Chicago city council meeting postponed due to coronavirus

Chicago City Council

The previously scheduled Chicago city council meeting set for March 18 has been postponed to a later, yet-to-be-determined date.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office made the announcement on Monday. It follows guidance from Governor JB Pritzker on limiting gatherings. An executive order gives local governments the flexibility to conduct meetings without in-person attendance.

The mayor’s office says that it will work with members of the city council to determine the most efficient manner to proceed on policymaking. They are also looking for ways to ensure the continuity of city services and operations.

“During these unprecedented times, we cannot proceed with business as usual when the health and welfare of our residents and communities are at risk,” said Mayor Lightfoot.

“After consulting with public health officials and colleagues in the city council, we made the difficult decision to postpone our March meeting for several weeks while the city develops a procedure for the council to meet electronically pursuant to the governor’s executive action.

“I am fully committed to working with our city council to develop a plan for proceeding on key legislation and approvals that our communities are counting on while we combat COVID-19. These are trying times, but we are all in this together,” Lightfoot added.

The mayor’s office has also announced that it is limiting access to City Hall. The public will only have access to floors that provide public services. All other floors will only be open to staff. The limits are meant to ensure that Chicago is in compliance with the state’s prohibition on large gatherings.

Today was the first day that all Chicago Public Schools were closed. In addition, the state’s temporary closure of bars and restaurants to dine-in service began today. This follows similar closures in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. Restaurants are currently restricted to carry-out and delivery only.

Photo Credit: Daniel X. O’Neil | Flickr | CC

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