Tuesday, July 14, 2015

TUNNEY STAFFER: Moving Pride Parade Is More About "When" Than "If"; Alternate Plans Echo CWB's June Report

City departments are scheduled to meet this week to discuss the results of this year's Pride Parade and a meeting of Alderman Tom Tunney's "community stakeholders" committee is scheduled to meet for a similar after-action review on July 21.

A Chicago police officer keeps his Taser at the ready while attempting
to clear the 800 block of Belmont hours after the 2015 Pride Parade. 
While Tunney has publicly stated that no decision has been made about where next year's Pride Parade will be held, his director of outreach last night told a community group that "It's more of a when it will move" than "if."

While stressing that a lot of feedback still needs to be received and digested, Erin Duffy's other comments about future possibilities sounded familiar to CWB readers in the audience at the South East Lake View Neighbors' monthly meeting.

As CWB reported exclusively on June 1, multiple city sources told us that there was never any serious discussion about moving the parade in 2015. But 2016 was a different story. We reported:

One of many brawls that broke out following the 2015 parade.
• City officials had come to consider the parade and after-party mayhem to be a "public safety issue" that needs to be addressed.

• If the parade is moved in 2016, the city would ask the Northalsted Business Alliance to move its popular Pride Fest street party to the same weekend as the parade.

So, it was a blast of deja vu in the seats at Second Unitarian Church last night when Duffy casually mentioned that "public safety is why [the parade] would move. Can we handle it anymore?"

"Pride Fest would be right after the parade," Duffy said, should the parade move.

But, Duffy insisted, a decision has yet to be made. The feedback received at the alderman's office so far has been that this year's parade was "better managed," she said.

Responding to a request from an audience member, Duffy agreed that the results of this week's city department meeting—including the police department's statistics—would be distributed in Tunney's weekly newsletter. Notes from the "stakeholders committee" will be similarly distributed, she said.

CWB has been in touch with several sources since the parade and none of them expects any city department to recommend keeping the parade in Boystown next year.

Another thing that none of them expects? For Boystown to ever host a parade and a street festival on the same day as some media outlets have been suggesting this summer.

"That's a logistical impossibility." Said one, with another adding, "someone got their wires crossed."
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