Ald. Devon Reid (8th) stalked out of a Human Services Committee meeting Monday night after denouncing his colleagues as “a status quo council that only takes up issues that impact our wealthy northern residents.”

Reid, who’d just lost a vote on his proposal attempting to decriminalize possession of magic mushrooms, stood up to leave and said the issue under discussion — an expansion of allowable hours for operation of electric leaf blowers — “has every chance of passing because mostly white folks who live on the north side of our town support this.”

“When it comes to other groups of folks, we have deaf ears, we stand with the status quo, and we cannot take action,” he added. “It’s disappointing and disheartening that this is not a council that follows science unless it impacts the noise level of people on the north side of town.”

Devon Reid gathers his possessions before walking out of the Human Services Committee meeting.

The change in the leaf blower ordinance, sought by Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th), would benefit landscape contractors, a largely Hispanic group, by expanding the permissible hours of operation for electric leaf blowers to the same hours that construction activity is allowed under the city code.

Those hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

The existing ordinance limits leaf blower hours to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Revelle’s proposal would not change the existing Sunday hours for leaf blower use of noon to 4 p.m.

After Reid left the room, the change in leaf blower hours was approved 4-0 by the remaining members of the committee.

Reid’s outburst came at the tail end of a committee meeting that stretched for nearly four hours.

Earlier in the session a proposal Reid sponsored for a fair workweek ordinance, designed to protect low-wage workers, had been approved with amendments and his plan to consider legalizing video gaming in the city had advanced on a 3-2 vote.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Reid’s Trump-style tantrums and shenanigans are both tired and predictable.

    Only 603 people voted for this guy and he only won by 32 votes. Let’s hope the Eighth Ward voters get their act together. Unfortunately we have to live with this guy for another two years.

  2. Maybe if Reid showed some initiative towards getting gainful employment to ensure a more productive life, he too could join the ranks of those “wealthy northern residents”…

    Gregory Morrow – Evanston 4th Ward resident

  3. This are the same council members that are redlining the working poor class into 3-4 wards
    Wake up Reid is been going on for a while and now you realize that Evanston caters to white wealthy folks! You have been a part of this

  4. Reid who gets on his high horse telling citizens that “We have to Do MORE” to meet the climate plan. Thanks Reid, maybe you could start by not having a plastic bottle of water right in front of you (refer to the photo above). Maybe you could actually refer to some real data, instead of watching tik tok, reading wikipedia, or googling “sustainability”. Why don’t you start with not using plastic water bottles? Those are more destructive to the environment than a recycled and compostable bag. The fact that you sat up there with your faux impassioned plea about saving the environment with a plastic water bottle in front of you sums up your credibility. Why do other members of council allow you to rant on without consequence. Many in Evanston have done more to protect the environment in 1 week than you’ve done in a lifetime. You continue to waste the valuable time and resources of the citizens, businesses and city staff. But its more appalling that you are constantly allowed to ramble on with no actual data or information. Why does the rest of the council continue to allow you to speak false data and waste their time? Please council members, stop allowing him to talk on and on and on without any real (and I mean from actual Academic and scientifically evaluated) sources. But, how about someone bans single use plastic bottles from the Civic center before you waste time debating about recycled, compostable bags.

  5. He stormed out of the meeting. Now how do we get him to storm out of the City and never look back?

  6. At least the other full-grown members don’t ask Connections for the Homeless, an irresponsible, local “non-profit” (that is *coincidentally* up for a vote regarding the operations of the Margarita Inn shelter) to pay their rent. Recuse yourself much, Mr Reid?

  7. I live on a “leaf blower” street. These hours are ridiculous. The bigger issue of who gets what is a part of this. Devon isn’t my alderperson, but I am glad he spoke up — although I’d rather see a 4-1 vote v 4-0.

  8. He is acting like a child, so he took his ball and went home.
    He has wasted so much of the council’s time with all of his initiatives. It is all about him, not the residents of Evanston.
    Unfortunately, Biss seems to be helping him.

  9. The leaf blower ordinance is ridiculous. The northsiders just need to buy a rake, go outside, and get some exercise away from Orange Theory or Peloton. Nobody wants that noise, electric or not.

    That said, it sure seems like Reid’s entire policy platform is “let’s get lit.”

    1. I wonder why you think the ordinance in ridiculous. I’m incredibly grateful that we have finally banned gas-powered leaf-blowers. I think it’s crappy that at the very first opportunity, Ms. Revelle chooses to weaken it. Even electric blowers are noisy, though not as cringe-inducing as gas blowers. All blowers are bad for insect populations, and all blowers spread a lot of toxic dust—plus, they are largely unnecessary in most of our small urban yards during the summer. How many times have we seen crews busily blowing a bunch of dust around? And my guess is: Ms. Revelle isn’t speaking for North Evanstonians as much as she’s speaking for the “landscape” industry. Reid is mainly just a nuisance, IMHO. Blowhard and time-waster. We should ban ALL gas-powered lawn machinery.

