Rebuilding the Ward, Developing Bustling Retail
Since 2009, Ald. Maldonado has accelerated the rebuilding of the 26th Ward, which started when residents united to counteract the lack of city services in the Ward. He has sunk over $10 Million into the Ward, building safe streets, high-achieving schools and good businesses resident want.
Maldonado's accomplishments from 2009 to 2018:
- Maldonado spent over $10 Million to re-build the 26th Ward with almost 100 freshly paved streets and alleys, brighter lightening, safe sidewalks and security cameras as part of his crime prevention strategy. "Blighted streets attract criminal elements," he explained.
- Installed brighter lighting and security cameras. A 2011 study in the Humboldt Park are reported that cameras were responsible for a 12% drop in crime.
- Re-modeled all CPS playgrounds in the Ward, and upgraded all play lots in the ward.
- Joined the public outcry when the Park District wanted to close Humboldt Park Beach. His pressure, along with community pressure, resulted in a new, updated Humboldt Park Beach that returned over $1 Million in taxes to the Ward.
- Maldonado worked with the community on public education. Now, the 26th Ward has 6 high-achieving grade schools and 2 high-achieving high schools.
- Rebuilding retail through city grant programs. For example, "Busy Beaver Button Company used funding to install solar panels, a geothermal HVAC system, build offices in their new home at 3407-09 W. Armitage, and then refurbish the front of their building." Other businesses in the ward include Lakeshore Audiovisual, Suhland Coin Laundry, La Lena Restaurant and Antiques on Old Plank Road.
- Designated "Puerto Rico Town" along Division Street as a Special Purpose District for “Cultural Sanctuary”promoting art and culture that both preserves a unique identity and creates jobs and bustling retail.
- Stopped basement flooding, paved pot holes, and removed graffiti quickly.
- Removed abandoned properties by taking property owners to housing court, or promoting federal programs to rehab them into affordable homes.
- Hosted 5 job fairs in 2018 so Puerto Rican Hurricane victims and Ward residents could learn about job opportunities. Many employers at these Job Fairs hired on the spot