The aldermen of Logan Square entered 2020 after about seven months with a more-progressive city council. We wanted to check in with the three aldermen serving the majority of the neighborhood and get an update on what they accomplished in 2019 and what they hope to get done this year and beyond.
Alderman Daniel La Spata, of the 1st Ward, began his first term on the city council in May 2019. He said the first year has been a learning experience, but he’s looking forward to pushing policies that tackle housing and segregation issues along with environmental concerns, especially climate. Specific approaches like rent stabilization and city composting are high on his list. In his first months in office, he looks back on establishing more-transparent zoning practices and working toward a “democratized” municipal electricity provider.
Read on for La Spata’s responses on his accomplishments for 2019 and goals for 2020 and beyond, with light edits for readability by LoganSquarist.
Top legislative goals
I hope to continue to make Chicago become a more sustainable, equitable and integrated city through ward-wide protocol/processes and citywide legislation. I want to advocate for policies that weave smart housing and environmental policy together, mitigating the impacts of climate change while simultaneously decreasing segregation.
As an alderman whose ward encompasses vastly different neighborhoods and socioeconomic classes, it’s really important to me to bridge the legislative divides in the hopes of better connecting my community.
Notable recent activities from the office
The first year in office has been a profound learning experience, but I am really proud of my team, our community groups and our residents. Last year, we built on existing community group engagement to have a more transparent and robust community-based zoning process that includes more public participation. Our nonprofits and allies shaped the city’s investment in community land trusts. We are steps closer to democratizing ComEd and providing more quality and affordable electric services to residents.
My office has been working really closely with the Alliance of Local Service Organizations to create comprehensive paths to community stability and restorative justice. I’m also really proud of my excellent constituent services team that goes above beyond to make governmental processes accessible and for providing the services our residents really need.
Personal updates from the Alderman
I was happy to celebrate my sixth wedding anniversary back in August and am glad to start reengaging with my hobbies like baking and archery.
Top policy and other goals for 2020
In 2020, I am really focused on policies that address interweaving forces like housing instability and climate change, and an equitable budget and quality city services. Specifically, I am working on creating a sustainable policy around demolitions and deconversions that incorporates resident feedback and experiences, and beginning to draft rent-stabilization language that creates benefits for renters and small landlords alike.
I am also pursuing a comprehensive climate plan, while working on specific aspects like municipal composting, environmentally sustainable manufacturing and retrofitting of our existing building stock. I’m also excited that in 2020 my office is planning more opportunities for businesses and residents to understand how to engage with our office and with the city as a whole.
Other issues affecting Logan Square and plans to address them
Locally, we’re trying to make sure transit-oriented development works for everyone, both through community-driven zoning and working with developers to provide additional affordability for low- and moderate- income families. We’re also making sure we have an efficient, safe and affordable mobility that meets everyone’s needs, whether that’s expanding the capacity of the Blue Line or creating protected bike lanes down Milwaukee Avenue.
Look for our interview next week with Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa of the 35th Ward.
Featured photo: Tom Vlodek