Citizen Bulletin: IL Senate Votes to Allow Police Drones at Large Events

Keep track of your elected officials in this week’s Citizen Bulletin.


Wikipedia Commons

A European police drone hovers near a crowd. Last week, the Illinois State Senate passed a bill, proposed in the wake of a shooting at a concert in Las Vegas, that would allow police to use aerial drones to monitor large crowds.

By Citizen Bulletin, Maroon Partner Organization

Citizen Bulletin for the week of April 30 to May 6      

Good morning. Our highlights from this week include: Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the Obama Presidential Center will also house a branch of the Chicago Public Library; Governor Rauner recommended, after a task force investigation, that the Quincy veterans home should be rebuilt at a cost of around $200 million; State Senator Kwame Raoul abstaining, the Illinois State Senate passed a bill proposed in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting that would allow police to use aerial drones to monitor large crowds in public spaces, a policy supported by Mayor Emanuel.


Alderman Leslie Hairston (5th Ward) ~ call your alderman! (773) 324-5555

  • [No News]*

Alderman Willie Cochran (20th Ward) ~ call your alderman! (773) 955-5610

  • [No News]*

Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) ~ call your mayor! (312) 744-3300

  • May 2—Voiced support for the Illinois State Senate passing a bill which would allow the use of drones to monitor crowds at large gatherings

  • May 2—Announced that the Obama Presidential Center will also house a branch of the Chicago Public Library

  • May 4—Announced that cameras on “booter vehicles,” which currently scan license plates to check for unpaid tickets, will now also scan to identify stolen vehicles



President Toni Preckwinkle ~ call your Cook County board president! (312) 603-6400

  • Apr 30—Attended Jan Schakowsky’s “Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch” to celebrate female political engagement and success



Representative Barbara Flynn Currie (D–District 25) ~ call your state rep! (773)-667-0550

  • May 2—Argued in favor of Speaker Michael Madigan’s non-binding resolution supporting a progressive tax code; implementing a progressive tax code would have required proposing an amendment to the Illinois constitution at least six months prior to the next general election, a deadline which elapsed on May 5

Senator Kwame Raoul (D–District 13) ~ call your state senator! (773) 363-1996

  • May 2—Expressed concerns about “vague language” in a bill proposed in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting that would allow police to use aerial drones to monitor large crowds in public spaces; opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the bill has just passed the State Senate

Governor Bruce Rauner (R–IL) ~ call your governor! (312)-814-2121

  • May 1—Recommended, after a task force investigation, that the Quincy Veterans Home should be rebuilt at a cost of around $200 million

  • May 3—Proclaimed May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

  • May 4—Called on legislators to hold a referendum which would allow people to vote on a proposal to add term limits to the state legislature

  • May 5—Spoke at the annual Polish Constitution Day Parade, cheering, “Go Polska!”



Representative Bobby Rush (D–IL1) ~ call your representative! (773) 779-2400

  • May 3—Expressed satisfaction at Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to desist from his attempts to oust House Chaplain Patrick Conroy

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D–IL) ~ call your senator! (312) 886-3506

  • Apr. 29—Criticized President Trump’s remarks on the Paralympic Games, during which he stated that they are “tough to watch”

  • May 1—Announced her support for the “Choose Medicare Act,” which would greatly expand Medicare with a “Medicare Part E” plan available to those younger than 65

  • May 2—Criticized Governor Rauner’s slow response to the Quincy Veterans Home Legionnaires outbreak

Senator Richard Durbin (D–IL) ~ call your senator! (312) 353-4952

  • May 1—Called for more regulation of e-cigarette products, proposing a ban on flavored e-cigarettes and standardized restrictions on purchasing

  • May 1—Claimed that the federal government will provide its share of funding for necessary changes at the Quincy Veterans Home in the wake of a Legionnaires disease outbreak

  • May 2—Sent a letter, with other Democratic senators, to EPA administrator Scott Pruitt urging him to avoid rolling back regulations on the disposal of coal-ash, a byproduct of coal-burning power plants

  • May 4—Visited Oak Lawn High School at the invitation of a student government representative to hold a town hall discussion on gun violence in schools

President Donald Trump (R) ~ call your president! (202) 456-1414

  • May 4—Considered scrapping the Iran Nuclear Deal; world leaders warned of geopolitical instability should this occur

  • May 4—Spoke at the annual NRA convention, drawing criticism from the French and British governments and French survivors of 2015 terrorist attacks due to his comments that recent attacks in those countries would have been prevented with looser gun laws


*Our research process involves searching for press releases from the elected representatives, Google News stories, and any Twitter and Facebook posts. If no information is displayed in the Citizen Bulletin, then our research process turned up nothing new from this past week.

The Citizen Bulletin is a product of the University of Chicago Democracy Initiative (UCDI). UCDI is proudly supported by Andrew Goodman Foundation’s nonpartisan Vote Everywhere project. In addition to the UCDI website, you can find past versions of the bulletin here. For news closer to campus, subscribe to the twice weekly newsletter produced by our partners at the Chicago Maroon.

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