By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer
I don’t know about you, but I am getting pretty exhausted by the ups and downs of this amendment to the Chicago Massage Establishment Act process. (More info from my previous posts here and here.) After all the hooplala about the amendment being voted on in the Chicago City Council meeting on May 12….nothing happened. Well, not nothing, but the amendment did not come up for a vote and there was no word anywhere about the City Council meeting until today.
According to Alderman Moore’s Ward City Council Report, “You might recall from my last City Council report that I delayed a vote on a misguided piece of legislation that restricted the ability of ”massage establishments” to operate in business districts. Fortunately, this legislation did not come up for a vote at this City Council meeting, and I’m told discussions are underway to amend the proposal to make it far less onerous. I will keep you apprised of this legislation, as well.”
UPDATE: The latest word from AMTA, as of May 15, 2010, is that the amendment did not come up for a vote and this may be viewed as a tentative win.
Thanks to each of you who contacted Chicago officials to voice your opposition to the proposed zoning amendment. The time you took to do this was worthy of the investment. At this time, we’ve stopped the amendment from going to a vote. Your emails and phone calls to city alderman have been heard.
At the same time, according to AMTA, there is still opportunity for this misguided piece of legislation to be reintroduced for full City Council vote on June 9th or any City Council Meeting between then and May 2011 when the new City Council is seated. The Zoning Committee needs only 48 hours notice to the City Clerks office to have the proposed amendment put on the City Council Agenda.
Therefore, the AMTA-IL Government Relations Committee will continue to dialogue with the City to effectively have the proposed amendment tabled (meaning it would not be reintroduced again). The AMTA is also expanding partnerships with City officials to ensure that the application process for a massage therapy business license is fortified and preemptive in an effort to mitigate illicit activity. AMTA will also continue to develop and bolster the relationships forged among other allied healthcare professions and the small business communities that have a stake in this issue.
I will keep you up to date as I learn more. For now, if you are so inclined, thank Alderman Moore for his efforts to make this amendment less damaging to legitimate massage businesses in Chicago!
Alderman Joe Moore email: firstname.lastname@example.org