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Group Plans 'Mega March' On The 606 Over Displacement

By Paul Biasco | May 16, 2016 6:13am | Updated on May 16, 2016 12:40pm
 Hundreds of people are expected to march on The 606 Tuesday night.
Hundreds of people are expected to march on The 606 Tuesday night.
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Flickr/Payton Chung

LOGAN SQUARE — More than 500 people are expected to march along The 606 on Tuesday night with a message that "gentrification destroys communities."

The march is part of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association's annual Congress and will focus on three main issues: immigration rights, housing and education.

Six aldermen from the neighborhood and surrounding areas are expected to participate: Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th), Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st), Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), Ald. Milly Santiago (31st), Ald. Deb Mell (33rd) and Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th).

Neighborhood association leaders will ask the aldermen to commit to developing two new ordinances during a meeting before the march, one focused on property tax rebates and one on a teardown fee in the area near The 606.

 Participants at the LSNA Congress plan to hang banners from The 606 at overpasses Tuesday.
Participants at the LSNA Congress plan to hang banners from The 606 at overpasses Tuesday.
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Reporter Paul Biasco on the issues Logan Square residents want addressed.

The group hopes its message denouncing displacement over rising housing costs will be loudly heard as members march along the elevated trail about 6 p.m. Tuesday, a regularly busy time.

The group will be handing out fliers to joggers and other trail users explaining the cause and will be hanging banners over intersections along The 606.

The 606 Pilot District Teardown Fee Ordinance, which the group will ask aldermen to commit to during the Congress meeting ahead of the march, would force developers to pay a higher demolition fee in a specific zone around the trail.

The tentative boundaries would be from Hirsch to Palmer and from Western to Kostner.

The fee to demolish a single family home is being floated at $25,000.

Those fees would be placed in a fund that would be spent in the community for repair grants, rental subsidies, affordable housing development and job creation.

The neighborhood association plans to call on Moreno and Maldonado specifically to develop the ordinance, as the trail falls in their wards and they supported its construction, according to Brian Perea, a youth organizer with the association.

"We are asking them to agree to this publicly so that we can hold them accountable," Perea said.

The group will also ask the aldermen to commit to a moratorium on any new charter schools in the ward.

"This is not a new commitment that they haven’t made before, but we want them to be vocalizing this in front of a couple hundred people," said Bridget Murphy, an education organizer with the neighborhood association. “Our schools enrollment are declining due to displacement and due to new schools opening and its really hurting the schools and really hurting families."

Tuesday night's annual Congress will be the 54th hosted by the group.

There will be a 30-minute presentation explaining the group's efforts on education, housing and immigration at 5 p.m. followed by the march.

The meeting will be held at in the auditorium at Stowe Elementary, 3444 W. Wabansia Ave.

Marchers will enter The 606 at Spaulding Avenue and march to Humboldt Boulevard before heading back to the school.

"I want our new neighbors to know I’m here," said Ana Centeno, a Logan Square resident with two children at Mozart Elementary School. "It’s not only you. I’m here.”

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