Reimaging Chicago: Pass seven ordinances in 100 days

Date: 
05/16/2019
ReimageCoalit

Reimagine Coalition in City Hall

In the first 100 days of the new Chicago City Council a group of aldermen and aldermen-elect plan to pass seven pieces of legislation to "make Chicago a city for the many--not just the wealthiest few."

AndreVasquez

Alderman-elect Andre Vasquez, 40th Ward

Authored by community and labor organizers along with elected aldermen, this announcement was introduced at a press conference on the 2nd floor of City Hall Thurs., May 5.

 "The 100 Day Plan to Reimagine Chicago incudes pieces of legislation that we championed for many years, but that Mayor Rahm Emanuel sabotaged in order to pursue his downtown-driven corporate agenda," said 10th Ward Alderman Susan Sadlowski Garza. "But it's a new day in Chicago, and we are ready to take immediate action to begin undoing the harm of the last eight years."

RRodriguez

Alderman-elect Rossana Rodriguez, 33rd Ward

Andre Vasquez, Alderman-elect 40th Ward who beat out Pat O'Connor, called on six difference people to speak about the specific areas being covered in the proposed ordinances.

Alderman-elect Rossana Rodriguez, taking over the seat of Deb Mel in the 33rd Ward, said that she was happy that her 75-year-old mother recently learned that she will be moving into a CHA senior housing building after two years of waiting. However, she said that the large numbers of Black and Latinx were displaced from the City and that has to be stopped. She is eager to see the Homes for All Ordinance passed.

LaChrishaPearson

LaChrisha Pearson

Advocating for $15 per hour minimum wage now, not in 2021, LaChrisha Pearson, SEU Healthcare Member, who has worked at Mt Saini Hospital for eight years as a CNA (certified nursing assistant), explained that she only realized a $2-an-hour raise to $13.53 since she started her job.

"The hospital industry makes billions of dollars in revenue, yet my fellow workers make poverty-level wages," said Pearson. To support her and her 13-year-old son she also has to be on welfare in addition to working.

"My son is an avid sports player. His dream is to go to college and play football But I have to say 'no' to his playing now, because I cannot afford fees and equipment for him to play. I cannot nurture his dreams.

"At Mt. Saini, I take care of people at the most vulnerable times of their lives.

AntonioGuitierrez

Antonio Guitierrez

"I love what I do or I wouldn't be doing it, but we don't get the respect that we deserve in wages or healthcare. I cannot afford to pay for healthcare offered to employees. I have to be on public assistance."

Antonio Guitierrez, an organizer around deportation, has lived here for almost 19 years and is undocumented. He explained the life of an undocumented person and how they are fighting to be documented and concluded by saying, "I am undocument. I'm afraid and I'm apologetic."

EstelaDiaz

Estela Diaz

Estela Diaz, CPS Parent and Brighton Park Neighborhood Council member, was advocating for the desperate need for school resources.

Edrika Fulford, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, shared the fact that she felt scared and alone after the death of her mother. "I don't want anyone to feel the way I feel…The hopeless of being homeless. Unfortunately my situation is not unique. In fact, over 80,000 Chicagoans are homeless. Almost 20,000 of these are Chicago Public School students. Sadly, they are not alone. There are lists of domestic and abuse survivors, veterans and many more.

Edrika Fulford

Edrika Fulford

"Of all the other cities that are experiencing homelessness, Chicago is near the bottom when it comes to dedicating resources to address this problem. That is disgraceful. Yet, 77% of Chicago voters polled, felt that ending homelessness in the City of Chicago be a priority.

"We are asking that the Mayor and the new City Council have Bring Chicago Home legislation be the first in the first 100 days.

Alderman-elect Jeanette Taylor, 20th Ward, is taking the seat of Willie Cochran, the 30th alderman since 1972 to be convicted of crimes related to official duties. Taylor.

JeanetteTaylor

Alderman-elect Jeanette Taylor, 20th Ward

She reminded everyone that the voters sent a clear message in this last election.  "There has already been a lot of work done. We need to pull it together and everyone needs to work together… Chicago needs to be a city for everybody."

The seven legislative areas targeted for change are spelled out in a memo to Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot and Chicago City Council:

  1. Restore public housing with the Homes for All Ordinance. The Homes for All Ordinance will require that all public housing units are preserved on a one-for-one apartment basis in any future redevelopment of public housing, and that family-sized units are produced by the CHA as it rebuilds.  The Homes for All Ordinance protects public housing land for public housing purposes, and integrates at least 20% of future public housing construction into high-wealth, high-opportunity neighborhoods.
  2. Build affordable family housing with the Development for All Ordinance. Current loopholes in the existing Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) have completely undermined the production of affordable housing, especially in gentrifying areas. The Development for All ordinance eliminates these loopholes, including ending “in lieu of fees” that developers pay to avoid building affordable units, ending the “off-siting” of affordable construction in lower-income neighborhoods, and mandating the production of family-sized (e.g. 3 bedroom) units. Developers who need upzoning approval from the city will be required to set aside at least 30% of new construction for affordable units.
  3. Fight homelessness with Bring Chicago Home. 80,000 Chicagoans experience homelessness, including military veterans, survivors of domestic abuse, and 18,000 CPS students. Bring Chicago Home would place a question on the ballot asking voters to approve a 1.2-point tax increase on real estate transactions worth more than $1 million--enough to generate $100-150 million annually for housing and services to address homelessness.
  4. Fund Chicago Public Schools with TIF Surplus Reform. Recent years have seen Tax Increment Financing, initially intended to spur economic development in poor neighborhoods, used instead as a slush fund for mega-developers like Sterling Bay and Related Midwest. This ordinance would require the city to send the available TIF surplus back to Chicago Public Schools on a yearly basis for as long as the school district is in financial distress.
  5. Pay low-wage workers more with a $15 minimum wage by 2021. This ordinance will raise the minimum wage to $15 by the year 2021. The ordinance will apply to public sector, private sector, and tipped workers.

[Lightfoot has indicated support for this increase.]

  1. Stop south side displacement with a Community Benefits Agreement Ordinance for the Obama Presidential Center. The Obama Center CBA ordinance will preserve existing affordable housing, provide additional affordable housing options, and prevent displacement of long-term residents from the area surrounding the Obama Presidential Center. Specifically, the ordinance will require developers to set aside 30% of new units for households earning less than half of the average median income and establish a community trust fund to assist long-term residents with property tax relief, affordable housing development, rental assistance, and workforce development. In February, voters in four precincts near the future Obama center overwhelmingly supported these proposals.
  2. Curtail racial profiling with amendments to the Welcoming City Ordinance. Chicago police can arrest or detain immigrants based solely on their immigration status if they are one of the 130,000 people named in the city’s unjust and inaccurate gang database, or if they have an outstanding warrant or a previous felony conviction. The Welcoming City ordinance would remove these allowances and protect people of color from harassment, racial profiling, and deportation by Chicago police.

Those who signed the memo included:

Aldermen-Elect Maria Hadden (49), Daniel LaSpata (1), Matt Martin (47), Carlos Ramirez Rosa (35), Mike Rodriguez (22), Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez (33), Susan Sadlowski Garza (10), Byron Sigcho Lopez (25), Jeanette Taylor (20), and Andre Vasquez (40).

However it was indicated that others were still signing on to the Plan.

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