Mayor Rahm Emanuel presented Francis Cardinal George with the city’s highest honor today. The Cardinal, now Chicago’s Archbishop Emeritus, received the Medal of Merit at the City Council meeting.
“You are not just a man of the cloth, but also of conviction,” Mayor Emanuel said as the honor was bestowed on Cardinal George. “And that has earned you the admiration of all of us, regardless of faith, all of us in public service.”
The Mayor and others praised Cardinal George’s devotion to the poor with the tremendous work of Catholic Charities.
The Council also takes up key environmental issues today. An ordinance limiting petcoke storage is expected to pass. Petcoke is a controversial byproduct of petroleum refining. Environmental groups have raised concerns about the health implications for those living near these sites.
On another issue, Ald. Ed Burke and others support an ordinance that would require some Chicago gas stations to offer fuel with a higher ethanol content. The measure is opposed by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the petroleum industry because it will cost gas station owners millions of dollars in building new infrastructure. It appears that opponents have forced a delay in the vote over E-15 fuel.
The City Council is also considering a measure that could help cab drivers. Adjustments in taxi regulations and credit card fees could help put more money in cab drivers’ pockets.
Today’s Council meeting is the last of 2014.