I have worked tirelessly to build a greater sense of community in the 50th Ward, improve the lives of residents, build a new foundation for our local businesses and create new opportunities for young people.
My office has successfully lobbied for city resources. That includes driving a massive investment in our local public schools – more than $47 million and counting. Recent projects include renovations and annexes to expand Decatur and Rogers schools and a playground at Armstrong School.
We have improved local parks and even dedicated a new 50th Ward park at Devon and McCormick.
A beautiful and desperately-needed new, 16,000-square-foot public library and senior housing complex on Western Avenue across from Warren Park is currently under construction. This first-of-its-kind project in Chicago will be a spark in an area that needed new, fresh development. It would not have happened without my leadership and strong support – and input from the community.
For many, many years, our elected leadership in the community failed to support local businesses and we have worked closely with residents, our chambers and our business community to redevelop our business districts. The $15 million Devon Avenue streetscape project was 30 years in the making. It included new lighting, bump-outs and pedestrian crosswalks and plazas, signage, unique identifiers and a new look for the neighborhood. It is a massive transformation of one of the city’s most visited and successful business districts. I started working on this project the day after I won my first election and now that it is completed, it serves as a point of pride for our entire community. Our businesses feel like we are making an investment in them and they have supported the community by helping fund regularly scheduled sidewalk cleanings and snow-removal. Dozens of new businesses – both family-owned stores and chain retail stores and restaurants – have come to the 50th Ward over the past several years. TJ Maxx, Five Below, Tree House Humane Society, Lickity Split, Wendys, Malabar Gold & Diamonds, just to name a few.
Better constituent services, improved city requests with lower response times, redevelopment, investment and large-scale projects do not happen on their own. They require the support of elected officials and the community.