Last week, Ald. (37th) Emma Mitts lamented Chicago's restrictions on alcohol at fully-nude strip clubs, saying it hindered Chicago's reputation as a world-class city. She worried that Chicagoans weren't getting the same adult entertainment experience compared to other cities which allow the sales of booze and total nudity from strippers. Apparently, Mitts has reconsidered, as she's withdrawn her support for a local law that would allow strip club owners to free the nipple and sell booze.
Despite the overtures of supporters, including the owner of popular Lincoln Park strip joint VIP's, Mitts told reporters she had "misread" the ordinance, according to the Sun-Times. Chicago currently forces strip clubs to make a choice. If they want to sell alcohol, strippers can't be fully nude. VIP's found a solution by selling booze and having dancers wear clear pasties on their breasts and barely-visible panties.
Mitts explained her slip to reporters on Tuesday saying she was supporting the ordinance because she wanted to better regulate strip clubs and flip-flopped because she doesn't want to further exploit women. She claimed strip club owners can better monitor alcohol consumption (and reduce crime) if they're selling booze and not worrying about BYO policies.
Strip club owners who wanted the law loosened were dangling $400,000 in contributions to domestic violence shelters in exchange for the ordinance's passage. Many domestic violence groups balked at accepting any of that money after considering the sources.
Other council members seemed embarrassed by Mitts, asking her to shelve to ordinance, according to the Sun-Times. Over in the Tribune, one reader questioned Mitts' priorities, writing in a letter to the editor that the council should have more pressing matters.
The story is familiar. Two years ago, Ald. (32nd) Scott Waguespack sponsored the same legislation only to abruptly withdraw his support. The 32nd Ward is home to VIP's.