Yesterday was a long and exciting day. There were six committee meetings happening. Housing, Public Safety, Finance, Traffic, License, and Transportation all met throughout the day, some overlapping one another. These committee meetings are the "meat and potatoes" of the legislative process in the City Council of Chicago. By the time any piece of legislation reaches a City Council meeting, it's already been debated in whatever committee it went through or discussed behind the scenes.
Most of the meetings test your ability to pretend like you didn't just yawn, but you do get to learn about who the alderman are as people and you can pick up on the insider jargon. I take notes on items discussed that I may not know about. For example, in the Public Safety Committee's confirmation hearing of the new Chicago Police Department Superintendent there were terms like: "Broken window theory," which says that police need to strictly enforce the law against petty crimes like vandalism, public drinking, etc. because these crimes tend to lead into larger violent crimes.
The new superintendent stressed the fact that it's important that citizens feel safe and that they perceive their community as being a safe place to live. This notion makes sense. When it comes down to it there's about one cop for every two thousand citizens in this city.
Well, I have to get going. The Budget Committee is about to meet and I have to go practice my yawning with my mouth closed technique. I kid; it should be interesting to see where our tax dollars are going.