Open Letter to City Council and Mayor to Stop Creation of Mega TIFs

An open letter calling for a hold on any votes on the creation of two new megaTIF districts signed by 35 orgs was delivered to Chicago City Council and Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday February 19, 2019. We are still adding signatories; if your organization would like to be added, contact [email protected]

February 2019

Open Letter Re: Lincoln Yards and the 78 to the Chicago City Council and Mayor Emanuel

Dear City Council and Mayor Emanuel:

The City is on the brink of creating two new TIF districts at the cost of $2.4 billion to the taxpayers of Chicago. That’s based on figures included in the Redevelopment Area Project and Plan for each TIF, which were made public on December 12th, 2018.

Chicago is at a critical juncture. Now is the time for a new era of clean government. The long-standing chair of the finance committee has been charged with extortion, the chair of the zoning committee has been assisting the feds in this investigation, and there are a lot of unanswered questions.

The citizens of Chicago deserve transparency and accountability from their elected officials. This is not the time to fast-track massive projects that would include major subsidies for private corporations with huge implications for our schools, housing and transit equity, local business, etc. The creation of a TIF district impacts the revenue stream of our city and county and school district for twenty-three years; this is not something to be rushed through.  

As stewards of this city’s finances, you have a fiduciary responsibility to your constituents to put these votes on hold until a newly elected City Council and Mayor can take the time needed to vet—via public scrutiny, deliberation and debate—both of these proposed districts and ensure that they represent balanced and equitable development.

Thank you for your consideration,

Jackee Pruitt, Action Now

Brant Rosen, American Friends Service Committee Chicago

Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Page May, Assata’s Daughters

Caroline Gaete, Blocks Together

Patrick Brosnan, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council

CareNotCops, University of Chicago

Kayla Villalobos, Center for Changing Lives

Patricia Fron, Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance

Leah Levinger, Chicago Housing Initiative

Robert Gomez and Katie Tuten, Chicago Independent Venue League

Angela Hurlock, Claretian Associates

Katya Nuques, Enlace Chicago

Andy Kim, Invisible to Invincible (i2i): Asian Pacific Islander Pride of Chicago.

Juanita Irizarry, Friends of the Parks

Amisha Patel, Grassroots Collaborative

Indivisible Lakeview/Lincoln Park

Lori Clark, Jane Addams Senior Caucus

Judy Levey, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs

Jewish Voices For Peace

Rev. Liala Beukema, Lake View Lutheran Church

Juan Carlos Linares, Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA)

Nancy Aardema, Logan Square Neighborhood Association

Michelle Hoppe Villegas, Mid-North Association

James Rudyk, Northwest Side Housing Center

Jennifer Ritter, Organizing Neighbors for Equality Northside (ONE Northside)

Erica Clark, Parents 4 Teachers

Will Tanzman, The People’s Lobby, Reclaim Chicago

Pilsen Alliance

Jess Scheinpflug, Praxis Group

Joy Clendenning, Raise Your Hand for IL Public Education

Wendy Katten, Raise Your Hand Action

Caullen Hudson, SoapBox Productions and Organizing

SOUL-Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation

SURJ Chicago- Showing Up for Racial Justice

Emma Tai, United Working Families