CRMA – 121 Report – May 2019

CHICAGO SWEARS IN NEW MAYOR AND COUNCIL

 

CHICAGO’S MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT, CLERK, TREASURER AND ALDERMEN TAKE OFFICE

This morning, Chicago’s new Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, was sworn in as its 56th Mayor for a four-year term. Mayor Lightfoot is Chicago’s first African American female Mayor and its first Mayor who is openly gay. She, along with City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and City Clerk Anna Valencia, compose the top elected offices in the city, the first time that all three offices were held by women at the same time. It is indeed an historic day.

After a ceremony that featured local musicians and prayers from local clergy, Mayor Lightfoot gave a rousing speech which centered on four guiding principles that will lead her term as Mayor: Safety, Education, Stability and Integrity.

SAFETY

Mayor Lightfoot stated that Chicago will become a trauma-informed city that will focus on restoring resources to support mental health services and services for communities that are dealing with issues due to gun violence. She also promised to ensure that police reform remains a priority and that such reforms become part of the fabric of the city.

EDUCATION

Mayor Lightfoot will push for a quality public education for all communities and will ensure that it is one that is based in equity. She promised to expand early childhood education programs and for those high school students that are interested in learning a trade, she promised to have programs available to train them.

STABILITY

Mayor Lightfoot promised that she will help create a path to solvency for the city’s pensions without balancing shortfalls on the backs of the working class and the poor. She will focus on affordable housing and home ownership as a way to stabilize communities, and she will support the business community by placing an emphasis on neighborhood businesses instead of focusing on growing the Central Business District.

INTEGRITY

In response to the old Chicago saying, “Chicago ain’t ready for reform…”, Mayor Lightfoot announced that, “Reform is here.” She will focus on ending corruption in City Hall with a focus on the City Council. To that end, she is preparing to sign an Executive Order as her first act of business which will end what she deems the worst abuses of Aldermanic privilege. Mayor Lightfoot emphasized that Aldermen will continue to have a voice, but not a veto on certain ward matters.

CRMA looks forward to working with Mayor Lightfoot and her team as they get settled into their new roles. Since the retail industry accounts for about 1 in 5 jobs in this State, we expect that she will be interested in partnership and we look forward to being a voice of experience and reason.

Cheers to the new Mayor, Treasurer, Clerk and all 50 Aldermen who begin the first day of their terms today.

 

PROPOSED CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE CHAIRMANSHIPS

 

All Committee Chairmen are voted on by a simple majority of the City Council. The Mayor makes recommendations, but ultimately, the Council decides. Regardless, it has long been the practice that the Council approves the recommendations of the Mayor. To date, those recommendations include:

AVIATION

Former: Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th Ward)
Recommended: Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th Ward)

BUDGET AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Former: Ald. Carrie Austin (34th Ward)
Recommended: Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd Ward)

COMMITTEES RULES AND ETHICS

Former: Ald. Michelle Harris (8th Ward)
Recommended Ald. Michelle Harris (8th Ward)

ECONOMIC, CAPITAL AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

Former: Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno (1st Ward)
Recommended: Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th Ward)

EDUCATION AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT

Former: Ald. Howard Brookins (21st Ward)
Recommended: Ald. Michael Scott, Jr. (24th Ward)

ETHICS

(NEW COMMITTEE)

Recommended: Ald. Michele Smith (43rd Ward)

FINANCE

Former: Ald. Pat O’Connor (40th Ward)
Recommended: Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward)

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

(NEW COMMITTEE)
Recommended: Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward)

HOUSING AND REAL ESTATE

Former: Ald. Joe Moore (49th Ward)
Recommended: Ald. Harry Osterman (48th Ward)

LICENSE AND CONSUMER PROTECTION

Former: Ald. Emma Mitts (37th Ward)
Recommended Ald. Emma Mitts (37th Ward)

PEDESTRIAN AND TRAFFIC SAFETY

Former: Ald. Walter Burnett (27th Ward)
Recommended: Ald. Walter Burnett (27th Ward)

PUBLIC SAFETY

Former: Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th Ward)
Recommended: Ald. Christopher Taliaferro (29th Ward)

SPECIAL EVENTS, CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND RECREATION

