City Cast

Why Submit A Public Comment to Chicago's City Council?

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on July 12
The Chicago flag hangs across from City Hall

The Chicago flag hangs across from City Hall. (Antonio Perez / Tribune / Getty)

We are a week out from the next City Council meeting, and if you want to weigh in on issues from public safety to zoning, it's time to prep.

You can always reach out to your adler about issues in your ward, but public comment at City Council is a bigger platform with a bigger audience: all 50 alders and the mayor. Better Government Association had some tips.

Comment in person

Enter City Hall through the Washington Street entrance at least an hour before the meeting starts. Fill out a form indicating you want to comment. Five in-person speakers will be chosen at random, and each will have three minutes to speak.

+ Why only three minutes? Thank George Blakemore, a concerned Chicagoan known to go on a tirade or two, City Bureau reported.

Call into the meeting

Can’t attend in person? Another five remote speakers will be randomly selected. Leave a message at 312-744-6800 with your name and number. The day before the meeting, you might hear back to confirm your virtual attendance. Miss the call? Better luck next month.

Write in

Have a busy schedule? Feeling shy? Submit no more than two pages to Comments will be accepted between 8–9 a.m. before the meeting, and will be available to alders.

❓ Have you spoken up at a City Council meeting? What'd you bring up? Tell us — we might share your response.

Hey Chicago

Want to know what's happening in Chicago? Sign up for our free newsletter, Hey Chicago. Packed with local news, curated event recs, local life hacks, and more, it's your daily toolkit for getting the most out of the city you love.