May 15, 2020
Thanks to all who joined us during yesterday’s virtual community meeting regarding Hilco’s implosion and City of Chicago’s response. Take a look at the presentation below: (LVEJO virtual community meeting 5/14/20).
MEDIA ADVISORY AND DAYBOOK ITEM FOR MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2020
Environmental justice organizations across the city will come together for a press conference to urge the Mayor and City agencies to prioritize the public health of the city’s residents over corporate interests. Most of the groups participating in the press conference are led by women of color who have years of advocating for environmental justice reforms in black and brown communities in Chicago.
In the heels of a major health disaster resulting from the partial demolition of the old Crawford plant, groups are calling for a grassroots ordinance that centers public health and community power in decision making and reforms the entire industrial land use permitting and zoning chain. Groups will also call for more transparency on the aftermath of the demolition of the Crawford smokestack from city agencies.
During the press conference, advocates will take a moment to pay respects to the family of Fernando Cantú, the 78-year-old grandfather who lived three blocks from Crawford and passed away last week early Sunday morning.
When: Monday, April 20, 2020, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Who: Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), Blacks in Green, People for Community Recovery, Neighbors for Environmental Justice, Southeast Environmental Task Force, and Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke.
Images from the aftermath of the demolition can be found here:
On December 29, 2017, Hilco Global closed on the purchase of the former Crawford Coal Power Plant for $100 million. In the announcement, Hilco stated that the site development would be for logistics and warehousing. Chicago Alderman Ricardo Muñoz, was already on board for supporting Hilco’s vision of the Crawford site as needed in the last mile of logistics in Chicago, given how close the site is to I-55, Stevenson Expressway.
On August 14th & 16th, 2018, Hilco Global presented to the Little Village community their plans for a one million square foot warehouse on the former Crawford Coal Power Plant site at 34th St. & Pulaski Rd. The open houses took place at Second Federal Savings Community Room and Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez Elementary School.
Community members want an Industrial Corridor that speaks to the talent and skills of Little Village and a Corridor that supports the local economy. The community envisions large-scale urban farms; commercial kitchens; a ‘mercado’ (community market); small business incubators. The Little Village Industrial corridor and its community members have more to offer. The community vision does not have to sacrifice its members’ health and well-being for Hilco’s profit. We envision a Chicago that welcomes all, not just those who can profit and prosper at the expense of others. This is crucial to building a thriving new economy in Chicago that no longer features communities of color as sacrifice zones.
LVEJO is demanding the City of Chicago Department of Planning require health and environmental considerations when providing permits in the Industrial Corridor. To ensure communities like Little Village, which are already over polluted, are not highlighted as sacrifice zones. Little Village is no longer willing to be the dumping ground for the city and polluting industries.