2019 Year in Review
Dear Neighbors,

May 2019 started a new chapter with the historic election of Lori Lightfoot as Mayor. I am honored to have been re-elected for my third term, and then chosen to be the Chair of City Council's first-ever Ethics and Government Oversight Committee.

On our first day, Mayor Lightfoot asked me to stand with her as she signed an executive order giving city departments autonomy to make administrative decisions, rather than automatically deferring to aldermen.

Since assuming the chairmanship of the Ethics Committee in June, we have passed historic reforms, including:

  • Full powers for our City Inspector General, including oversight of Aldermen
  • Prohibiting Aldermen from having outside jobs as tax appeals attorneys, local criminal defense attorneys, and lobbyists
  • Live-streaming of City Council Committee meetings
  • Increasing lobbyist registrations
  • Increasing fines for ethics violations
  • Increasing access to Inspector General reports about police misconduct
  • Strengthening the Council Office of Financial Analysis (COFA), an office we established in 2013, to allow COFA to investigate any financial issue and have unimpeded access to city data.

Protecting Condominium Residents

City Council passed our  ordinance to increase the vote required to approve the sale of a condominium building from 75% to 85% of ownership interests. We are grateful for the broad support for this ordinance, which should help preserve affordability in our neighborhoods.
Other City Reforms and the Budget

For the first time ever, the City revoked the license of a notorious Airbnb "party house" on Sedgwick after a three year fight. Only one of six units was ever officially registered with the City. This revocation occurred just weeks before the news of  5 shooting deaths at a Halloween party at an Airbnb in California. We will be working on Airbnb reform this year.

City Council modernized the building code allowing new technologies for affordability and streamlining processes.

The 2020 Budget civilianized the Human Resources functions of the police, fire department and OEMC, allowing more control of expensive overtime and absenteeism, an issue I spearheaded.

We continued to fight to control our spending - I Voted AGAINST the property tax increase embedded in the budget.
Protecting Our Rights and
Keeping Us Safe

I fought for important state laws this year:

  • HB 40 protecting women's rights to choose
  • Efforts to fight Digital Hate and Anti-Semitism
  • Landmark gun dealer licensing legislation to help fight "straw purchasers" of guns. 
Public Safety
Significant Arrests and Convictions

Adam Bramwell - arrested outside Houston, Texas for July knife attacks on Fremont and on Halsted. In custody pending trial.

Hunter Best - sentenced to eight years for the sexual abuse of two young females after entering their bedrooms in two separate incidents.

Latwan Burns - sentenced to ten years for robbing the BP Gas Station at 1647 N. LaSalle St. and the Sarpino's Pizzeria, 158 W. Division Street in May 2019.

Rayshay Moore - arrested for the burglary of a woman’s car on the 1900 block of North Clark Street. after being identified from footage from a nearby OEMC camera. In custody, charged with several car break-ins.

Juan Foster - arrested for shooting a person on North Ave. who stole Foster's cell phone. In custody.

Police arrested many other criminals in our ward. Our wonderful volunteer court advocates monitor these cases to ensure our community's voice is heard. If you would like to be a court advocate, please write us .
Advancements in Technology
Help Deter Crime

The technology of our Strategic Decision Support Centers (SDSC) and License Plate Readers(LPR) were critical in reducing carjackings, in addition to great detective work and the decision to bring most cases to federal court.

We continue to face challenges concerning street crime, car break-ins and cell phone thefts. We will continue to work with all of you and the police this year in addressing these issues.
Increased Community Involvement
with Our Police

Fighting crime requires joint efforts of citizens and police. That's why I instituted an ordinance prohibiting overnight parking on Cannon Drive on Friday and Saturday. This has led to a decrease in illegal activity and violence in the area.

Our office attended 36 CAPS meetings, and joined the police when they hosted numerous coffee talks, public safety workshops, safety walks, and community conversations.

We brought the BRAVE program from Loyola University to Lincoln Park High School to help at-risk teenagers.
Lincoln Yards and General Iron
2019 began with enormous battles over the approval of the Lincoln Yards development. Over the vocal objections of Ward residents, allies from across the City, and criticism from the press, in April the Plan Commission and City Council approved this $5 billion plan and the accompanying $1.3 billion TIF - without any major public benefit such as the North Branch Park Preserve.

Under the new administration, we continue to press our case for the North Branch Park Preserve, along with Friends of the Parks and other allies.

The Lightfoot administration has also announced the formation of a Community Advisory Council (CAC) for the Lincoln Yards project, as well as for the "78" project in the South Loop and future mega-developments.  Crain's has more.
General Iron to Cease Operations

U nder a consent decree with the federal EPA, General Iron installed new equipment to eliminate volatile organic compound (VOC emissions), thanks to substantial community outcry. General Iron also agreed with the City to cease all operations by December 31, 2020.
Infrastructure and City Services
Our Ward benefited from many infrastructure improvements in 2019, including:

Smart Lighting

New LED light fixtures in all of Lincoln Park on streets, alleys and viaducts to increase safety, save energy, and reduce light pollution. LED lights will be installed in the Gold Coast soon.
New Streetlight infrastructure and poles on Sheffield from Armitage to Webster.

