Banners left over from Richard M. Daley’s time as mayor hang over Ogden Avenue west of Keeler Avenue on Feb. 17, 2015, in the North Lawndale neighborhood. (Anthony Souffle, Chicago Tribune)
Mary Schmich wrote the following column for the Chicago Tribune on February 18, 2015. The area in question is in the Ogden-Pulaski TIF, which didn’t exist back in the mid 1990’s. At the time the banners were created, the area was serviced by the Roosevelt-Cicero TIF, just a block or so north.
Out in the far western ranges of the city, on a stark street flanked by vacant lots and tired brick buildings, there are banners hanging on the lampposts to herald the mayor of Chicago. You know his name. Richard M. Daley.
The first time I saw the banners, a few months ago, I drove around the block and passed by a second time, slowly, just to make sure I’d seen what I thought I’d seen. Sure enough, there along Ogden Avenue, between Keeler Avenue and Pulaski Road in the North Lawndale neighborhood, four years after Rahm Emanuel took over the job, “Richard M. Daley, Mayor” still presides from the streetlight poles.
One of the banners, which features an artsy image of a man in overalls carrying a big wrench, also proclaims a dream that never came to pass: “Industrial Revival on Chicago’s West Side.”
It’s hard to imagine that in more prosperous parts of town — Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Wicker Park, Hyde Park — such outdated banners would still be flying. It’s hard to imagine that if any current City Hall power broker had traveled down that stretch of Ogden and seen them they would be. More
I thank Bruce Crosby for sharing this article from today’s Chicago Sun-Times:
At $114 million, Jones College Prep already is the most expensive public high school ever built in Chicago.
And a dispute with Walsh Construction — a clout-heavy contractor whose City Hall connections stretch back to the late Mayor Richard J. Daley — could drive the final pricetag for the South Loop school even higher, to $127 million, records show.
Last summer, the Public Building Commission of Chicago rejected two bills totaling $13 million submitted by Walsh, the general contractor on the project, for cost overruns. More
It’s been a while since we’ve update the North Lawndale TIFs website. TIF lovers will be happy to know that we’re in the process of updating the website, including a format that is easier to navigate and new content. While you will notice some changes to the format immediately, we are still in the process of updating the content. If you are a subscriber to our blog, this means you will be getting more frequent updates as we enter more blog entries. This activity will die down somewhat once the site is brought back up to an acceptable level. We thank you for your patience, and look forward to an exciting new year with new information.
Here is a copy of the presentation I did for the Chicago West Side Branch NAACP Community Concerns Panel. This was a part of their housing resource forum held on June 29, 2014. The presentation shares lessons learned from TIF advocacy in North Lawndale and covered the following: What tifs are, how they work, and their impact; Common TIF programs; Case study-Ogden Pulaski TIF in North Lawndale; Lessons learned
Valerie F. Leonard will be a guest on the Bob Shaw Show on December 28, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. on WVON, AM-1690 to talk about TIFs in Chicago. You may call in at 773-591-1690.
TIF Training Survey Results by valeriefleonard
If you are interested in attending an upcoming TIF training, please, complete the form below.
The following story was posted in Newstips by Curtis Black on September 1, 2011.
With the release of his TIF Reform Panel report, Mayor Emanuel may want to check “TIF reform” off his to-do list, but community activists who work on the issue say that would be highly premature.
“They’re talking about transparency as if that’s all we have to do,” said Sonia Kwon of the Raise Your Hand Coalition. “Transparency and accountability are just tools to reform TIF. I don’t see this as TIF reform.”
In any case, Emanuel’s panel skips “the first step in transparency” – listing TIF information on property tax bills, said Kwon. “To know you are in a TIF district and how much of your tax money is going to TIF – that’s the first step.”
That was a major proposal of the Community TIF Task Force of the Neighborhood Capital Budget Group, which brought together dozens of community groups, said Jacqueline Leavy, former executive director of NCBG. (It was also a major proposal of then-Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley, apparently forgotten when he reacted enthusiastically to the report this week.)Read the rest of this entry »
We congratulate the Mayor and Task Force for tackling this issue. We are especially pleased to know that they have adopted one of the Lawndale Alliance’s recommendations to implement the TIF program within the context of a comprehensive economic development plan with measurable goals and objectives. It is our hope that they can drill down to the community level and ensure participation from rank and file community residents and local business owners, who are most impacted financially and otherwise by these TIFs.
City Task Force Plans Major Overhaul of How TIF Funds Used http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/7298261-417/city-task-force-plans-major-overhaul-of-how-tif-funds-used.html
Lawndale Alliance Public Comments, Handouts and Presentation
Lawndale Alliance Public Comments http://www.scribd.com/doc/61176674/Public-Comments-TIF-Reform-7-28-11
Lawndale Alliance TIF Town Hall Meeting Presentation http://www.scribd.com/doc/60858816/TIF-Town-Hall-Presentation-2011-Burgundy
Lawndale Alliance TIF Townhall Brainstorm http://www.scribd.com/doc/61105871/Brainstorm-1
The Time for TIF Reform is Now http://www.scribd.com/doc/31181624/The-Time-for-TIF-Reform-is-Now
The Chicago News Cooperative did an excellent analysis of TIF expenditures and found a near equal split between public and private financial uses of the funds. The article was carried on their own blog, and in the New York Times. We encourage you to read both versions and follow the links in the articles. We have provided excerpts from the New York Times article, and analyses from the Chicago New Cooperative blog.
Article by Juan-Pablo Valez; Spatial and Financial Analyses by Steve Ravenscraft, Andrew Greenlee, Chris Cascarano and Juan-Pablo VelezFor years, former Mayor Richard M. Daley heard criticism that City Hall’s use of a particular economic development tool amounted to little more than a slush fund for him to subsidize corporate Chicago at the public’s expense. Mr. Daley invariably responded that he used plenty of the money generated by the tool, tax-increment financing or TIF (pronounced tiff) for schools, parks, elevated-train stations and other purely public pursuits across the city.
Now, as aides to Mayor Rahm Emanuel review the city’s use of TIF amid the backdrop of severe budget shortfalls, an analysis by the Chicago News Cooperative shows that TIF spending was allocated almost evenly between public works and subsidies for private interests.
Click here to continue reading the New York Times article. Click here to read a similar article from the Chicago News Cooperative blog.
Chicago News Cooperative Video Depicting Growth in TIF Revenues 1986-2009
Chicago News Cooperative Chart Depicting Breakdown of TIF Expenditures by Category