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CHICAGO (CBS) — The City of Chicago released the newly designed city sticker on Tuesday, following a controversy in which a student-designed city sticker was rejected because it may have displayed gang symbols.
The sticker will go on sale April 23, three weeks earlier than last year. The new sticker was designed by city employees, after the original winning high school student design for the city’s annual contest generated a controversy over purported gang symbols.
The new design features emblems of the Chicago Police Department, Fire Department and paramedics, over a blue and white field similar to the city flag.
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The sticker also has a quick response (QR code) that motorist can scan to access a mobile landing page with a variety of helpful services for drivers–like determining parking zones or reporting potholes.
The city stickers, which cost $85 to $135 depending on your vehicle size, can be purchased online–along with parking permits. Residents can also buy them at the clerk’s office at City Hall, at 121 N. LaSalle St.
City Clerk Susana Mendoza said she’s trying to put the dust-up over the original sticker design behind her. The original design by a Chicago high school student drew criticism from police blogs, which claimed the drawing contained gang symbols.
Mendoza said the student who drew that design did get a $1,000 savings bond as his prize for the top design, even though it wasn’t used.
“I’m pretty much done talking about that and just, we’re ready to move on,” she said. “Today’s press conference should be specifically about all the improvements that we’re making on behalf of Chicago taxpayers.”
Mendoza’s office has a newly designed website, where residents can buy city vehicle stickers and dog licenses. It also provides detailed information about city government, including City Council meetings and committee meetings.
“Unlike other government agencies, we don’t charge any additional fees to purchase your sticker online.”
In February, Mendoza pulled the sticker design drawn by the original winner, 15-year-old Lawrence Hall Youth Services student Herbie Pulgar, saying Pulgar’s heart and hands design could be “misconstrued as containing gang symbols.”
Pulgar and his mother tearfully denied that the design was anything other than the young man using his artistic talent to try to improve his life.
Then the runner-up, Resurrection High School senior Caitlin Henehan, requested that her sticker not be used in the face of “unwanted media and public scrutiny and criticism of her artwork that soon followed,” Mendoza said at the time.
Mendoza still gave Pulgar $1,000, the amount of the savings bond for the contest winner.
The sticker was then designed by the city.
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