Daniel Biss

Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss says he plans to name Evanston’s new 2nd Ward council member by Friday, in time for the person chosen to be seated at Monday’s City Council meeting.

Speaking at a forum for the seven remaining candidates seeking the job Tuesday evening, Biss said that would give him time to meet with each of the candidates before actually reaching his decision.

Twelve people initially applied to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Ald. Peter Braithwaite.

Biss said one of those candidates didn’t respond contact efforts by email or phone and two more candidates immediately withdrew.

That cut the field to nine by the time names of the candidates were publicly announced.

Two of those, Mindy Scott and Jesus Vega, had also withdrawn before Tuesday evening’s forum, leaving what Biss called “a strong, impressive field.”

Asked by the mayor how they plan to approach issues of public safety, crime and policing,

Keith Banks.

Keith Banks said he favored a two-pronged approach of increasing police staffing and providing a variety of community services to reduce the problems that lead to violence.

Darlene Cannon.

Darlene Cannon said the city should increase police presence in neighborhoods immediately.

Blanca Lule.

Blanca Lule said police now are working 12 hour shifts and until the police force is built back up, “there’s very little we can do to address” crime issues in the community.

Anya Tanyavutti.

Anya Tanyavutti, who as a District 65 School Board member voted to remove police from the schools, said marginalized people would feel safer if the city addressed their needs with other means besides resorting to police.

Kristian Harris.

Asked about housing issues, Kristian Harris said “people have to be paid living wages” to afford housing.

Patricia Gregory.

Patricia Gregory said the city should adjust its zoning code to promote more affordable housing.

Matthew Farrauto.

Matthew Farrauto said he would support zoning changes and incentives to produce more affordable housing

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. So many concerns about Anya Tanyavutti here.

    Is there a conflict of interest for someone to be on the D65 School Board and be an Alderperson?

    The track record of that candidate as the president of the board leaves enormous credibility and ability questions, especially as to their penchant for authoritarianism, exclusion, and resorting to secrecy and opacity to hire, promote, and set contracts for senior administration.

    The divisiveness that that candidate has created in a district that was formerly extremely inclusive should be disqualifiers.

    The candidate’s use of proxies to create a toxic and threatening environment for anyone who disagrees with them should disqualify that candidate.

    Does Evanston need someone with a demonstrated track record of division, secrecy, and authoritarian tendencies on the council? Does the 2nd Ward need someone whose primary motivators are attention-seeking and building a political career rather than meeting the needs of their constituents?

    The logical answer is no. Hopefully, Mayor Biss can show some actual leadership and decision-making, and do the right thing for the second ward and for Evanston for a change.

  2. I was most impressed with Farrauto. Of course Biss would never pick him- it wouldn’t be politically correct.

    Banks probably has the best resume. He would probably be better than the rest of them.

  3. Keith Banks should be the guy but I’m on board with Farrauto. Either one works for me.

    Please, for the sake of my children and others, don’t pick Anya Tanyavutti. She’s a one way street and we don’t want that in our neighborhood. We want two streets where you look both ways and see both sides.

    I would become very, very and i mean very skeptical of the agenda Biss has if he hired her.

    Tanyavutti & Reid in the same room together should be a reality TV show.

  4. Not Tanyavutti. She is a mess. Surely Biss recognizes this? Although I thought he would recognize a lot of things when he became mayor and so far… not so good.

  5. No to Anya Tanyavutti . Based on her activities and attitude as a member of the District 65 School Board, it’s clear that she is a divider, not a uniter. She has caused enough harm to the school district and city already. No more.

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