Accomplishments in the 20th Ward

As I review the recent past, there are some things that come to mind that I'd like to share with you. You may have heard that Governor Quinn recently signed a "Revenge Porn Ban" into law, which makes it a felony to post sexually-explicit videos and photos of someone online without his/her permission. I am proud to have sponsored a Resolution at the City Council level that urged the adoption of a Revenge Porn Law. Governor Quinn has been a good partner for me here in the 20th ward and the City of Chicago and we wish him well.

Another thing I have worked on leading up to today is a Tow Truck Ordinance that will require Tow trucks to document with pictures/video where they are towing a vehicle from prior to towing it.  To many people have been the victim of questionable tows without any way of fighting back.  That will change in 2015. Another proud accomplishment has been raising theminimum wage to $13 per hour 2019. I was an advocate for $15 per hour but had to compromise to $13.  Restoring mental health services at previously-closed facilities and establishing Pediatric Mental Health Center services in the 20th ward at the Miles Square Facility in Englewood is one of my proudest accomplishments.  Making available comprehensive primary and mental health services to children in our communities is truly a blessing that will help identify, address and relieve our youth and families of problems that have led to destructive behavior and will teach them how to cope and process stressors.  

We have seen an increase in development of market rate and affordable housing in the 20th Ward. Partnerships with organizations such as POAH, CHA, Holsten and the Resurrection Project have restored many vacant buildings and built new affordable housing units. This has been done with the support of State and Federal grants in amounts that exceed $85 million through Neighborhood Stability Program (NSP), NSP1 and II to continue the development of quality affordable housing in our communities, including housing options specifically for senior citizens. The 20th ward is the proud recipient the choice neighborhood award which is a $30.5 million grant that is designed to support housing, social services, commercial development, workforce development and education.   The latest project completion has been an assisted living facility in the Back of the Yards Neighborhood.  The restoration of the historic Strand hotel is currently underway which will provide 61 more units of housing and commercial space. A new senior building and a Squash Court and educational center is currently under construction and the recent remap has brought new community areas into the ward I am anxious to vitalize. 

Our partnerships with Norfolk Southern (NS) has allowed us not only to expand the transportation and logistics industry in the 20th Ward, but has also brought investments into our schools and nearby parks. NS has helped fund students' science and robotics programs which has given our youth the knowledge and exposure to compete in and win regional and national competitions. NS is also allocating $3 million in funds to support the Englewood community with economic development, health/environmental and employment opportunities.

For the past 7 years, I have sponsored a youth track club for children 6 to 14 years old which has been building children's characters and engaging them in training, competing, winning and becoming champions. To address education in our communities, we have established a premier model of education that takes children from the cradle to careers!

Our partnership with Metropolitan Family Services has made this possible through the Learning and Wellness Center at Libby Elementary where they provide child care and early childhood education along with a wide range of social services for the students' parents and families.

In the near future, we look forward to seeing the complementation a Whole Foods store at 63rd and Halsted in Englewood and continuing the development of other first class commercial establishments in throughout the ward.

Currently the City of Chicago is in the hunt for the Obama Library Presidential Library.  Two of the Sites in the final four are located in communities of the 20th ward, Washington Park and Woodlawn. 

We've seen a lot take place in the last few years and I promise a whole lot more will come forward to improve the quality of life for people in the 20th Ward.  "We are Getting Things Done. Let's keep getting things done!" 

 

Posted on January 12, 2015 .