Former: Ald. Tom Tunney (44th Ward)
Recommended: Ald. Nicholas Sposato (38th Ward)

TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC WAY

Former: Ald. Anthony Beale (9th Ward)
Recommended: Ald. Howard Brookins (21st Ward)

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND AUDIT

Former: Ald. Patrick O’Connor (40th Ward)
Recommended: Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th Ward)

ZONING, LANDMARKS AND BUILDING STANDARDS

Former: Ald. Daniel Solis (25th Ward)
Recommended: Ald. Tom Tunney (44th Ward)

PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

Former: Ald. Margaret Laurino (39th Ward)
Recommended: Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward)

 

The next full City Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 10am in City Council Chambers.

Tanya TricheTanya Triche Dawood
Vice President, General Counsel
Illinois Retail Merchants Association
312-726-4600

ttrichedawood@irma.org

CRMA – 121 Report – Election Edition

CHICAGO ELECTION RESULTS

For the first time in a very long time, Chicago voters went to the polls to vote for Mayor when there was no clear front-runner candidate and in a wide-open race. Choosing from a field of 14 contenders seemed to overwhelm even the most avid political watchers. The field was diverse ethnically, in age, by gender and in experience. And boy was it a wild race! There was an Alderman wearing a wire which tangled up a couple of candidates, there was a #MeToo accusation on one of the campaigns, cash giveaways in a church for property tax relief and a Kanye West appearance (no word yet on whether he arrived courtesy of the “iPlane 1”).

To be sure, there was significant discussion on the issues of the day, including police reform, support for public schools, crime reduction, holding the line on taxes, increasing taxes and implementing new taxes, building more affordable housing and supporting working families. Unfortunately for the business community, there didn’t seem to be much discussion on training and building a workforce capable of working in a technologically-advanced economy, attracting more employment opportunities, supporting commercial corridors or cutting red tape.

Maybe we’ll hear more about that in the run-off.

That said, in order to win an election outright in the city, a candidate has to secure 50% of the vote plus 1 vote. Tough to do in a field of 14. So the top two vote-getters win the chance to battle it out for the next election on April 2nd. And tonight, the people of Chicago have spoken…all 32% of them…and now our choice is between the current Cook County Board President who is Progressive, labor union-backed, and sweet on taxes against an independent, Progressive, no-nonsense attorney bent on reform. What is sure is that this race will be historic because it will guarantee that Chicago will have its first black, female Mayor.

Here are the vote totals:

MAYOR’S RACE – RUNOFF

Gery Chico:

Bill Daley:

Amara Enyia:

Bob Fioretti:

LaShawn Ford:

Jerry Joyce:

John Kozlar:

Lori Lightfoot:

Garry McCarthy:

Susana Mendoza:

Toni Preckwinkle:

Neal Sales-Griffin:

Paul Vallas:

Willie Wilson:

WARD REPORT

Lest you thought the race was over, all 50 Aldermanic seats are up at the same time. While we had a few Aldermen who announced their retirements, the majority of Aldermen ran for re-election. Most people were looking to see if Chicago was going to join the Progressive wave sweeping the nation, or if Chicago voters chose to move in a different direction, preferring to gravitate toward the center. And the result so far seems to be a bit of a mixed bag. While you have a Progressive candidate beating a long-term incumbent, you also have a more centrist candidate defeating a vocal Progressive Alderman. Mostly, we will have to see how some of the key runoff races shake out in April.

Winners and run-off races are bolded in green.

 

Ward 1

Proco “Joe” Moreno (I):

Daniel La Spata

Ward 2

Brian Hopkins (I) (uncontested)

Ward 3

Pat Dowell (I):

Alexandria Willis:

Ward 4

Sophia King (I):

Ebony Lucas:

Ward 5 – RUNOFF

Leslie Hairston (I):

William Calloway:

Gabriel Piemonte:

Ward 6

Roderick Sawyer (I):

Richard Wooten:

Deborah Foster-Bonner:

Ward 7

Gregory Mitchell (I):

Charles Kyle:

Jedidiah Brown:

Ward 8

Michelle Harris (I):

Jewel Easterling-Smith

Linda Hudson:

Faheem Shabazz:

Ward 9

Anthony Beale (I):

Cleopatra Watson:

Paul Collins:

