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Tisdahl: Evanston ‘on our own’ with state, federal funding

Mayor+Elizabeth+Tisdahl+speaks+at+a+town+hall+Tuesday+evening.+Tisdahl+said+Evanston+was+%E2%80%9Con+our+own%E2%80%9D+when+it+comes+to+state+and+federal+support+at+a+town+hall+Tuesday+evening.+
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Tisdahl: Evanston ‘on our own’ with state, federal funding

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl speaks at a town hall Tuesday evening. Tisdahl said Evanston was “on our own” when it comes to state and federal support at a town hall Tuesday evening.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl speaks at a town hall Tuesday evening. Tisdahl said Evanston was “on our own” when it comes to state and federal support at a town hall Tuesday evening.

Katie Pach/Daily Senior Staffer

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl speaks at a town hall Tuesday evening. Tisdahl said Evanston was “on our own” when it comes to state and federal support at a town hall Tuesday evening.

Katie Pach/Daily Senior Staffer

Katie Pach/Daily Senior Staffer

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl speaks at a town hall Tuesday evening. Tisdahl said Evanston was “on our own” when it comes to state and federal support at a town hall Tuesday evening.

Kristina Karisch, Assistant City Editor

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Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said Evanston was “on our own” when it comes to state and federal support at a town hall Tuesday evening.

Tisdahl focused on the city’s response to state and federal policies such as the state budget crisis and continuing uncertainty surrounding funding for sanctuary cities at the event, which was her final town hall as mayor. She reaffirmed Evanston’s status as a “welcoming city” in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive orders and policies concerning immigration.

“I’m not looking for any help from the federal government,” Tisdahl said. “The state government couldn’t help us if it wanted to … We need to have big ideas for our community, because we’re kind of on our own, as are all the cities in this country at this point.”

Tisdahl also emphasized the city will largely have to operate without help from state and federal legislators when it comes to dealing with environmental issues and the state budget stalemate.

Tisdahl is not seeking reelection in the city’s upcoming mayoral contest. She has served in her current role since 2009, and previously spent six years as the 7th Ward alderman and over a decade on the Evanston Township High School/District 202 Board of Education.

“I have truly loved being your mayor,” Tisdahl said. “Thank you for all the help you’ve given me and all the support over eight years. I am not running again, but it was wonderful.”

She urged the next mayor and Evanston residents to come up with new ideas to help the city in the coming months and years, when, due to the lack of a state budget, she said the city’s budget will inevitably be impacted as well.

Kevin Brown, the city’s community services manager, spoke about the mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program, which has been an integral part of Tisdahl’s agenda.

The program currently employs around 750 adolescents and young adults in summer jobs with the goal of reducing crime during summer break. Additionally, the city is working in part with Northwestern to provide internships in various University departments to provide year-round jobs in an expansion of the program.

“One of the things that many of our young people talk about is employment,” Brown said. “They’ll tell you in the streets: ‘If I had something better to do I may be engaged in different activities.”

Matt Rodgers, the former chair of the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals, attended the meeting and publicly thanked the mayor for her service.

“She’s been very much an advocate — especially for the youth in the city” Rodgers told The Daily after the meeting. “It’s a balancing act any time you try to run a town like Evanston, where you have so many people who are so civically involved … I think she’s done a great job of that.”

After her term as mayor ends, Tisdahl will be able to devote herself more to spending time with family, though she will continue to follow city politics.

“I’m looking forward to the exciting things that the city can do,” she told The Daily.

Email: kristinakarisch2020@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @kristinakarisch

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