Gazette Chicago 09 01 2017 E Edition Page 1

By Madeline Makoul A book is challenging the popular notion that Chicago is in dire financial straits. Chicago Is Not Broke: Funding the City We De- serve , edited by Tom Tresser, fea- tures chapters by ten contributors who share ideas on repairing the City's finances. "One of the narratives that the City has offered over the years to justify corruption and bad deals is that the City is broke," Tresser said. "They say that we have no money, but they also say that we have no ideas. That is to say, we are bankrupt fiscally and with civic imagination." Tresser, who has been active in local politics for 30 years, began questioning that narrative in 2009 when the City was bidding to host the Olympics. Tresser discovered the City had $1.6 billion in tax in- crement financing (TIF) accounts, leading him to ask, "How could we be broke?" Tresser convened a group of experts for the book, focusing on three major areas: "Money that is stolen from us," "Money that is hidden from us," and "Money that is not collected but should be." 'Money stolen from us' This section focuses on the costs of corruption, toxic bank deals, and alleged police abuse. Dick Simpson, a political sci- ence professor at the University INSIDE By Susan S. Stevens Near West Side residents have been protesting the idea of a new Tay- lor Street library featuring low-in- come housing upstairs on Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) land that formerly housed the ABLA Homes public housing project. More than 660 people signed pe- titions asking for a delay in a Chi- cago City Council zoning committee hearing over six stories of low-in- come housing above a new library at 1328-1350 W. Taylor St. They said they were not informed well enough nor consulted early enough. Despite seven people testify- ing before the Chicago Plan Com- mission to ask for a delay, and two testifying in favor of the proposal, commissioners unanimously vo- ted Aug. 17 to forward the library/ housing proposal to the City Coun- cil zoning committee. That follow- ed an Aug. 9 go-ahead vote by the City's Community Development Commission to approve spending $7.1 million in TIF money to pay for about one-third of the $36 mil- lion building. Federal funds will pay much of the rest because of the attached housing. If the zoning committee app- roves the project, full City Council approval is likely. Hard to handle Ald. Jason Ervin (28th), whose ward includes the site, spoke in favor of the building but said he wants residents to understand the whole project better. He scheduled a Monday, Sept. 18 meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the National Italian-Amer- ican Sports Hall of Fame, for the CHA to provide an overview of the entire Roosevelt Square redevel- opment plan. "This is one of many phases A free, independent community newspaper since 1983. Near West/Tri-Taylor University Village West Loop South Loop West Haven Bridgeport/Armour Square Chinatown Bronzeville East Pilsen Heart of Chicago City moves forward on library/housing plans on Taylor Street despite vocal opposition OTHER HIGHLIGHTS Alderman Thompson wants to attract business to Bridgeport through rezoning effort. See page 3. Professional Services Guide covers healthcare, legal, and financial issues. See page 22. Alderman Dowell favors CPS plan for National Teachers Academy transition. See page 31. Pilsen Alliance demands restoration of historic mural. See page 30. Gazette Chicago's coverage of Oscar D'Angelo's passing earns national APEX Award. See page 13. Opposition stalls proposed Chinatown Special Services Tax Is Chicago really broke? Book challenges that notion Continued on page 6 Molly Schuler conquers Fontano's sandwich challenge. See page 24. September 1, 2017 Vol. 35, No.5 By Rachel Hinton A ghost from tax proposals past is haunting Chinatown. Last year, the Chicago China- town Chamber of Commerce led a push to create a Special Service Area (SSA) in Chinatown to help beautify the area and continue to attract tourists and Chicago resi- dents who may not live in the area. The effort stalled, however, due to opposition from some business Continued on page 12 Continued on page 10 CHICAGO Photo by Christopher Valentino CELEBRATING SAINT ROCCO-The 97th annual Feast of Saint Rocco processed throughout the streets of Chinatown and Bridgeport on August 13. Festivities included a mass at St. Therese Church followed by the traditional walk through the community with the statue of Saint Rocco.

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