FROM THE HEART
Dear Neighbors,

Over the last few months, our neighborhood and those around us, experienced a  hotly contested race for Alderman of the 43rd Ward. Two candidates- each passionate and committed-battled to the end in a run off election so close  that a full week transpired before a winner could be declared. Alderman Michele Smith  and Caroline Vickrey both gave their best. Both are deserving of our respect and  appreciation. Also deserving of our respect and appreciation are those of you who  engaged in the process by supporting the candidate of your choice and voting in the  election. 

The votes have now all been counted and the final margin of victory was only 79 votes leaving almost half of the Ward disappointed in the outcome-some bitterly so. Our Ward is, no doubt, divided. We even hear the chatter that bridges have been burned in this election. Perhaps so, but therein lies our opportunity. With bridges burned behind us, our only path together is forward. Let's start that journey, bring our community together and make our neighborhoods the best they can possibly be.

From the heart,

P.S. I encourage you to learn more about Lincoln Central and the benefits we offer to our members and the contributions we make to your neighborhood-we need your support. Active participation in LCA is a truly rewarding experience. If you would like to learn more about LCA, help support our organization or provide suggestions to help us better serve the neighborhood, contact me at any time at kenneth@chicago.com.

            Wednesday, April 22,  2015

In This Issue
A Visit From Our Congressman
Thanks to Congressman Mike Quigley for stopping by LCA's March Board meeting. You never know who will stop by to discuss neighborhood concerns!

Upcoming Events

Friday, April 24
DePaul University Environmental Health & Safety Spring Cleaning

Get a jump on your spring cleaning with DePaul's Earth Week event! Bring in your old, expired, or unwanted household hazardous waste and electronics for free. The household hazardous waste will be properly disposed of by Badger Disposal, and all electronics will be donated to Recycling Avenue, a nonprofit that works to provide housing and jobs to people with disabilities. ( More Info )

Saturday, April 25
Fire Station Park Gardening Day

Join us at 9:00 am to learn how we prepare the soil for vegetable beds, design bed layouts and sow cool season crop seeds. Come help awaken the garden! ( More Info)

Thursday, April 30 - Friday, May 1
Art in the Park

You are invited to join Bridgeview Bank for an evening of wonderful food and fine art.  This is their 7th annual art event showcasing local artists and Lincoln Park restaurants.  For information, call Jill Valentine at 773-975-5307.  To RSVP, email rsvp@bridgeviewbank.com ( More Info )

Saturday, May 9
Bauler Park Spring Cleanup

Bauler Park is the scene of one of LCA's biggest traditions and its most well attended event-our annual Howler at Bauler Halloween festival. Join your neighbors to help keep Bauler Park clean and beautiful. ( More Info)

Saturday, May 16
Fire Station Park Gardening Day

The park is ready to grow! Volunteer with us at 9:00 am to help plant hot season crops, as well as annual herbs and containers.  ( More Info )

Saturday, May 30
2nd Annual Spring Zing

After the success of last year's event, LCA's second Spring Zing event is sure to be a must-attend event! Join us on May 30 for an afternoon of family fun. ( More Info)

Visit Our New Blog
LCA now has a blog! Check our website regularly for updates about important neighborhood information, community updates, and upcoming events.

Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Meet Lincoln Central!
Lincoln Central's board meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of each month. These meetings are an excellent opportunity to discuss issues of public interest and share upcoming community events. 

The Lincoln Central Zoning & Planning Committee meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month with the goal of ensuring open and fair processes for developers and homeowners.

These meetings are open to the public and held at:

The Marquee Lounge
1973 N. Halsted Street
6:30 P.M. In the Back Room

We look forward to seeing you there!
Alderman Smith Re-Elected for 43rd Ward
Incumbent Alderman Michele Smith defeated challenger Caroline Vickrey in what may have been the closest aldermanic race in 43rd Ward history.

The hotly contest race remained undecided and saw several lead changes for a week after the April 7 run-off. Down by 86 votes, Ms. Vickrey conceded defeat on April 18 issuing a statement saying: "While there remain a number of provisional and possible absentee ballots to be counted, the number needed for our campaign to regain the lead simply is not there...For this reason, I am today ending my campaign for Alderman of the 43rd Ward."

Election night ended with 49 of 51 precincts in the 43rd Ward reporting-representing 96% of the votes-and Smith leading by a narrow 98-vote margin. When the two remaining precincts were counted the following day, Ms. Vickrey had overtaken Alderman Smith and held a six-vote lead with only absentee and a small number of provisional ballots still outstanding.

Alderman Smith captured 58% of the absentee votes counted in the following days to overtake Ms. Vickrey and gain re-election. Final vote totals from the Chicago Board of Elections show Alderman Smith receiving 7,232 votes (50.27%) to 7,153 (49.73%) for Ms. Vickrey. In a statement, Alderman Smith stated: "I'd like to thank Caroline Vickrey for her passion and hard work. She has been a committed community member for over twenty years, and she ran a strong campaign. We look forward to working with her for the betterment of our community." Smith also thanked her supporters saying: "Thanks to each and every one of you for all you have done. I am humbled by your efforts. We look forward to redoubling our efforts, working together, to move our ward forward."

