Category Archives: news

Chicago Christmas Tree Recycling

Tree Recycling

City of Chicago Christmas Tree Recycling
Chicago’s 2020 Tree Recycling Program runs from January 4th through the 18th at dozens of parks across the City.
Only live/natural trees without flocking are accepted (no garland or wreaths). Because the trees are mulched, all tinsel, ornaments, lights, and stands must be removed. Plastic bags used for transport should also be removed before putting trees in the stalls.
The mulch that’s created from the Christmas Tree Recycling program is used in local parks to protect and nourish plants and soil. Mulch will also be made available to Chicago residents, free of charge, starting Jan. 7th, at six park locations.
For complete recycling information including drop off locations go to https://www.recyclebycity.com/chicago/brief/christmas-tree-recycling 

Apply to Be a Part of the “78” Advisory Council

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th), with the support of Alderman Dowell, have come together with 78 developer Related Midwest to announce the formation of a Community Advisory Council for the 78 development. Alderman Dowell encourages neighborhood residents who are interested in being part of the development discussion apply to join the newly formed advisory council. A limited number of seats on the advisory council will be designated for residents from impacted communities adjacent to the development site.
The full press release and link to the advisory council application (www.chicago.gov/78) is below.
MAYOR LIGHTFOOT CREATES COMMUNITY ADVISORY COUNCIL TO ENSURE NEIGHBORHOOD INPUT ON THE 78 DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
Community Engagement Effort Delivers on Mayor Lightfoot’s Commitment to Inclusive Neighborhood Development
CHICAGO-Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, with support from Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) and developer Related Midwest, today announced the formation of a Community Advisory Council (CAC) that will serve as a conduit for community input as the $7 billion “The 78″ development project on the Near South Side moves forward.
Working with the developer and the local aldermen, the City is soliciting applications from community members to serve on the CAC. An application for CAC volunteers is available at www.chicago.gov/78
“When I first entered office, I made a commitment to ensure that all major planning efforts, including large-scale development projects like The 78, will be met with robust and inclusive community engagement processes,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “The 78 Community Advisory Council will provide a transparent process for residents and other stakeholders to provide guidance, identify improvements, and maximize economic opportunities for the community and the city at large as design and construction gets underway.”
The 17-member CAC will consist of neighborhood representatives, community leaders, design professionals, and subject-matter experts appointed by Mayor Lightfoot and Ald. Sigcho-Lopez in consultation with neighboring aldermen and local stakeholders. The group will meet quarterly starting in early 2020, making recommendations ranging from public infrastructure design to traffic control and open space, among other issues.
The CAC’s recommendations will be made to Related Midwest and the Mayor’s Office on an advisory basis and implemented where possible throughout the duration of The 78’s anticipated 20-year construction timeline. A special charter for the CAC will provide a framework for the group’s membership and meeting protocols.
“We understand the importance of community participation throughout the development process, which is why the Community Advisory Council presents an exciting opportunity to further our community dialogue,” Related Midwest President Curt Bailey said. “We look forward to a deeper engagement with stakeholders that identifies the best uses of our approved planned development to meet community needs as we create Chicago’s next great neighborhood together.”
Encompassing 62 acres of vacant land along the South Branch of the Chicago River, The 78 is planned to include approximately 13 million square feet of new commercial, residential and institutional construction. The project is anticipated to generate 39,000 permanent and temporary jobs, 12 acres of open space, multiple infrastructure improvements including a new Red Line subway station at 15th Street, and a 20 percent affordable housing commitment.
Today’s announcement builds on a number of milestones highlighting recent progress at The 78, including:
  • The creation of HIRE360, an innovative, cross-industry partnership co-founded by Related Midwest to provide sustainable career opportunities for local residents, women- and minority-owned businesses, and supply-chain partners across Chicago. It will fulfill a 360-degree vision for community-connected employment within The 78
  • The completion of the second phase of the Wells-Wentworth connector, a new roadway being constructed through The 78 by the Chicago Department of Transportation between Roosevelt and Cermak roads. The third and final phase is expected to be completed in 2021.
  • The development of a plan by the University of Illinois System for its Discovery Partners Institute (DPI), which will occupy approximately 500,000 square feet of research and educational space within The 78. DPI is an education and innovation center that will join Illinois’ businesses, public-sector partners and research universities to close the new-economy workforce gap, expand the diversity of the talent pipeline, and elevate the state’s research and development economy.
“For months we’ve used the community advisory council structure in the 25th Ward to oversee development proposals and it’s become critical to responsible development,” Ald. Sigcho-Lopez said. “I’m glad to see this model grow, as the city’s new advisory council will help ensure the community’s voices are heard as construction gets underway.”
The City will simultaneously monitor The 78 for compliance with a comprehensive redevelopment agreement approved by City Council earlier this year that includes terms for minority- and women-owned business participation, affordable housing, and City financial assistance for public infrastructure improvements, among other provisions.
Since taking office, Mayor Lightfoot’s administration has taken steps to ensure all major development projects like The 78 and Lincoln Yards will be met with robust and inclusive community engagement processes.  Earlier this year, the Lightfoot administration put forward new public engagement guidelines for large development projects. These guidelines, which are currently under consideration by the Chicago Plan Commission, would require new public engagement protocols for “Master Planned Development” projects that move forward on large development sites like the former Michael Reese hospital in Bronzeville, General Iron in Lincoln Park, and USX in South Chicago. The guidelines are expected to be adopted by Plan Commission in early 2020.
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Dowell Votes No on Cannabis Delay Ordinance

