2016: Year in Review
Dear Neighbor,

2016 was a challenging year yet we invested in our public schools, our public parks, our public infrastructure, and welcomed over 50 new businesses into our neighborhoods. Last year, 311 and our office processed over 25,500 constituent requests. 

Education and Children
  • We secured $20 million dollars for renovations of Lincoln Park High School for new computer facilities, a "maker's lab" for drama and video, new cafeteria, weight and music rooms, as well as upgrades to the exterior, hallways and gym. . . and finally, air conditioning!
  • We also secured the use of the Near North Field for LPHS sports. 
Parks and Open Space
Transit / Transportation 
  • The #11 Lincoln Avenue Bus returned on June 20th and the CTA has renewed the pilot program to run another 6 months through June 2017. The #11 will continue to run along Lincoln Ave weekdays from 10 AM - 7 PM serving more than 40 bus stops between the Western Brown Line stop and Fullerton. 
Condo Summits
  • In September, hundreds of condo and townhouse owners attended our first-ever 43rd Ward Condo Summit.  They learned about aging in place, new short-term rental laws, recycling laws, and handling common condominium and homeowners association issues.

Development and Preservation

  • Lincoln Avenue revitalization moves ahead, with 
    • The former Children's Memorial site demolition over 75% complete. 
    • The Elevate project at 2518-2552 N. Lincoln official groundbreaking.
    • DePaul School of Music foundations complete. 
    • Master Plan underway for Lincoln Avenue from Webster to Diversey.
  • Clark Street and Diversey development underway, including: Hop Cat, Collectivo Coffee and Banana Republic stores; construction will replace the former Vitamin Shop at Clark/Diversey with new retail, a new hotel replaces the Inn of Lincoln Park in 2017.
  • Over 50 New Businesses came into the Ward in 2016, including:
    • Target - 2650 N Clark
    • Orange Theory Fitness - 2209 N Halsted
    • Hop Cat - 2577 N Clark
    • J9 Wine Bar - 1961 N Halsted
    • Foxtrot - 900 W Armitage
    • La Colombe Coffee Roasters - 858 W Armitage
  • Former Thresholds became Lakeview Row Houses as a Chicago Landmark District
  • New condominiums at landmarked 441-47 W Arlington, substantially improved with community input.
Legislative Accomplishments 
  • Increasing Police Presence:  I supported the increase in the police force, by 1000 new officers this year (from retirements and new hires), and 500 next year. 
  • Ethics: In February the City Council passed a strengthened Inspector General (IG) ordinance after tireless efforts from myself and many other reform minded Aldermen. This ordinance eliminated the ineffective office of Legislative Inspector General, fully funds the IG's office, removes procedural investigation obstacles, and, for the first time in history,  gives the IG jurisdiction over aldermen, lobbyists and contractors. 
  • Efficiency:  The Absenteeism Task Force I co-chaired released its report, and resulted in the public posting, tracking and managing of workforce absenteeism. Taxpayers could save at least $10 million annually and improve the delivery of city services by increasing productivity and avoiding unnecessary overtime.
  • Short Term Rentals: The STR ordinance that passed in June is the first in the nation to require Airbnb and other listing services to provide a full list of these units to the City to allow oversight. As a result of the tremendous support of our community, we expanded the "prohibited building" list, tightened licensing standards, improved enforcement, and increased community involvement. I will be closely monitoring the impact of STRs on our neighborhoods.
  • Transit TIF: I successfully reduced the size of the Transit TIF to retain local dollars for community improvements.
  • Rodent Control: We've spearheaded major upgrades to rodent control in the city, including my ordinance requiring comprehensive rodent control at all construction sites, creation of a new rodent task force and the increasingly popular "Cats at Work" program.


Infrastructure Improvements and Constituent Services 
  • Fullerton Streetscape (between Ashland and Racine)
    • 75% complete, landscaping will be done in 2017
  • New Residential Lighting:
  • Lighting Upgrades:
    • Roslyn at Lakeview
    • Hampden from Deming to Diversey
    • 1900 N Hudson
    • Sedgwick at Willow
    • Three alley light installations and 82 alley lights replaced
    • 245 Street light repairs completed
  • 12 Streets repaved:
    • Altgeld from Racine to Surrey Court 
    • Astor from Division to Schiller
    • Burling from Webster to Belden
    • Diversey from Sheffield to Seminary
    • Division from Lake Shore Drive to State Parkway
    • Drummond from Seminary to Racine
    • Roslyn from Lakeview to Clark
    • St James from Lakeview to Clark
    • Seminary from Lincoln to Diversey
    • Stone from Division to Scott
    • Webster from Lincoln to Fremont
    • Wisconsin from Sedgwick to Lincoln Park West 

  • Over 14,443 feet of new water main or sewers, plus 15 catch basin repairs and over 250 catch basin cleanings,
  • In-road pedestrian refuge island built at Clark & Wisconsin, plus six other curb and gutter projects, and five sidewalk replacement projects, plus fixed a hazard at Oz Park
  • Pavement markings on Fullerton from Cannon Drive to Cleveland to aid traffic flow around Lincoln Park Zoo, plus 106 other streetpaint marking replacements
  • Two full Alley reconstructions (behind Astor and behind Maud), plus six other alley resurfacings 
  • Completed service requests included  945 Blue or Black carts replaced, 1578 Graffiti removals, 961 Rodent baiting services, 594 Sign repairs, 878 Street or Alley potholes. 377 Tree Trims and 133 Tree Removals.


Happy New Year!  My staff and I look forward to serving you in 2017.

Michele Signature

Michele Smith
Alderman, 43rd Ward 

43rd Ward Office Hours: M 9 AM - 7 PM, T-F 9 AM - 6 PM 
 2523 N Halsted | 773-348-9500| yourvoice@ward43.org| www.ward43.org