32nd Ward Newsletter: May 10, 2024

Dear Scott,

Included in the newsletter this week are several notices about upcoming neighborhood fundraising events for parks, schools, and more. Support your community organizations like Prom 4 Mom and the Wicker Park Plant Sale (get your gardens ready or pick up a Mother's Day gift) or offer help at the Friends of the River annual cleanup taking place tomorrow.

On public safety issues, there are several alerts on the recent robberies in Bucktown with two arrests made on prior robbery offenders.

For those living along the Metra UP, Metra is seeking feedback from community members on landscaping improvements; please click here and complete the survey before Monday, May 13, 2024.

Finally, included below is a note on the RTA vote we took in Council yesterday.

Have a nice Mother's Day weekend,

Alderman Scott Waguespack

May Beat Meetings

Beat 1432 will be hosting a beat meeting on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at 6:30 pm both In-Person & on Zoom. This meeting will discuss the issues with the recent violent armed robberies committed by several black males in the early morning hours (see photo below). We encourage residents to call 911 and ask for assistance when groups like this are seen in the neighborhoods. Make the 911 call with the descriptions and let police handle the response.

Beat 1921 will take place at the old station on Belmont and the discussion topic will include the ongoing late night licensee problems with Bluelight and Underbar patrons who continue to disrupt the quality of life in the neighborhood.

14th Police District-

1432- May 22, 6:30pm

Holstein Park

2200 N. Oakley


14th District Twitter

14th District CAPS- 312-744-1261

19th Police District-

1921- May 15, 6:30pm

Police Auditorium

2452 W. Belmont

1931- May 28, 6:30pm

Gantz Boys and Girls Club

2915 N. Leavitt

1933- May 14, 6:30pm

Illinois Masonic

836 W. Wellington


19th District Twitter

19th District CAPS- 312-744-0064

Seeking Driver Involved in Bucktown Hit-and-Run

Chicago Police are searching for a driver involved in a hit-and-run on Saturday night at Armitage and Hoyne around 10:51 p.m. The driver committing the hit and run drove around a vehicle that had stopped to allow pedestrians to cross, hitting a woman. The victim is currently in critical condition at Advocate Illinois Masonic.

The car is described as a dark blue Bentley Continental Flying Spur sedan with car dealer license plate number DL 6118C. The car has front grille damage and extensive windshield damage on the passenger portion of

the windshield. The driver was heading west bound on Armitage Avenue at the time.

Police have shared two photos of the vehicle. Chicago Police has said that the car may frequent the north suburbs, including Wauconda, Northbrook, Wheeling, and Lake County.

Police asked anyone with information to contact them at 312-745-4521. The case number is JH-250712. At this time, there is no further updated information available from the detectives working on the case.

For several years, my office has been asking CDOT for stop signs or signalized lights to be installed at the intersections of Armitage and Hoyne, Armitage and Oakley and Armitage and Wolcott due to the high vehicle speeds and lack of safety for constituents crossing at these intersections. Each day sees several people attempting to cross these intersections safely using the crosswalks while avoiding vehicles traveling at high speeds. The danger is especially great in the morning and evening rush hours as vehicles race to and from the Kennedy Expressway. The speeds of vehicles and erratic driving citywide has increased post-Covid pandemic.

We have had dozens of requests for safety measures by constituents and businesses throughout the ward and will continue to work with CDOT to implement safety measures such as speed tables, painted crosswalks, pedestrian signs, and bump outs, reduced speed limits in the ward and other methods to improve pedestrian safety wherever we can.

Arrests Made in Robbery

Offender: Kameron Freeman, 29

Chicago, Illinois  

Charges: One felony count Armed Robbery

Court: Detention Hearing, 2600 S. California – May 4, 2024

Narrative: Freeman was arrested by members of the Chicago Police Department on May 2, 2024, in the 1300 block of N. Pulaski Rd. He was identified as an offender who committed an armed robbery that occurred in the 2100 block of W. North Ave. on March 13, 2024. The offender was placed into custody and subsequently charged.i

Charges in Bucktown Robbery

Transportation Committee Meeting - Mayor's Appointment for RTA

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is the unit of local government created to oversee finances, secure funding, and to conduct transit planning for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, and Pace. RTA services the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will. It has been well documented that the northeast region transit agencies are facing a pretty dire fiscal cliff. No solutions are up for a vote yet, but ideas on how to close this gap are circulating in the state. The shortfall by the end of 2025 is expected to hit $730 million. Pandemic funding that bolstered agencies for the past few years is drying up across all governmental agencies including the CTA, RTA agencies and City of Chicago. 

It was with this background that I questioned the mayor’s appointee to the RTA board, Pastor Ira Acree at the Transportation Committee on Thursday. This RTA board position is a $25,000 job that has a five year term. After listening, I had to vote no on the appointment

My first point was to question the appointee of the Mayor on his discussions with the Mayor. The Mayor is allotted several appointments to the RTA Board and has a significant power to bring change to the RTA and need for a regional better transportation system. 

I asked why he had not met with Mayor Johnson on such an important appointment. That he had not, sent a signal about 1) lack of preparation by the administration, 2) lack of concern by the administration and 3) the need for experienced people on the boards who could answer the questions to come about their positions as well the vision for regional transit by the Mayor. There was none. The pastor said had not had a conversation with the Mayor about this appointment. His response was that “he's the leader of a busy City. I have talked with somebody from his staff. I talked with Audrey. I talked but I haven't talked with him about this position. I mean, this is very important but he's got much bigger fish to fry or I would disagree with you.” 

My second question was the issue of the shortfall, “what is your position on the 730 million shortfall for this agency by the end of 2025?” He stated he was unaware of the shortfall, saying that it was the first time he heard about it.

