Luke Stowe.

Evanston City Manager Luke Stowe says he’ll have no tolerance for any manager who retaliates against Black employees who have claimed workplace discrimination by the city.

Stowe, speaking at an online 9th Ward meeting Wednesday night, said a report issued by an anonymous group of employees a few weeks ago alleging discriminatory practices “was troubling and disturbing.”

The group raised concerns about pay disparity and human resources practices and called for more racial equity and anti-oppression initiatives and training.

Stowe said he has spent considerable time since then working to put the city in a position to respond appropriately.

He said he and Ald. Krissie Harris (2nd) met with a group of the employees last week and have another meeting with them scheduled next week.

“I’d describe the first meeting as positive and productive,” Stowe added, saying most of the recommendations from the employee group were “highly reasonable” and many were things that the city “had been working on already.”

“Some of the timelines offered by the group are a little ambitious,” Stowe said, adding that he would work “on coming up with reasonable expectations.”

“The last thing I want to do is say we we can do something in three months, when it will actually take seven month,” he said.

Juan Geracaris, with a summery photo in his Google Meet background Wednesday night.

Ald. Juan Geracaris (9th) said “I’m really happy with how Luke has handled this,” referencing a roadmap posted by the city Tuesday setting out a scheduled for developing responses over the next two months.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. I wonder how many of these instances of retaliation occurred with union vs non-union positions. If union positions, the City will have a hard time holding them responsible for their actions. Paid leave isn’t much of a punishment.

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