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Actual Civic Legislation, Actually Being Published, Reviewed, and Debated, Right Here in Chicago

Take a look at this post from the Reader's Ben Joravsky, helpfully subtitled "Mayor Daley proposes watered-down 2016 oversight to replace Manny Flores's oversight compromise".

Basically it chronicles a development at City Hall yesterday, whereby Alderman Manny Flores introduced a draft ordinance requiring strict oversight of the activities of the Chicago 2016 Committee, including details on spending, donations, and other operations of this key city agency.

Mayor Daley, having gotten wind of the tough provisions in the ordinance, introduced his own ordinance with no requirements for detail.

Flores then put together a handy chart if you want to see which version you prefer.

A key point, from my perspective, is on the level of detail to be disclosed. The Flores ordinance calls for "all expenditures" to be reported, the Daley ordinance references "a financial report". When presented with the choice of detail or aggregate, it's best to choose detail. If I can download an Excel spreadsheet of all bank activity for a given month, I'm guessing Chicago 2016 can, too. Half-measures avail us nothing.

But let's take the time to realize where we are:

  • A thoughtful Chicago alderman published a draft ordinance requiring real oversight of the activities of an entity working on our behalf-- looking to spend our money
  • The Mayor got wind of it and took the time to publish his own oversight ordinance
  • We're paying attention to actual legislation that will reach the Council floor. Political leaders-- Mayor Daley included, to his credit-- are taking the time to compose and publish their thoughts
One day at a time.

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ABOUT ME

Daniel X. O'Neil: Chicago-based writer and internet developer. I am a co-founder of and the People Person for EveryBlock, a site that pulls together local news and public information. I run dozens of personal projects and websites for clients, and also own half of a poetry book company.

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EveryBlock: A news feed for your block.
CTA Tweet: Unofficial Twitter tracker for the Chicago Transit Authority.
CityPayments: Database of all vendors, contracts, and payments that have been posted by the municipal government of the City of Chicago
Wesley Willis Art: Site dedicated to the fact that Wesley Willis was an artist.
Wide Right Turn: An incomplete look at the role of variation in a capitalist society.

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