Essie Hall:

Ward 10

Susan Sadlowski Garza (I):

Robert “Bobby” Loncar:

Ward 11

Patrick Daley Thompson (I):

David Mihalyfy:

Ward 12

George Cardenas (I):

Pete Demay:

Martha Yerania Rangel:

Jose Rico:

Ward 13

Marty Quinn (I):

David Krupa:

Ward 14

Edward M. Burke (I):

Jaime Guzman:

Tanya Patino:

Ward 15 – RUNOFF

Raymond Lopez (I):

Joseph Williams:

Rafael “Rafa” Yanez:

Berto Aguayo:

Otis Davis, Jr.:

Ward 16 – RUNOFF

Toni Foulkes (I):

Stephanie Coleman:

Latasha Sanders:

Kenny Doss II:

Jeffrey Lewis:

Eddie Johnson III:

Ward 17

David Moore (I):

Raynetta Greenleaf:

Ward 18

Derrick Curtis (I):

Chuks Onyezia:

Ward 19

Matthew O’Shea (I):

David Dewar:

Ward 20 – OPEN – RUNOFF

Jeanette Taylor:

Nicole Johnson:

Maya Hodari

Jennifer Maddox:

Andre Smith:

Dernard Newell:

Quandra Speights:

Kevin Bailey:

Anthony Driver, Jr.:

Ward 21 – RUNOFF

Howard Brookins (I):

Marvin McNeil:

Patricia Foster:

Joseph Ziegler, Jr.:

Ward 22 – OPEN

Michael Rodriguez:

Lisette “Liz” Lopez:

Richard Juarez:

Neftalie Gonzalez:

Ward 23

Silvana Tabares (I):

Paulino Villarreal, Jr.:

Ward 24

Michael Scott, Jr. (I):

Creative Scott:

Toriano Sanzone:

Traci Johnson:

Ward 25 – OPEN – RUNOFF

Hilario Dominguez:

Alexander Acevedo:

Troy Antonio Hernandez:

Byron Sigcho-Lopez:

Aida Flores:

Ward 26

Roberto Maldonado (I):

Theresa Siaw:

David Herrera:

Ward 27

Walter Burnett, Jr (I):

Cynthia Bednarz:

Ward 28

Jason Ervin (I):

Miguel Bautista:

Jasmine Jackson:

Beverly Miles:

Ward 29

Christopher Taliaferro (I):

Dwayne Truss:

Zerlina Smith:

Ward 30 – RUNOFF

Ariel Reboyras (I):

Jessica Gutierrez:

Edgar “Edek” Esparza:

Ward 31 – RUNOFF

Milagros Santiago (I):

Colin Bird-Martinez:

Felix Cardona, Jr.:

Ward 32

Scott Waguespack (I) (uncontested)

Ward 33 – RUNOFF

Deborah Mell (I):

Katie Sieracki:

R. Rodriguez Sanchez:

Ward 34

Carrie Austin (I):

Preston Brown, Jr.:

Ward 35

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa(I):

Amanda Yu Dieterich:

Ward 36

Gilbert Villegas (I) (uncontested)

Ward 37

Emma Mitts (I):

Tara Stamps:

Deondre Rutues:

Ward 38

Nicholas Sposato (I) (uncontested)

Ward 39 – OPEN – RUNOFF

Robert Murphy:

Samantha “Sam” Nugent:

Casey Smagala:

Joe Duplechin:

Ward 40 – RUNOFF

Patrick O’Connor (I):

Ugo Okere:

Dianne Daleiden:

Andre Vasquez:

Maggie O’Keefe:

Ward 41

Anthony Napolitano (I):

Tim Heneghan:

Ward 42

Brendan Reilly (I) (uncontested)

Ward 43 – RUNOFF

Michele Smith (I):

Derek Lindblom:

Leslie Fox:

Jacob Ringer:

Steven McClellan:

Rebecca Janowitz:

Ward 44

Tom Tunney (I):

Austin Baidas:

Elizabeth Shydlowski:

Ward 45

John Arena (I):

Marilyn Morales:

James “Jim” Gardiner:

Robert Bank:

Ward 46 – RUNOFF

James Cappleman (I):

Marianne Lalonde:

Erika Wozniak Francis:

