The sponsors of a proposed “Fair Workweek” ordinance for Evanston say they want more time to work out details of the proposal.

The ordinance, which had been tabled at the February meeting of the Human Services Committee, was scheduled to be up for a vote at Monday’s committee meeting.

But the sponsors, Mayor Daniel Biss and Ald. Devon Reid (8th) now say they want to delay action on the proposal until May.

In a memo in the packet for Monday’s meeting, they claim to be “in continuous conversations with relevant stakeholders” about how to amend the ordinance “to address outstanding concerns.”

The idea that Evanston should adopt a “Fair Workweek” ordinance modeled on one that went into effect in 2020 in Chicago was first proposed by Reid in May 2022.

The Evanston plan would hit a somewhat different range of industries and apply to smaller businesses than those targeted by the Chicago ordinance.

After Biss joined in sponsoring the proposal last month, several business owners turned out for the HSC meeting to decry what one described as “insane restrictions” on small businesses.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Anything — ANYTHING — Devon Reid is for is, IMO, a bad idea for the future of Evanston. No need to look at the details.

  2. “continuous conversations with relevant stakeholders” is newspeak for “we are now talking to business owners who are telling us to leave them alone or they’ll shut down and leave Evanston”

  3. What the “mayor” and Alderperson Reid should be spending their time on is making Evanston a better city to do business in, not making it a harder city to do business in.

    We have raised parking rates, increased fees and taxes, passed new regulations (must take cash, must not use plastic), reduced and vilified our police force, and populated our business centers with beggars and drug addicts. And now you are trying to tell businesses how to schedule their employees? If you stand downtown on a quiet day you can almost hear the giant sucking sound caused by people and businesses leaving Evanston. Sometimes I think this madness is purposeful and that thought is frightening.

    Our leaders should focus on the basics – safety (still reeling from the defunding madness of years ago), fiscal responsibility, making Evanston business-friendly (our council is engaged in the opposite), improving roads and bridges, picking up the garbage, caring for our weakest citizens, and beautifying the city.

    Leave social engineering to the state of Illinois and let’s get back to basics.

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