‘It hasn’t interrupted my public service’: Ald. Devon Reid responds to signs claiming he is behind on rent

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Jonah Elkowitz/Daily Senior Staffer

Ald. Devon Reid (8th) said he is currently a full-time student in addition to his position as an alderperson.

Selena Kuznikov, Assistant City Editor

Last Wednesday, signs were posted in front of an apartment building on Callan Avenue, where Ald. Devon Reid (8th) lives, claiming the first-term councilmember is behind on rent and nearing eviction from his residence.

Reid told The Daily that as a councilmember he makes less than $16,000 a year and receives biweekly payments of about $450 for his public service, which he said has affected his ability to pay rent.

Reid emphasized the matter has nothing to do with his capacity to serve as a local representative.

“This issue about my rent — it hasn’t interrupted my public service,” Reid said. “I’ve been dedicated to the work in the city to the issues of folks who have lived in the 8th Ward.”

The city has not disclosed the identity of the individual who posted the signs outside of the residence.

Evanston Police Department Commander Ryan Glew said a party associated with managing the building called and reported a theft of the signs around 3 p.m. last Wednesday.

Glew said responding officers mediated the return of the signs, but no arrests were made. Because no arrests were made, he could not comment on the parties named in the report.

The apartment building is owned by MLC Properties and Management. Marty Max, the building’s landlord, declined to comment until legal proceedings conclude this upcoming Friday in an eviction hearing.

Reid said he went back to school at a local community college in May 2021 and will soon wrap up his second year as a full-time student. He said he has been trying to balance his work as an alderperson and his academics.

Reid said he is supposed to receive a $1,500 monthly grant as a part of a scholarship from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. He said he received the scholarship as a former ward of the state. 

But Reid said he has yet to receive any payment from DCFS, which has caused him to fall behind on rent. 

“The way I’ve been able to keep up with (civic engagement) is a sacrifice to myself,” Reid said. “I think this is an example of that.”

As a part of his scholarship, Reid also has to maintain a full-time student status at his college and a C-grade point average. 

Reid said he hopes to continue giving full effort to his duties on the council.

“I hope folks really focus on my public service and not so heavily on my personal life, unless my personal life begins to impact my ability to do the job that I was elected to do,” Reid said.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @selenakuznikov 

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Last July, former City Clerk Devon Reid implemented a police transparency policy. Almost a year later, the city has yet to follow it.

Clarification: This article has updated the nature of Devon Reid’s work schedule and clarified the cost of his monthly grant and that he knows who stole the signs. The Daily regrets the error.