Spring 2020

May 2020

  • May 29, 2020 we sent an email to the Mayor, Commissioners, and Alderman regarding the scheduled demolition of the Turbine Hall at Crawford:
    • “Given last Saturday’s meeting, we hope it was made clear the need for continued communication with Little Village residents and also note the need for professional Spanish language interpretation. Just like the Mayor held their COVID-19 Latinx Town Hall on May 14, 2020 with Latinos Progresando and the Marshall Square Resource Network, we expect the same level of professionalism and Spanish language interpretation.We demand that the City of Chicago responds to all of these requests BEFORE the scheduled demolition on June 5, 2020. We want to confirm that we did receive an email from Hilco Redevelopment Partners this morning of the approved continued demolition to begin the morning of June 5, 2020 (I’ve attached notice to this email). At the almost one week mark, Little Village residents are still waiting on:
      • Next community meeting with professional spanish language interpretation,
      • Copy of the report that Department of Buildings Inspector Tibaldo Alvarez created after their inspection of the site,
      • Timeline of scheduled continued demolition of only Turbine Hall,
      • Site Manager information, 
      • Emergency Protocol Plan, and
      • Transparency on emails that journalists Mauricio Peña and Brett Chase are requesting as FIOAs continued to get denied.

      We are also attaching a letter of support from Little Village community institutions with our latest list of demands.”

  • El 29 de mayo de 2020 enviamos un correo electrónico al Alcalde, Comisionados y Alderman con respecto a la demolición programada de Turbine Hall en Crawford:
    • “Buenas tardes, Alcaldesa Lightfoot, Comisionados y Concejal; Dada la reunión del sábado pasado, esperamos que quede claro la necesidad de una comunicación continua con los residentes de La Villita y también tengamos en cuenta la necesidad de una interpretación profesional en español. Al igual que la Alcaldesa tuvo su junta comunitaria sobre COVID-19 en las comunidades Latinx el 14 de mayo de 2020 con Latinos Progresando y Marshall Square Resource Network, esperamos el mismo nivel de profesionalismo e interpretación en español.Exigimos que la Ciudad de Chicago responda a todas estas solicitudes ANTES de la demolición programada para el 5 de junio de 2020. Queremos confirmar que recibimos un correo electrónicode Hilco Redevelopment Partners esta mañana que la demolición continuará para comenzar por la mañana de junio 5 de 2020.En la marca de casi una semana, los residentes de La Villita todavía están esperando:
      • Próxima reunión comunitaria con interpretación profesional en español,
      • Copia del informe que el inspector del Departamento de Edificios, Tibaldo Álvarez, creó después de su inspección del sitio,
      • Línea de tiempo de la demolición de solo Turbine Hall,
      • Información del administrador del sitio,
      • Plan de protocolo de emergencia, y
      • Transparencia en los correos electrónicos que los periodistas Mauricio Peña y Brett Chase solicitan mientras se sigue negando a las FIOA.

      También adjuntamos una carta de apoyo de las instituciones comunitarias de Little Village con nuestra última lista de demandas.” (Aun están en ingles, pero la lista de instituciones están al final

  • On May 22nd, Little Village residents and allies held their second car caravan around the Crawford demolition site to bring awareness about the ongoing unnecessary demolition during a pandemic and the fact that Target Corporation is the new lessee. Click (Here/ Aquí) to learn why we are doing this caravan and our new set of demands:
    • List of demands:
      1. The City of Chicago must do soil sampling of homes and public areas closest to the site and host ongoing air monitoring of particulate matter. 
      2. The City of Chicago and participating departments must share and post all documentation in relation to the site in a timely manner. 
      3. The City of Chicago and involved departments must meet regularly with the Little Village Science Advisory Board to review all technical material and data that will be shared with the public.
      4. The City of Chicago must host continual Community Meetings to inform and update community members on plans and actions on the site. 
      5. Hilco Redevelopment Partners must fully remediate the soil and waterways at the Crawford & Fisk Coal Power Plant to the highest standard possible, instead of using quick “solutions” like a concrete slab and leaving the contamination in the ground.
      6. Hilco Redevelopment Partners must forgo the $19.7 million in tax incentives.
      7. Target Corporation MUST break their lease with HRP.
      8. The City of Chicago should exercise its rights under Eminent Domain to secure the Crawford & Fisk from Hilco Redevelopment Partners. 
      9. The City of Chicago must work with Little Village residents to develop the Crawford Site in a community approved plan.
  • El 22 de mayo, los residentes y aliados de La Villita realizaron su segunda caravana de automóviles alrededor del sitio de demolición de Crawford para crear conciencia sobre la demolición innecesaria en curso durante una pandemia y el hecho de que Target Corporation es el nuevo arrendatario. Haga clic (Here / Aquí) para saber por qué estamos haciendo esta caravana y nuestro nuevo conjunto de demandas:
    • Lista de demandas:
      1. La ciudad de Chicago debe hacer un muestreo del suelo de las casas y áreas públicas más cercanas al sitio y realizar un monitoreo continuo del aire de las partículas.
      2. La ciudad de Chicago y los departamentos participantes deben compartir y publicar toda la documentación relacionada con el sitio de manera oportuna.
      3. La ciudad de Chicago y los departamentos involucrados deben reunirse regularmente con la Junta Consultiva de Ciencias de La Villita para revisar todo el material técnico y los datos que se compartirán con el público.
      4. La ciudad de Chicago debe organizar reuniones comunitarias continuas para informar y actualizar a los miembros de la comunidad sobre los planes y acciones en el sitio.
      5. Los Socios de Reurbanización de Hilco deben remediar completamente el suelo y las vías fluviales en la Central de Carbón Crawford & Fisk al más alto nivel posible, en lugar de usar “soluciones” rápidas como una losa de concreto y dejar la contaminación en el suelo.
      6. Hilco Redevelopment Partners debe renunciar a los $ 19.7 millones en incentivos fiscales.
      7. Target Corporation DEBE romper su contrato de arrendamiento con HRP.
      8. La Ciudad de Chicago debe ejercer sus derechos bajo el Dominio Eminente para asegurar Crawford & Fisk de Hilco Redevelopment Partners.
      9. La ciudad de Chicago debe trabajar con los residentes de La Villita para desarrollar el sitio Crawford en un plan aprobado por la comunidad.
  • On May 21st we held our second virtual community meeting in Spanish. If you are interested to view the presentation, please visit our Facebook page: HERE
    • If you would like to view the presentation slides, click HERE
  • El 21 de mayo tuvimos nuestra segunda junta comunitaria virtual en español. Si está interesado en ver la presentación, visite nuestra página de Facebook: AQUÍ
    • Si desea ver la presentación, haga clic AQUÍ
  • On May 19th the City of Chicago held a virtual community meeting with select number of Little Village institutions to explain the need to continue to demolish the remaining structure of the former Crawford Coal Plant. // El 19 de mayo, la Ciudad de Chicago tuvo una junta comunitaria virtual con un número selecto de instituciones de La Villita para explicar la necesidad de continuar demoliendo la estructura restante de la antigua Planta de Carbón Crawford.

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).

April 2020

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MEDIA ADVISORY AND DAYBOOK ITEM FOR MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2020

Environmental Justice Orgs Across Chicago Come Together to Urge Mayor for Reforms Amid Crawford Disaster 

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:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1nJvoFJc7nrmmdWKOa5gzdjLtpjA_Bs9f

Background:

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.

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