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North Side Activist Groups Make Merger Official

 Activists affiliated with LAC and ONE march with North Side residents in a March protest against Ald. James Cappleman (46th).
Activists affiliated with LAC and ONE march with North Side residents in a March protest against Ald. James Cappleman (46th).
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DNAinfo/Adeshina Emmanuel

UPTOWN — Two North Side activist organizations have cemented a merger.

The Organization of the Northeast and the Lakeview Action Coalition confirmed last week that they had officially joined forces to form a single group named Organizing Neighborhoods for Equality: Northside — or ONE Northside.

The new group's agenda includes "affordable housing, mental health justice, economic justice, anti-violence work, education organizing, access to health care and youth organizing," according to a news release.

The group says it represents more than 100 institutions across Uptown, Lakeview and the rest of the North Side, including nonprofit organizations, church congregations and school communities.

"This merger comes from a place of strength, and we expect to hit the ground running in moving forward our agenda for the people who are struggling in our communities,”  Jennifer Ritter, former head of the Lakeview coalition and executive director of the newly consolidated organization, said in a statement.

Organization of the Northeast's former executive director, Angie Lobo, now works as ONE Northside's "director of development and operations," according to the group.

The community organizers and Ald. James Cappleman (46th), whose ward includes most of Uptown and parts of Lakeview, have a strained relationship.

Affordable housing is at the core of most conflicts.

The alderman's office had criticized members of both groups for a tendency to orchestrate protests when conversations with officials don't go their way. Activists have accused Cappleman of siding with real estate developers who want to limit affordable housing in developments or hike rents beyond what low-income residents can afford.

Organization of the Northeast was active since the 1970s, especially in Uptown, while the Lakeview coalition had been around for about 20 years. The coalition had an office in Lakeview at 3225 N. Sheffield Ave., but that office is closed now. ONE Northside will operate out of what was Organization of the Northeast's office in Uptown at 4648 N. Racine Ave., officials said.