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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Northwest Side GOP staunchly opposes Arena's proposed housing project

Real Estate

By Cheyenne Dickerson | Feb 20, 2017

Vote 05

The Northwest Side GOP Club has publically opposed the Proposed Housing Project for Jefferson Park endorsed by 45th Ward Alderman John Arena.

“Jefferson Park is a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood of single-family homes, quality schools and very little crime,” Amanda Biela, the press secretary of the GOP Club told the North Cook News. “The housing complex that Alderman Arena is proposing would upset this delicate balance that exists in the neighborhood.”

If passed, the seven-story housing project with 100 units would offer apartments to 80 percent of low-income individuals or with government assistance. The remaining 20 percent would be leased at a normal rage to individuals.

There are a few reasons the GOP Club is in opposition to the construction of the high-rise.

First, Biela noted, “Not only would the complex tower the surrounding area, but it would bring unneeded traffic, noise and congestion.” Biela told the publication that the area in which the housing project would be put in is surrounded with houses and not high rises.

“Jefferson Park looks and feels like the suburbs, which is one of the reasons people move to it. They want peace and quiet, not urban commotion.”

Second, “The complex is not intended for residents of 45th ward or surrounding Northwest side neighborhoods,” Biela explained. She said that most people who are expected to live in the apartments do not qualify for government assistance (like teachers and police officers), therefore, they would not be approved to live in the space.

Third, Biela questions how much the construction of the building would cost the community, and fourth, she feels the community has been blindsided.”

To fight this construction, the GOP club, “is encouraging our members to attend the community meeting concerning the development on Feb. 9.”

Biela said, “It is our chance to confront Alderman Arena directly and voice our opposition.”

In addition to the public meeting, the GOP Club has been spreading the word about opposition on their social media pages via the web.

If those two options do not provide success, Biela suggested, “If Arena insists on moving forward with this project we are absolutely committed to running somebody against him in 2019 with our full organizational support including funding and volunteers.”

She said that Arena is encouraging all to vote "yes" on this project because it helps others in the community.

“But really, he believes in bringing 'affordable housing' into every neighborhood just for the sake of it.”

she continued. “He believes that you can't get people out of poverty so it’s up to government to help people and subsidize their lifestyle.”

Also mentioned was how “disturbed” the GOP Club is with Arena’s thoughts on President Trump.

“In a Facebook posting (on his personal account) from last summer, he called Trump supporters “racist, classist, knuckle-dragging and generally subhuman puddle of DNA”. Considering 27.5 percent of his ward voted for Trump, Arena directly holds in contempt a quarter of his constituents.”

Biela said in regards to this, “Kind of ironic coming from someone who now has “Hate has no home here” meme as his current Facebook profile photo.”

Overall, the GOP Club feels the residents of Jefferson Park “should not be put at risk” for this project and is in severe opposition of Arena.

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