Victory in Lincoln Square
Safe for now!
That’s the latest word from Lincoln Square, a commercial block in Chicago that was being targeted for takeover.
This summer, the Chicago Community Development Commission authorized an eminent-domain grab of 36 businesses, whose property would be turned over to an unnamed developer. The owners weren’t happy about having their property grabbed for the sake of installing a more lucrative tax base. But folks at the Institute for Justice, the Sam Adams Alliance, and many local activists also raised Cain about the city’s action. A group called Save Lincoln Square was created to organize opposition.
The activism culminated on December 5. Concerned citizens met up at Chicago Soccer, one of the shops that would have been kicked out by the taking.
A community meeting turned into a rally. The protesters marched nine blocks to the office of Alderman Gene Schulter, one of the leaders of the eminent domain plot, to demand an accounting. Schulter announced he would not vote for the eminent-domain proposal and would introduce a new plan. To take most of the businesses of Lincoln Square off the eminent-domain list and put them on a “voluntary acquisition” list instead. Heck, the eminent-domain thing was just an idea, Schulter told the press.
This seems more a holding action than a permanent victory. But you win wars by winning battles. And Lincoln Square has won a battle here.
Safe — for now.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.