39th Ward Alderwoman Margaret Laurino

Alderman Laurino Implicated By NEIU President Sharon Hahs In Helping Plan Land Grab Scheme

From: June 14, 2012 NEIU Board of Trustee Meeting Minutes

"Trustee Lee asked for an update on student housing. President Hahs explained that there have been discussions on a location for a residence hall, off-campus but very nearby. The University is working with the Alderman to achieve this goal."

Since January 2014, Alderwoman Laurino claimed to “have an open mind” and said to the property owners “my door is always open.” She claimed to not yet have a position for or against the project because, in her words, “it is premature.”

This election-year balancing act represents an old-school, expert politician’s approach to avoiding controversy, but it benefits and fools no one—and it was apparently all lies:

From the February 2014 NEIU student newspaper “The Independent” – “A Decade of Dreams for Whom?” – President Sharon Hahs is quoted, implicating Alderwoman Laurino in the planning of the land grab scheme:

In order to obtain the land for phase one of student housing, the landlords of the facilities would have to sell their property . “We looked over everything. We also worked with the alderman for this area. The block that we chose —the 3400 block, we are working with property owners because we hope that we will simply be able to acquire them” said President Hahs.  She also mentioned that NEIU can declare eminent domain to obtain the land if the owners do not want to sell their property, but indicates she would prefer not to have to resort to it.

Alderwoman Laurino is paid nearly $115,000 per year to be the elected REPRESENTATIVE of the homeowners and business owners of the 39th Ward.  Why did she engage in secret planning meetings with NEIU President Sharon Hahs and not open a dialog with the community?

Laurino is clearly biased, based on the quote from Sharon Hahs above—and yet she perpetrated a charade by saying she had an “open mind.”  Laurino has not fooled the community and it’s clear she prefers the back-room deal over the voice of her constituents.  Alderwoman Laurino has violated the trust of the community.

Community residents must demand transparency from Alderwoman Laurino.  We must demand that she come clean on her involvement in the NEIU land grab scheme.  Community residents cannot allow this collusion between Hahs and Laurino to steal the homes and businesses on Bryn Mawr.  The 39th Ward needs an Alderman/Alderwoman who actually listens to residents and represents their interests NOT another old school, back room deal Chicago politician.

Alderwoman Laurino is up for election on February 24, 2015.  The 39th Ward needs new leadership – or at least honest representation.