I hope you and your loved ones survived the recent storm that hit Chicago unscathed.
The horrible looting of Magnificent Mile and parts of Lincoln Park early this morning is appalling, and I am truly disheartened to see this kind of organized criminal activity damage our small business community, who have already suffered incredible losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. While the economic barriers faced by communities of color is an ongoing issue in our city that many policymakers including myself are working to address, looting and robbing business owners of their livelihoods will not be tolerated and the perpetrators of said crimes need to be held accountable for their actions. At this time, please help our businesses recover and support them by reporting any tips or criminal activity to the Chicago Police Department by dialing '9-1-1' or file a report online here. Follow along with the latest safety updates from CPD here.
Last Friday, Governor Pritzker announced new policies that will enable local law enforcement and the Illinois Department of Public Health to enforce updated safety guidance for businesses, schools, and child care establishments concerning the coronavirus pandemic. These measures aim at providing such establishments "multiple opportunities for compliance before any penalty is issued," referring to the state mandate on requiring masks in public spaces and implementing capacity limits for indoor environments. The new regulations come as a response to the recent rise in positive COVID-19 cases and a steady increase in the state's 7-day rolling positivity rate, which is currently at 4.1%.
In the same announcement, the governor also cited expanded protections for frontline workers by signing SB 471 into law, which provides retail and service workers authority in enforcing face-covering protocols and social-distancing in places of business. Read the full announcement here, which outlines the public health guidance enforcement and who is covered under the enhanced worker protections.
At the local level, the Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Department of Chicago announced that the city's e-scooter pilot program will be relaunched citywide on Wednesday, August 12th. The program, which had its initial pilot launch last summer, is now expanding to permit scooter usage on all public avenues in the city, including operations on the Lakefront Trail and the 606 Bloomingdale Trail. However, new restrictions with the program include no riding downtown and mandatory locking of scooters to fixed objects at the end of every trip. Continue reading this newsletter for more information on the program or visit chicago.gov/scooters.