Justin Kreindler:

Angela Clay:

Jon-Robert McDowell:

Ward 47 – OPEN – RUNOFF

Eileen Dordek:

Angela “Angie” Maloney:

Heather Way Kitzes:

Michael Negron:

Matt Martin:

Gus Katsafaros:

Thomas Schwartzers:

Kimball Ladien:

Jeff Jenkins:

Ward 48

Harry Osterman (I):

David Earl Williams III:

Ward 49

Joe Moore (I):

Maria Hadden:

Ward 50

Debra Silverstein (I):

Andrew Rowlas:

Zehra Quadri:

City Clerk – RUNOFF

Melissa Conyears-Ervin:

Ameya Pawar:

Peter Gariepy:

City Treasurer

Anna Valencia (I) (uncontested)

 

These results were printed before the final official tally from the Board of Elections, so there may be some adjustments.

Tanya TricheCONTACT:

Tanya Triche Dawood
Vice President, General Counsel
Illinois Retail Merchants Association
312-726-4600
ttrichedawood@irma.org

CRMA – 121 Report – November 2018

Chicago City Council Ordinance and Resolution Introductions

INTRODUCTIONS

ORDINANCE – BAN ON PLASTIC STRAWS AND STIRRERS

Sponsors: Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th Ward) and Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th Ward) 

Joint Committee: Aviation and Finance

 

There were a number of ballot questions in this past election for Chicago residents to consider. Among them was a question asking if plastic straws should be banned. Of those voting on the question, 55% voted “Yes” and 45% voted “No.” With those results, the sponsors decided to move forward with a proposal to ban businesses from selling or otherwise providing plastic straws or stirrers to customers. Alternatives can be sold/offered as long as they are reusable and/or biodegradable.

There has been a push in the environmental advocacy community to ban plastic straws that it says has damaging effects to marine life. And while alternatives do exist, there have been significant challenges in being able to access the amount of alternatives needed to supply large, national/international companies. Seattle recently banned food service businesses from using and giving away plastic straws, utensils and cocktail picks in favor of compostable products. Seattle also mandates and provides composting services for a fee. In addition, the city allows businesses to keep plastic straws on hand to give to customers upon request. A number of large businesses have announced plans to change from plastic straws/stirrers to an alternative, but doing so takes time. Starbucks will have alternatives by 2020, Marriott will do the same by July 2019 and American Airlines switched this month. All of the companies went through rigorous testing and studied pricing and availability for over a year before making the transition. This proposal will require businesses to make the change in six months’ time.

IRMA has concerns that this proposal does not allow businesses to keep plastic straws upon request, especially for our customers that have developmental and/or medical challenges that make it difficult for them to use some of the more popular alternatives. We are also concerned that large companies are having a difficult time finding adequate supplies of alternatives which has made the price of those alternatives increase and made it more difficult for smaller businesses to access the alternatives. Lastly, we have concerns that this proposal is yet another increased cost of doing business in Chicago.

ORDINANCE – BAN ON THE SALE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS, ACCESSORIES AND LIQUID VAPING PRODUCTS THAT CONTAIN MENTHOL FLAVORING

Sponsor: Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th Ward)

Committee: Finance

This proposal follows action taken by the city of San Francisco this year to ban the sale of tobacco products containing menthol. It is estimated that San Francisco will lose about $50 million in tobacco tax revenue in response to the measure. Chicago’s proposal was introduced a day before the FDA announced that it would begin procedures to look into banning cigarettes that contain menthol. The FDA is choosing not to move towards banning menthol in e-cigarettes and vaping products because it is concerned that such a move will act as a dis-incentive for adults to switch from smoking to vaping. The Chicago proposal would ban menthol in all products.

IRMA opposes this measure. If such an action does not occur on the federal level, Chicago will be ceding sales of the product to nearby jurisdictions as well as to the underground, illegal market. This will exacerbate the issue certain communities already have with the illegal, uncontrolled sale of unstamped cigarettes and would blow a hole in the already shrinking tobacco tax revenue the city is receiving.

