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Added May 11 2017

    Ald. Arena pledges to bring 50 CHA units to the ward
    by BRIAN NADIG Alderman John Arena (45th) has pledged to bring 50 Chicago Housing Authority-sponsored apartments to the 45th Ward by the end of his term in the spring of 2019. Arena and six other aldermen recently signed the pledge as part of an effort that they say will help end segregation on the North and Northwest Side.
  • So they say no to 4 stories because 40 cha apartments would be too much concentrated poverty. My question is if those other market rate and affordable units are vacant and there are a demand of voucher holders will full circle deny those with vouchers? Wouldn’t that be even more concentrated poverty?

  • Robert if you actually looked at the blog you would have seen that there were copies of documents. They were originally posted on Scribd but were removed. The reason people remain anonymous is because if they don't it becomes a witch hunt. Arena filed complaints against city workers who were opposed to the housing development. People who worked hard to buy their houses have a right to opposed something that will change the character of the neighborhood. A plan had been done by city planners recommending that building be no more than four stories high. That plan was ignored by the alderman. There is no parking and it will isolate the residents on an island where there is no green space.

  • When will the 54 illegal sexual predators be removed from the 54 affordable housing units the occupy in the 45th ward? Anyone who cries racism is a racist since they assume only people of some race occupy affordable housing. According to CPS this entire area is integrated and overcrowded. Property value drops with overcrowding.

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff because it is off topic.
  • Dennis 30 year Jefferson Park resident

    Carlene, I presume those "sexual predators" you are referring to are those registered sex offenders who are living throughout Chicago. Those individuals were convicted and labeled for a number of reasons, from having consensual sex with a partner under the age of 16 to rape and incest. They have served their time. They need to live outside the confinement they came from. They are registered according to the law and I really feel bad if they are discriminated against by people in their community. They have been punished. They have served their time. Please don't punish them further unless they do something to warrant it. I won't write what I think of you because I'm sure it will cause this post to be deleted.

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff because it was mistakenly posted to the wrong thread.
  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff because it was mistakenly posted to the wrong thread.
  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    Election Update: Martwick Wins, Jefferson Park Affordable Housing Opponent LaPorte Loses:"La Porte’s campaign also charged that Martwick indirectly supported a controversial mixed-income housing proposal at 5150 N. Northwest Hwy. by refusing to take a stance on the project and through his close association with Alderman John Arena (45th), who supports the project. A large portion of the 45th Ward is located in the 19th House District.", (Development opponent and community leader Lt, John Garrido endorsed losing candidate LaPorte),Per Nadig Newspapers story:FROM:
    Martwick wins; Silverstein loses in re-election bid
    by · March 21, 2018
    (Excerpts) "State Representative (D-19) Robert Martwick was one of the big winners in the March 20 primary election, while state Senator Ira Silverstein (D-8) was defeated."..."I’m pleased,” Martwick said of the election results on Tuesday night. “I put out a positive message to the voters about my vision going forward.” He said that he meets a lot of his constituents at block parties where he gives away snow cones and that those block parties provide him the opportunity to discuss issues with residents.

    Martwick faced a challenge from Chicago police officer Jeff La Porte. Martwick received about 66 percent of the vote in the district’s 78 Chicago precincts and about 71 percent in the eight suburban precincts compared to 34 percent and 29 percent, respectively, for La Porte."

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen


    Lawsuit against 5150 N. Northwest Hwy dismissed
    by · March 23, 2018
    by BRIAN NADIG (Excerpts):"A Cook County Circuit Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit which challenged a settlement agreement between the City of Chicago and the owner of a parcel at 5150 N. Northwest Hwy., where a five-story storage warehouse and a seven-story, mixed-income housing complex are planned.

    Area property owners filed the lawsuit last year claiming that their due process was violated because the settlement agreement required Alderman John Arena (45th) and city zoning administrator Patricia Scudiero to support a planned development ordinance for the project before public notification of the zoning request occurred and before the public review process of the proposal began.

