UPTOWN—(ENEWSPF)—February 24, 2014. While the City of Chicago makes massive cuts to public services due to a supposed “budget crisis,” the mayor and his aldermen continue to find ways to offer handouts to private corporations. In the neighborhood of Uptown, fully half of the public elementary schools were shuttered last year and over 1,800 units of affordable housing have been eliminated in the past two years. Yet, 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman is supporting a project that would give away $14 million in TIF funds to wealthy real estate development company JDL, in order to build an upscale housing complex.
Residents in the ward have consistently voiced their opposition to this plan and the similar plans that came before it. In June of 2011, over 600 people packed the Clarendon field house to vociferously reject a proposal from Sedgwick Properties that asked for $50 million in TIF funds to develop the abandoned lot at Montrose and Clarendon. As new proposals have been entertained since then, public opposition has continued.
But rather than listen to the overwhelming majority of his constituents, Alderman James Cappleman continues to court proposals from private real estate developers looking for taxpayer-funded subsidies to pad their private profit. And the only people Cappleman consults on these decisions are those on his hand-picked Zoning & Development Committee, a group that is unrepresentative of the diverse working-class population that makes up the majority of the neighborhood. In fact, Cappleman so despises hearing the voices of constituents outside of his inner circle that on at least one occasion in 2013 he instructed building security guards to prevent “protesters” from entering the public meeting.
On Monday, a group of Uptown residents will once again gather to voice their opposition to this new corporate bailout proposal. Will Cappleman hear the voices of his constituents? Or will he attempt to shut out their voices once again and push forward with a plan that puts private profit over the needs of the people?
Protest of 46th Ward TIF Proposal: Monday, February 24, 2014
6:00pm—Rally in front of Alderman Cappleman’s office (4544 N Broadway)
6:45pm—March to Weiss Memorial Hospital (4646 N Marine Dr)
7:00pm—Attend 46th Ward Zoning & Development Committee Meeting (at Weiss)