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Crime puts La Spata on the spot

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Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st Ward) speaks to East Village Association members June 13, 2022. Weekend gunfire turned a scheduled meeting with Ald. Daniel LaSpata into an hourlong discussion of public safety. Residents pressed the alderman on police response to calls and his own response to violent crime. The June 13 meeting was streamed on EVA's Facebook page . La Spata stated that the number of aggravated batteries and carjackings had fallen in East Village's two beats but a rise of robberies had been "frustrating." In weekly calls with 12th District Cmdr. Beth Giltmier, La Spata said he pushed for Chicago Avenue foot patrols. Residents asked if more street cameras would be installed in the ward, noting that early morning shots fired on their block two days before had no police response for more than an hour. La Spata said cameras were funded from the ward's discretionary "menu money" but he would not commit to funding cameras without consulting Giltmi

Wood Street bike lane update ahead

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Plans are in motion to repave Wood Street, but with few details about separate bicycle lanes. East Village Association membership meeting May 2, 2022, Roots Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago Ave. Presiding: Bob Zwolinski, treasurer Wheels are turning on Wood Street's proposed bicycle lanes. The Chicago Department of Transportation has not presented a plan and EVA has been unable to connect with CDOT, but Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st Ward) expects details to emerge in the next month. "On the Wood Street bike lane, please know that CDOT continues to have this project under review," La Spata wrote EVA via email. "All of the feedback we receive from residents continues to be passed on. Whenever CDOT comes back to us with design alternatives, we will make sure to notify the public." La Spata asked for time to present to EVA members at the June meeeting and expects by then to "have clarity" on the project. One group of neighbors are circulating fliers for an onlin

EVA supports ward remap proposal

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EVA members review the Rules Committee map May 2 at Roots Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago Ave. EVA members discussed Chicago's ward boundaries May 2 after board members drafted a letter to support a ward consolidating much of West Town within the 1st Ward. Presiding officer Bob Zwolinski asked for member comment before sending the final draft to Ald. Michelle Harris (8th Ward), who chairs the City Council Rules Committee. Here is the approved letter: May 5, 2022 Alderman Michelle Harris 8th Ward Re: Support of Rules Committee Ward Map Dear Alderman Harris, The East Village Association, Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association, Chicago Grand Neighbors Association, and Wicker Park Committee have come together to express our support for the ward map as proposed by the Rules Committee. For the first time in many years, the map as proposed brings our neighborhoods together. We appreciate that you have taken our input and drawn boundaries for the 1st Ward t

Boundaries shift in ward remap; collision on bike route

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A 1st Ward proposal would make Wood Street northbound from Grand Avenue to Ellen Street for protected bike lanes. East Village Association membership meeting Feb. 7, 2022, on Zoom. Presiding: Dan Johnson, director A proposal to change the traffic flow on Wood Street drew a crowd to EVA's monthly meeting. Many neighbors wondered why they hadn't heard about the plan earlier. East Village is likely to remain in multiple wards, 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins told East Village Association members Feb. 7. The online meeting highlighted the problems with a divided territory when attendees aired concerns about 1st Ward plans for bike lane improvements. "If it were up to me, and I say this with some sense of irony, I like my ward, I really do," Hopkins told the 50 attendees, addressing dueling City Council redistricting proposals . "I like representing your neighborhood and I lose it under both versions and I'm sorry that it's happening. ... It's part of

Public safety oversight framework proposed

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Days after issuing a joint letter on ward redistricting , a collection of community groups on Nov. 16 turned to public safety. Its joint statement on police and prosecution oversight will be reviewed in a 7pm Nov. 18 meeting at Nick's Beer Garden, 1516 N. Milwaukee Ave. The Greater West Town Community Coalition, established in 2021 after Erin Groble and Sam Royko experienced a carjacking in Wicker Park, is working to bring elected officials, community stakeholders, and empowered neighbors together across all West Town communities. The coalition’s mission is to promote initiatives and alternatives for complex issues facing Chicago such as criminal justice reform, effective policing, and administrative reform. Throughout 2021, West Town has suffered one vehicular hijacking every three days (99 as of October 31, 2021). West Town has seen the 2nd most vehicular hijackings for all community areas in Chicago. The West Town community zone includes, but is not limited to, Noble Squar

Coalition seeks unified West Town ward

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Following EVA's Nov. 1 meeting, the Greater West Town Community Coalition sent a letter on City Council ward boundaries Nov. 8 to Chicago aldermen. Signatories were the Chicago Grand Neighbors Association, Commercial Park Advisory Council, East Village Association, Eckhart Park Community Council, Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association, Wicker Park Advisory Council, Wicker Park Committee and Wicker Park Garden Club. Neighborhood communities must stay unified in order to serve the constituents, ensure public safety, and address common needs. We, the community called West Town, are comprised of closely knit neighborhoods represented by the undersigned neighborhood associations. We insist the alderpeople and their respective caucuses create a ward map for the City of Chicago that unifies our connected neighborhoods into as few wards as possible rather than excessively dividing our community. Our neighborhood associations represent contiguous communities including but not limite
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