The Official Newsletter of the West Ridge Community Organization

August/September 2022


WRCO is holding its' Annual Meeting in person for the first time in two years!  The meeting takes place at Warren Park on Thursday, September 22nd from 6-8PM. The program includes Ald. Andre Vasquez, a presentation on the Western Avenue Corridor Study and a legislative update from Senator Ram Villivalam.  There will be light snacks and drinks.  Though not required, we strongly encourage you to wear a mask 

NOTE:  You must respond in order to attend as space is limited. Use this link to respond: 

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, September 22nd as we continue to promote West Ridge and work to improve the quality of life. 

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While most wards in the City have procedures in place to inform community residents about development before decisions are made, the 50th Ward had no process.  WRCO met with Alderman Silverstein to share our research on what the majority of Chicago’s wards have implemented.  She agreed to post information on her website regarding zoning, land use and development changes that are being proposed for the 50th. Residents will be able to submit comments and questions. A new website is being developed and WRCO will track when that is available and if it is sufficient. 





The Chicago City Council just remapped the wards with little to no input from residents resulting in gerrymandered wards and wards where residents’ neighborhoods are divided between several aldermen.  West Ridge will be represented by three aldermen with the 40th Ward running up Western all the way to Lunt.  The current remap process required 41 votes to pass.   

Now Alderman Michelle Harris is planning to propose state legislation to make it easier for Council members to block community efforts toward fair and transparent redistricting.  The legislation will reduce the number of council members needed to support a ward map.  It’s up to us to let our State Senator and Representative know what we think about this proposed change.  

The map below shows how the recent remap affects West Ridge with the 50th Ward in light blue, the 40th Ward in purple and the 49th Ward in green. 


The Steering Committee meeting was held on August 26th to review the draft recommendations and to discuss an implementation plan.  A final public meeting will be scheduled for late September with the plan going before the Chicago Plan Commission for adoption on November 17th.  This study covers improving Western Avenue from Addison to Howard and is being conducted by the Department of Planning and Development along with the Chicago Department of Transportation.  It looks at improving transit services, pedestrian and bike safety, possible housing infill instead of vacant and underused lots, creating neighborhood centers, and planting more trees and greenery along Western.  The resulting plan will provide a blueprint for developers.


Empowering Communities for Public Safety is a coalition of community, labor and faith-based organizations that is working to hold police accountable and create safe neighborhoods across Chicago. Through their organizing efforts the ECPS Coalition led passage of the ordinance in the City Council 36-13, creating a strong system of community oversight.  Through the ECPS ordinance the relationship between the Chicago Police Department and the communities it serves will improve to build trust and increase public safety.  The ordinance creates two bodies:  the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability and District Councils comprised of 3 residents elected in each of the City’s 22 police districts. 

The District Councils will hold monthly meetings, work with the District Commander and community on new community policing initiatives and be a place to build stronger connections between the police and community at the district level.  Each District Council will select one of its members to serve on a Nominating Committee for the Community Commission.  Residents interested in running can circulate nominating petitions starting August 30th up to Thanksgiving.  District Council elections will be held February 28, 2023.  District Council members will receive monthly stipends of $500. 

The Community Commission consists of 7 persons nominated by the District Councils, selected by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.  This body will play a central role in selecting and removing the Police Superintendent, COPA Chief Administrator and Police Board members.  It will set CPD, COPA and Police Board Policy, make CPD budget recommendations and promote community engagement and transparency. 

If you’re interested in getting more information on ECPS or how you can get involved go to  

Coalition Members Celebrating Passage of the Ordinance


West Ridge Artist Ray Noesen has designed some beautiful umbrellas using his paintings as the inspiration.  He is selling them for $25 with $5 of each sale going to benefit West Ridge Artists.  

Here’s a few samples. You can view all the available umbrellas and make arrangements to purchase one here:  

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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