Streets Repaved:
Commonwealth 2300-2400 N
Lincoln Park West 1800-2000 N
Grant Place 500-600 W
Dayton 1800-1900 N

Sidewalk Repairs:
1500 N Lake Shore Drive
955 W Montana
375 Trees Trimmed
114 Tree Removed
46 Trees Planted

3,180 Sewer Cleaning Requests

Transportation and Electricity:
5,357 Street Lights Out Repaired
5,657 Potholes Filled
863 Alley Potholes Filled

Pedestrian Safety:
Bumpouts built at Menomonee and Larrabee

Protected Pedestrian Island at Diversey and Lakewood

Streets and Sanitation:
7,573 Rodent Baiting Requests
12,379 Graffiti Removal
200 New Black Carts Delivered
Development and Commerce
Lincoln Common Opens

The two apartment towers containing 540 apartments, including 54 affordable units, are fully occupied. Many new businesses have opened bringing vibrancy to the corner of Lincoln and Halsted. The condo building on Orchard Street, should be completed before Summer of 2020.  Public art includes a tribute to the former Children's Memorial Hospital, the relocation of the popular "ring of children" statue and the gigantic trellis at the entrance of the development.
Belmont Village
Senior Living

Originally built in 1932 as housing for nurses and interns, the former Nellie Black building was rebuilt to replicate its style with modern construction, incorporating design elements and salvaged pieces from the original building. The new complex now provides residential options for 125 seniors.

First new CHA building in 43rd Ward in 35 years approved

The new building will provide 80 units of affordable and market-rate apartments for Lincoln Park families on Sheffield. The project will also bring renovated apartments, new community spaces and amenities for residents of the adjoining Edith Spurlock senior apartment buildings.   

Steppenwolf Theater Redevelopment Begins

The theater company, a part of the Chicago story for 40+ years, is constructing its new Arts and Education Center, featuring a new In-the-Round Theatre and dedicated space for education programs.

Old Town School Saved

News that the Old Town School of Folk Music had decided to sell its historic Armitage location at 909 W. Armitage, provoked protests. In March, the school's board reversed that decision, and decided to invest instead. We're relieved that this important neighborhood institution will remain in Lincoln Park. To learn more, click here.

And in case you didn't know, the 43rd Ward is the only ward with its own song - by the founder of the Old Town School, Win Stracke.
New Wayfinding Signage Highlights Clark Street

The Lincoln Park Chamber Park Chamber and Clark Street Special Service Area (SSA) #23 debuted new wayfinding signage from Diversey to Armitage along Clark Street and gateway entries to the neighborhood east of Clark Street
to welcome visitors, encourage shopping and dining along Clark Street and promote our many cultural destinations.

Wayfinding for Lincoln Avenue will be installed this year.
New Businesses

70 new businesses opened in the Ward in 2019 , including retail, restaurants, coffee shops, hair and nail salons, fitness centers and 3 new child care centers.
  • Allbirds
  • Dearborn Denim
  • Heartbreak Hill Running
  • Lively
  • Mejuri Jewelry
  • Parachute
  • WineStyr
  • Villa Verde Oil
  • Ali Baba Donor
  • Cafe Bonne Sante
  • Cafecito
  • D Cuisine
  • Ella's BBQ
  • Graze
  • Hops & Curds
  • Equinox
  • Galit Restaurant
  • Herb & Alchemy Coffee Shop
  • Kaathis
  • Mundano
  • Rangoli-Indian Cuisine
  • Real Good Stuff Co.
  • Side by Side Pet Nutrition
  • Takito Street
  • Philz Coffee
  • Urban Nomads
  • Xian Dynasty
  • Velvet Taco
  • Blowout Junkie
  • Kohler Waters Spa
  • 4 new fitness studios
Education and Green Space
LaSalle Language Academy
Field and Playground

A new turf field replaced the old asphalt (with LaSalle kids spelling out the school initials at the groundbreaking). Along with open space impact fee funds that we provided, private donors, Friends of LaSalle, and Chicago Public Schools made this project possible.
The Sunshine Playscape at North Pond

Funded by the  Lincoln Park Conservancy many individual donors, and the Chicago Park District, the beautiful Nature Playscape features a "sideways" tree, hollow logs and many other natural play elements as well as traditional play equipment.
Community Outreach
Our 2nd Annual Lincoln Park High Homecoming Parade was extra special since our Lincoln Park Lions defeated the Lane Tech Indians for a 13-7 Homecoming win.

Prehistory , a video projection by artist Annette Elliot, launched on the north facing wall of the historic boiler house and laundry building of the former Children's Memorial site as part of the 43rd Ward's public art program.
We hosted our annual shredding event in coordination with  Midway Moving and  NewTech E-Scrap Recycling.
We held a "Listening Session" with Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi to hear residents' concerns about property taxes .
Other community events included :

  • 50th Annual Pride Parade,
  • Dozens of block parties,
  • Pumpkin Recycling
  • Holiday Meet & Treats at local venues.
  • Neighborhood Organizations events such as the Old Town Art Fair, Taste of Lincoln Avenue, LCA's Summer Sipper and Holiday Tree Lighting.
  • Opening Day at Oz Park Baseball
  • Mobile City Hall with Clerk Valencia - bringing City services to our neighborhood
  • Condo Meetings all over the ward
  • Monthly Ward Nights
There are many challenges ahead for 2020 - more progress on public safety, economic development, and more reform in City Hall. Together with you, we will make strides.

Greetings from our entire staff and interns, and looking forward to serving you this year.

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