Ward Council Meeting #8 and New Neighborhood Meeting Scheduled

Hi Friends,

The Alderman’s office is now streamlining the Ward Council and has created a separate page on their website. You can find more about it by clicking here.

In the most recent meeting the Alderman discussed the budget plans for 2013 and different committees presented themselves to share the variety of topics that the office is involving neighbors to advise the office. Those committees include a Zoning Committee (ZAC), a Green Council and Senior Council. Many of the committees have an application processes, so you if you are interested please don’t hesitate to let the office know. Notes for the last meeting can be found by clicking here: Ward-Council-Minutes-8-1-12.
Because so many people are on vacation in August, we decided to schedule our next East Ravenswood Neighbors Meeting on Monday, September 10th at All Saints Church on Wilson @ Hermitage. The meeting will begin at 7pm. We will have some special guests to talk about things happening in our area. An agenda will be posted prior to the meeting, but please plan to join us and meet your neighbors.
If there are things you’d like to tell your neighbors please don’t hesitate to contact me, your front-door email administrator for the East Ravenswood Neighborhood Association at eastravenswoodrep@gmail.com. If you have comments, tips or happenings please share them with us.
Finally, I want to congratulate you for a job well done on the block audits. All of the blocks of our neighborhood were covered by the wonderful volunteers who walked around and made comments about their blocks. Thank you! The Ward Office will be working to make it easier for more neighbors to participate in the audit so they can continue to know items to improve. The squeaky wheel gets cleaned;)

Enjoy the rest of your summer! I hope it is safe and memorable.




Rescheduled Ward Council Meeting #7

Hey Neighbors,

My apologies for my absence, summer is my busy season for work as I have been participating in outdoor Art Fairs around the country. I was able to attend the last meeting but nothing really happened. It was taken over by concerns about the zoning committee’s review of affordable housing development in the Ward so none of the agenda was discussed. Many people were feeling like there was a major lack of communication, but the office said that it was a two-way street. They keep inviting participation, but don’t get a big response. Many areas don’t even have a Ward Council representative.

Because the process is different than with the previous Alderman, there seems to be an issue of trust in the new way and the Alderman was urging us to engage in his process. He is as transparent as he can be, and needs constituent involvement. They are creating many councils for neighbor input including a Senior Council which we discussed at our meeting (they are still looking for members) and a Green Council.

They have rescheduled the 7th Ward Council meeting for Wednesday, August 1 at 6:30pm at Bethany Retirement Community Auditorium, 4950 N. Ashland.  They have a parking lot on Paulina; just west of Ashland. 

At the meeting they will discuss the ways the 47th Ward office is involving neighbors including what they envision the Ward Council to be.

As for the specific questions I have recently received from neighbors:

1. Wilson Metra Closure until August. You can find more about the project by clicking here.

2. Parking Permit Zoning:

Changes went into effect on July 15th. If your street had a number change, and the sign does not reflect this, please contact jim@chicago47.org to let him know.

3. Ravenswood Hospital:

The crime has been an issue and they were working very hard to start demo even though construction on the school won’t start until 2014. Last week they were scheduled to start the phased demolition. Starting inside with asbestos abatement and critical barriers, they will strip everything but the structure until Labor Day. At that point, they will begin working on the tower. They are confident that by February the entire structure will have disappeared and it will be an empty lot eliminating crime. The school is planned to open in the Fall of 2015.

3. Mariano’s

It took awhile for it to go through the CDC and now it is in the City Council. They hope to break ground in October with an opening sometime in 2013.

What do you want from the Ward Council?

Hello Neighbors,

There is a Ward Council meeting coming up next week and the Ward Office is curious what you want from the Ward Council. We spoke about it at the meeting a few weeks ago, but I wanted to open it up to everyone who couldn’t make it. What do you think of the Ward Council and what do you want to see from it going forward? Please comment here on the blog or send me a message so I can share it with the council. Thanks so much!

The agenda for the meeting is below, everyone is welcome to attend.

Date: Wednesday, July, 11, 2012 , 6:30pm – 8:00 pm  

Location: Addison St. Community Church  2132 W. Addison St.

1. State of the Ward by Alderman Ameya Pawar

The Ward Council going forward

2. Reports from the various Ward Committees & Councils

  • Zoning Advisory Committee
  • Transportation Committee
  • Senior Council
  • Environmental Committee
  • Gardening Group
  • GROW47

3. Feedback from the May Council Meeting

Did you take the last meetings minutes back to your community?

What was their input regarding what they want the Ward Council to be moving forward?

