CITY HALL — A task force representing social welfare, business, organized labor and local political leadership has been appointed to address the future of shuttered Dominick's stores in the city, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday.
Safeway, the parent company of Dominick's, announced in November it was closing its stores in the Chicago area by the end of the year.
Three of its 13 stores in Chicago will be sold to Mariano’s.
"In anticipation that one or more stores may not have an immediate operator to succeed Dominick’s, this task force is being created to ensure that these stores are returned to market quickly and efficiently, to the benefit of the communities and the workers," the mayor's office said in a press release.
The mayor's office said the task force will focus on three issues:
• The specific sites with the vacant Dominick’s stores "and the associated economic impacts of the closings."
• Ensuring access to fresh food and vegetables.
• "Protecting and supporting" workers who are affected by the store closings.
"While finding new owners/operators for the vacant stores is a key priority of the task force, it is not the only priority," the release said. The task force will also try to address "food access issues and will focus on specific areas where the closing of Dominick’s stores may affect food access for Chicagoans."
Additionally, it will also work with Dominick’s employees and their union representatives to identify job opportunities, training and resources.
The members of the task force are:
• Steven Koch, Deputy Mayor, City of Chicago.
• Andrew Mooney, Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development, City of Chicago
• Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th).
• Ald. Joe Moore, (49th).
• Ald. Patrick O’Connor, (40th).
• The Rev. Dr. Janette C. Wilson, Executive Director of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.
• Jorge Ramirez, President, Chicago Federation of Labor.
• Steve Powell, International Vice President of the United Foof and Commercial Workers, which represents thousands of grocery store employees across the Chicago area.
• Mike Mallon, Principal, dkmallon, a food industry consulting firm. Mallon is a former vice president at both Jewel/Osco and Dominick’s.
• Joel Bookman, Principal, Bookman Associations, a community development consulting firm.
• Craig Chico, Executive Director of Back of the Yards Council.
• Carlos Nelson, Executive Director of Auburn Gresham Community Development Corporation.
• Frank Petruziello, Principal of the developer Skilken Company.
• Angel Gutierrez, Vice President of Community Development and Outreach Services, Catholic Charities Chicago.