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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Misdemeanor charges dropped against NU faculty for activity during pro-Palestinian encampment
City Council approves $2 million grant application to renovate Hilda’s Place, talks Evanston Dog Beach accessibility access
City Council expands guaranteed income program, exempts athletic fields from leaf blower ordinance
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City Council expands guaranteed income program, exempts athletic fields from leaf blower ordinance

The+expansion+eligibility+would+include+families+with+children+who+are+entering+third+grade%2C+which+would+make+approximately+99+to+108+new+families+eligible.+
Daily file photo by Jacob Wendler
The expansion eligibility would include families with children who are entering third grade, which would make approximately 99 to 108 new families eligible.

City Council expanded eligibility for the guaranteed income program and approved an exemption for athletic fields to the leaf blower ordinance Monday night.

City Council discussed amending Project 8092, the second round of guaranteed income payments, to include more families. Project 8092 is available to families in the fifth ward who have at least one child five years old or younger and are at or below 184% of the federal poverty line. 

The program has enough funding to provide 150 families with $500 per month for one year to spend however they see fit, but according to city staff only 60 families have registered for the program. 

On Monday, staff proposed expanding eligibility to include families with children who are entering third grade, which would make approximately 99 to 108 new families eligible. 

“As mentioned before, I have concern that there is a need for this guaranteed income outside of one area and if we’re going to make adjustments, I would like it to be open,” Ald. Krissie Harris (2nd) said. “I’m okay with the lottery type but everything needs help. We need help, not just (in) one concerted place.”

Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th) agreed with Harris, stating that he prefers expanding the program to the entire city of Evanston over increasing the age requirement because it would be more equitable.

Ald. Devon Reid (8th) motioned for the program to expand its geographic scope and include  the census tracts of both the 5th Ward and the 8th Ward, which have the highest rates of poverty in the city. Harris seconded the motion.

“I would imagine that when you look at the rates of childhood poverty and other poverty indicators, the need is concentrated,” Reid said. “This will allow us to get the most bang for our buck.”

Evanston Policy Coordinator Alison Leipziger noted the money for this program has been committed by Northwestern through the community benefits agreement

Leipziger said implementation of the new age requirement would be easier because they know how many families would qualify through Evanston/Skokie School District 65. If the program expands to the whole city, they will have to implement either a first come, first serve or lottery system, Leipziger said.

“(This) is why we had proposed the age increase instead. It was concrete. We knew how many households exactly and we knew we could reach them through District 65,” Leipziger said. “I completely understand why we would want to open it up to the whole city, but it’s a hard population to reach.”

Reid withdrew his motion, and City Council voted 4-4 with Mayor Daniel Bliss breaking the tie to approve the staff recommended implementation of the amended age requirement to Project 8092. 

At the last City Council meeting, an athletic field exemption from the leaf blower ordinance was introduced but lacked the definition of what an athletic field is.

On Monday, Nieuwsma proposed to amend the athletic field exemption to define an athletic field as primarily “a playing field, sports grounds or open space used for organized sporting events in physical activities.” 

The amendment also noted that this definition includes athletic fields that are associated with schools, universities, city recreational fields and athletic clubs but does not include private residences. 

The amendment was approved unanimously and the amended ordinance was approved 5-3 with Ald. Clare Kelly (1st), Reid and Ald. Juan Geracaris (9th) dissenting. 

“I don’t know if we need to exclude Northwestern from not having to use electric blowers,” Reid said. “I would venture to say that they likely do already but I just don’t see a need to exclude them and as the definition reads now they are excluded.”

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