I hope everyone enjoyed the summer and is easing into fall. The Board of Aldermen was on break for most of the summer, but we’re back in session as of September. Residents, schools and daycare centers in Fox Park were the impetus for Board Bill 185, which I introduced in September. If it passes, this ordinance would allow Aldermen, residents, the Parks Department and the police to work together to make areas designed for kids 12 and under (playgrounds, little league fields, etc.) to be designated and marked as Children’s Only Play Areas. It will give the police and park rangers the ability to request adults 18 years of age and over, not accompanied by a child 12 years of age or younger, to move to a different location. Unfortunately, many times, adults hang out on the playground equipment and won’t move for kids to use swings, slides, etc. When the police are able to search these individuals, many times they find weapons or drugs. Most times, the level of suspicion does not reach the level where the police are able to search, so the adults are allowed to stay at the expense of children being able to use equipment designed for them. In order to determine how to best address this issue, I undertook a lot of research and worked with the police department and attorneys to come up with solutions. I also sought out the input of residents in the 6th Ward. Other Aldermen across the entire City have similar problems in their parks and are supportive of this effort. While it is definitely not a perfect fix, I do believe this is the best solution at this time and worth a try to keep families and their children feeling safe enough to take advantage of our City’s amazing neighborhood parks. The Participatory Budget Pilot Project in the 6th Ward is also well underway. Come to one of our October Neighborhood Assemblies to learn more about how you can be a part of how ward capital funds are allocated in our neighborhoods.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me if I may be of service to you.