FOIA: Second Attempt at Committee Membership & Terms

Second attemptThis is CJP’s second attempt at requesting data regarding the membership and chairman for the City Council Committees of Police and Fire, Public Safety, and Finance. Believe it or not the City Clerk’s Office is trying to tell us they don’t maintain documents that detail the terms that alderman serve on committees and the terms for the chairs of the committees. A very Chicago answer for sure. So, here we go a second attempt at getting data that should be easily obtainable online.

The Clerk’s Office did tell us in their response to our previous request for this data under Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that what we were requesting was available through the journal of proceedings. Of course, they were only partially correct. You can figure out who the Chair of each committee is but you cannot determine membership on the committee using the journal.

Thus we have filed this second attempt as a way of trying to get access to data we can use to generate the data we are really after. It shouldn’t have to come to this but it seems like the Chicago City Clerk didn’t prioritize keep the simplest of data about the activities of the City Council.

The Clerk also doesn’t have data available on partial terms. So, when Ike Carothers pled guilty go to federal corruption charges he resigned shortly there after thus leaving a vacancy in the Chair position of the Committee on Police and Fire. The Clerk seems to not have any records about who replaced Carothers and for how long they served as Chair. It all seems to be a mystery to the office.

So the second attempt at getting the simplest of data has been filed. Who really hope they don’t force us to sue them.

FOIA Content

To: Office of the Chicago City Clerk

Re: Committee Votes & Attendance

In accordance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140, I request that your office provide the following public records:


Please provide the attendance for all meetings for the City Council Committees detailed below for the years 2003-2011.


Please provide the votes on any legislation before the City Council Committees detailed below for the years 2003-2011.

Committee on Public Safety
Committee on Finance
Committee on Police & Fire

If the agency withholds any document or information pertinent to the requests made herein, please identify the document or information in as much detail as is possible, and detail in specific language why each document or piece of information is being withheld.

If any information requested herein is withheld on the basis of a claim of privilege or other protection as material prepared in anticipation of litigation or trial, then that claim shall be made expressly in a writing that describes the nature of the Documents, Communications, or Things not produced or disclosed in a manner that will enable us to assess the applicability of the privilege or protection. With regard to each claim of privilege or protection, the following information should be provided in the response or the objection:

(a) the type of Document, e.g., letter or memorandum;
(b) general subject matter of the Document;
(c) the date of the Document;
(d) such other information as is sufficient to identify the Document for a subpoena duces tecum,              including, where appropriate, the author, addressee, and any other recipient of the Document, and,          where not apparent, the relationship of the author, addressee, and any other recipient to each other;            and
(e) the nature of the privilege or protection;
(f) if applicable, the litigation or trial of which he document was created in anticipation.

If any Document identified herein has been lost, discarded, or destroyed, each such Document should be identified as completely as possible, including as to each such Document, its date, general nature (e.g., letter, memorandum, telegram, telex, photograph, computer printout), subject matter, each author or originator, each person indicated as an addressee or copy recipient, and its former custodian(s). In addition, as to each such Document, the following information shall be supplied:

(a) date of disposal, loss, or destruction;
(b) manner of disposal, loss, or destruction;
(c) reason for disposal or destruction, or any explanation of loss;
(d) persons authorizing the disposal or destruction;
(e) persons having knowledge of the disposal, destruction, or loss; and
(f) persons who destroyed, lost, or disposed or the Document or Thing.

I look forward to hearing from you in writing within five working days, as required by the Act 5 ILCS 140(3). Please direct all questions or responses to this FOIA request to this email address by responding to this email. I can be reached at

Tracy Siska


9/21 – Dear Mr. Siska,

In response to your FOIA request  please see that attached letters and documents in zip folder.

Best Regards, 

Jorie Johnson 

9-21-2020 Siska Response Letter

Finance 2003

Finance 2004

Finance 2005

Finance 2006

Finance 2007

Finance 2008

Finance 2009

Finance 2010

Public Safety-Police and Fire 2003

Public Safety-Police and Fire 2004

Public Safety-Police and Fire 2005

Public Safety-Police and Fire 2006

Public Safety-Police and Fire 2007

Public Safety-Police and Fire 2008

Public Safety-Police and Fire 2009

Public Safety-Police and Fire 2010

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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