Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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City flag approved, new affordable housing authorized at City Council

The+new+city+flag+was+selected+from+over+200+submissions+to+the+Evanston+Youth+Flag+Design+Contest.+
Daily file photo by Jacob Wendler
The new city flag was selected from over 200 submissions to the Evanston Youth Flag Design Contest.

City Council decided on a new city flag along with the authorization to negotiate for new affordable housing in West Evanston on Monday night. City Council also approved an ordinance for ranked choice voting, but the implementation for it is still under contentious discussion. .. 

After more than 200 submissions to the Evanston Youth Flag Design contest in August 2023, the design of Bernie Allen-Harrah — a 7-year-old from Dawes Elementary — representing city icons Grosse Point Lighthouse and Lake Michigan became the official city flag at the meeting.. 

The flag was praised for its ability to “combine Evanston symbolism with attractive and abstract design elements,” according to the resolution. The flag has a green, blue and gold background, divided by a bright star, symbolizing the lighthouse in the midst of the city’s lush natural landmarks, including Lake Michigan and the city’s urban tree canopy. 

“The excitement I heard from my family and neighbors, it’s like overwhelming,” Ald. Juan Geracaris (9th) said.  “One of the first things I got texted the day after the (May 28th) meeting was ‘When can we buy flags?’

An ordinance to authorize the negotiation of 1831 through 1835 Brown Ave. into affordable ownership housing units passed unanimously, after a short discussion. The property is currently owned by the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church and would be funded with $400,000 of the city’s Affordable Housing Fund. The Ald. Bobby Burns-backed (5th) Here To Stay housing displacement subcommittee gave supporting comments. 

The goal of this housing project would be ownership, as current rental rates are higher than ownership rates in the Census Tract 8092. Nine housing units developed as condominiums would ensure the shared-equity ownership model, according to the approval. 

“Somewhere down the line there has to be some goal of home ownership,” said Evanston landlord and contractor Michael Dykes, who is part of the subcommittee. “I think it’s going to be a fantastic opportunity.” 

An ordinance to implement ranked choice voting for the ballot starting April 2025 was approved 8-1, aiming to add “extra clarification” for the County Clerk, Alexandra Ruggie, the corporation council said. Ald. Devon Reid (8th) was the sole dissenting opinion. 

“How will this ballot be designed, that is one of the most critical pieces of this because ranked choice voting is confusing and difficult,” Reid said. “There is nothing about ballot design in the ordinance, in the resolution.”

Reid argued to table the ordinance on the basis of what he called “constitutional errors,” in that the referendum did not include a “complete procedural framework.” This motion failed. Reid also dissented in the June 10 Council meeting for similar reasons.

 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @shreyasrin

 

Related Stories:

City Council introduces ranked-choice voting implementation ordinance, talks Landlord-Tenant agreements

 

‘Doom and gloom’ no more? City Council tackles financial future, tax changes

 

City Council approves Living Habitats contract to design ‘Civic Plaza’ downtown

 

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