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Things May Get Difficult For Area Developers As Wave Of Progressive Aldermen Come Into Power

The stunning results in the recent Chicago elections will give rise to a new progressive power in many wards throughout the city. With many of those winners being influenced by a socialist ideology, area developers could find it harder to gain aldermanic support.

One of those key races unseated long time city council member Patrick O’Connor of the 40th Ward. Driven by residents in the ward who were focused on issues such as a tighter grip on development in their community, new high-priced real estate has given rise to the need for more affordable housing opportunities.

“I believe that by ushering in a Brand New Council, we can create a city that works for the people instead of at their expense,” said the new Alderman for the 40th Ward Andre Vasquez to WTTW. “On a public policy level, affordable housing is the number one issue that I hear from neighbors who are being priced out of this ward every day when I knock doors. I support the creation of affordable housing in my ward and across the city in a lot of different ways: rent control, greater investment of public dollars in housing stock and rent subsidy, and protection of existing affordable housing.”

Vasquez supports a change to the Affordable Requirements Ordinance that would require 30% affordable housing and no loopholes for developers to opt out. He also would like to require any offsite units to be built within the ward in order to supply more equitable affordable housing across the city.

Another key upset in the election was the defeat of 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore by Maria Hadden. She made “development without displacement” a key part of her campaign strategy. Since the decision was made to run for Alderman of the Rogers Park area, Hadden made it crystal clear that she would not accept campaign contributions from developers.

Moore has been plagued by residents complaining that developers who contributed to his campaign performed shoddy workmanship and cost overruns. In addition, developments such as the new target at Sheridan and Devon were unpopular among many in the 49th Ward. Such issues likely helped Hadden become the new Alderman of the Ward.

In both cases, the ousted Alderman were accused of being a part of Chicago’s “machine politics” and often sided with the policies of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel over the needs of their residents. With the most diverse group of Aldermen elected to City Council in history and Chicago’s first black female Mayor, the political landscape of Chicago has undoubtedly changed.

 


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