Statement from Alderman Pat Dowell on No Vote on Ordinance O2019-8063 – Amending Municipal Code Chapter 7-24 to prohibit certain Adult-Use Cannabis business establishments
“First, let me state that I am appalled that the current cannabis law does not provide equity in the cannabis industry for minority communities. For too long, communities of color like the ones I represent have been victims of systemic racism and shut out of meaningful economic opportunities. The first wave of cannabis licenses issued by the State of Illinois continues that systemic inequality. It is unfair and I’m committed to righting this wrong.
“We as a City Council have already taken meaningful steps to ensure equity in this industry moving forward. The changes we made to the Chicago Zoning Code guarantee that aldermen are allowed to fully vet cannabis businesses before opening to promote equity applicants and equity partners in our wards. That is a good first step. But as these licenses are carefully rolled out, we need to make sure equity applicants have the ability to compete and win licenses in order to open their own businesses side-by-side their white, male counterparts.
“However, the ordinance to delay the sales of cannabis in Chicago until July 1st does not move the needle on equity. That is why I voted no. The State licensed cannabis businesses that are currently operating citywide have already jumped ahead of the rest of the pack. The train has left the station. Cannabis as a business is up and running in Chicago. The lesson here is that the City Council has to work hand-in-hand with our colleagues in Springfield before critical legislation is passed at the state level. Together with the state we can craft laws that better promote the ideals that we as a city all share.
“To that end, I am encouraged by the recent negotiations between the City and Springfield. This conversation shows that when we speak loudly as a body, even if we disagree on how, our voices are heard statewide.
“I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues on the Black Caucus and especially Alderman Jason Ervin, who spearheaded this conversation on equity in the cannabis industry. We can get this right. As Chairman of the Committee on the Budget and Government Operations and Alderman of the 3rd Ward, I will do everything I can to make sure that this burgeoning industry is one that leads the way on racial equity.”
This measure failed to pass City Council by a 19 yay to 29 nay vote. The complete recording of the vote can be found at www.chicityclerk.com.

3rd Ward Town Hall at Bronzeville Classical School

Thank you to everyone who joined Alderman Dowell for the recent Town Hall meeting at Bronzeville Classical School. And thank you to all the presenters who participated in the meeting. This informative discussion included presentations on: the new development proposed for 39th St. and King Drive, an update from CPS Network 9, a Pete’s Fresh Market update, an overview of the proposed development for 43rd St., an introduction to Chicago fines and fees reform and a recreational cannabis policy overview. A copy of the presentation given at the Town Hall meeting can be found below.

November 2019 BCS Town Hall Slides

 

Proposed CN Track Realignment Overview Fliers

The following fliers detail proposed changes to the St. Charles Air Line which runs through the South Loop just north of 16th St. The flier is a general overview of the proposed project, which covers the track and bridges between Clark St. and Michigan Ave. Fliers for each individual bridge will be created and each flier will be consistently updated throughout the life of the project to let residents know exactly what is happening in the neighborhood. Each flier also contains a phone number for questions or to register complaints with Canadian National (CN). The City of Chicago is working with CN to negotiate the best possible outcome for this project in order to limit not only the impact construction has on residents, but also to mitigate any long-term impact the track realignment may have on the community.SCAL Overview CN St. Charles Air Line Bridge Work_Page_1

SCAL Overview CN St. Charles Air Line Bridge Work_Page_2

 

SCAL - Michigan Ave Bridge Overview - 05AUG19-page-001 SCAL - Michigan Ave Bridge Overview - 05AUG19-page-002 SCAL - State Street Bridge Overview - 05AUG19 (1)-page-001 SCAL - State Street Bridge Overview - 05AUG19 (1)-page-002