2018 Year in Review
Dear Neighbor,

In 2018 our office has continued to work on your behalf on the following key areas: Public Safety, education, legislation, advocating for more open and green spaces in our community, improving infrastructure, and revitalizing developments. All of this could not have been done without your valuable input, collaboration, and support. We achieved a great deal in 2018! We will continue our work into 2019.

Click the links for more details on these stories from 2018.
We started off 2018 by hitting the streets for the Second Women's March. I spoke at the March and told my own #MeToo story about my mom, my own experience, and my daughter's. It's time to stop harassment so that our children and my granddaughter don't have to experience sexual harassment and violence.

In addition to passing new City Council ordinances and procedures against sexual harassment, I voted against TIF funding for Presence Health, which does not provide services for birth control or family planning.

We kept the momentum going by Marching to the Polls in October.
Public Safety
  • Tragically, we lost our 18th District Commander Paul Bauer earlier in the year. Our new 18th District Chicago Police Commander, Dan O'Shea, has filled those big shoes and has continued progress.

  • In the wake of a spate of crimes early in the year, we sought increased patrols - but also produced in-depth research on why the increase seemed to be happening. We concluded, and the Sun-Times reported, that changes to the juvenile justice system are now resulting in almost all juveniles being released within 24 hours and a shocking number of juveniles re-offending within a year of arrest for gun involved crimes.

  • We advocated for and gained 136 new Police Officers in 18th and 19th District(s). I want to thank the Chicago Police Department for their commitment and service to our community.

  • OEMC Private Sector Camera Initiative - We encouraged private homeowners, condominium associations, rental buildings, and local businesses to participate in the Private Sector Camera Initiative to allow local cameras to link up with 911.

  • Our Safety Forum, held on May 17th included our District Commanders Dan O'Shea (18th) and Mark Buslik (19th) the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) that went over their latest 911 protocols and the the use of private security cameras. At the meeting we called on our State's Attorney and Springfield to balance victims' rights with juvenile rights.

  • We "Marched for Our Lives" on March 24th with thousands of Chicagoans, and many 43rd Warders, to protest gun violence and demand federal action. I participated in a shareholder action against Smith & Wesson to demand gun manufacturer accountability.

  • Smart 911 launched, allowing you to create a Safety Profile that can include as much information as needed about yourself and your family members in case of an emergency.

Education and Children
Lincoln Park High School

We celebrated the completion of $20 million in renovations to Lincoln Park High School, cutting the ribbon on new computer labs, "maker" labs for theatre and video production, air conditioning, new boilers, mechanicals, roofing, sandblasting and a school wide paint job and new floors.

At the ribbon cutting, we made the exciting announcement that we secured $2 million for a turf field for the LPHS Lions football soccer and other playing field programs. The field will be constructed in 2019 with more details to come.

LaSalle Language Academy

Two fields are better than one, and our office and CPS celebrated the news that we had received $1.5 million to construct a new turf field and two new playgrounds. This will be a major enhancement for all the local neighborhood children.
North Branch Park and Lincoln Yards

  • Aldermen Scott Waguespack, Alderman Brian Hopkins, and myself had the opportunity to discuss the impact of the Lincoln Yards development in the North Branch corridor, and the potential for contiguous park space on WTTW Chicago Tonight .

  • Residents turned out in droves to express their concerns about potentially massive, out of scale development without adequate transportation infrastructure and public open space to buffer our community.

  • None of these accomplishments could have occurred without the overwhelming support our community provided the North Branch Park on social media. Thank you for sharing comments, pictures, and posts on your personal Facebook pages.
Parks and Open Space
Grand Re-Opening of Adams Water Park

  • Hundreds of neighbors celebrated the grand re-opening of Adams Water Park with new water features funded by the Park District, generous community contributions, and my office.

  • We worked with the Park District to have Trebes Park fitted with new technology to reduce flooding.

