Unvaccinated Evanston City Council Members May Face Censorship or Be Barred from Meetings Without Negative COVID-19 Test: New City Proposal

Evanston City Council members must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus or show that they have tested negative against the disease – facing censure or expulsion from meetings if they fail to comply.

Mayor Daniel Biss recommended the resolution, amending the city’s rules under a proposal to be considered at the City Council meeting on Monday, January 24.

The meeting, to be held virtually, is scheduled to begin at 6 pm on January 24 and can be viewed online at cityofevanston.org/channel or on Cable Channel 16.

In a survey conducted by Evanston RoundTable last November, before boosters were available here, all but two of the 10 council members — the nine ward representatives and the mayor — reported that they had received two shots.

Two ward representatives did not respond to questions about their vaccination status.

Evanston City Council members are seen at a recent meeting. (City of Evanston Channel)

By then, Board members had returned to holding face-to-face meetings, often working closely with each other as well as staff, in closed executive sessions held in a small room outside the board chambers.

Mandatory requirement for city officials

The requirement that council members be vaccinated or tested reflects an October directive from Ike Ogbo, the city’s Director of Health and Human Services, requiring city officials to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The policy applied to all city employees, including seasonal and part-time workers, contractors, volunteers and interns.

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