City Council Meeting: Taxis, Petroleum Coke & Cardinal Francis George - NBC Chicago
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City Council Meeting: Taxis, Petroleum Coke & Cardinal Francis George

It's a busy day Wednesday as aldermen meet for the last time this year.



    City Council Meeting: Taxis, Petroleum Coke & Cardinal Francis George

    Update: City Council approved the Taxi Cab Driver Fairness Ordinance and postponed until January a decision on an another bill mandating that larger gas stations provide pumps with higher levels of ethanol, an alternative fuel derived from corn. Mayor Emanuel told reporters after the meeting he thinks the measure "needs a little more time to be thought through" in order to balance small business needs and environmental concerns.


    The Chicago City Council meets for the last time this year on Wednesday morning to address a range of legislation from lesser restrictions on taxi drivers to a crackdown on South Side stockpiles of petroleum coke. 

    The meeting begins at 10 a.m. and is streamed live on the website of the Chicago City Clerk.

    The to-do list:

    *A "yes" vote to a taxicab ordinance that would enforce a web-based unified dispatch to make it easier for cabbies to keep up with Uber's big push into the city. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has personal ties to Uber, supports the legislation, which doesn't involve a fare hike but lessens drivers' bills for leases and city fines.

    *An Emanuel-approved pitch by Aldermen Ed Burke and John Pope to snuff out petroleum coke reserves owned by the company KCBX Terminals and its ultra-conservative overlords Charles and David Koch. According to the Trib, "KCBX has a state permit to annually handle up to 11 million tons of the gritty material, a byproduct of oil refining that neighbors say frequently blows into surrounding areas."

    *A "maybe" vote on Burke's other environmentally-focused bill calling for 110 local gas stations to install E15 gasoline pumps that have higher levels of corn-based ethanol fuel.

    *The OK-ing of $13 million-plus in legal settlements including: $4.3 million toward a 2012 lawsuit from dozens of women who accused the fire department of discrimination in hiring practices, and $7.6 million to Dean Cage, who was imprisoned on a false rape conviction and exonerated in 2008 via DNA testing.

    *The introduction of a tweak to the city's affordable housing guidelines mandating that developers make room in upscale communities for wallet-friendly apartments.

    *As NBC 5 previously reported, the mayor will give Cardinal Francis George the Chicago Medal of Merit at Wednesday's meeting.

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