First Asian Council Members, Returning to Normal Meetings

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It’s one down, about 80 to go for three new members on Naperville City Council.

Newly sworn-in Jennifer Bruzan Taylor, Ian Holzhauer, and Paul Leong joined the dais last night for their first meeting.

Asian-American Representation

And while neither made it part of their campaign, it was a special night for Holzhauer and Leong as the first Asian-American members of council.

“Growing up in Naperville, having a family that was mixed like that, we definitely were a conspicuous family, but we always felt like this was a very warm community where we felt welcome and I’m not surprised at all the voters of Naperville looked at a diverse field of candidates and picked the people they thought were best for the job,” said Councilman Holzhauer.

“I’m aware of the historical significance and I’m pleased to be a part of it and I would like to think that due in part to my success that I’ve inspired other Asian-American candidates to step forward to serve and lead,” said Councilman Leong. “I can’t guarantee that, but if that’s the case, I’m very proud of that as well.”

Returning to Normal Meetings

Mayor Steve Chirico was the only council member not at the meeting. He led the group in asking city staff to start looking into the process of getting city meetings back to fully in-person events.

“It may apply differently to different groups based on number of attendees and things like that,” he said. “I think most importantly is that we begin to plan to get our public meetings back to in public.”

Staff said the timing for that depends on when Illinois enters the Bridge Phase of the Restore Illinois plan. If that happens before May 12, city meetings could be in-person starting at the next council meeting on May 18.

Chirico added that even when council returns to in-person meetings, the city would still allow some remote participation, like written comments and position statements.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.


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