4. Integration of the Ward Council into all of the 47th Ward Working Groups

5. Creation of: Quality of Life Working Group

More notes from recent meeting on June 4th…

I had posted some notes just after our most recent meeting. However, neighbors Mary Stamler and Sharon Banis took more detailed notes which I wanted to share with you here.

Have a wonderfully safe summer! And if there are any block parties you’d like to post about, please let me know!


Volunteers for the distribution of meeting notices are needed for Paulina and Hermitage,
the west sides of the 4500 and 4600 blocks. Rebecca’s blog, which she explained,
acts as a large public posting to the rest of the ward. The blog could be expanded
to post information about activities in the ward, such as those that take place at the
American Indian Center on Wilson Avenue or at the Lillstreet Gallery at Montrose and

Block parties were discussed as a means of having more people involved in ward
The 4500 block of Hermitage has sponsored such an event, organized by a few neighbors.
Rebecca distributed the sample form “Petition to Hold a Block Party” available at the
Alderman’s office and on-line. Signatures of 75% of residents of the block (or blocks)
involved would be required. A permit would also be needed to close off the streets, with
a month leeway in both cases. The city does not provide services such as wooden horses
for this purpose; however, blue bins or a car could serve to bar entry to car traffic. It also
does not provide cleaning services after the event.

A second suggestion was made that entire blocks could be involved in a rummage sale,
which would also require permission to block off participating streets. Rebecca felt a
flyer distributed seven days in advance of the event would serve to notify neighbors who
might wish to take part in such a sale..She also noted that the sale of food or drinks and
an admission charge are not permitted.

The new calendar for CAPS meetings is now available.. These meetings are to be held
on the second Tuesday of every month at Chase Park, Ashland and Leland, rather than
every three months as they have been for the last few years. This frequency is a definite
plus for residents, as it allows us to know our beat officers and to make our concerns
heard. Residents are encouraged to attend, even when there are seemingly no major
problems in the neighborhood.

Recent developments, as well as those projected were discussed.
The new grid system for garbage collection is replacing the former by-ward
Basic changes were made to ward permit parking. Signs reflecting these changes
should have been in place by June 1. There are no 24 hour permits, and the new
city stickers should reflect the revised ward numbering system.
A new green garden with individual plots available to residents has been
developed in the vacant lot adjoining the brown line stop at Montrose and
Ravenswood. Find more information at CHICAGO WARD 47.COM .
July 1 is the scheduled date for the demolition of the interior of the former
Ravenswood Hospital at Winchester and Wilson Avenues, with that of the
exterior beginning September 1. The opening of the Lycee Francais is projected
for the 2015 school year.
Montrose at Ravenswood under the Metra tracks will be closed for another month
on the east side, while the west side will be closed for two more years.

Meetings continue regarding the new Mariano’s Fresh Foods at Lawrence
and Ravenswood. The matter is now in the hands of the city’s Building
Administration. Mariano’s is adament about opening at this location, but the
situation could be tied up for years, despite Alderman Pawar’s daily requests for
The Ravenswood Art Walk is scheduled for the last week of September.
However, this year it will be limited to the east side of the street, with boundaries
reduced from Irving Park to Lawrence and with fewer outdoor exhibits.
A meeting schedule is available on-line for Friends of Ravenswood School
Information concerning criminal activity in the area is available
at “Everyblock.com” and at “Uptownupdate.com.”
The plan for making Lawrence Avenue more pedestrian friendly and more
attractive has been selected after input from residents. The plan chosen was the
work of Rebecca- congratulations!)
Senior volunteers are being sought to act as representatives to a Senior Council.
Ward residents should be more alert to the needs of seniors who might need
assistance with chores, or who could benefit from being checked on, for example,
in extremely warm weather. Such a program would offer an opportunity to fulfill
required service hours by local high school students.
If the panhandlers at Lawrence and Ravenswood become aggressive, call 911

Rebecca, in closing, noted that the Ward Council Meetings are held every six-to-
eight weeks. It was agreed that a similar schedule should be maintained for our local
organization. It is our intention to distribute notices in a timely fashion, prior to the next
meeting in August.

Notes from Neighborhood Meeting Monday June 4,2012

As we head into summer, East Ravenswood Neighbors met last week to discuss a some items for the season the notes are below…

1. Block Parties: An excellent way to have fun and get to know your neighbors! I passed out petitions so that neighbors could organize their block, if you’d like to do so please go to the Ward office to pick one up or contact dara@chicago47.org. 65% of the block needs to agree to the event because of the street closure. Once you have that then you can the Ward fill out an application for the party. They ask that you plan a month ahead of time. For more detailed information please click here.

If block parties aren’t your thing, you can organize a garage sale on your own or with some neighbors. However, a permit is also required. You can find more information and apply by clicking here or by contacting dara@chicago47.org.

