The Official Newsletter of the West Ridge Community Organization

February 2022


Tired of racing traffic on Western Avenue, tired of seeing all the old car lots, all the empty buildings, the lack of fast, efficient public transport, the hodgepodge development?  Then participate in the Study of Western Avenue being conducted by the City's Department of Planning and Development and the Department of Transportation.  Using TIF funds, they began to study Western Avenue from Addison to Howard last spring.  As part of the study, they held several on-line community meetings and conducted a few focus groups.  They have now decided to solicit more specific community input through focus groups covering 6 segments of the corridor. 

If you live near Western this is a good opportunity to participate in the study.  Click on the link below for more information and to register for a focus group. 

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Congratulations to the Warren Park Advisory Council on receiving a Chicago Works Community Challenge Grant.  We will see improvements costing up to 1.5 million dollars in the park this year.  What to look for:  2 bocce ball courts, a volleyball court, shuffleboard, improving the cricket field and creating a practice area, tearing down the unused batting cages and building a nature play area.  A community meeting will be held to get community input and involvement in the nature play area.  Watch for more information on this. 



Since the High Ridge YMCA closed a group of West Ridge residents have been hard at work building the High Ridge Coalition and seeking the resources necessary to not only replace the old Y but to move towards something bigger and better. 

The Coalition will be submitting a proposal to the City through the Chicago Recovery Grant Program by March 10th.  Please sign a support letter here and encourage others to sign.  The link gives you more information regarding what programs the center might provide. 


The WRCO Board was surprised to learn that the old Northtown Library building had been sold. In response a letter was sent to Ald. Silverstein regarding the process and lack of transparency. The full letter is reprinted below. 


Dear Ald. Silverstein, 

It has come to the attention of WRCO that the old Northtown Library building has recently been sold.  The WRCO Board wishes to express our strong disappointment with the lack of transparency involved in the sale of this public building.  As you know, WRCO was interested in the building becoming a multi-cultural arts center serving the whole community.  We contacted you several months ago for help in finding out the status of the building with the Department of Planning and Development.  You responded that the building did not meet the criteria for a Request for Proposal.  We received no response when we questioned what that meant, and you offered no further information.  It now appears the building was available for sale but there was no communication to the residents or organizations of this community that purchase was possible.  Residents and organizations were not given the opportunity to bid on a public building that would sell for below market rate.   

We find this process to be one that is inherently unfair and subjective.  Therefore, we again propose, as we have in the past with the West Ridge Roundtable, that you implement a Citizens Advisory Committee on Economic Planning and Development.  Almost half of the wards have Zoning Advisory Councils that advise aldermen on zoning and development.  We believe the 50th ward needs such a committee so residents can know and be involved in the future development of their community.  We will be following up with you to further discuss this concept and how it could be organized. 


WRCO Board 
Evelyn Miks, Chair                                            Mirko Popadic
Andrew Rowlas, Vice-Chair                               Ashish Sen 
Hillorie Morrison, Secretary                               Shikha Sharma  
Irv  Loundy, Treasurer


Mandala Arts will be holding a festival this coming June and they are seeking artists, particularly ones who live in the West Ridge community. This is an opportunity for our neighbors and our newly arrived neighbors to exhibit and share their art and culture. 

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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