NLCCC in the News As of September 12, 2016

The North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council is very fortunate to have had significant media coverage of our meetings and events in recent months.  We thank the Austin Weekly News, Chicago Reader, Chicago Streets Blog, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Chicago Citizen, WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times for the coverage. Outlined below are articles that have been generated as a result of our events.

Arts and Culture and Parks Recreation and Open Space

Alderman To Pitch Music Venue In Douglas Park

What The ‘West Side Ravinia’ Douglas Park Music Venue Could Look Like

West Side residents wary of ‘Ravinia-style’ venue in Douglas Park

Arts and Culture

North Lawndale Art Festival showcases local talent


North Lawndale residents say restoring Ogden bus service would improve job access

North Lawndale Residents: Restoring Ogden Bus Would Improve Job Access

Transit Advocate: TOD Could Revitalize Area Around the 95th Red Line Stop

North Lawndale focuses on transportation upgrades (from the Active Transit Alliance Updates)


 Revitalization Plans for North Lawndale Are Underway

Dear developer: An open letter from 3 North Lawndale residents

NLCCC in the Media: Involve Community Residents in the Development of Roosevelt and Kostner

We thank those of you who have taken the time to comment on the Crain’s letter regarding the proposed development on Kostner and Roosevelt. Your comments are insightful and, it gave us pleasure to see the love and support from you. Some of you were not able to read the letter because you don’t have a subscription.  Here is the text to the letter we shared.

August 16, 2016

Last week, Crain’s Chicago Business wrote that the developer Clarius Partners had proposed an industrial development at the northeast corner of Roosevelt Road and Kildare Avenue that would total 320,000 square feet, including 61,000 square feet of retail space. The source was a report prepared for the Chicago Community Development Commission, which unanimously approved the sale of the 21-acre city-owned development site to Clarius.

As the North Lawndale Coordinating Council, we have an interest in this development. We’re a group of community leaders, business owners and elected officials who have long been working to improve the built environment in our neighborhood and to increase the capacity of local organizations to make a positive impact on the community.

It should be noted that North Lawndale has not had a comprehensive planning process in over 50 years, and this particular site has been the source of community angst for decades. The site was one of the illegal dumping sites associated with Operation Silver Shovel back in the 1990’s. Later on, a movie studio was proposed for the site, and then a major grocery store. Neither development came to fruition. Most recently, this site was selected for the UIC-North Lawndale Obama Presidential Library bid. When the site was not selected, the community was disappointed once again.

Such rejection hurts us more than most communities, since we have had very little success attracting large scale sustainable development that benefits local residents.

We’re cautiously optimistic that there is a proposal, and we’re eager to know more about it. Our council supports development that is consistent with our core values of transparency, accountability and sincere and authentic community engagement. We invite Clarius Partners to provide input into our comprehensive planning process currently under way. We urge them to share more details about their proposed development with the community in public settings and we demand that they are open to questions and input.

But there are conditions that any developer seeking support from our community should deliver upon—conditions that maximize opportunities for current residents and local business owners. This includes:

• adhering to an agreement to prioritize local hiring;

• taking advantage of tax credits for hiring ex-offenders and very low income people

• tapping into TIFWorks funding to train and hire local residents to work in the business concerns that will be developed there

• helping these local businesses take advantage of federal HUB Zone certifications

• putting legally-binding mechanisms in place so that local residents, minority contractors, women-owned businesses and other disadvantaged businesses get a chunk of the contracting opportunities.

We don’t just want promises. We ask that Clarius track progress towards these goals and share updates with the community from time to time. In fact, we’d be more than happy to provide links to these reports on the NLCCC website (

In closing, we look forward to a development process that is transparent, inclusive and impactful to the North Lawndale community.


Members of the NLCCC Executive Subcommittee:

Valerie F. Leonard,
Rodney Brown,
Dennis Deer,

North Lawndale Arts & Cultural Festival Aug 6 in Douglas Park

We thank the Austin Weekly News for following the North Lawndale Arts Festival.  Here is an excerpt from their latest story.

A colorful day of visual arts, music, dance and drama to Douglas Park will run allday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m at the cultural center/field house at 1400 S. Sacramento. It’s free and people of all ages from anywhere in the world are welcome.

North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council, the not-for-profit group responsible for a unique citizens planning process in this West Side neighborhood, aims to bring out the area’s sometimes-hidden cultural assets, said festival chair Sheila McNary.

Artists and vendors so far include: BGLH, Sweet Beginnings, Maxwell Street Foundation, the NLCC, Celestial Ministries, MUSIC, Madd Rhythms, Momma Kemba, Painter Cory of 345 Gallery, Rickie Brown, Dametrius, Jaclyn Jacunski of SAIC, Free Spirit Media, Able Electropolishing, Bee Boys, Artsy Marcey Jewelry, Jamiah Calvin, and Eddie Hudson.

Read more here


NLCCC in the News

We thank the Austin Weekly News for their continued coverage of the NLCCC Comprehensive Community planning process. The following articles have recently run in the newspaper.

CTA’s Blue Line plans include new West Side stations

The proposal, still in the preliminary phase, will be open to public scrutiny at June 29 meeting

By Robert Felton

The Chicago Transit Authority is working on a plan to renovate Blue Line train tracks and stations between the Forest Park and Clinton stops, and is seeking feedback from residents of the North Lawndale community on the details of the ambitious proposal. More

North Lawndale seeking artists, artisans for August festival

The North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council sets July 22 date for participants to register for Aug. 6 event

By Igor Studenov

Over the past few years, Douglas Park has hosted numerous events devoted to music. Each year, the West Side Music Festival takes up the southern half of the park and last year Riot Fest moved there from Humboldt Park. But there was never anything devoted primarily to art — until now. More

N. Lawndale’s grand plan rolls on

A comprehensive plan, formed from the grassroots up, is still in motion for the community

By Igor Studenov

Earlier this year, a group of North Lawndale residents, businesses, community organizations and elected officials united to create a detailed plan to improve their entire community. More

Hitting the “Reset” Button for North Lawndale

It has been over 50 years since North Lawndale has had a comprehensive plan that could be used to attract resources and guide public policy as it relates to transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, and housing.  As a result, much of the limited development that has occurred in recent years has not been coordinated or yielded maximum impact for the community as a whole. There are some pockets of North Lawndale that have seen significant development, while other parts have remained untouched since the 1950’s. In an effort to rectify this situation, the North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council (NLCCC) recently held its first annual community planning conference, in partnership with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), at the DRW College Prep High School on Chicago’s West Side.

Alderman Michael Scott, Jr., Rodney Brown and Dennis Deer will be guests on the Nonprofit “U” radio blog talk show on Monday, April 25 from 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Nonprofit “U” is an online forum where nonprofit stakeholders can discuss the latest developments in the sector and increase their capacity to serve their clients and build sustainable communities. Valerie F. Leonard, an expert in community and organizational development is the host. The show will stream live from  The archived podcast will be available on BlogTalkRadio,, iTunes and Stitcher.

Alderman Scott, along with Brown, Deer and Leonard, members of the Executive Sub-Committee of the North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council, will recap the conference and share next steps for the community planning process. There will be opportunities for listeners to call in with questions and participate in live chats. Nonprofit professionals, educators and community stakeholders are especially encouraged to call in and share their stories. The live call in number is (347) 884-8121.