Ald. Devon Reid (8th) is set to renew his campaign to repeal some public safety ordinances at Tuesday’s Human Services Committee meeting.

He’ll try to persuade the committee that it should vote to eliminate an ordinance that bans throwing rocks at people or buildings and another that requires obedience to police in public places.

A third proposal would restrict the scope of an ordinance that makes it illegal to resist the police or to aid someone in trying to escape from police custody.

The practical impact of the three changes is unclear — because state law has provisions similar to each of the local ordinances.

Staff memos indicate that over past five years police have made more than 70 arrests under the relevant state statutes and only 22 under the city ordinances.

The city’s legal staff has indicated that the city ordinances offer the option to have violations addressed through the city’s administrative hearing process, which offers more restorative justice options than prosecuting the cases through the circuit court system, as would be required for charges filed under the state statutes.

These proposals are in addition to Reid’s campaign to repeal an ordinance that prohibits women from appearing topless in public on the beach and other public places in the city.

Update 1:30 p.m. July 5: The city announced Tuesday afternoon that the Human Services Committee meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. has been canceled. The next meeting of the committee is now scheduled for Aug. 1.

Update 6:30 p.m. July 6: The Human Services Committee meeting now has been rescheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Reid is the worst alderman ever, trying to make dangerous behavior lawful while tying the hands of the police and allowing crime to flourish unchecked. This does not help the Black community, it harms it. As a member of a Black family, I must also say that Reid is an absolute embarrassment.

  2. When is enough enough?? All of these untenable ideas are just taking up the time of the council when there are far more important issues confronting our time. If Mr. Reid’s proposals would be enacted, the citizen exodus from Evanston would be devastating.

  3. End the band on rock throwing?! What’s next – legalized vandalism? Does Reid have some unexpressed motive for his senseless campaigns? It’s as if he’s trying to filibuster the city council in order to take time away from the more pressing issues. This guy has got to go!

  4. I was enthusiastic about Devon Reid’s activism, even as a youth, though he had a poor record in school of meeting his responsibilities of leadership. He now appears to be looking for objections to ordinances, just for attention, and rather immature in considering the consequences and wishes of people in the community. It is easy to waste much Council time deliberating on some of his ideas, trying to give them a fair hearing. He may benefit from learning to listen carefully to ideas from other people, especially his constituents, and not grandstanding for himself.

  5. What problems are you trying to solve Ald Reid? What happened to your pledge to work on affordable housing? Or were you not being “transparent”?

  6. Rather than bemoan Alderman Reid and his ideas, perhaps we should actually celebrate the ability of a person with the reasoning skills of a small child to advance so far in our community.

  7. You know, I’ve commented a number of times before on Reid’s TIRING, time-wasting, proposals. I hesitate to explore possible roots [one in particular] that may have shaped his psyche; or what has caused his mind to develop as it has.

    There are a couple of answers that can be culled from previous posters:

    1.) Self-conscious, because of a poor education, thus,
    2.) attempting to compensate by APPEARING to offer something meaningful.
    3.) Grandstanding

    I’m wondering about another–a 4th–possible answer: The current, BLEEDING-HEART liberal atmosphere he may have grown up in in liberal Evanston. Maybe he feels that he’s irreplaceable, and UNTOUCHABLE, because of how white liberals (in my humble, or not so humble, opinion), over the decades, have cast Black folks (MY people) as The Gods of Perpetual Victimhood.

    The crippling dichotomy of the elevation of my people as Gods of Perpetual Victimhood, is that this God’s “strength” comes from the WEAKNESS that has been placed upon him by bleeding heart White liberals, as well as by what some of us, back in the day, as we sat in the barber shop on Saturday mornings, called, “race hustlers.”

    Reid is young. I was born in 1950, during the era of segregation. And OUR parents took NO excuses. They didn’t train us to be victims. Had I gone to my dad talking about, “But, the white man!!!” he’d have busted me upside my head and said, “Boy, I don’t see no White man on this block! GET your butt back there and practice that piano!”

    By the time Doc King got killed (April 4th, 1968), I had been prepared, by my mom and dad, to FIGHT, not to bitch, beg, and blame. I tutored high-level math and science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. And I was BRUTAL to the students I tutored, because THAT’S what would mean success for them, not elevating them as perpetual victims.

    Many Whites have CRIPPLED our people. It’s virtually an old saying now, amongst those of our people who rejected being molded as victims: “The best thing that bleeding heart White liberals can do for us is to leave us the hell alone.”

    I look at Evanston lawns. And I see, “Black Lives Matter” signs, which, in fact, are no more than self-indulgent forms of PATERNALISM; wasteful and meaningless White guilt; and, quite frankly, a form of CONTEMPT. Yes, contempt, although some might have to THINK about that for a while. I find it fascinating that all of the BLM signs are IN THE DIRT, next to the “Pick up your dog’s poop” sign. Why not put it high? Personally, BLM is just a grifter organization, and some Black folks, such as myself, knew it from Day 1.

    Yes, Reid may be taking advantage of the liberalism that created the two gods, BOP and WOP: Black Oppressed Perpetually and White Oppressor Perpetually.

