The Official Newsletter of the West Ridge Community Organization

June 2022


The Chicago Plan Commission voted on June 16th to approve an ordinance authorizing disposition of the old library property to FORA (Forging Opportunities for Refugees in America).  After considering three proposals from the Chinese Mutual Aid Association, FORA and Yachad/Libenu, the Dept of Planning and Development chose FORA.  FORA submitted a proposal to purchase the property for over $900,000.  The City Council will be voting on final approval of the sale. 

FORA currently operates out of 3 storefronts in West Ridge making it difficult to coordinate their work.  The old Northtown Library building will allow them to consolidate into one place thus being more effective.  FORA works with immigrants in our community providing individually customized tutoring to refugee children, many who have limited or interrupted formal education.  They tutor students from Myanmar, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Eritrea, Syria and South Sudan. 

A Call for Tutors for Refugee Students 

FORA currently has more than 135 volunteer tutors, but they always need more tutors. No special expertise is required to be a great tutor – just a joyous spirit, a desire to help and reliability.  

  • In-Person Fall 2022 Tutoring -- We offer tutoring Monday through Friday, 4:30-6:30pm and 7-9pm. Tutors must commit to four hours each week from early September 2022 through at least the end of January 2023.  

  • Virtual Fall 2022 Tutoring -- We offer tutoring Monday through Friday, 4:30-6:30pm and 7-9pm. Tutors must commit to one hour per day (the same hour each day) from early September 2022 through at least the end of January 2023. 

To apply for these volunteer opportunities, please visit or call the FORA office at (312) 685-2655 

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The Chicago City Council by a vote of 43-7 erased the need for a June 28th referendum when Chicago voters would have picked the design of the wards for the next decade.  The new 50th ward brings in Peterson Park, preserving the integrity of the Jewish community but gerrymanders the east side of West Ridge.  While a small portion at the northeast side of West Ridge was in the 49th Ward and remains in the 49th, the new map brings the 40th Ward all the way up to Lunt.  The 40th Ward now covers Warren Park, east of Western up to Pratt and then roughly east of Western and west of Western to Rockwell up to Lunt.  The new Library, however, is carved out to remain in the 50th Ward. 

Ald. Andre Vasquez who represents the 40th Ward sent this message: “I am looking forward to being able to represent more of our working class, diverse community, and am honored to lead and welcome people to an intentionally inclusive 40th Ward, where we know that the government belongs to the people. I am also especially proud that Warren Park will be part of the 40th!” 

The map below shows the 40th ward in purple and the 50th ward in light blue.  


Thursday, August 18, 6:00PM
Warren Park
Join us on August 18th to meet your neighbors and Ald. Vasquez from the 40th Ward.  Ald. Vasquez will be there to speak and meet residents plus there will be a presentation on the Western Avenue Corridor Study.  


In the past WRCO has sponsored Candidates forums but we were unable to get one together for the 16th State Legislative District.  However, the League of Women Voters held a candidates' forum on May 24 with candidates Kevin Olickal and Denyse Wang Stoneback.  The session was held at the Skokie Public Library, and you can watch it on YouTube using the link below with the candidates opening statements starting at 8 minutes into the video. 

 Candidate Forum - Illinois 16th State Legislative District   



Over 80 people attended the premiere of Mirko Popadic’s film “Staying Afloat, Swimming in the Time of COVID”.  It’s a beautiful film about the High Ridge Y swim team and how they continued to swim in Lake Michigan despite COVID and the closing of the High Ridge YMCA.  

Mandala Makers Festival is happening in West Ridge June 24-26 with an incredible array of artists performing at Indian Boundary Park.  Note that you have to register as space is limited for some of the performances. Check out the artists and register by using this link: 

Mandala Makers Festival is an annual series of events that features multidisciplinary South Asian performing artists who progress and challenge traditions - artists from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The festival is free to the public.  

Events take place throughout the Devon Avenue neighborhood in “Little South Asia” in West Rogers Park. Performances, workshops, screenings and more are held at community spaces such as parks, street corners, and social service centers.   

We hope you can attend some of these events. 


The West Ridge Chamber is sponsoring a Dine and Dance on Devon next weekend June 25 and 26th.  Here’s an opportunity to support Devon Avenue restaurants and have some fun!  

Zimi's Pizza and Grill recently opened at 6954 N Western in a beautifully renovated space.  Reviewers say:  Pizza was delicious, the crust was really good, definitely going back, lots of menu options.  Owner and friendly host Zimi pictured below.  

Misericordia’s Hearts and Flour Bakery and Café at 6130 N Ravenswood serves coffee and teas, pastries and sandwiches in a lovely new building.  You can dine in or drive thru.  Hours are 6AM-2PM Monday through Friday and 7AM-2PM Saturday and Sunday. 
JOIN WRCO TODAY TO SUPPORT THE WORK WE ARE DOING IN WEST RIDGE. WRCO is a 501c3 non-profit organization so your dues and contributions are tax-deductible under the extent of the law.
Copyright © 2022 West Ridge Community Organization, All rights reserved.

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