 

PROPOSALS FOR PUBLIC QUESTIONS ON THE FEBRUARY 2019 BALLOT

The following questions were introduced for consideration on the next municipal ballot, but due to timing, none of them will be considered. All of them focus on increasing the real estate transfer tax as a way to generate more revenue to tackle very specific public policy issues. Mayor Emanuel publicly expressed reservations that Aldermen should refrain from treating home and business owners as continual sources for more revenue, even if the goal is to fund worthy projects. IRMA members should note what was being proposed and keep them in mind as Chicago works through its election season. Depending on the changes in the Mayor’s office and the Council, it is possible that we may see these themes again under a new administration:

1. Shall the City of Chicago impose a real estate transfer tax increase of 27% for all transfer price that is above $1 million to establish a new transfer tax rate of $3.75 per $500 of all of the transfer price that is at or below $1 million, and $4.75 per $500 of all of the transfer price that is above $1 million to be paid by the buyer of the real estate transferred? The increase in revenue would benefit the pension funds for fire fighters and police officers.

2. Shall the City of Chicago impose a real estate transfer tax increase of 160% to establish a new tax rate of $9.75 for every $500 of transfer price or fraction thereof for transfers over $1 million in transfer price to be paid by the buyer of the real estate transferred? The increase will be used to provide resources for housing and services to combat homelessness in the City of Chicago.

3. Shall the City of Chicago impose a real estate transfer tax increase of 133% to establish a new transfer tax rate of $9.75 for every $500 of transfer price, or fraction thereof, for transfers over $750,000 in transfer price to be paid by the buyer of the real estate transferred? The increased revenue would be used for the sole purpose of retrofitting and remediating the city’s water delivery pipes and infrastructure to eliminate lead and other harmful materials from the water delivered to the city’s residents, schools, parks, businesses and visitors.

 

PASSED LEGISLATION

2019 MANAGEMENT ORDINANCE (Effective Date: January 1, 2019)

The City’s annual Management Ordinance generally is amended during the budget season to clean up language that may conflict with state and/or federal law. It has also been used to add strengthen regulations and add new roles/responsibilities. For example, this year, the Council has added a new Department of Housing, recognizing the increasing costs of living in the city and the difficult process of trying to address gentrification.

Retail and restaurants will be most interested in the following changes:

Food Code: Minor, non-substantive changes have been made to ensure that definitions refer to the FDA’s Food Code (pages 48-52)

Benches on the Public Way: The department noticed that a number of businesses were affixing non-advertising benches to the public way for the comfort of their customers and other passers-by. While the benches are often a nice touch, they are illegal without a permit. This part of the ordinance ensures that business owners that wish to add benches must first seek a permit that must be approved by the City Council (pages 52-56)

Protesting a Tax Determination/Assessment: Allows a person to either pay the tax with interest under protest while they appeal, or they can pay $10,000, whichever is less. Also sets forth timing on appeals (pages 56-58)

Deceptive Practices (Food): Clarifies that retailers are allowed to sell out of date shelf-stable products as long as the products are clearly labeled and separated from merchandise that is not out of date; ultimately this kind of violation will be eligible for pre-payment so that business owners found in violation can avoid the administrative hearings process if they so choose (page 61)

 

2019 REVENUE ORDINANCE (Effective Date: January 1, 2019)

The annual Revenue Ordinance encapsulates all changes to revenue that were considered during the budget process. While the City Council can make changes to revenue throughout the year these changes reflect what the elected officials believe is necessary to have a balanced budget for the upcoming year.

Retail and restaurants will be most interested in the following changes:

Deceptive Practices: Changes the general fine from not less than $2000 and no more than $10,000 per offense, to not less than $500 and no more than $10,000 per offense (page 1)

Retail Tobacco Dealer License Fees: Doubles per location fees and cash register fees to $500 and $330 respectively (page 2)

City Council is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday, December 12, 2018.

CONTACT:

Tanya TricheTanya Triche Dawood
Vice President, General Counsel
Illinois Retail Merchants Association
312-726-4600
ttrichedawood@irma.org

CRMA 121 Report – October 2018

OCTOBER 1, 2018

More about CRMA

Chicago City Council Ordinance and Resolution Introductions

INTRODUCTIONS

ORDINANCE – AMENDING THE BOUNDARIES FOR THE SALE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS

Sponsors: Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd Ward)

Committee: License and Consumer Protection

Currently, the law states that retailers are prohibited from selling tobacco products within 100ft of the property line of a school, day care or any other facility used primarily for the education/recreation of children under 18 years old. This proposal would change the measurement from property line to property line, to door to door. Therefore, if a tobacco retailer were located in a strip mall or an enclosed building, they wouldn’t be precluded from selling tobacco products simply because the outer line of the entire building is within 100ft of a prohibited location. IRMA supports this proposal.

