The Chicago City Council met last Wednesday and voted on a number of important items, all of which I supported.
Alcott Field of Dreams
Through final approval by City Council, funding is now officially in place the for the Alcott Field of Dreams! The approval of $600,000 in Open Space Impact Fees was granted by the Council on Wednesday.
We look forward to announcing future updates pertaining to the new playground, athletic field, track and sports court that Alcott students and the entire community will be able to enjoy!
Obama Presidential Library
The City Council unanimously approved a conditional plan to transfer Chicago Park District property to the City of Chicago should the University of Chicago be awarded the Obama Presidential Library. President Obama has recently stated that he hopes the library is awarded to Chicago.
There are two University of Chicago sites currently under consideration, one in Jackson Park and the other Washington Park, and this vote helps remove an obstacle for the library to be built.
The library would be an economic engine for the south side of Chicago and the city as a whole, and a unanimous vote by all members of the Council sends a strong show of support for the proposal.
After several years of negotiations, two vital ethics reform ordinances which I co-sponsored passed City Council on Wednesday.
These ordinances bring essential increased power to the Office of the Inspector General, currently overseen by Joe Ferguson, and protects it against political retaliation.
The first ordinance fixes the minimum level of budget for the Office to 0.1% of the annual City budget during each fiscal year. This guarantee of funding protects the Inspector General from potential political retaliation by de-funding of his office.
The second ordinance gives the Office of the Inspector General certain law enforcement powers to work directly with law enforcement agencies in conducting investigations.
Both these reforms were long-sought, and I'm pleased to successfully continue the fight to improve transparency and accountability to our city government.
Affordable Requirements Ordinance
On Wednesday, Council also approved changes to the Affordable Requirements Ordinance, which will increase the availability of affordable housing in the city.
This updated ordinance requires developers in some neighborhoods to include a small percentage of workforce apartments or condominiums in new buildings, while at the same time providing flexibility for developers to meet the rest of their requirements.
The Children's Memorial Hospital redevelopment will host the first workforce housing in the 43rd Ward in 35 years. 54 units of workforce housing will help ensure our teachers, fire fighters and police officers have an affordable option available to them.