Ald. Devon Reid (8th), taking over Monday as chair of Evanston’s Human Services Committee, wants to decriminalize a range of behaviors — from baring female breasts in public to throwing rocks at people.

He has scheduled committee votes on measures that would repeal ordinances that make it illegal:

  • For non-breastfeeding women to show their breasts below the top of the nipple in public.
  • For people engaged in illegal activity in a public place to keep doing it after being ordered to stop by police.
  • For persons under 19 to be in a place not licensed for the sale of alcohol when they know alcohol is is being consumed by minors there.
  • For minors to attempt to purchase alcohol.

Other measures he’s seeking would repeal ordinances that make it illegal:

  • To use city parks overnight.
  • To throw rocks at buildings and people.
  • To have an open container of alcohol or cannabis in a motor vehicle or a public place.
  • To be in possession of burglar’s tools.

Yet another proposed change would restrict the circumstances under which a person could be arrested for resisting or interfering with police.

On the other hand, Reid would add a new provision to the code making it illegal for intoxicated persons to operate bicycles, motor scooters or similar devices.

Finally, he’s also seeking, in apparent violation of the state Freedom of Information Act, to end public distribution of information about the identities of persons arrested by Evanston police.

The change in the public nudity provision is explained in a memo as eliminating “an unequal standard between two genders” that also creates “ambiguity for transgender and non-gender conforming residents.”

Memos in the committee packet describing the other proposed changes don’t provide a rationale for their adoption.

The Human Services Committee is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the City Council Chamber.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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54 Comments

  1. Hahah I feel like this a bad SNL skit that just won’t end.

    Whoever voted him in should be embarrassed. I don’t know who’s worse, Reid or Trump. I’m serious. I really don’t.

    If any of these get passed through then we should take a second look at who’s representing us and why we even need them.

  2. Thank you, EvanstonNow for helping citizens keep track of Mr. Reid’s near constant output of antisocial and not infrequently dangerous ideas.

  3. I thought I was reading a story in the Onion. What the hell is wrong with this guy? He is out of control.

  4. Thank goodness the rest of the Council has been reluctant to pass Reid’s ill conceived, senseless ideas. I prefer Council members who propose ideas that are addressing real problems (environment, affordable housing, direct municipal operations, etc) that affect or support many.

    1. Sally: Sadly, Devon’s fellow alderpeople have voted in a few of Devon’s backward solutions. The most ludicrous one I’ve read recently was voted 7 in favor, 2 against, and it was about removing the fine for not paying the city wheel tax by the deadline. Furthermore, if one get a a ticket for not paying the wheel tax by the deadline, there is no fine and the deadline is extended, and if one misses the new deadline, one is still not fined. Additionally they raised the wheel tax by $5. So, tell me, why should any Evanston citizen pay the wheel tax now that it has been increased and especially because there are no fines for not paying it??? He proposed 2 dis-incentives, and 6 other alderpeople agreed with him. I believe Sufferendin and one other alderperson voted against it. A better solution for Devon to offer to help those ho cannot afford the wheel tax would have been to lower the city wheel tax for all Evanston citizens and sharply increase the fine for not paying by the deadline. The City of Evanston does an extremely good job of repeatedly reminding citizens of the wheel tax deadline, and unfortunately there are some citizens who live here and just never want to pay it. Now even more citizens will be incentivized not to pay it, and the CoE will have to hire people to track down the non-payers who won’t be fined anyhow. It’s a lose-lose.

  5. Devon Reid is a child who hasn’t spent a full day in the real world. I wonder how much of this has to do with his own arrest record.

    1. The man has figured out how to turn arrests into votes. Truly a political alchemist.

  6. There is something wrong with Devon Reid. I’m actually worried that he’s had a stroke or a head injury or some sort of cognitive issue. A wellness check is in order.

    Hopefully the rest of Evanston’s “leaders” can contain his lunacy and stop him from enacting anything on his idiot list except for the one making it illegal to ride a bike or a scooter while intoxicated.

