JOINT PRESS RELEASE
Today, Delta Institute CEO Jean Pogge and Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) Executive Director Antonio Lopez announced the launch of a joint initiative to begin revitalization of vacant buildings and lots, known as brownfields, in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. This project will pave the way for new economic development opportunities in Little Village, an historic industrial corridor that has suffered from industrial disinvestment for years.
“Delta Institute is thrilled to have an opportunity to partner with LVEJO and contribute to the revitalization of Little Village, which has long been an important industrial corridor for the City,” Pogge says. “Combining Delta’s history of brownfield redevelopment with the deep environmental and community organizing experience of LVEJO, this project will begin to breathe new life into areas of this historic neighborhood and improve the environmental health of the community.”
“The community of Little Village has had to live for too long with toxic sites that are often abandoned,” says Lopez. “It is time for these properties to be remediated and transformed into spaces that contribute positively to the health and economic vitality of the neighborhood. LVEJO is proud to join with the Delta Institute on this important project.”
This two-year project builds on work Delta Institute and LVEJO have done together as a part of the City of Chicago’s Fisk and Crawford Taskforce to engage community stakeholders in articulating a vision for the former Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plant sites that were closed down in 2012. Over the next two years, Delta and LVEJO will inventory and research the brownfield sites in Little Village, engage the local community to prioritize sites for redevelopment, and support creation of a community-driven redevelopment strategy and roadmap to use moving forward. Upon project completion, the Little Village community will be empowered with the tools needed to reinvigorate its economic landscape and create a healthy, vibrant environment, and the partners will develop a case study on best practices for community engagement in brownfield redevelopment.
This brownfield redevelopment project aligns with Delta Institute’s work to catalyze environmental sustainability and economic vitality in the Great Lakes region, and it supports LVEJO’s mission to serve the families, workers, and neighbors and to improve the environment in Little Village.