 

ORDINANCE – CLEAN DRINKING WATER TRANSFER TAX

Sponsors: Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) and Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th Ward)

Committee: Finance

A recent sampling from homes in Chicago found that 30% of those homes had lead in the tap water at an amount higher than what the FDA allows in bottled water. Some blame the higher concentrations on the city’s continued use of lead service lines even though the lines are actually serviced by individual homeowners. The city now distributes lead testing kits for free to homeowners upon request, but has not agreed to overhaul the remaining lead service lines. While the city is not running afoul of federal law with the amount of lead found in its tap water, health advocates argue that any consumption of lead from water is too much.

This proposal would add a $50 flat fee to be collected whenever real estate is transferred and the transfer tax is owed. The proposal does not though, direct the revenue to any specific fund for replacing the city’s lead service lines or other cause that would help eradicate this source of lead in the city’s tap water. IRMA is reviewing the proposal.

 

ORDINANCE – COUNCIL APPROVAL FOR SIGNS

SPONSOR: Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward)

COMMITTEE: Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards

This proposal would require city council approval for any sign that exceeds 60 square feet unless it is a part of the city’s digital sign program. Currently, the Code requires such approval for signs that exceed 100 square feet. We are researching the impetus of this proposal and will have more information soon.

 

PASSED LEGISLATION

 

ORDINANCE – VAPE TAX INCREASE

SPONSOR: Mayor Rahm Emanuel

This ordinance was introduced direct to the recessed Finance committee which met the morning of the City Council meeting. The measure was passed and reported out to the full Council just a few hours later where it passed overwhelmingly. The ordinance was introduced in response to the recent announcement by the FDA calling teen vaping an “epidemic.” The FDA visited retailers all around the country to see if they were violating the sale of tobacco products to minors. After the investigation, the FDA announced that it has asked the manufacturer community to produce a response for how it will keep vape products out of the hands of teens. It gave manufacturers 60 days to respond. We are still within that window and expect that the tobacco community will respond with a detailed plan to address teen vaping. In the interim, the advocate community encouraged an increase in Chicago’s vape tax in an effort to make the products too expensive for teens. In both cases the tax has nearly doubled. The vape tax on the unit increased from 80 cents to $1.50 and the tax on the juice has increased from 55 cents/mL to $1.20/mL

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 30, 2018

 

ORDINANCE – POP-UP RESTAURANTS AND RETAIL

SPONSOR: Mayor Rahm Emanuel

This ordinance seeks to encourage retail and restaurant entrepreneurs to try out their new concepts by “popping up” in a vacant storefront and operating for a limited amount of time. While Chicago has had its share of pop up locations for years, the regulations have not always been clear. This ordinance now clarifies what both the entrepreneurs and land owners must do in order to have a pop-up shop lawfully operating in the city. Licenses can go for as short as 5 days and as long as 180 days depending on the use. If the space will have food, it will need to be prepared in a shared kitchen or licensed and regulated kitchen which can be on premises or at a separate location. In certain instances, the host property will need a license as will the user. We encourage members to talk with your landlord if you are interested in operating a pop-up shop to ensure that everyone has procured the necessary permits. The city is excited about being able to allow these innovative concepts with minimal interference from City Hall and the business community is glad to have clarity and a clear path to try new and exciting concepts.

EFFECTIVE DATE: DECEMBER 1, 2018

The next City Council meeting is scheduled on October 31, 2018, but the Council will meet prior to that date to hear Mayor Emanuel’s last budget address.

