CHICAGO (WLS) -- After several recent city council meetings have been so disrupted by people in the gallery that business could no longer be conducted, some council members are calling for changes.
Tuesday a committee meeting had to recess because things got so chaotic, and some alderpersons are now expressing concerns about their safety.
The alders that spoke with ABC7 said they can't ever remember things being this bad, and they want disrupters put on notice that if they can't behave in public meetings, they can't participate.
"Well it's a very troubling, troubling issue to me. People are out of control," said 38th Ward Alderman Nick Sposato.
"You know, the democratic process allows for participation but there's a difference between participation and intentional disruption that's designed to stifle the democratic process, and that's where we're at now," said 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins.
Wednesday, during a licensing committee meeting, the gallery was virtually empty. But chairwoman Debra Silverstein, who's regular seat is in the back row close to the gallery, said she's never seen things so bad in her 12 years on city council.
"Sometimes it gets very frightening, sitting right in the back especially, I sit right by the speakers are and many times I have to move my seat to get away from all of the noise and the chaos," she said.
Ald. Emma Mitts, who called out disrupters yesterday, said Wednesday that the mayor needs to do more to demand decorum.
"I would say that we have to conduct ourselves accordingly and if you don't do that then you will be removed from the council," she said.
"I think we could actually ban people from participating in city council if they continue to repeat the behavior, we can tell them you're not welcome back for a year or whatever it is," said Ald. Hopkins.
Others said without order it amounts to a hostile work environment for council members.
"It contributes to it, definitely," said Ald. Silverstein.
"I believe the mayor needs to get a little tougher, he's been too nice to people," said Ald. Sposato.
ABC7 reached out to the mayor's office for comment, but have not heard back.
City Hall sources said there are efforts underway to compile a list of acceptable and unacceptable behavior that would be posted at city council with a targeted enforcement date of January 1, 2024.