City Council News

Legislative Corner

As Chairman of the Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology
Development, Alderman Laurino not only looks after the needs of her
ward but also tackles citywide issues that affect quality of life for
all Chicagoans. She has been the driving force behind several key
pieces of legislation.
Alderman Laurino has worked
closely with Finance Committee Chairman Edward Burke (14th Ward) on
creating a wireless infrastructure that would allow ubiquitous,
citywide high speed internet access for Chicago residents. She chaired
four public hearings in communities around the city on this topic and
currently sits on the Mayor's Advisory Council on Closing the Digital
Divide. Significant progress has been made on this project in the past
year, with the city of Chicago issuing a Request for Proposals for
installation of the infrastructure. The City is expecting to evaluate
responses to the proposals in 2007.
Alderman Laurino
introduced an ordinance which would expand mandatory ethics training to
include all city employees on a yearly basis. In order to implement
such training at minimal cost, one of the innovative ideas included in
this ordinance is to make the training available as an online program.
This program was up and running by the end of 2006.
Again
partnering with Alderman Burke, Alderman Laurino sponsored legislation
that requires the City to have realtime webcasts of the Chicago City
Council meetings. Equipment will be installed in the City Council
Chambers, with the first live webcast expected in 2007.
Joining
with Alderman Manuel Flores (1st Ward), Alderman Laurino sponsored a
ground breaking ordinance that regulates restrictive covenants that are
placed on property once occupied by grocery and drug stores. In the
past grocery and drug stores would close and leave behind
anticompetitive covenants attached to their deeds, which prevented
other similar stores from occupying the property, even if the original
store had no intention of returning to the area. This new law is
thought to be the first of its kind and greatly limits the duration of
such restrictive covenants, enabling future development and hastening
the return of needed services to communities.
Recently
Alderman Laurino again joined with Alderman Flores to introduce a
resolution that called together various civic groups and industry
associations to shed light on the disparity in distribution of grocery
stores throughout the city. At her Committee meeting, Chairman Laurino
convened a Task Force, with member on both sides of this issue, to
provide recommendations that would help to alleviate this problem.
In
the coming year, Alderman Laurino is looking forward to further
advancing these and other economic and technological advances.