Last week, the City Council voted on how to spend money that was not needed for the property tax rebate program. I was excited to support the proposal to spend one million dollars for the development of a cybersecurity curriculum at the City Colleges. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing areas of our economy with many well-paying entry-level jobs. This money will be used to equip students to obtain employment in this sector.
I also supported the City Council’s action to give the Building Commissioner greater authority to discipline contractors performing work that is not permitted or unsafe. This legislation will help the City to avoid future tragedies like the one where a firefighter fell through an elevator shaft in a building where work was being performed that had not been permitted by the Building Department. The ordinance would allow the Building Commissioner to rescind permits and revoke business licenses of contractors.
I strongly support the resolution introduced by Alderman Burke and passed by the CityCouncil condemning recent acts of anti-Semitism. There have been bomb threats to dozens of Jewish Community Centers in recent weeks, including one to the Hyde Park Center. We cannot tolerate acts of hate, whether they are directed at Jews, Muslims, or members of any other group.
Lastly, at the February 27 meeting of the Committee on Zoning, I passed an ordinance to down-zone 6300-6312 N Central Ave and 6325-35 N Caldwell. This area holds a vacant lot and the recently shuttered 2001 gas station in Downtown Edgebrook. No current proposals exist, but down-zoning these two parcels gives the community a greater voice in the future of these two distressed properties.