Greising: Zoom-zoom, Illinois — Legislative Deadlines Call for a Virtual General Assembly Meeting

The “no meetings” option is what the Illinois legislature has embraced so far. It’s a high-risk, high-cost choice that abdicates the General Assembly’s obligation to do the people’s business.

Benkrut/iStock

BGA President David Greising writes every other week for the Chicago Tribune Opinion section.

Not long after the Chicago City Council’s April 24 Zoom meeting adjourned, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called it “democracy in action.”

In the heat of the moment, though, Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza, 10th, described the raucous and sometimes chaotic event a bit more candidly. “This is a total s--- show,” she said.

Winston Churchill often is credited for describing democracy as “the worst form of government, except for all the other forms.” In a similar vein, virtual video meetings of legislative bodies are the worst way for governments to meet. Unless, of course, the alternative is no meeting at all.

The “no meetings” option is what the Illinois legislature has embraced so far. It’s a high-risk, high-cost choice that abdicates the General Assembly’s obligation to do the people’s business.

Read the rest at chicagotribune.com