WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser

Activists Start 'Reimagine Chicago' Campaign Ahead Of 2019 Mayoral Race

They hope voice their concerns and requests to the next mayor.

November 13, 2018 - 2:31 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Some Chicago activists have started a campaign they are calling “Re-Imagine Chicago,” saying the next mayor can do better.  

They chanted “reimagine Chicago” at the site of the Lincoln Yards mega-development between Lincoln Park and Bucktown, before boarding a bus for a tour of the city. 

Amisha Patel, of the Grassroots collaborative, said the intent is to get the ear of the next mayor and members of the City Council, to convince them that investment in big developments like Lincoln Yards, the Obama Presidential Center, the 606 Trail and the proposed new police academy, are not what the residents of the city need.  Not without protections.  

They’re concerned about gentrification and displacement and suggest that affordable housing initiatives do not go far enough. They're demanding investment in the neighborhoods, not just the well-to-do areas. 

Jennifer Velasquez, of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, said living near the 606 trail is getting increasingly difficult to afford. She said she's "tired of screaming into a void" and noted an ordinance that would freeze property taxes along the 606 keeps getting tabled. 

Another activist, from the South Side, noted Mayor Emanuel’s closing of 50 schools and what that’s done to mostly poor neighborhoods.  She said there should be no more Charter Schools. 

A college student was concerned about the police department’s gang database, which he said, wrongly lists him as a gang member.  He said he fears that could prevent him from pursuing a career as a police officer.