’s proposal that appeared in Monday night’s committee packet would have altered that to remove the bar on baring breasts and add a definition of indecent exposure:
Revelle suggested substituting for the “Lewd exposure” clause language from the municipal code of the Village of Kenilworth that bars people from appearing in public “not properly and decently clothed.”
Revelle has not responded to an email query from Evanston Now asking whether someone could be topless and still “properly and decently clothed.”
Reid seconded Revelle’s amendment and the committee voted unanimously to send the proposed ordinance as amended to the full City Council for consideration.
Reid had originally proposed removing the breast language claiming it subjects gender non-conforming individuals to the possibility of arbitrary arrest by police and treats men and women differently.
The new language — by leaving “properly and decently” undefined — appears to make all persons, regardless of gender, subject to a risk of arbitrary enforcement action.
But it will let the alders duck the need to take a clear vote on whether to let women go topless in public in Evanston.
What about just dropping the whole dumb idea and leaving well enough alone?
Maybe Revelle wanted to give him an out, so she put forward an amendment so that Reid could claim victory but nothing substantial changed. While it would have been satisfying to have the city council take up the issue and reject it, it is better to win the fight by avoiding it.
OMG – What a waste of time.
I agree. Total waste of time to even address the subject whatsoever.
My European brother-in-law got in trouble for wearing a thong at South Boulevard beach years ago. The cops told him to put on some trunks because, “This is a decent family beach.” I wonder what Devon would say to that? Europeans aren’t even allowed to be European in Evanston 😊 But my brother-in-law acquiesced and donned trunks to fit in with the citizenry.
Now Devon Reid please get to work on real issues facing our ward PLEASE!! Stop the nonsense !!
Real issues are just not his thing/M.O.
Tax dollars turned to vapor. As they say out west, Reid is all hat, no cattle.
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