    After all, a God can do what He WANTS to do, see. So, Reid, a BOP, either consciously or subconsciously [I vote for the former–he knows what he’s doing], uses his power as an omnipotent, all-powerful, God, BOP, to demand SILENCE (if he can) from his devotees, liberal Whites. By the way: I would NEVER apologize for a single word I’ve said. I’ve watched this crap for decades. I know what’s going on with him.

    He’s incompetent (No. 1 above). It’s sad, but there it is.
    He’s compensating (No. 2 above). Ditto
    He’s grandstanding (No. 3 above) Ditto

    And he will hang on as long as he can, further crippling HIMSELF as well as the city council, as well as the people of the City of Evanston, as well as, in particular, Black people. Regarding Black folks, his proposals will put Black lives in danger MORE so than Whites or others. Well, maybe not. But, it is always OUR community that gets hurt the most by its CRIMINALS. My two cents.

    1. Very interesting stuff here from Ronald. I’ve always thought that the best thing that happened to Reid was when he got arrested while he was searching for signatures to get on the ballot for the clerk race.

      It was clearly unwarranted and a horrible misstep on the part of the Evanston Police Department. But what it did for Reid was galvanize white liberal guilt to such an extent that he was able to leverage it to defeat the incumbent Rodney Greene. Greene had made some missteps as clerk, but they were very minor. Reid, on the other hand, was campaigning on a bunch of stuff having absolutely nothing to do with the actual job of the clerk–like improving affordable housing.

      I remember sympathizing with him because of the harassment, but then when I looked at his campaign platform, I was like “this has nothing to do with being clerk, why is he even running?” so I voted for Greene. Unfortunately most people don’t know what the clerk actually does and Reid was able to leverage the liberal sympathy vote into a victory.

      Of course as soon as he was in office he messed up so many times on simple things like taking minutes, keeping crime victims’ identities secret, and securing Executive Session recordings. Whenever anyone pointed these transgressions out, Reid would grandstand, claim it was part of the continued pattern of harassment, and make up some lame excuse. When people like the former Mayor were doing it, he could couch the critique in identity politics and avoid accountability for his failures as clerk.

      He kind of struck another vein of good luck in running for 8th Ward alderman. We had a wave of anti-incumbency throughout the city and in the 8th ward in particular. Rainey had barely won over Rob Bady in 2017 and had continued to wrankle people in her last term so she was super vulnerable. Unfortunately, Bady didn’t run again. He would have beaten her and Reid for sure. Mitchell was a fine candidate and in a normal town he would have beaten Reid in the runoff, but he didn’t tick the liberal guilt box.

      I was not an Ann Rainey fan. But one thing to remember about that election was that Ann Rainey caught a lot of flack for calling Reid “a very scary person.” In fact, Dan Biss issued a statement condemning her that hit all of the liberal guilt tropes that Chism mentions.

      Given what has transpired over the last two years, I think we all should owe Rainey an apology. Maybe she was impolitic in her wording, but Reid has clearly been a disaster. She warned us.

      Let’s hope someone like Bady runs again to get this guy retired. Even though Reid had a bounce from all these people like Biss coming to his defense, he only beat Mitchell by about 40 votes. A competent, thoughtful 8th ward resident should be able to defeat him.

    2. Ronald Chism thank you for your thoughtful comments. Your wisdom and insights help put the matter of Ried’s initiatives into perspective. There are plenty of people responsible this nonsense.

  8. Mr. Chism: Your “two cents” is worth a million bucks. Evanston needs your voice.

  9. Someone broke a window in my home recently by throwing a rock. Damaging property that belongs to someone else. Was this person motivated by CM Reid’s bizarre proposal? I don’t know, but I would suggest that rock-throwing should be discouraged rather than encouraged. Can no one reach this man and show him the negative effect he is having on Evanston?

  10. Seems like more often than not, a Devon Reid story includes something absurd, a comment, a proposal, a rant. He exhausts city staff with these proposals and why? Because all he has to do is float an idea, and it’s staff NOT HIM who has to do all of the research and write-ups about the proposal. So he can literally show up for a city council meeting with whatever crazy idea suits him, and then go home and watch Netflix for the rest of the night while staffers (who are often times treated poorly by certain alder people) do all of the leg work… and for what reason? He wants attention. He has the support and the ear of a significant group of self righteous white ladies who parade him around as if to prove that they are ‘woke.” If any others dare to criticize him, the WLB (White Lady Brigade) immediately lashes out about the ‘haters being racist, classist, blah blah blah.” It has become next to impossible to criticize Reid (& at least 1 other alderperson & 1 superintendent of schools who I will not name here) without being compared to a MAGA. Newsflash for the guilt-ridden E-towners who regularly verbally abuse those who disagree with you – it is possible to love Evanston, be liberal, and at the very same time, disagree every now and then, with a person of color. Crazy idea to some of you, but true nonetheless.

  11. I don’t understand how removing a ban on rock throwing is beneficial in any way to the community and how in the world did Alderman Reid get elected if everything he advocates for is not in the best interest of the community? I’m just wondering how this could happen. Topless beaches, rock throwing and tying the hands of police from maintaining order? How is progress?

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