CONTACT:

Tanya TricheTanya Triche Dawood
Vice President, General Counsel
Illinois Retail Merchants Association
312-726-4600
ttrichedawood@irma.org

CRMA 121 Report – September 2018

Chicago City Council Ordinance and Resolution Introductions

INTRODUCTIONS

 

ORDINANCE – AMENDING THE BOUNDARIES FOR THE SALE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS

Sponsors: Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd Ward)

Committee: License and Consumer Protection

Currently, the law states that retailers are prohibited from selling tobacco products within 100ft of the property line of a school, day care or any other facility used primarily for the education/recreation of children under 18 years old. This proposal would change the measurement from property line to property line, to door to door. Therefore, if a tobacco retailer were located in a strip mall or an enclosed building, they wouldn’t be precluded from selling tobacco products simply because the outer line of the entire building is within 100ft of a prohibited location. IRMA supports this proposal.

 

ORDINANCE – CLEAN DRINKING WATER TRANSFER TAX

Sponsors: Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) and Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th Ward)

Committee: Finance

A recent sampling from homes in Chicago found that 30% of those homes had lead in the tap water at an amount higher than what the FDA allows in bottled water. Some blame the higher concentrations on the city’s continued use of lead service lines even though the lines are actually serviced by individual homeowners. The city now distributes lead testing kits for free to homeowners upon request, but has not agreed to overhaul the remaining lead service lines. While the city is not running afoul of federal law with the amount of lead found in its tap water, health advocates argue that any consumption of lead from water is too much.

This proposal would add a $50 flat fee to be collected whenever real estate is transferred and the transfer tax is owed. The proposal does not though, direct the revenue to any specific fund for replacing the city’s lead service lines or other cause that would help eradicate this source of lead in the city’s tap water. IRMA is reviewing the proposal.

 

ORDINANCE – COUNCIL APPROVAL FOR SIGNS

SPONSOR: Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward)

COMMITTEE: Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards

This proposal would require city council approval for any sign that exceeds 60 square feet unless it is a part of the city’s digital sign program. Currently, the Code requires such approval for signs that exceed 100 square feet. We are researching the impetus of this proposal and will have more information soon.

 

PASSED LEGISLATION

ORDINANCE – VAPE TAX INCREASE

SPONSOR: Mayor Rahm Emanuel

This ordinance was introduced direct to the recessed Finance committee which met the morning of the City Council meeting. The measure was passed and reported out to the full Council just a few hours later where it passed overwhelmingly. The ordinance was introduced in response to the recent announcement by the FDA calling teen vaping an “epidemic.” The FDA visited retailers all around the country to see if they were violating the sale of tobacco products to minors. After the investigation, the FDA announced that it has asked the manufacturer community to produce a response for how it will keep vape products out of the hands of teens. It gave manufacturers 60 days to respond. We are still within that window and expect that the tobacco community will respond with a detailed plan to address teen vaping. In the interim, the advocate community encouraged an increase in Chicago’s vape tax in an effort to make the products too expensive for teens. In both cases the tax has nearly doubled. The vape tax on the unit increased from 80 cents to $1.50 and the tax on the juice has increased from 55 cents/mL to $1.20/mL

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 30, 2018

 

ORDINANCE – POP-UP RESTAURANTS AND RETAIL

SPONSOR: Mayor Rahm Emanuel

This ordinance seeks to encourage retail and restaurant entrepreneurs to try out their new concepts by “popping up” in a vacant storefront and operating for a limited amount of time. While Chicago has had its share of pop up locations for years, the regulations have not always been clear. This ordinance now clarifies what both the entrepreneurs and land owners must do in order to have a pop-up shop lawfully operating in the city. Licenses can go for as short as 5 days and as long as 180 days depending on the use. If the space will have food, it will need to be prepared in a shared kitchen or licensed and regulated kitchen which can be on premises or at a separate location. In certain instances, the host property will need a license as will the user. We encourage members to talk with your landlord if you are interested in operating a pop-up shop to ensure that everyone has procured the necessary permits. The city is excited about being able to allow these innovative concepts with minimal interference from City Hall and the business community is glad to have clarity and a clear path to try new and exciting concepts.

EFFECTIVE DATE: DECEMBER 1, 2018

The next City Council meeting is scheduled on October 31, 2018, but the Council will meet prior to that date to hear Mayor Emanuel’s last budget address.

CONTACT

Tanya Triche

Tanya Triche Dawood
Vice President, General Counsel
Illinois Retail Merchants Association
312-726-4600
ttrichedawood@irma.org