Blocks Together is responding to the needs of the West Humboldt Park and Garfield Park communities by focusing on Community Health, Prevention, Protection, and Planning/Organizing for the long term impact this will have on the families and communities we are working with and supporting. Please click the download button below to get our Covid Test Sites list.
Blocks Together economic justice committee, organizes and advocates for more resources in affordable housing, small business development, employment and job training to support increasing the quality of life for the current residents of the West Humboldt Park community. Our goal is to impact policy and practices around resource allocation of public funds for more direct benefit in the community around critical employment and housing needs.
BT works to address issues around disinvestment and economic injustice. In the past few years BT has worked to train residents on understanding local public funds and how those funds can and should be used for investment.
Only TIF in Chicago to utilize participatory budgeting to Allocate $2 million dollars.
BT worked with members to create a participatory budget model that would have local businesses create proposals and present to the community. The projects had to show community benefit, create jobs, and provide job training. BT then organized an election and residents voted on the projects they preferred to win the funds. Once the winning projects have been selected by the people of the community, we have a two year plan to support these businesses implement their programs, in addition create and oversee community benefit agreements, and begin to work on other projects from remaining TIF funds through the same process. BT now has annual meetings with the Alderman and City of Chicago Department of Planning to analyze the local TIF impact, and discuss potential projects that can benefit the community. This organizing includes winning a library in the community built with TIF funds.
BT worked with residents, business owners, and elected officials to recommit $2 million in TIF funds from the local TIF in the West Humboldt Park community. These funds had been allocated for a development project that was never completed.