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Live reporting by Leon Tai
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A new TIF financing a North Side theatre, alders voice frustration over inequitable financing on the North Side vs. South and West Sides

Good morning! We have a Committee on Finance meeting today, currently on roll-call and then 1 public commenter.
@CHIdocumenters #chicago #finance

10:09 AM Jan 31, 2023 CST

Leon @Leon_Documenter 2/22
George Blakemore: "I would like to turn my back to you and talk to the public, but the people are not here." He reprimanded the Alderpeople for not fulfilling their duty to engage their constituents, since hardly anyone is here today. #chicago #civic #civicduty
Leon @Leon_Documenter 3/22
Onto the items.
1. A proposed ordinance to repeal TIF redevelopment project and plan amendment ordinances passed in the wrong order. Law Dept: "The 9 ordinances in question were not adopted in the prescribed order. The ordinance that designated the redev project area was...
Leon @Leon_Documenter 4/22
... adopted before approval of the redevelopment plan for the area. TIF statute says you must approve the plan, then designate, then adopt."
Item passed.
Leon @Leon_Documenter 5/22
2. A proposed ordinance to enter into and execute the approval of Amendment No. 1 to Madden/Wells Redevelopment Project Area Redevelopment Plan, for expansion of the project area. See details:…
#chicago #redevelopment #finance
Leon @Leon_Documenter 6/22
An issue came up of who has the authority to make a direct introduction of legislation to city council, and who introduced it in the first place. Comm. Cox signed off on it, but as a commissioner he does not have authority to introduce it.
Leon @Leon_Documenter 7/22
It was mentioned that the committee has 90 days to pass this item, and that deadline is approaching on Feb 6th - making it necessary to pass it soon.
Hairston: "People's lack of planning does not make this an emergency on our end."
The Committee then recessed to resolve this.
Leon @Leon_Documenter 8/22
Items 2 through 10 were passed with no discussion, since presentations had been given in previous meetings on them. These were all ordinances to allocate TIF funds and expand project areas for Madden/Wells, Bronzeville, & 43rd/Cottage Grove Redevelopment Projects. #chicago
Leon @Leon_Documenter 10/22
Leon @Leon_Documenter 11/22
11. A proposed ordinance to enter into and execute a redevelopment agreement with American Blues Theater NFP, and provision of TIF assistance for the construction of a theater facility at 5627 North Lincoln Avenue in the 40th ward.
Leon @Leon_Documenter 12/22
Total project cost will be $7.1m, with $2.5m to come from TIF for an 11k sqft theater. According to the law department, this project intends to "revitalize this corridor with a focus on the arts." This will be the American Blues Theater's first permanent home. #chicago #arts
Leon @Leon_Documenter 13/22
**This is not a "Blues" theater in the musical, classical sense of the term - "Blues" refers to blue collar workers. They mean to offer "world-class" entertainment for a price affordable to American blue collar workers. #chicago #arts
More on the project:…
Leon @Leon_Documenter 14/22
Ald. Hairston lamented that DPD was able to get this done in a year, but lets developments in the south side sit vacant: "You all move like the speed of lightning when it comes to stuff on the North Side, but we sit when it comes to the South Side. [...] This is unacceptable."
Leon @Leon_Documenter 15/22
ABT will create 6 new full-time positions, and 60 equity association union theater jobs that will grow over time. They estimate half a million dollars in gross revenue through ticket sales, memberships, etc. #chicago #arts
Leon @Leon_Documenter 16/22
American Blues Theater was at first held in committee, then later passed.
#chicago #arts
Leon @Leon_Documenter 17/22
12. A proposed order authorizing one Charitable Solicitation on the Public Way (Tag Day) permit for Planned Parenthood, from Feb 1st to Oct 14th, 2023.
Leon @Leon_Documenter 18/22
Onto the Supplemental Agenda:
A. The case of: Angela Williams, Independent Administrator of the Estate of Sharell Brown,
deceased v. City of Chicago. The Committee did not discuss or move forward with this item.
#law #justice #chicago #settlement
Leon @Leon_Documenter 19/22
B. The case of: Talat Ara Imam, individually and as Independent Administrator of the Estate of Syed Muhammad Imam, deceased v. City of Chicago. #law #justice #trafficviolence #chicago #settlement
Leon @Leon_Documenter 20/22
Mr. Imam was struck and killed by a city tow truck in an area commonly used by pedestrians at O'Hare. The tow truck driver is alleged to have been negligent, had a duty to avoid pedestrians, and should not have been driving at over 20mph. #trafficviolence #law #justice #chicago
Leon @Leon_Documenter 21/22
The driver (Mr. Gomez) was not disciplined by the contracting companies he works for. Imam's family wants to settle with the City for $800,000. If brought to trial, the jury is likely to award damages.
This item was approved.
#trafficviolence #chicago #law #justice #settlement
Leon @Leon_Documenter 22/22
The Committee on Finance adjourned at 11:30am. All approved items will be reported out to the next full city council meeting on Wednesday, February 1st.
Enjoy the rest of your day! @CHIdocumenters
#chicago #finance #citycouncil