ASG President Claire Lew said Monday night that ASG will start work in the coming week to draft an amendment to the “three unrelated” ordinance that the group can present to the Evanston City Council. Lew said that student government will also present the council with a petition for an amendment bearing about 4,200 signatures as of Monday.
“We’re working on it right now and want to sit down with lawyers to write the exact stipulations of the amendment,” Lew said.
Lew addressed the council during the public comment portion of a special council meeting Monday night. The meeting, other than public comments from Lew and one other student, did not include any discussion of the “brothel law.”
Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said after the meeting that she would be willing to look at possible changes to the three unrelated ordinance and consider changing it.
“I think we’re willing to look at the ordinance,” Tisdahl said. “We would look at it with all the citizens.”
She added that for an amendment to be made, it would need to be in the best interest of both Northwestern students and Evanston residents.
“It has to be a community decision,” the mayor said. She suggested that students have conversations about the amendment not just among themselves, but with their neighbors, too.
Tisdahl stressed that although the council would look at a proposed amendment, that does not mean that the ordinance as it stands will hurt students. The policy is directed at landlords, she said.
The mayor added that she would like to establish a stronger line of communication with Lew and ASG to better deal with issues like the three unrelated ordinance.
“We felt we needed the relationship with Claire that we have with the university administration,” Tisdahl said. She cited the fact that she was not invited to last Tuesday’s town hall meeting as an example of the need for a better relationship with Northwestern in general.
“I was not invited to the town hall meeting, which I think is a mistake on the part of the university,” Tisdahl said.
Lew said the town hall was not meant to be a joint city-university meeting, but rather an informational meeting with students and administration. During the council meeting, Lew invited Tisdahl and the aldermen to attend the next ASG Senate meeting and continue to communicate with students.
“I just wanted to ensure that the conversation on this ordinance is continued,” Lew said. “We just need to work together to find a more sustainable solution for students regarding the ordinance.”