    City officials have said that public input would be taken into account for the project during public hearings on the proposed planned development ordinance and that the settlement agreement did not require the City Council, which would make the final decision, to support the ordinance.

    However, the council almost always defers decisions on zoning proposals to the local alderman, and some project opponents have argued that it was unfair to require Arena’s support before the community was notified of any development plans for the site.

    Judge David Atkins agreed with the city’s assessment and dismissed the lawsuit “with prejudice,” meaning that the court’s decision is final and a similar lawsuit based on the same grounds cannot be filed but the plaintiffs can appeal Atkins’ decision.
    Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh said that the lawsuit was “frivolous” and that it is not a surprise that the judge dismissed it. “This is what we expected since the lawsuit was filed,” he said.

    Northwest Side Unite, which raised about $40,000 to help fund the lawsuit, has not announced if it will seek an appeal."

  • What a disappointment. This whole thing was wrong and stunk from the beginning.

  • Mike Bayne Dunning area New to the area and have 2 children.

    Unbelievable, Arena needs to be ousted, I will be volunteering my time to research and help whomever his opponent is. In the meantime, I can only hope he or someone he loves, experiences a bit of the crime that this insane move would bring to the area. He's a truly disgusting person and needs to be removed from office in the next election.

  • Mike, I'm with you on him being ousted. The whole thing stinks. The man take's us all for fools.He has got to go

  • paul in jefferson jefferson park resident

    Not only alderman but mayor too,all are connected.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    Any of this sound familiar to some residents in Jefferson Park?:"Perhaps foremost among those practices are neighborhood organizations that exist to protect property values, preservation of neighborhood character, transit impacts, etc. Gated community NIMBY-ism too often still serves to keep the right people in, and the wrong people out. While race may appear to play a lesser role than socioeconomic status (apparent affordability) of preferred residents and neighbors, the social, political, and economic effects of their actual influences and culpability as silent vestiges of institutional racism should be further examined in relation to compromising fair housing and urban development towards promoting desegregated communities over the past half century.

    The political will is as necessary today as it was in 1968 to prevent another 50 years of “good neighborly” resistance in traditionally declared untouchable zip code areas toward realizing the greater social benefits of racially and socioeconomically diverse communities. After all, a house divided cannot stand—especially if the social foundation upon which it is built is faulty.",(Excerpt) FROM:
    A House Divided: The Fair Housing Act and Kerner Commission Report 50 Years Later ,By Andrea Shorter, of the San Francisco Bay Times

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    "Also at Wednesday’s City Council meeting:

    • Developers filed a zoning application to build a 75-unit affordable housing complex in Jefferson Park with ground floor retail that is certain to re-ignite a racially charged debate that has pitted local Ald. John Arena (45th) against some of his constituents. Jefferson Park residents have been filling the inbox of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s personal email accounts with complaints about the hotly contested project.",(Excerpt),From Chicago Sun-Times Story;FROM::
    04/18/2018, 05:28pm

    What about kids trapped in cars? Aldermen want to protect them by fining parents,
    By Fran Spielman

  • InTheManor Edgebrook resident

    When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like nails.

    Here in Edgebrook, we have a Metra station, and have eligibility for transit oriented development. There was proposal here for a high rise development -- four towering stories! It was to be condominiums, not rentals, and not targeted at low income families. It was to be targeted at "bicycle commuters" and have no parking. After protest for being too tall, the developer changed it to a less imposing three stories. Neighbors still weren't thrilled, in particular about the lack of parking provided, and the project has not gone anywhere.

    Personally, I'm peeved about some of the new houses being built here, in particular one recently built next to the choo choo park. I'm peeved not because it is targeted at low income people, as it surely costs far more than I can afford. I'm peeved because it is ugly and out of character, it looks like a cookie cutter home from a far west suburb.

    There are many reasons to be opposed to a project in one's neighborhood beyond racism and classism and discrimination against the poor and homeless. If you see everything through a particular lens, that is what you will always see.

  • PennyPenguin Chillin' out on EB

    Are they going to build homes for ALL income levels? I can't afford Edgebrook/Sauganash but I'm sure I don't qualify for specialized low income housing either. Where would I apply to get in this neighborhood w/o changing jobs or budgeting? I wish they had these homes built when I was in my 20s, then I'm sure I could qualify for low income housing in many neighborhoods, including Edgebrook, Wildwood, Sauganash,The Loop, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park and any where closer to the lake front. City Hall and the aldermen care about us all, right?

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    Is there low income subsidized housing in Edgebrook or Sauganash?

  • Jeffrey Littleton If you can't be a poet, be the poem.

    Yes there is.

  • Jeffrey Littleton If you can't be a poet, be the poem.

    It's called senior housing.

  • paul in jefferson jefferson park resident

    The low income residence put their assets in other peoples name and milk the system so honest hard working people pay the price.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    I hope all 45th and 41st Ward residents, especially the NIMBY's, have a chance to read the Chicago Reader story about the moral and legal problems the 41st Ward Ald. Anthony Napolitano has caused himself and the city after he became the only alderman to come out publically to oppose the 100 unit (as originally proposed) 5150 N. Northwest Highway mixed-income development in the 45th Ward because of claimed "density" concerns. Later Ald. Napolitano felt obligated to oppose a luxury development in his own ward (with some affordable housing units) in a much larger 299 unit building in his own 41st Ward.


    Aldermen's absolute veto power over ward projects gets unlikely court challenge
    Posted By Maya Dukmasova on 04.16.18 at 02:55 PM

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    Among the interesting quotes in the story above is :"In a recent blog post reflecting on this issue, Metropolitan Planning Council vice president Marisa Novara argued that too much local control over zoning and planning decisions can have a detrimental effect on the city as a whole. "I am seeing 'listening to the community' held up as the decision-making North Star when it’s actually being used to justify exclusionary and even racist decisions," Novara wrote. She added that research has shown "a troubling correlation between the number of public sector entities making land use decisions and levels of segregation."

    Chicago, she points out, has much greater local representation than other major cities. While our 50 aldermen represent about 54,000 residents each, New York has one city council member for roughly every 166,600 residents, and Los Angeles has one for every 264,600 residents. This makes it much more difficult to set citywide planning priorities in Chicago, she argues. And when it comes to affordable housing, aldermen are much more likely to cave to the NIMBYism that reinforces segregation.

    "It is a pretty basic notion that all communities need to contribute to the city's affordable housing needs," Novara said in an interview. "And if that is our basic principle, then individual communities should not be able to opt out of that contribution." An audit released by the city's inspector general last year found that between 2007 and 2015, 57 of Chicago's 77 community areas had created no new units of affordable housing.",

    The Chicago Reader story above links to the full Metropolitan Planning council blog post at:

  • paul in jefferson jefferson park resident

    Is the city bankrupt yet let me sell high and buy low then I will roll.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    For those interested in the Inspector General's report mentioned above, including a map of Chicago, broken down by community area, where Low-Income Housing Trust Fund housing is located (see map on page 24), please see the full 3/27/17 Inspector General's report at:

  • Mike Bayne Dunning area New to the area and have 2 children.

    Arena is a poverty pump Democratic hand job specialist

  • Penney Penquin--I agree. I can't afford to live on the Gold Coast, so why shouldn't the powers that be cut me a break?
    This is all ridiculous. Most people don't want imported problems, but the aldermen will always do what THEY want, and the citizen be damned. Our Overlords are not to be questioned, petitioned, or bothered.

  • paul in jefferson jefferson park resident

    Why do you think rentals have six people living in one unit that the landlords don't know about, the area is getting overcrowded.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    For those Jefferson Park NIMBY's who are opposed to non-neighborhood resident- "outsiders" having a voice on local neighborhood zoning and development issues, (like affordable housing advocates) let us see how you take to this non-Jefferson Park resident GOP Illinois congressional candidate and NIMBY ally "Ammie Kessem is urging voters in the 19th House District to voice their opposition to a housing project on Northwest Highway by voting for her in her race against Rep. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago).

    Kessem recently took to Facebook to post an “Illinois, we need to live within our means” themed campaign flier in which she urged, “protect our neighborhood by saying no to extreme density plans like the 5150 N. Northwest Highway housing project.”, (See story at:

    From Ammie Kessem's candidate web site:"Ammie grew up on the Southwest side of Chicago and moved to the Northside as a young adult, slowly moving west in search of a quiet neighborhood where she could raise her 3 Children and ultimately landed in the Norwood Park neighborhood where she and her husband, Randy are active members of their community." (See:

    Norwood Park is NOT Jefferson Park, She is a non-Jefferson Park "outsider:. NIMBY's have told Chicago non-Jefferson Park affordable housing advocates many times, including on EB, that only local Jefferson Park residents should have a voice in zoning and development decisions and that such non-resident "outsiders" are not welcome to have a voice. .

    In order for you NIMBY's to be believed, you must be honest and consistent with your treatment of such non-resident "outsiders". So stand up against this non-Jefferson Park resident "outsider" and tell her, like you did to affordable housing advocates, to "Get on the bus!" back to where she came:Norwood Park..

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    Should any candidate who so wrongly thinks that a 7-story building, with 75 units, in the city of Chicago is an example of "extreme density" really be taken seriously by any level-headed Chicago voter? I think not.

    Do you local Jefferson Park NIMBY's really want suburban voters for a state representative to have a say in your , as you see it, local zoning and development issue, without you being seen as hypocrites? I think not, based on many previous NIMBY statements..

  • Well put Robert. So you slam a "non- Jefferson Park outsider" for getting involved in 5150; But YOU have no problem being involved in 5150. ? Got it !! Hypocrite

  • That is extreme density for some neighborhoods. The area you are talking about has apartment buildings that are only three or four stories tall. Most of the area is single family homes and two flats. Many of us purposely chose neighborhoods that did not have giant apartment buildings when we made a considerable investment buying a home. They weren't zoned for the type of density and size that is proposed so people opposing it shouldn't come as a huge surprise to the developer.

  • Mike Bayne Dunning area New to the area and have 2 children.

    Robert, the Norwood and Jefferson park neighborhoods border each other, which is why she is advocating against this move. See, when one area of the city experiences a change, it also has effects on the areas that surround that area. Common sense really, just ask anyone, but someone who shares your "worldly" views. And as for the word NIMBY, it's over-used by people who are so passionate about something they know little about. Keep up the good work!

  • Then why is the largest,most dense building proposal in JP met with tepid resistance? It’s night and day.

  • CurtMyers if you are talking about the proposal on Lipps next to Jefferson Park residents are also opposing that building.

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    In the past, some Jefferson Park NIMBY's have tried to get Mayor Emmanuel on your side on the 5150 N. Northwest Highway development, by using the mayor's personal email account. Stories over the past year or so, based on FOIA requests and court decisions, in the Sun-Times included the texts of a few of those emails sent to the mayor.

    You may want to read these recent stories about the latest judge's ruling on the Mayor's attempt to keep such city-business emails secrete if the email were sent to the mayor's personal email address:

    From the Chicago Tribune: FROM:
    In victory for Tribune, judge rules that Emanuel broke law in withholding emails:
    A Cook County judge agreed with the Chicago Tribune that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his office violated the state’s open records act by belatedly releasing the emails.May 15, 2018,

    From ABC7chicago:FROM:
    Judge rules Emanuel illegally withheld emails,Tuesday, May 15, 2018 08:40PM

    From Chicago Patch: FROM: ,:Emanuel Broke Law In Withholding Emails: Judge
    The Cook County judge said the mayor violated the state's open records act.
    By Amber Fisher, Patch Staff | May 16, 2018 12:38 pm ET | Updated May 16, 2018 12:40 pm ET

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    Emails from those opposed to the 51510 development and the many others trying to conduct city-business in secret have caused legal troubles for the mayor, and have added an issue his political opponents can use from now through the 2019 municipal election. The mayor may not take a public stand in support of the proposed mixed-income housing Jefferson Park development, but he certainly will also not likely join the NIMBY side, after people like you, and his desire to protect your city-business emails from public view,have caused him such legal and public relations/election problems.

