LGBT- and housing-rights activists, on July 14, announced they were filing a lawsuit against the Chicago City Council for violation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act. The announcement was made in front of mayor Rahm Emanuel's office on the fifth floor of Chicago's city hall.
Activists contend that, despite being first in lineand arriving about 90 minutes earlyfor the May and June monthly meetings of the City Council, they and others were denied entrance, while guests and employees of the Council and mayor were ushered inside by staff, ahead of the line, according to a statement.
The lawsuit was filed by activist Rick Garcia and Andy Thayer of Gay Liberation Network and Uptown Tent City Organizers. The suit aims to nullify a $15.8 million deal for Montrose Clarendon Partners LLC that the Council approved at their June meeting, according to DNA Info.
Garcia said at the announcement that he and a friend were fourth and fifth in line prior to the June 22 meeting, and that city personnel repeatedly let in a number of individuals they referred to as "interns."
"At 10 a.m., the officers informed us that the city council chambers were full," Garcia said July 14. "For more than two hours we stood there, and not one was let in. We could not hear or witness the proceedings of the City Council. …I have never seen the general public excluded in this fashion, or such disregard for the general public."
Garcia alleged that as audience members left, new audience members were not let in.
"This intentional icing-out of the publicthe public who has the right to see, and hear, and participate in council meetingsis wrong, and I believe it violates the Open Meetings Act," he said.
DNA Info's article is at dnain.fo/29Gtv98 .