Not long after the Chicago City Council’s April 24 Zoom meeting adjourned, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called it “democracy in action.”

In the heat of the moment, though, Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza, 10th, described the raucous and sometimes chaotic event a bit more candidly. “This is a total s— show,” she said.

Winston Churchill often is credited for describing democracy as “the worst form of government, except for all the other forms.” In a similar vein, virtual video meetings of legislative bodies are the worst way for governments to meet. Unless, of course, the alternative is no meeting at all.

The “no meetings” option is what the Illinois legislature has embraced so far. It’s a high-risk, high-cost choice that abdicates the General Assembly’s obligation to do the people’s business.

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David Greising

David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative...