As 2018 has come to an end and 2019 is upon us, it’s enlightening to look back at the many achievements and successes accomplished in the ward during just the past twelve months.
Education & Parks
1st Ward schools had a good year of achievement and our schools and parks received major capital investments.
- Nine out of sixteen schools in the ward received a 1 or 1+ rating for academic excellence
- Roberto Clemente Community Academy and Wells Community Academy both inaugurated new athletic fields after receiving a $7 million allocation of City funds
- AN Pritzker Public School received a $1.7 million funding commitment from Chicago Public Schools to construct a long-sought new athletic field, running track, basketball court and playground
- Sabin Dual Language Magnet School received $70,000 for the installation of a new marquee
- Maplewood Park broke ground on the construction of a brand new $1.5 million field house, which will replace the current field house that dates back to 1950
Housing & Economic Development
It was a banner year for economic development and the provision of affordable housing units in the 1st Ward.
- 89 fully-rehabbed housing units were finally delivered at the Lathrop Homes; 56 Chicago Housing Authority units and 33 affordable units are now occupied, with hundreds more units to be delivered in 2019
- The John Pennycuff Memorial Apartments project broke ground. When completed next year, it will provide 88 affordable, transit-accessible units in the heart of Logan Square
- Through the new development projects throughout the ward, 38 Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) units were contractually committed within the ward, bringing the overall total of ARO units created in the 1st Ward to 161, second most in the entire City
- The City’s Plan Commission approved initial plans to renovate the historic Congress Theater and construct a new, mixed-use building across on Rockwell Street. This project will provide an unprecedented 30% affordable, at least 22, units on-site
- A $1 million grant from the Department of Planning and Development was approved for the 606 Bloomingdale Trail Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program, which provides forgivable, no-interest grants of up to $25,000 to income-qualifying property owners to fund home improvements of owner-occupied properties located by the 606 Trail. Seventy-seven 1st ward property owners applied for this grant, and a lottery will soon be held to determine the awardees
Community Safety & Transportation
Real progress and gains were made in reducing crime and improving safety in the 1st ward.
- Both the 12th and 14th police districts in our ward received new police officers that were added to their regular district rolls, and the 14th district was also selected to house a Bike Patrol unit, which added at least a dozen new officers to patrol the 606 Trail and 1st Ward neighborhoods
- The 12th district had the greatest reduction in crime in the entire city, with shootings down by 37%. The 14th district also had a decrease in overall crime by 22%