ACTION: Be Heard at the Amusement Tax Committee Meetings! Support your local DJs!

If you missed the Cook County Board of Commissioners Sept.14 gauntlet of committee meetings and regular meeting for the introduction of the proposed amendment to the Cook County amusement tax amendment  ordinance exempting DJ’ed events at club venues with audience capacities of 750 or less, don’t get yourself in a sweat. There’s still time to organize in support of your small venue DJ community and urban fine arts community now that the proposed measure sponsored by Cook County Commissioner John H. Fritchey (D-13)—whose district encompasses several noteworthy small club venues known for DJ’ed events—has been referred to the board’s Finance Committee. The Cook County Board’s Finance Committee next meets for business that would include taking up Fritchey’s proposed amendment to the 3 percent county amusement tax on tickets and admission at 10 a.m. Wed., Oct. 5,at the County Board Room, 5th Fl., Cook County Bldg., 118 N. Clark St., Chicago. The County Board’s committee of the whole, or all the commissioners and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, automatically act as Finance Committee members in the same manner  that they double as members of the Cook County Forest Preserve District Board of Commissioners. DJ’ed events at small venues are currently taxed in Cook County under the current 19-year-old amusement tax ordinance because the existing law does not define DJ’ing as a fine art. The existing Cook County amusement tax ordinance can reviewed HERE.

Read Fritchey’s draft of the proposed Cook County amusement tax ordinance amendment below HERE

Details of the Cook County Board’s Finance Committee meeting, including the agenda, can be found HERE. Early arrival at the Cook County Board’s Finance Committee meeting is strongly advised, since the board room barely offers general public seating for approximately 100 and scant standing room behind that. Expect a weapons search by Cook County sheriff’s deputies on the way to the board room. EXTENDED OPTIONS FOR ACTION The parliamentary bureaucracy allows folk who consider themselves true patrons of Cook County’s small urban fine music scene the high time to get off their seats, hit the streets and make things  neat for small venue DJ’ed events, small venue DJs and the urban fine arts community in Chicagoland’s and Illinois’ largest county. To testify before the Cook County Board’s Finance Committee in support of Fritchey’s proposed amendment and with recommendations for improving it, or to enter a statement for the record in absentia, register a request with the secretary to the Cook County Board of Commissioners HERE or at 312.603.6127. Be sure to limit your spoken remarks to the committee to 3 minutes (3 double-spaced type/word-processed pages), or the secretary to the County Board will shut you down if you exceed that time limit.

*Lobby Prewinkle, who was benefited heavily in campaigning and at the ballot from the backing of the Cook County’s urban fine arts community, in support of Fritchey’s proposed amendment at 312.603.6400, fax 312.603.4397, 118 N. Clark St., Room 537, Chicago, IL 60602, toni.preckwinkle@cookcountyil.govil.

*Also heavily lobby Jerry “Iceman” Butler (D-3 ), a legendary soul vocalist and songwriter from Chicago’s rock ‘n roll era and a product of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green Homes housing projects and Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame inductee at 312.6035671, 118 N. Clark St., Room 567, Chicago, IL 60602, jerry.butler@cookcountyil.gov. He has some Ricky Ricardo-style ‘splainin’ to do, since he was a Cook County commissioner at the time the county amusement tax ordinance was enacted, having first been elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners in 1985.
*For Latino/Hispanic American Heritage Month, also lobby Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-7), at 312.603.5443, 118 N. Clark St., Room 567,Chicago, IL 60602, jesus.garcia@cookcountyil.gov,since a gang of the hip Little Village and Pilsen small venue joints are in his Cook County Board district.
Find out which Cook County commissioner represents your County Board district and should be lobbied in support and improvement of Fritchey’s proposed county amusement tax ordinance amendment at the following Your Voter Information links:

*If you live in the Chicago city limits of Cook County(Chicago Board of Election Commissioners

*If you live in suburban Cook County outside Chicago’s city limits

Bringing signs and placards to the Cook County Board’s Finance Committee meeting would be one of the more prominent ways of getting your voice heard on Fritchey’s proposed amendment, since you’re likely to find yourself competing with other groups that have stacked the meeting with protest material for their causes. Here’s some samples to work with or work off of: HERE.

If you’re a history, social studies or music educator, offer your students extra credit for attending the Cook County Board’s Oct. 5 Finance Committee meeting and reporting on results of the panel’s deliberations and action on Fritchey’s proposed amendment. Recommend to colleagues who teach those subjects, if you don’t, to offer that incentive. Forward those reports to Chicago Progress at Connected@ChicagoProgress.com, and we will publish them alongside the students’ names. Preckwinkle and the other members of the Democrat-controlled Cook County Board of Commissioners are always running on about how much they support small business and the little guy. DJs who play Cook County’s small venues ARE small business folk and the little guy (and gal, let’s not forget the ladies). Make Preckwinkle and the Cook County commissioners match their talk with walk by cutting small venue DJ’ed events in on the same breaks they cut big business and the stank ickie beaux arts community in on. And if the County Board doesn’t cut them in, make them cut it out at the voting booth during the next County Board and Chicago mayoral elections.

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