Can one Chicago neighborhood overcome its political divisions to exert more influence in City Council?
Five aldermen representing portions of Englewood on the city’s South Side held a historic town hall Tuesday at Kennedy-King College to try and do just that.
They say the historically impoverished neighborhood has been hurt partially because its sliced into many wards.
Alds. Stephanie Coleman (16th Ward), David Moore (17th Ward), Jeanette Taylor (20th Ward), Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward) and Raymond Lopez (15th Ward) put aside political differences to hear from the community as a whole.
“The main purpose is to make sure that we have a focus on redeveloping this community instead of just fighting, saying, ‘Hey, this is my ward, that’s my ward,’” Moore said. “Our residents cross ward boundaries.”
Englewood resident Frida Madison said she’s concerned about violence.
“I would like to mention about the violence,” Madison said. “If we can somehow come up with a system of programs or something to curb the violence.”
The 2020 U.S. Census will kick off an eventual redrawing of Chicago’s 50-ward map. Lopez said he hopes it prioritizes neighborhoods and communities instead of fracturing them.
“It helps, not only in showing how we’re all connected,” Lopez said. “But also in allocating the resources, having a singular vision when it comes to communities and making life a little better for the residents that we hope to serve.”
Follow Paris Schutz on Twitter: @paschutz