      1. The late hours, the cultural fixation on the leaf-free yard, the noise pollution, and the eco reasons you mention are all ridiculous to me.

  10. The reason Reid is allowed to behave this way is in part because he has the Mayor and the rest of city council backed into his social justice warrior corner.

    The upside of Reid’s infantile outburst is that it confirms his racist tendencies and proves that he is unfit for office.

    Reid’s toxic view of protectionism and his focus on the haves vs. the have nots just further divides our community and society in general.

    Reid needs to stop making a spectacle and start serving all citizens of Evanston, whether they use a leaf blower or not.

  11. Funny that his tantrum, I mean outburst was over mushrooms but he was part of the deaf council when 5th ward spoke out against redlining.

  12. Councilman Reid is correct when he states our council only supports wealthy whites on the northside of Evanston. Many people of color have felt this way for a very long time. Evanston likes to praise the city because of it’s diversity of its residents. But that is a brunch of bull. Wealthy white folks needs come first.

    1. Yet he has supported many things that affect the black community and not always in a positive way! He is just pissed about his mushrooms

  13. Dude, magic mushroom legalization is a priority for sure for 8th Ward residents…. not. Do your job and talk to us in 8th ward about our real issues. We have a clown for an alderman, great.

  14. I’m sorry but what does an expansion of allowable hours for operation of electric leaf blowers have to do with racism? So when Reid doesn’t get his way it is racism. But when he does get his way then it’s not? So just to be clear , making it harder for landscaping companies to operate, an industry dominated by Hispanics, is Anti-racist? Im sorry I can’t keep up with the logic.

  15. Leaf blowers? Magic mushrooms? Video poker machines? Cannabis lounges? Blacks vs. Whites? Rich vs. poor?

    Where are our leaders? Where is Daniel Biss, Clare Kelly, Krissie Harris, Melissa Wynne, Jonathan Nieuwsma, Bobby Burns, Thomas Suffredin, Eleanor Revelle,
    Devon Reid, and Juan Geracaris? Where is our city manager Luke Stowe?

    Evanston is a rudderless ship. A ship with no captain. A ship with no crew.

  16. Complaints about different areas of this City are humorous and fracturing — but I
    don’t see/hear any dais complaints about using my Green money. btw I rinse and REUSE my plastic ‘hint’ brand water bottle 3x and even squeeze fresh lemon into water refill – thereby saving money, ‘lessen’ planet damage too. CH

  17. Can anyone tell me who else voted in supporting of gambling in Evanston? Maybe Reid isn’t the only person who ignores research and what gambling does for lower income folks.

    If I was to storm out of work because I didn’t get my way…..they would say “don’t bother coming back”. How can we get this to happen to this joke of an alderman? SO much time has been wasted in his ridiculous ideas. He needs to go!!

    1. Hi Susie,
      Burns and Geracaris joined Reid in voting for the gambling proposal. Revelle voted no. I think Harris also voted no, but her vote was very difficult to hear.
      — Bill

  18. Same old game, he is so right, I saw this after I was transferred back to the midwest, I’m 77 years old and have seen this kind of favor for years. After living in San Francisco, Toledo, OH, the midwest has not changed same old games as in the sixties and seventies. Will be glad to go back to San Francisco.

  19. I don’t understand why the city of Evanston continues to allow Mr. Reid to say and do whatever he wants, in addition to wasting the city’s time on proposing some of the most preposterous ideas in the name of social justice. Then he continues to shame and blame into manipulating and getting his way. Be careful Evanston, if you pass the legislation to legalize gaming in the city to collect tax revenue you are then going to be blamed and shamed, and be held responsible for people losing their money, or responsible for paying for their mental health treatment. This blame will be projected onto the “wealthy white” as a way to keep people poor as they are the most vulnerable to take advantage of gambling. Just take a drive to Cicero and Berwyn where gaming is legal. I don’t know how much tax money would be brought in, but I believe there are better ways to bring in tax dollars then to take advantage of people’s vulnerabilities despite what Mr. Reid would like you to believe.

  20. Friends used to envy me for living in Evanston. Now they extend their condolences. Our city has become a laughingstock to outsiders, and an embarrassment to residents. While downtown languishes, our Council debate topless beaches, magic mushrooms, homeless hotels in the middle of downtown, and shout every “ism” when they don’t get their way. Racism, sexism, elitism, you name it. Meanwhile the majority of tax-paying residents are left wondering who in their right mind would want to buy their home should they finally get fed up enough to move. At the helm of this nonsense is Devon Reid. Shame on him.

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