Arts & Events
As part of the New Lincoln Avenue Plan, the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Hall, and artist Mac Blackout installed a fabulous new mural in our soon to be activated alley at Lincoln Ave and Halsted.
Artist Ruben Aguirre expanded his mural in the Division Street pedestrian underpass thanks to a grant from the  Gold Coast Neighbors Association.
Constituent Outreach

We launched a new Text to Us number to allow quick submission of constituent service requests and photos.

We relocated a bus stop shelter directly in front of the senior building at 2111 N. Halsted to help residents access transportation more easily.
Hosted Meet the Alderman events in Old Town, Ranch Triangle, and the Gold Coast and met with dozens of condo boards.

Hosted our popular Shredding and Recycling electronics events.

Launched our new Instagram Page and Twitter Page liked by over 5,200.

We Marched in the Gay Pride Parade!

  • A new speed table at the intersection of Belden and Sheffield to protect motorists and DePaul students.

  • "Bump outs" at Webster and Clifton to help parents and children cross on their way to Oscar Mayer School.

  • New crosswalk at Clark and Schubert to help parents and children walk to Alcott Elementary.

  • Refreshed bike lanes along Armitage, Halsted, and Clark streets.

  • Installed and often re-installed, pedestrian in-road stop signs at dozens of locations throughout the ward.

  • Together with neighbor contributions, a new paver alley was installed between Hudson, Cleveland, Menonomee and Wisconsin.

  • Thanks to an innovative program with the Old Town Triangle Association, we preserved thousands of vintage brick pavers for reuse in parkway projects.
  • In response to repeated sewer issues over the past 3 years, the entire sewer of Maud from Racine to Kenmore was replaced. As the sewer ran under the pedestrian island, it was rebuilt as part of this project.

Safety Bollards on Lake Shore Drive
At our request, CDOT instituted new safety measures at the pullout just past the North Avenue southbound entrance to Lake Shore Drive, including large lane-reduction transition arrows on the pavement, a "Lane Ends" sign, and white retro-reflective flexible bollards. Accidents have occurred there because drivers mistook the pullout for an exit.
Water, Utility and Road Work

Our Ward experienced the greatest amount of infrastructure work in decades, all in one year, as miles of water mains were replaced, and a significant number of roads were repaved, along with new streetlights, gas mains, and fiber optic cable.

The Clark St Water Main Replacement and Pedestrian and Traffic Safety projects posed the most complicated construction coordination that has ever occupied the 43rd Ward.
Multiple entities swarmed the street from Diversey to Dickens to replace water main, gas service lines, repair portions of sewer, relocate AT&T vaults, install ComEd Smart Grid Hubs, install telecommunications fiber optic cable, and to install new bus pads, as well as pedestrian and bicycle friendly elements. The project entailed many setbacks and complications, as well as contractor issues. We thank everyone for their patience - the result is a new Clark Street with new streets, curbs and safer crosswalks that should last for years.

We had the following streets paved this year:
  • Astor Street from Burton to North Avenue
  • Belden from Cleveland to Geneva Terrace
  • Burling Street from Armitage to Dickens
  • Cambridge from Belden to Fullerton
  • Clark from Armitage to Diversey (after water main replacement)
  • Dayton from 1850 to Wisconsin
  • Dickens from Halsted to Burling (after water main replacement)
  • Dickens from Howe to Lincoln Avenue (after water main replacement)
  • Geneva Terrace from Webster to Grant
  • Halsted from North Avenue to Dickens (after water main replacement)
  • Hudson from Menonomee to Armitage (after water main replacement)
  • Lincoln Park West from Clark to Dickens
  • Schiller from Astor to State Parkway
  • Sheffield from 2700 to Diversey
  • Willow from Racine to Larrabee (after water main replacement)
  • Wrightwood from Racine to Halsted (after water main replacement)

New LED Streetlights were installed on all of Lake Shore Drive, Clark Street and North Avenue.

Resurfaced large alleys
  • Behind Clark Street and Hampden Ct.
  • Between Diversey/Schubert/Halsted/Orchard
  • Between Sheffield/Kenmore/Poe/Armitage
  • Between the corner of Lincoln and Fullerton, for our new alley activation program
  • North of Montana Street east of Sheffield
  • Between Goethe/Astor/Scott/Stone
Development and Preservation
Economic Development Plans

  • Working with the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, we unveiled the New Lincoln Avenue Plan, to improve Lincoln Avenue to include an activated alley, performances, way finding signage and much more.

