Maldonado Elected Chair of the Chicago City Council's Latino Caucus
(May 29, 2019)--The Chicago City Council Latino Caucus elected 26th Ward Alderman Roberto Maldonado as Chair, along with a full slate of new leadership to lead their mission and legislative work that prioritizes Latinos.
The Latino Caucus's new officers are 26th Ward Alderman Roberto Maldonado as Chair, 35th Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa as Vice-Chair, 25th Ward Alderman Bryon Sigcho Lopez as Treasurer, and 22nd Ward Alderman Mike Rodriguez as Secretary.
The Latino Caucus is the only Chicago City Council Caucus that has a fully operating Foundation with an IRS 501c3 designation.
The Caucus, under the direction of newly elected Chairman Roberto Maldonado, created three new committees of policy focus that will work on immigration, housing, and education. These committees will work to ensure the Caucus is focusing on key issues impacting Chicago's Latino community.
Below is a portion of WBEZ's coverage titled "Chicago City Hall's Latino Caucus Move Left."
Maldonado: gentrification biggest threat to Latinos Maldonado succeeds Ald. Villegas, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s new city council floor leader, at a politically significant time. Gentrification is rapidly reshaping long-time Hispanic neighborhoods, even as the population continues to grow. For the first time, Chicago Public Schools reports Latinos are the largest student group.
That’s why Maldonado identifies gentrification as the biggest threat facing Latinos in Chicago. “We are being pushed out at a very fast pace,” Maldonado said.
On the Northwest Side, homes in the Puerto Rican stronghold of Humboldt Park are selling for over $1 million dollars as homeowners flip three-flats into single family homes. Wicker Park and Logan Square, once Hispanic strongholds, are now majority white.
On the Southwest Side, Pilsen has become a nationally recognized neighborhood. That has created a real estate boom that’s now spreading to adjacent historically Mexican working class neighborhoods.
“Some of our communities are being completely gentrified,” Maldonado said. “We need to stop that, we need to slow it down.”
On education, Maldonado expressed support for moving Chicago from an appointed to an elected school board, though aldermen wield little authority over the school district. State lawmakers hold that power.
On immigration, the caucus will focus on keeping the city’s sanctuary city status by ensuring local police don’t work with federal immigration authorities, Maldonado said.
Maldonado Calls for Racial Equality Study on Lincoln Yards
(March 26, 2019)--Alderman Maldonado joined community groups to urge the City of Chicago to study the impact of public spending on the proposed Lincoln Yards, a luxury home, office, and entertainment development. This study, called the Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA), would allow Chicagoans to know better how public spending creates racial progress or stymies it.
Maldonado said, "Using this report will prevent city officials from repeating the mistakes our predecessors did. When we know better, we do better."
"We've had an old process that has created the "have" and the "have not" neighborhoods. It's what brought Martin Luther King to Chicago so many years ago. Let's bring in the new by examining racial progress or setback before spending the public's tax dollars."
REIA reports examine proposed public spending before the project is approved. Before public spending turns out to exacerbate segregation and deprive minority residents of amenities such as good transportation and schools, bustling retail, and neighborhood jobs.
Maldonado explained, "It's just like the Environmental Impact Assessment Report. If in the 1950s, city officials had an Environmental Impact Assessment in their hands, they wouldn't have built homes and schools in Love Canal over a toxic waste dump."
"Now is the time to ensure that the policies shaping this development are informed, thoughtful and comprehensive - and that includes examining them through a racial equality lens."
Rebuilding the Ward, Preventing Crime, Developing Bustling Retail
Since 2009, Ald. Maldonado has accelerated the rebuilding of the 26th Ward, which started when residents united to counteract the lack of city services in the Ward. He has sunk over $10 Million into the Ward, building safe streets, bringing schools near-by and good businesses that serve residents' needs.
"Maldonado has spent over $10 Million to rebuild the 26th Ward with freshly paved streets and alleys, brighter lightening and security cameras--all in an effort to prevent crime. Simply put, blighted streets attract criminal elements."
Tackling Crime Head On
Ald. Maldonado has pressed to fill police shortages, pushed for "hot spot" monitoring to be standard, and pressed to ban all guns. He has shut down shady businesses that cheat customers, keep their stores unsanitary, and allow gang members to loiter.
Building Affordability into the 26th Ward
Ald. Maldonado has been keeping the 26th Ward affordable for our neighbors and the next generation. In the last 2 years, his support has resulted in nearly 200 new or rehabbed apartments added to the housing stock in the 26th Ward. He even added 6 single family homes for $247,000 each. Long-time residents, who rebuilt the Ward, have earned their right to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
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