Some Aldermen Getting An Earful On Speed Cameras
The Expired Meter spent the last few days calling all 50 ward community offices to get a feel for how Chicagoans were telling their city council members about the speed camera plan.
Overall, different wards seemed to be experiencing different levels of response from their communities. According to many ward offices, they had not received any calls or emails on the controversial traffic enforcement plan.
At two ward offices, staff members were completely unfamiliar with the issue while other offices said they had received calls, but would not divulge which way the sentiment was leaning. Many others never returned our calls.
However, of the 14 wards seeing significant constituent response and willing to reveal citizen sentiment, the majority were seeing overwhelming opposition to the speed camera plan.
City Council member offices receiving a majority of phone calls and emails asking their alderman to vote no on the ordinance include Joe Moreno (1st), Pat Dowell (3rd), John Arena (45th), Scott Waguespack (32nd), Nicholas Sposato (36th), Richard Mell (33rd) James Cappleman (46th) Mary O’Connor (41st) and Tom Tunney (44th).
“While we have not been flooded with response like some other wards, I have received approximately 35 emails, five calls, and two-drop-ins,” said 44th Ward spokesperson Max Bever. “Only one was in favor.”
The 1st ward was seeing overwhelming negative response according to spokesperson Matt Bailey.
“Of the email correspondence we’ve received, 95% is against,” related Bailey.
The other five wards who shared info with this site said they were seeing mixed feelings from the constituents who were calling or emailing.
This included Margaret Laurino (39th), Sandi Jackson (7th), Tim Cullerton (38th), Howard Brookins (21st), Michael Zalewski (23rd) and Marty Quinn (13th).
No wards reported a scenario where the majority of constituents supported the speed cameras.
But will constituent opposition sway elected representatives?
“Alderman Cappleman is concerned he hasn’t seen solid numbers on the issue,” says 46th ward Chief of Staff Tressa Feher who’s office is seeing 70% of constituents in opposition to the ordinance. “Is it worth the money? We haven’t seen the actual stats.”
“Our constituent response is always important,” says Bever. “At this time, Alderman Tunney still has many concerns about the facts and data surrounding the need for the speed cameras, as well as their placement and installation in the City (especially, who
has say over where the cameras get installed). Expect a vigorous debate at the
The Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety, will convene at 1 PM Wednesday in City Council Chambers at City Hall to discuss the proposed speed camera ordinance.