  • Armitage Avenue has been declared the leading street in the City for "Clicks to Bricks" retail.

  • 69 new businesses opened up in the ward during 2018, bringing us to the lowest vacancy rates in our Ward since 2011.
20 New Restaurants / Food Service Locations

  • Aloha Poke, 818 W. Fullerton
  • Bobby's, 2518 W. Lincoln
  • Casati's, 444 W. Fullerton
  • Dog Haus, 2464 W. Lincoln
  • Parson's Chicken and Fish, 2435 N. Halsted
  • Paula's Thai Kitchen, 2441 N Halsted
  • The Fat Shallot, 2468 N Clark
  • Cedar Palace, 655 W. Armitage
  • Le Macron French Pastries, 958 W. Armitage
  • Terry's Toffee, 1009 W. Armitage
  • The Little Meatball, 2364 N. Lincoln
  • Tovala, 939 N. Armitage
  • Chicago Halal, 2233 N. Lincoln Ave
  • Hubba Booba, 1013 W. Webster
  • Philly Bros, 734 W. Fullerton.
  • Rosati's Pizza ( 953 W. Diversey).
  • Warm Belly Bakery (2472 N Clark).
18 Merchandise/ Retail Shops

  • Guided Design Cabinet Company, 2742 N. Lincoln
  • Indochino, 910 W. Armitage
  • Jacob Young Custom Clothiers, 2214 N. Lincoln Ave
  • Leap Services, 924 W. Armitage
  • Aesop, 857 W. Armitage
  • Art of Cool, 806 W Armitage
  • Astrology and Crystal Light, 2502 N.Clark
  • Lincoln Park Performing Arts Supply, 1139 W. Webster
  • Natuzzi Furnishings,1845 N. Clybourn
  • Play, 2462 N. Lincoln
  • Serena & Lilly, 853 W. Armitage
  • Outdoor Voices, 841 W. Armitage
  • Blue Mercury, 2747 N. Clark St.
  • TJ MAXX, 2739 N. Clark St.
  • The Black Tux, 917 W. Armitage
  • Studios Fuse, 2215 N. Halsted
  • Studio Three, 2401 N. Halsted
New Residential Development

  • Elevate Lincoln Park - completed.
  • Duet at Lincoln and Montana - completed.
  • Lincoln Common - close to completion: two apartment buildings as well as several commercial spaces to be opened in Spring 2019. 
  • Belmont Village Senior Housing - close to completion.
  • 65 East Banks - close to completion.
  • We turned down a development at Lincoln and Seminary that the community wholly opposed.
  • We rezoned the former Second Church of Christ Scientist in Park West to give the community more control of development.

  • The Gus Giordano Dance Company moved into the former Hermon Baptist Church at 1754 N. Clark Street bringing another important cultural institution to Lincoln Park and is planning its re-imagination into a magnificent new facility.
City Council
  • Mayor Emanuel unveiled new ideas for pension funding, and I sought your input. Hundreds of you responded, calling for further pension reform, and use of tax proceeds from the legalization of cannabis and a casino to fund pensions.

  • I supported the 2019 budget, which called for increased funding for police reform, increases for LED lights, rodent abatement and garbage carts, but no new taxes or fees.

  • Ride Share: Several colleagues and I sponsored legislation to increase penalties on criminals who impersonate ride share operators in order to lure victims.

  • I voted against a "pilot" program allowing a "free-floating" car rental program called Car2Go, which would allow those vehicles on any city street at any time - including residential permit parking streets.

  • I supported an ordinance increasing the powers of the Council Office of Financial Analysis, an important tool for growing City Council independence.
Here's to a great 2019. Hope to see you in the neighborhood,

Michele Smith
43rd Ward Alderman
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
Text Us for Constituent Services: 773-906-4333