CITY HALL — A City Council committee moved Wednesday to grant a three-year, $1 office space deal for the Hadiya Pendleton Foundation to set up shop in a city-owned Bronzeville building.
The nonprofit charitable foundation, created in memory of the 15-year-old King College Prep student who was gunned down a year ago, is dedicated to protecting children by fostering an "it takes a village" approach to working with schools, afterschool programs, community groups and police.
The ordinance would grant a $1 use agreement for 175 square feet of office space at the King Community Center, 4314 S. Cottage Grove Ave. The city would pay gas, water and electricity for the building, but the foundation would be responsible for office phones and any additional lease taxes.
The ordinance, proposed last month by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, breezed through the Housing Committee.
"We're right where we need to be," said Nathaniel Pendleton, Hadiya's father, before the meeting. He later expressed "a lot of gratitude" to the city, telling the committee, "We're gonna do our very best to make a big difference."
Ald. William Burns (4th) praised the Pendletons for "taking their grief and their sorrow and transforming it into compassion."
The foundation was created by Hadiya's parents, Nathaniel Pendleton and Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, and it recently sponsored a toy drive leading up to the holidays. Nathaniel Pendleton said the property will house the charity's office space, and they are still looking for another property for an afterschool program to provide a "safe haven for kids."
Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) praised the foundation, but said the city has to do more to prevent street violence and gang crime.
"When will we be outraged enough to help it stop?" Austin asked.
She dismissed police statistics showing a drop in crime, saying, "That means crap to me when I know that someone else has been shot."