    This begs the question: how on earth did he get this committee in the first place? Can’t they turf him somewhere safe?

  7. In Reid’s world, it’ll be legal to throw rocks at people and buildings in Evanston? I guess he won’t be satisfied until every business (especially those with windows) shuts down. And anyone concerned about public safety (meaning everyone except Reid, I guess) will also leave.

  8. Thank you for being forward thinking Ald Reid. Our jobs as adults is to leave a better world for the next generation not perpetuate senseless rules and laws to construct freedom.

    1. To MJW: Sorry, but there is no freedom without responsibility. No one lives in a vacuum, and we all have to work together to have a civilized society.

    2. No! Our job is to leave better children for this planet. Not giving children consequences and allowing them to continue to break the law after being told not to, to be allowed to break windows, etc is setting them up for failure. You must be absolutely insane to agree with any of his lunacies. If this man is a forward thinker, you can keep him.

    3. Our job as adults is to solve problems not create them. Evanston has plenty of real issues that need the Council’s attention. Directing staff to research pet projects is a waste of tax dollars. What are you doing for your residents, Alder Reid?

    4. Since when is a prohibition on throwing rocks at buildings or people a senseless rule? I am 100% for restricting people’s “freedom” to throw a rock at my home or my children.

  9. How does Devon Reid get to lead the Human Services Committee on the City Council when he’s such a loose cannon of idiotic proposals? He continues to waste time and resources that could be better served by responsible representatives of the citizens of Evanston. Where are the Mayor and the Ethics of the City Council when they are needed to censure Devon Reid’s (or other Alders) incompetence?! We can’t wait until it’s time to Vote him out of office – He needs to go NOW!

  10. Look up the turnout rate in the last election and you’ll understand how we ended up with this circus.

  11. Good news everybody, The Annual Sober, Topless, Rock Throwing Assault Bike Ride through the 8th Ward is fully endorsed by our Alderman! Mount up ladies, loosen those arms and get read for some rock throwing fun! Don’t forget the sunscreen!

  12. When is the next aldermanic election? DEVON REID MUST BE STOPPED. Is there a procedure in place to recall an alderman? How did Reid ever get elected in the first place?

    It is a mistake to think of Reid as just some low-level clown. This man could be dangerous. All you have to do is reflect on what happened when people considered Trump as just an amusing sideshow who would never exercise any real political power. People like Trump and Reid must be stopped at the first possible opportunity.

  13. Devon Reid was a disaster as city clerk! He totally ruined the office. It broke my heart! Now he trying to do the same to the city! He’s an attention junkie with no moral character.

  14. If Rainey or Mitchel ran unopposed I don’t think Ried would have been elected. Rainey was really unfairly maligned as a racist right before the election when she said Ried had “dangerous ideas”. Of course, the intellectually lazy, feeling-based crowd just assumed that Ried’s claims were legitimate. Can we see now that Rainey was right? As a resident of the 8th ward, I can tell you that this guy does not represent me or the majority of the Ward, thankfully the rest of the council is keeping him in check for the most part. The next election cant come soon enough. I just hope Evanston pays attention next time.

  15. Yeah, I thought this was for sure the Onion too. Maybe the Onion can get ideas from Devon…

  16. An extremely unfunny version of Parks and Recreation. This is a joke, right? Or is it just Reid who is the joke?

  17. I’m worried about Mr. Reid. He’s becoming more and more unhinged since he was elected. I’m a very progressive liberal and even I think his ideas are wacky while some are downright dangerous (throwing rocks!). Perhaps he needs a mental health evaluation. I sincerely hope he gets the help he needs.

  18. I had to read this a few times to make sure I read this right. This guy has lost his marbles for sure. I emailed him about the rat problem our ward is having and he’s more concerned about women showing their breast.

  19. What a waste of time when there are important matters at stake. I suspect he just wants attention.

  20. He’s been made Chair of Human Services?? Well hold on for the ride. Maybe we need a Circus Ring Leader instead of a City Manager.