2. Senior Council: In addition to the Ward Council, the 47th Ward is creating a Senior Council to address issues concerning the seniors in our Ward such as creating a phone tree and making the neighborhood more accessible for this growing population. Area 5 is looking for a representative. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Dara at dara@chicago47.org.

3. State of the Neighborhood Association: People seemed generally happy with the the blog, emails and frequency of the meetings. I will give more notice of meetings so that people can plan for it. The reason we always do Monday nights is because All Saints graciously opens their doors for us.(Thanks All Saints) If Monday night is extremely inconvenient I can find another space to mix it up. But most importantly, we need Volunteers! The number of canvassers to flier the blocks to let neighbors not on our email to come to meetings and join the email list have dwindled and less people are knowing about the blog and meetings. Please help spread the word! And if you’d like to write something for the blog about our awesome neighborhood please don’t hesitate to let me know. We have so many exciting things in our community from Lillstreet to All Saints Church (the oldest wood frame church in Chicago) to the American Indian Center, let’s celebrate it by sharing the story with everyone!

Another thing people have noticed is the rise of rats in our alleys. If you see one please contact 311 and the ward office. The more people who tell them there is a problem the more likely they are going to do something about it.

4. CAPS: Another way to get involved in the community is by going to CAPS meetings which will now be held monthly at Chase Park. Please refer to the previous blog post for the schedule and the sidebar to the right of this post to learn more about CAPS. The more people that know about what is going on with the police and crime in our neighborhood the more we can look out for one another. 

5. Mariano’s and Lawrence Avenue Streetscape: The Mariano’s developers are still waiting for the green light from the City’s building commission. The Lawrence Ave. Streetscape is slated to start this summer.

6. Lycee Francais: They are going to begin demolition of Ravenswood Hospital in July. They will be starting from the inside and working outwards. They won’t begin construction on it for awhile, but they want to free up the lot and relieve it of the vandalism and trespassing that was occurring in the space. They are hoping to open the school in the Fall of 2015.

7. Montrose Construction: Will be going on until mid July. In addition to repaving it, Metra is reinforcing the retaining wall at that intersection. There are two seasons in Chicago: Winter and Construction. I know it feels inconvenient but our neighborhood will be stronger for it:) If you have questions please contact Jim@Chicago47.org. You can also check the Chicago47.org website to see a more up to date schedule.

8. Things to look forward to: It was suggested at the meeting to invite the Alderman to attend one of our neighborhood meetings. We’ll nail that down for our next meeting in the early Fall.

9. Have an excellent and safe summer and please spread the word of the blog and email list at the block parties!!!


CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy) meetings are going to be monthly, Yay! So go if you can, meet our local police officers, learn what crimes are happening in our area and how to add more eyes and ears to our community. They need our help.

For East Ravenswood, which is in BEAT 1912 (covering Irving Park to Lawrence, Clark to Lincoln), our meetings will be held at CHASE PARK (4701 North Ashland Avenue) at 7pm on the following dates:

June 19
July 17
August 21
September 18
October 16
November 20
December 18

If you do not live in East Ravenswood, you can find the schedule by clicking here and contacting your district police office .

Below is from Alderman Brendan Reilly’s website, I think it gives a good understanding of CAPS and why it is important to attend meetings.

“CAPS is a partnership between police, community leaders, business owners and local residents and is the foundation of the City’s community policing philosophy. CAPS brings together the police, the community, and other city agencies to proactively identify and solve neighborhood crime problems, rather than simply reacting to problems after the fact. Problem solving at the neighborhood level is supported by a variety of strategies, including neighborhood-based beat officers; regular Beat Community Meetings involving police and residents; extensive training for both police and members of the community; more efficient use of city services that impact crime; and new technology to help police and residents target crime hot spots.

With CAPS, police officers continue to enforce the law and respond rapidly to serious crimes and life-threatening emergencies. But CAPS recognizes that the police alone cannot solve the city’s crime problems. It takes a combined effort of police, community, and City government working together.”

To understand more how CAPS works, please click here.

