If you reside in Evanston, please take a few minutes to contact your alder-person and urge them to have the Evanston Health Department work with organizers to provide a permit for a safe, outdoor, pre-Thanksgiving Market.
Most of you know, love, and have attended the festive pre-Thanksgiving market at Immanuel Lutheran Church for many years. This year, however, the close quarters of the church are not COVID-safe, and so a group of volunteers, with the support of the nonprofit Friends of the Evanston Market, have lined up the large parking lot of the First Presbyterian Church (Chicago and Lake) as a spacious and safe outdoor alternative.
The Evanston Health Department, however, has denied the organizers a "Temporary Special Event Permit."
So I've put together an outline of main points that you can personalize when letting your alder-person know why the safe, outdoor pre-Thanksgiving market is important to you, and should be allowed to take place.
Thank you for taking action to make your and others' Thanksgiving shopping safe (outdoors is always safer than indoors), and to support Henry and other local farmers who provide the "essential service" of food!
1. (Intro) My name is _______ and I live at _______. I have attended the Evanston Farmers Market and the pre-Thanksgiving Farmers Market at Immanuel Lutheran Church for _____ years.
2. (Problem) It has come to my attention that the Evanston Health Department has denied a permit for an outdoor, pre-Thanksgiving Farmers Market to be held in the large parking lot of the Evanston First Presbyterian Church (1427 Chicago Avenue) on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 8am to 1pm.
3. (Solution) As I'm sure you know, the governor categorizes farmers markets (as well as grocery stores) as "essential services." Perhaps the permit for the outdoor pre-Thanksgiving farmers market was denied because of a mis-categorization or misunderstanding of this event. I would like to clarify that this not a "special event" like a block party or art fair, but rather an "essential service" like a grocery store.
The fact is that I (and other Evanston residents) will be doing my Thanksgiving grocery shopping one way or another, and shopping outdoors is far safer than shopping at any indoor venue. Given the recent surge in coronavirus infections, the safe, outdoor venue at First Presbyterian is a strong reason to approve, not deny, the permit.
In addition, vendors, customers, and organizers are now well-versed in the CDC guidelines of mask-wearing and social distancing, which have been successfully implemented each of the past 25 Saturdays of the regular Evanston market. These guidelines, and any others the Evanston Health Dept. deems necessary, will be followed at the pre-Thanksgiving Market as I and others are committed to ensuring a safe outdoor grocery shopping experience.
4. (close with something personal/specific and reiterate the need for a safe, outdoor, pre-Thanksgiving market.) I have attended the pre-Thanksgiving Market for many years, and have in fact already pre-ordered my Thanksgiving (turkey/vegetables) from local farmers. Allowing Evanston residents to pick up their essential Thanksgiving food items in the safe, outdoor parking lot of First Presbyterian is crucial. I urge you to speak with Evanston Health Department personnel and ask them to re-categorize the Nov. 21 pre-Thanksgiving outdoor market as an "essential service," and to work with the organizers to permit the event. Thank you.