  • paul in jefferson jefferson park resident

    Good he deserves it.

  • Brian Nadig, this article is no longer linked to your website 😧

  • paul in jefferson jefferson park resident

    Get a job Robert run against arena

  • Jeffrey Littleton If you can't be a poet, be the poem.

    Robert who?

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired
  • Have to wonder if JB is elected, the issue of state tax credits for this housing project, could change..

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff because it contains inappropriate content.
  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    For those who think that the 5150 N. Northwest Highway mixed-income development is not being used as a political wedge issues or that the NIMBY side is made up of only locals and does not have the support of "outsiders", please read the Pro-Public investigation stories released today:

    From Pro-Publica Illinois: story with graphics)
    Amid Affordable Housing Dispute, Conservatives Seek a Home in Chicago

    Groups tied to Illinois Policy Institute and talk show host Dan Proft back GOP candidates on city’s Northwest Side. by Mick Dumke,
    May 23, 4 a.m. CDT

    Or the Chicago Sun-Times version, with photos but not graphics, at:

    05/23/2018, 10:48am

    Amid affordable housing dispute, conservatives seek a home on the Northwest Side,By Mick Dumke | ProPublica Illinois

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    From 5/23/18 posted Letter to the Chicago Sun-Times Editor:

    "Just a few months ago, the mayor gave remarks criticizing efforts to create the first affordable housing for veterans and people with disabilities in Chicago’s 129-year-old Northwest Side neighborhood of Jefferson Park. The mayor to date, has refused to support the 5150 N. Northwest Highway project. The 5150 development represents the first Chicago Housing Authority supported housing on the far Northwest Side, ever, within a community that has historically fought bitterly against the integration of CHA housing since the 1960s, when Dr. King marched in Chicago’s Gage Park and Fred Hampton was spit on in Jefferson Park for marching for open housing. Residential segregation of the far Northwest Side of Chicago has always been purposeful.

    The mayor supports giving taxpayer dollars to persons of means who want to live in safe communities, with good schools and access to one of the best transit hubs in the city, but refuses to support affordable, accessible and integrated housing for lower-wage individuals and families to live in the same communities. We need a mayor willing to construct inclusive housing programs and practices for all of Chicago’s neighborhoods, to end residential segregation once and for all.

    Monica Dillon, Norwood Park",FROM:
    05/23/2018, 01:07pm
    Mayor’s home-buying assistance program doesn’t deserve tax dollars

  • Robert Rohdenburg Activist Citizen

    Just posted Chicago Sun-Times story on the paper's quarterly FOIA requests for the Mayor's emails shows that some Jefferson Park NIMBY's still can't resist trying to contact him about official city business via his personal email account rather than reaching him via his official city business email account: ( Story excerpt, including the Mayor's response):"For the second straight quarter, Northwest Side residents filled the mayor’s inbox with complaints about a hotly contested Jefferson Park apartment development plan that includes affordable housing supported by Ald. John Arena (45th).

    “First, you are not burdening me. Second, we always scrutinize any development that requires or more accurately seeks public assistance tax dollars. Third, I am going to let my planning staffers know of your views and you can keep them informed,” the mayor wrote.

    “I know these are tough times and issues. Really believe that leaning in on the community-driven process we discussed can move forward from managing an issue to practically tackling the challenge. Here to help. Hang in there.”,

    05/24/2018, 04:26pm
    Emanuel’s private emails filled with complaints about crime, By Fran Spielman

    You will note that the mayor remains a fence sitter on the 5150 development and not an ally to either side.

  • PortageRules Love Portage Park!

    Why is Rham a fence sitter? Because he is listening to the neighborhood voters. Unlike arena...he may actually get re-elected by doing such a crazy thing.

  • I hope Rahm never holds office here, or anywhere else, ever again.

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