  21. Disappointing. Our condo’s window was broken with a rock. $1,500 to replace! Reid seems to dislike most laws and standards of behavior.

    He only occasionally did the City Clerk’s duties as required (minute taking, etc.). I honestly think he was so inexperienced that he didn’t know what job he was campaigning for. He mostly focused on voter registration. Look it up.

    Now on Council, he proposes wild idea after wild idea before researching outcomes, knowing other members will vote them down.

    1. Actually, while City Clerk he couldn’t even manage to keep the Executive Session meeting minutes, and it took him over a year to finally admit he never recorded nearly a dozen of them electronically or in writing. So much for the transparency he preaches.

  22. This guy keeps throwing stuff at the wall hoping that something will stick.

    Not sure anyone anticipated this.

    1. It’s an interesting approach he is taking. Either he is doing an obvious leftist political stunt in a mirror of the Republicans: just go batsh*t crazy and hope he can suck in a populist vote, or he is actually mentally ill. Either way, it’s not going to work here and he is going to be voted out in the next election.

  23. Alderman Reid is actively trying to make our town a haven for criminals! All of his ideas are backed by no idea or common sense! He can do anything to our city and make it a scary place to live. We need to get this guy out of the City Council ASAP!

  24. This is what we end up with when we’re afraid to speak up and note that someone is unqualified to hold a position. All because the people in this town are afraid of hurting anyones feelings, especially if they come form certain backgrounds. Maybe next election this place will finally wake up to reality.

  25. I applaud Alderman Reid for bringing forward a review of these ordinances. And given that Alderman Reid has triggered the detestable ‘Francis Willard brigade’ that still lingers here in Evanston, and evidenced in the comments above, I applaud him all the more. I suspect he is rather enjoying the response he is getting from this priggish crowd. I sure am.

    1. Chris, you’re as bad as he is. The purpose of government isn’t to troll its constituents with inane ideas to tear down a part of the city you don’t fully agree with. You’re just rooting for anarchy which makes you a terrible human. While it’s fun to think of yourself as the Joker or something where you just want the world to burn, some of us actually have to raise families and take care of people without having to worry about objectively stupid things like letting people throw rocks or opening parks to encampments all night.

      I don’t know what happened in your life to make you like this but you should try and get over it.

    2. Not part of the Willard brigade…in fact former eighth ward. He is not fit to sit on the council.

    3. I voted for Reid. I live in the 8th ward and I think he’s gone too far. I liked his ideas for a more open city government and promoting racial & gender equality (I’m also black & gay) but these proposals are beyond idiotic. I’m concerned for his mental health and I wish him well, but I won’t be voting for him if he makes it to the next election, sorry to say.

  26. Every village has to have its idiot, and every metro area has to have its berserk left-wing and right-wing communities. Lots of great things about Evanston, but the combination of snooty, upper-middle class classism and “mind so open brain falls out” on favorite left-wing topics like race and police is pretty funny, but also unpleasant to be around.

  27. If you think the human services “innovations” Ald. Reed is proposing are not in the best interests of the people and will not make Evanston a better place, then it’s your responsibility to call him and email him and show up at the Human Services Committee meetings. He serves you, not the other way around.

  28. This is an embarrassment! Are we actually spending time on this vs spending time on REAL human services issues Evanston has? This is a complete waste of time for our citizens and elected officials. How can such discussion even be entertained? No wonder we can’t find a City Manager!

  29. We miss you Ann! After giving Reid a fair shake and attending one of his meetings I’ve been spending most of his tenure trying to figure out his agenda and I’m now certain it has nothing to do with serving his constituents. Can’t wait for Election Day!

  30. This is what happens when you have a tyranny of the minority. I don’t care where you live in Evanston or your political affiliation. The majority of residents just want to raise their families in a safe, accepting environment. Instead, we have crackpots at the fringes with megaphones who are enabled by a bunch of alders who seem to go along to get along. When are you going to wake up and and start paying some attention to the majority? When they are moving out in droves?

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