I also further discussed the CMAP study that outlines much of the issues with regional transportation (along with data and studies on the RTA website).  

I followed up with a question on fare integration, (a merging of the agencies fares, that has been discussed for years) and if he has spoken to employees of the CTA and RTA about issues in general. 

Finally, I asked about CTA leadership and if he felt it was time for a change of the leadership of CTA President Dorval Carter. Some of us have publicly called for a change in CTA leadership, but that was not the focus of this appointees process. The CTA has had well documented problems with ridership lows, cleanliness, timeliness, and overall operational and leadership dysfunction going back several years as aldermen have had to fight to get the President of the CTA, Dorval Carter to testify publicly on the state of the CTA. The CTA is not alone in this fiscal and operational state. Public transit systems across the US are looking for change in operations and leadership. 

The appointee in this meeting said it was unfair to grade the CTA leadership and he would withhold judgment. While I understand the need to evaluate and get a sense of the needs of the RTA as a new member of a board, that’s a job that could have easily been done before the appointment process.

There is plenty of reporting, both by agencies and the local media to suggest that important changes to the CTA and RTA must happen soon before the fiscal cliff hits, and before the operations of the entire system degrade any further. This has been built up as more information and data was compiled by riders and the very government agencies the appointee will oversee. 

As I stated in the meeting, Chicagoland has many experts in transit that could do this job; to see that none of them have been considered is alarming.

I don’t expect the appointee to know everything, as the state of affairs within government bodies are constantly changing, but the meeting on Thursday was another glaring example of the lack of seriousness and readiness by the administration. For the Mayor himself not to speak to the appointee and to offer no vision or sense of direction from the 5th floor is damaging to the taxpayers and users of the public transportation systems. I will be voting against the appointee again in the full council vote. 

You can watch the hearing here via the City Clerk website.

Johnson’s nomination of pastor to transportation board gets pushback, but advances

Mayor Johnson's pick for transit board advances despite not knowing of looming $730 million shortfall

Plan of Action for Regional Transit by CMAP 

Street Sweeping

Next week, street sweeping will occur in sections 16, 17, and 18 (Bucktown). Please be on the lookout for signs and make sure to move your vehicle on your scheduled day (south and east sides of the street are normally done on the first day, north and west on the second; please watch for signs).

Sweepers will do more than one pass on the block in their initial cleaning, but will not come back to clean sections outside of their officially scheduled day. Please take the time to help clear the curb in front of your property to keep the sewers flowing well. Any leftover landscaping debris from winter months should be bagged and put in the alley by your trash cans. Please do not sweep landscaping debris into the street. Piles of leaves and heavy garbage also clog the sweepers and will cause significant delays. Other large objects like branches and metal will also damage the sweepers, so please remove them from curbs.

Residents can view street sweepers in real time using the Sweeper Tracker online tool. 

Street Closure for Lincoln Roscoe Art & Craft Fair Begins on May 17th!

Lincoln Avenue will be closed from School to Roscoe starting Friday, May 17 at 5pm through Sunday, May 19 at 10pm. All vehicles should be removed to

alternate street parking, available on Paulina, Marshfield, and other blocks of Lincoln.

Click here to get all the details for this event!

Metra UP North Rebuild Project:

Public Way Landscape Survey

Metra is seeking feedback from community members on landscaping improvements and community identifiers within the public way for the Metra UP North Rebuild Project (metra.com/UPNrebuild). To provide your feedback on the initial landscape design concepts for the public way, please click here and complete the survey before Monday, May 13, 2024.

Your feedback on these initial concepts will help inform the landscape design improvement for the following public way locations as part of this project:

  • West side public way between Roscoe St. and Belmont Ave.
  • East side public way between Wellington Ave. and Cornelia Ave.
  • Cross street landscape and street improvements
  • Roscoe Village identifier options

MWRD Open House

On Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. MWRD will host our annual in-person open house and tours at the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, 6001 W. Pershing Rd., Cicero, in conjunction with Chicago Water Week!

You may visit without advanced reservations to see how we recover resources and transform water. All ages are welcome, and interactive activities will entertain and educate families. Free oak tree saplings and milkweed seeds will be distributed. You can also sign up here if you'd like to receive Overflow Action Day Alerts.


The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is now accepting idea submissions for the 2024 Neighborhood Access Program. This program provides grants for all types of neighborhood based arts and culture activities taking place in Chicago between October 1, 2024, and December 31, 2025. Individuals, nonprofit organizations, and low-profit limited liability companies may apply. The deadline to submit an idea is Friday, May 17th at 5pm Central.

For eligibility criteria and other details, visit ChicagoCulturalGrants.org. 

Host a Foreign Exchange Student!

After School Matters (ASM) is now accepting Chicago teens’ applications for their Summer programs running June 24 - August 2. Teens ages 14-18 can choose from hundreds of programs in the arts, communications and leadership, sports, and STEM, to discover their passions and develop new skills for life beyond high school.

  • Chicago teens ages 14 & 15 can choose from programs offering stipends for participation. 
  • Chicago teens ages 16+ can choose from Internship programs which will provide an hourly wage of $15.80/hour. 

Teens can apply here: https://afterschoolmatters.org/apply/

For more information about ASM and how you can support Chicago teens, visit: www.afterschoolmatters.org

New Wicker Park Fieldhouse hours-

Monday-Friday: 9am-8pm

Saturday: 10am-2pm

Sunday: 8am-2pm (through Sept. 29)

Local Business Offers FREE Shred Day!

City News Links

Alderman Scott Waguespack
2657 North Clybourn
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-1330

Contact Us

X Share This Email
LinkedIn Share This Email