The 14,835 votes cast in the run-off election was 44% higher than the 10,306 votes cast in the February 24th election and represents 48.1% of all 43rd Ward residents registered to vote in the run-off.

Lincoln Central Association congratulates Alderman Smith on her re-election and commends Caroline Vickrey for her spirited campaign. Though their visions differed, we owe both candidates our gratitude for their dedication and the sacrifices each of them made to serve our Ward.
Spring Zing Returns

Spring is in the air and a zing is in our step, so mark you calendars for Saturday May 30 when Lincoln Central Association will hold its 2 nd annual celebration of the countdown to summer-Spring Zing.  Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago & Kohl's Cares , the philanthropic arm of Kohl's Department Stores, have teamed up to sponsor this year's Spring Zing.
Other sponsors and raffle donors include Gemini Bistro, Geja's Caf?, Debra Dobbs/@Properties, Navy Pier, Green City Market, Pilates Pro Works, Summer House, Gepperth's Market, Taco Joint, Caf? Floriole and Glasses, Ltd.

 

Spring Zing brings neighbors together to promote bike maintenance and safety, inspire family fitness, showcase the architectural heritage of our charming neighborhood and encourage support of local merchants. Steve Chang, who owns neighborhood gem CityGrounds and who helped conceive the event, says "Spring Zing is a great opportunity for neighbors, families, and local merchants to interact in a community-focused event."

 

Smiles and laughter will be everywhere at Spring Zing, especially for children. Noted balloon artist, A Real Mad Hatter, will amaze adults and twist the imagination of children with his magical creations. Special guest Queen Elsa from the Disney hit Frozen will also be on hand to paint the faces of delighted neighborhood children. Bike safety lessons will be provided by Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago & Kohl's Caresand Kidical Mass will lead a safe, family friendly bike ride through our neighborhood.

 

Crowd favorite and LCA Board member, Gary Sinclair, who will orchestrate the day's events as emcee, says: "Spring Zing is so much fun for all ages that everyone who attends will go home a winner." Many attendees, however, will take home more than just memories of a fun day. Thanks to our generous raffle sponsors, Spring Zing will hold an event-long raffle featuring hundreds of dollars worth fabulous prizes.

 

If you would like become a sponsor, donate raffle prizes, or volunteer to help staff Spring Zing, please let us know. Learn more about Spring Zing here.


 
Contributed by Lisa Qu

Help Revitalize Lincoln Avenue

Reconstitution (renewal) of the Lincoln Avenue Special Services Area (SSA #35) is now underway and if you are a property owner, resident or business owner within the SSA boundaries (properties with a Lincoln Avenue address between Webster and Diversey), the SSA Advisory Committee and Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce encourage you to participate by attending upcoming community meetings about the future of Lincoln Avenue and the Lincoln Park community.

           
SSAs are a funding mechanism designed to stimulate increased business activity for merchants and increase property values for both homeowners and owners of commercial property by maintaining a clean, attractive and competitive commercial district. An SSA's funding comes from a nominal tax levy on property within the SSA's service area decided upon by affected property owners during the constitution (or reconstitution) of the SSA. According to Justin Moore, Vice President of Wrightwood Neighbors and an observer at the Lincoln Avenue SSA Commission meetings: "The services provided by the Lincoln Avenue SSA are critically important to the many retailers along Lincoln Avenue who have been struggling in recent years due to the closure of two area hospitals, especially Children's Memorial. When an important retail district suffers, it also has a negative impact on the value of nearby residential property. The reconstitution of the Lincoln Avenue SSA will play an important role in the revitalization of Lincoln Avenue for owners of both commercial and residential properties in the district."

 

Independent Commissioners appointed by the Mayor administer SSA funds and advise the City on the array of services necessary to maintain and beautify Lincoln Avenue. Commissioners must be property owners, residents, or business owners from properties within the district. The Commissioners, who approve budgets and select service providers, are not compensated and must undergo two ethics and conflict of interest clearances annually. All SSA Commissioner meeting are open to the public and neighborhood observers as well as the Alderman and/or members of her staff generally participate.

 

Services funded through SSAs are in addition to services provided by the City and, by law, exclusively benefit the properties located within the boundaries of the SSA. Examples of special services include: sidewalk cleaning, maintenance and beautification, landscaping, district advertising and marketing, business attraction and economic development. The Lincoln Avenue SSA's services are currently limited to sidewalk snowplowing, sidewalk cleaning, litter abatement, trash removal, holiday decorations and landscaping but the expanded boundaries of the reconstituted SSA will allow for additional services including business attraction and improvement of building facades along Lincoln Avenue.  

 

To learn more about the Lincoln Avenue SSA reconstitution, please feel free to attend LCA's April 23rd Board meeting.