CHICAGO — Lakeview's alderman said he's not concerned about a new tough parade ordinance being used to crack down on the annual Gay Pride bacchanal.
The amended ordinance, which cleared the Committee on Public Safety Thursday and headed for City Council approval next week, would greatly increase the fine for public drinking within 200 feet of a parade in progress.
Sponsored by Ald. Matthew O'Shea (19th), the ordinance amendment was intended to enforce the new less-raucous, more-family-friendly South Side Irish Parade, beginning next month. It would increase fines for public drinking along a parade route from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $1,000, with a six-month jail term also possible. The usual fines for drinking on a public way would remain $100 to $500 along with the possible jail time.
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said he was not worried about it being used to impose the same atmosphere on the annual Gay Pride Parade. Without saying he expected a different standard to be observed at the two events, he said, "I really defer to the police on how they manage that and figure out what's in the best value of their time in the limited resources we have."
Tunney said it was up to parade attendees at both events to observe a certain decorum.
"I think we put some teeth into it," he said of the ordinance amendment. "It's important that you have a working relationship with all the city departments to make these events safe, and I think that's the bottom line."
Organizers recently announced Pride Fest and the Pride Parade would be spread over the last two weekends in June, with the parade set for June 30.