Locals remembered, honored by City Council

By Stephanie Saviola

Mayor Richard M. Daley opened the City Council meeting on Feb. 10 with praise and remembrance to local heroes: a fallen soldier, local journalists, Chicago police officers and Chicago


“What a way to start the new year, by saving people,” said Alderman Robert Fioretti, 2nd Ward.

Daley honored Sgt. Albert D. Ware, who was killed in Afghanistan in December 2009. Ware immigrated to the United States from Liberia, attended high school on Chicago’s South Side and attended Chicago State


“This is what makes America so great, the men and women who serve overseas for our country,” Daley said.

CLTV reporter and Chicago journalist Carlos Hernandez died Feb. 8. Daley and the aldermen praised Hernandez for his fair and accurate reporting.

A resolution was also approved to honor former Chronicle advisor and Columbia faculty member Jim Sulski who died on Jan 7.

Daley also spoke of the bravery of two Chicago police officers who stopped a man from committing suicide off a Lake Shore Drive bridge, and firefighters who pulled an unconscious man from a burning building at 3330 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Later in the meeting, Alderman Emma Mitts (37) and Alderman Helen Shiller (46) addressed the “silent issue”of elderly abuse.

“It is a silent crisis happening right under our nose,” Mitts said.

Mitts told City Council she was adamant about addressing this topic because there are currently no laws that apply to elderly abuse victims, only victims of domestic violence and child abuse.

“These seniors should be free of manipulation during bad economic times,” Mitts said. “The number of elderly abuse [incidents] is rapidly increasing.”

Elderly abuse is defined as any action or inaction by a caretaker who places the health and well-being of an elderly person in jeopardy. Mitts is an advocate for raising awareness for elderly abuse victims.

“It is time to give American seniors the dignity, respect and justice they deserve,” Mitts said.

According to a report conducted by The U.S. Health and Human Services Department, more than 91 percent of nursing homes lack adequate staff to properly care for their patients.

Elderly abuse is more than just physical and emotional abuse. There has been an increase in reports of financial exploitation, as well as sexual abuse.

Mitts mentioned during the meeting that even though there is a day dedicated to raising awareness of elderly abuse, seniors are abused every day throughout the nation and Chicago.

Also during the Rules and Ethics Committee portion of the meeting, aldermen voted on an ordinance that would ban family members from being on an alderman’s payroll. The ordinance was first proposed to in November 2009. Aldermen voted 33 to 5 in favor of the rule.

Part of the reason for the ordinance came after former 29th Ward Alderman Isaac Carothers pled guilty to charges of bribery.

Alderman Bernard Stone, 50th Ward, spoke against the ordinance during the meeting. Stone objected to creating a special status for contractual positions that excluded relatives.

“The only reason this matter is before you is because of how it looks to the public,” Stone said during the meeting.

Daley also discussed during the meeting his plans to send a watchdog out for aldermen and their employees. An ordinance has yet to be created, but there are plans for a proposal.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for March 10 at 10 a.m. at 121 N.

LaSalle St.