2015: Year in Review

Dear Friends,
As we move into 2016, a quick look back shows we invested in our  public schools, beautified our public parks and open spaces, made significant repairs of public infrastructure, and promoted economic development in our neighborhoods last year. 311 and our office serviced over 20,000 constituent requests. Our goal is to continue to make our ward the best place to live, work, shop and be entertained in Chicago. Here are some highlights of our work: 

Education and Children
  • The Annex at Abraham Lincoln Elementary opened in September, providing 19 new classrooms, a band room, computer lab, and multi-purpose space.
  • LaSalle Language Academy named a National Blue Ribbon School by  U.S. Department of Education for overall academic excellence -  the only Chicago Public School so recognized. 
  • #1school1community launched, raising more than more than $13,000 for Lincoln Park High School. Over 150 volunteers painted 30 classrooms and two lunchrooms.  Now we've obtained the use of a field for LPHS games and practice.
Parks and Open Space
  • Alcott Elementary's $1.3 million Field of Dreams' debuted a new playground and artificial turf field.
  • Oz Park's "Dorothy's Playlot" received new turf surfacing.
  • The Fullerton Shoreline and Revetment project is now 98% complete, featuring six acres of new lakefront park with separated bike and pedestrian paths. 
Infrastructure Improvements
  • Streets repaved:
    • Dickens from Halsted to Dayton
    • Lake Shore Drive from Division to North Ave.
    • Sheffield between North and Armitage
    • Stockton Drive between Dickens and Wrightwood
    • Wells from North Ave. to Lincoln
    • Wisconsin between Fremont and Bissell
    • Wisconsin between Hudson and Cleveland
  • New water mains and repaved streets:
    • Division between State Parkway and Lake Shore Drive
    • Astor between Division and Schiller
    • Eugenie between Wells and Sedgwick
    • Seminary between Armitage and Belden 
    • Clifton between Webster and Fullerton
    • Webster between Seminary and Racine
    • Kenmore between Armitage and Fullerton
  • Three alleys resurfaced.
  • Additional crosswalk installed across Stockton near the zoo.
  • 18 sewer main repairs, 52 catch basin repairs, 155 catch basin cleanings.
  • Thirty in-road pedestrian signs installed
  • Over 20,000 311 requests were serviced in the 43rd Ward, including 2200 graffiti removals, 2400 rodent baitings, 500 garbage cart replacements, and 800 potholes.
Zoning and Economic Development
  • The City of Chicago, with the support of the Wrightwood Neighbors Association, approved the Lincoln Centre planned project at 2518-2552 N. Lincoln. 
  • With the approval of the Park West Community Association, redevelopment of the Inn at Lincoln Park at 601-609 W. Diversey moved forward.  
  • The Zoning Board of Appeals approved a Special Use to allow a new school from San Francisco,  Alt School, to open at 2720 N. Clark.   
  • According to the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, vacancies are down to 3.2% across the ward, as dozens of new businesses opened in 2015.
Public Safety
  • Our court advocacy program is currently following six cases.  The case of James Smith, who was arrested in June for breaking into vehicles in the ward, was successfully closed this year.  Swift arrests were made in a number of other cases.  Keeping our neighborhoods safe is a priority that we will strongly emphasize through resident engagement in 2016.

Legislative Accomplishments
  • Ethics: 2015 marked a watershed moment as Chicagoans sustained their call for transparent government. In response to that outcry, I pushed for an Ethics Oversight Ordinance to make City Council subject to greater scrutiny. While we could have gone further, the new rules provide the strongest oversight in the history of our city.
  • Environment: City Council passed my ordinance toughening rodent abatement requirements for construction projects throughout the City.
  • Efficiency: An "Absenteeism Task Force" I fought for and am co-chairing, will uncover the fiscal impact of absenteeism on the municipal budget. Our goal will be to help institute uniform policies to reduce inefficiencies and save taxpayer dollars by combating absenteeism in the city workforce. 


Michele Signature

 Michele Smith

 43rd Ward Alderman