Permit Parking Consolidation and Ward Council Meeting Minutes #6

It’s almost time for new city stickers and that means, Permit Parking Consolidation. When purchasing your 2012 City Vehicle Stickers from the City Clerk’s office, please be aware of the following permit parking zone consolidations in our neighborhood:
Zones 1394 and 126 are consolidating into Zone 62. Zone 62 will remain 62.
Car owners in these areas need to be sure the new zone number is printed correctly when purchasing their new city sticker.
II. Ward Council Notes
I was unable to make the 6th Ward Council meeting this Wednesday May 16th, but it was attended by Area 5 Alternative Representative, Linda Wilson. Thanks for the great notes, Linda, here they are:
A. Report from the Alderman:
1.  Infrastructure trust
This has been covered extensively in Pawar’s newsletters.
– it’s the right thing to do
– it was messaged and presented in a way that guaranteed opposition
– there are limits to what can be done with municipal bonds
– he supported the amendments and all but one of the Aldermanic changes were accepted by Emanuel
– he would have voted for the alternate proposal but it wasn’t stated in a way that was legal, so he didn’t
– as with all political decisions there were lots of aspects to consider, compromises were made.  Look at the extremes that were said about the issue and the truth is somewhere in the middle
2.  Speed cams
Alderman Pawar voted against it.
3.  Clark Park Stadium
The funding has passed and the next step is the legal documents, then the ground-breaking.  The funding is a combination of money from Cubs Charities (1M), Kerry Woods and his wife (1M), Turner construction ($750K), Park District ($500K) and TIF money (didn’t get the amount).
It’s a flagship project, first of its kind, will be completed sometime this year.  He’s worked with the Clark Park Advisory Committee on this.
B. Questions and Answers:
1. Have any other projects been described yet?  None other than the one on retrofitting public buildings.  This will be revenue neutral, reallocating monies that would have been spent on energy to the developers with the plus being jobs for tradespeople in unions, which have high unemployment rates.
2. Is the revenue used for debt service too?  Yes, that’s the cost
3. Has anyone compared the cost of this system to the cost of municipal bonds?  Not able to do so because the cost of bonds (and the cost through the trust) vary project to project.
 Final statement:  The trust is a shell with subject-matter experts.  He saw the way aldermen stood up and succeeded in changing it on the floor as a positive.  He’ll put out more information in an e-mail.
4. Was there any further information on NATO?  Check the web site for OEMC and sign up for “Notify Chicago.  Sure, there will be protests – most will be a good thing but they may be some provacateurs.  He said no big, the United nations is in New York and they handle protests daily with no issue.

C. Ward Council Discussion:

Dara took the stage and handed out pads of paper and slips with questions on it.  We broke up into small groups to answer them.  Dara and Jim collected the responses and are below.
The questions were:
What are the most useful/best elements of the Ward Council Meetings?
What are the least useful elements?
How would you like to see the Ward Council meetings develop from here?
Are there any issues that you would like to see included on the Ward Council Agenda?
What role should delegates/alternates have in the Ward Council?
Are there presentations from any organization you would like to have at the Ward Council?
How often do you think the Ward Coucil should meet – monthly, every other month, or quarterly?
The representatives enjoys the “tour of churches” throughout the ward that the Council meetings have given us and would like the local neighborhood group to “host” along with giving a short presentation about their area, schools, highlights, etc. General consensus was hearing all the inside stuff from the Alderman and the transparency of the process is the best thing, meetings can get too bogged down in reporting to us as a passive audience, lots of suggestions for different organizations (but these may be different meetings), and monthly meetings are too frequent but quarterly meeting aren’t frequent enough.  Figure every 6-8 weeks (next one will be mid-July at Addison Community Church at 2132 W. Addison, exact date TBD.
The discussion also asked about what are the two or three things the delegates to the council should accomplish, and what is the mission statement. This is independent of all the committees and working groups Dara is working to set up.
The alderman ended the meeting with saying the terms on the Zoning Advisory Committee are coming to an end (they go for one year), and anyone interested in serving on that group to contact the office.

D. Suggestions from the Small Group Discussion (emailed by Dara this week):

• More presentations/education (CPS, Police, Parks, etc.) – topics could be: how the ward and city work, how a successful Neighborhood Group is organized. Some of these could be outside of Council Meetings and be part of what the Ward Council sponsors.
• Coordination of local projects which the audits will help.
• Agenda on the website
• Create working groups; environment, recycling, safety, CPS & parks in the ward, etc.
• Role of the delegates and alternates: what is their mandate? Communicate with
neighborhood group and neighbors, be involved with committees, get to know the
other delegates.

The Council discussed their purpose and tasks. Jim spoke of supporting one another, organizing their neighborhood group and informing the alderman of what’s happening in their area.

Additional recommendations: Members would like to be informed in advance of major city ordinances which would be posted to the website and accept comments, discussion of menu expenditures.

Ward Council Members will now take this back to their respective Neighborhood Groups to discuss these issues and what they would like the Ward Council to be moving forward. So…

III. Our next neighborhood meeting:
June 4th at 7pm at All Saints Church on the corner of Hermitage and Wilson. Please come to meet your neighbors and discuss the above and other items that are of concern for our neighborhood. The agenda will be posted on the blog. I hope to see you all there!