Chicago 2nd Ward runoff election forum video

Candidates Alex Pattison and Brian Hopkins squared off March 24 at Columbus Elementary school, in a debate moderated by the Chicago Tribune's Hal Dardick and Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business.

Thanks to CAN TV for video of the event, and to principal Wendy Anne Oleksy, organizer Steve Niketopolous and EVA co-sponsors the Noble Square Home Owners Association, the Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association and the Wicker Park Committee.

Photos from the event are on the EVA Facebook page.

Developer rehabs St. Boniface plan

St. Boniface Church and the John Hancock Center mark the Chestnut Street skyline west of Eckhart Park.

East Village Association board minutes for March 9, 2015 submitted by Michael VanDam

New board, committee appointments

2nd Ward Aldermanic Debate

East Village Association will co-sponsor a March 24 debate at Columbus Elementary School, 1003 N. Leavitt. The format will offer more leeway with questions and responses, because only the two runoff candidates will be participating. Board members discussed ways EVA could help increase voter turnout.

Social Media

Board members explored creating an East Village Facebook group in addition to the EVA Facebook page. While it lacks the power of in-person interaction, a group might add to neighbor input outside monthly meetings. A subcommittee will explore social media opportunities.

Planning, Preservation and Development

No additional information is available on the ground-floor tenant moving into the Amber Building, 1620 W. Chicago Ave.

St. Boniface Church neighbors have been informed the church at 1358 W. Chestnut St. may be converted into 112 apartments for low-wage workers. The rehab plan, presented in a meeting with Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th Ward), has twice the unit count of a previous plan for senior housing. Scott Rappe will obtain an update.


McKnight will spearhead an initiative to get more local businesses to join EVA. Board members considered a “welcome packet” or small flyer explaining EVA and how to join.

New Business

Patio license renewal season is occurring now: The board needs to work with Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st Ward) to ensure that Division Street businesses adhere to plans filed with the city.

Speaker suggestions for future EVA meetings are welcome.

Attendees at West Town Bakery & Diner: Gladys Alcazar-Anselmo, Rich Anselmo, David Burns, Dan Johnson, Neal McKnight, Greg Nagel, Stephen Rynkiewicz, Tom Tomek, Michael VanDam, Bob Zwolinski.

Chicago 2nd Ward runoff debate


Candidates in the Chicago runoff election for 2nd Ward alderman will face off March 24 at Columbus Elementary School. 1003 N. Leavitt St.

Crain’s Chicago Business political editor Greg Hinz and Chicago Tribune reporter Hal Dardick will moderate the forum.

Candidates in the April 7 election are the top two vote-getters in the six-way Feb. 24 primary race

  • Brian Hopkins - former aide to Cook County Commissioner John Daley.
  • Alyx Pattison - lawyer, local school council representative , former aide to Rep. Jan Schakowsky.

The format will allow open-ended questions with follow-up, as well as direct questions between the candidates. Propose questions for the panel at

The event is sponsored by the East Village Association, the Noble Square Home Owners Association, the Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association and the Wicker Park Committee.

Ward boundaries stretch from Lake Shore Drive to Oakley Boulevard and Huron Street to Wrightwood Avenue. Mayoral candidate Robert W. “Bob” Fioretti is the incumbent.

Bring your neighbors: The debate will start at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. Parking is available in the school lot across from the entrance. Please enter the building on the west.

CAN TV will be covering the event live. It will be seen on cable channel 27 and streamed at

Check your registration status, find your voting place and learn about early voting at the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners website.

East Village Association officers 2015-2016

Another week, another election: East Village Association members will vote Monday, March 2, for the group's president, vice president, treasurer and secretary.

There'll also be details on the runoff for 2nd Ward alderman. EVA will co-sponsor a debate between finalists Brian Hopkins and Alyx Pattison March 24 at Columbus School, 1003 N. Leavitt St. Crain's Chicago Business political editor Greg Hinz will moderate. The city runoff election is April 7.

Here are the EVA officer candidates:

Daniel R. Johnson (president) has been an East Village resident for the last 3 years. "My wife, Julia, and I bought a house on Winchester built more than a century ago. We have two young daughters and enjoy walking around the neighborhood, playing at Commercial Park and eating lunch at the local restaurants.

"We moved to East Village for a number of reasons, including the short commute to the Loop, the unique character of the architecture, the vibrancy created by the different businesses, the mature trees and the walking distance to a pizza place, gelato store, supermarket or bakery. I'm interested in preserving and enhancing the qualities of the neighborhood, both food and non-food related, that drew us here.

"I'm a graduate of Amherst College and Northwestern University law school and I'm a litigation partner at a law firm. I have been the Vice President of the East Village Association for the last year and look forward to continuing to work together with the residents, businesses, and others that make this community the sort of place that we all choose to live in despite the excessive amount of time we must spend shoveling snow."

Catherine Garypie (vice president) has been an East Village resident for 8 years. She's been active in community policing, volunteered at Commercial Park, the Chicago Police/ Chicago Food Depository monthly food giveaway in Eckhart Park, and at a local teen homeless shelter.

She was born and raised in Michigan, attended college in New York and law school in Chicago. She's worked as an environmental attorney for more than 23 years in Chicago (1991-95, 2002-present), New York (1995-98) and Boston (1998-2002). She lives near Augusta & Wood. Here she's goofing off at EVA's summer 2014 block party with members of EVA and Chicago Fire Department Station 30 (1125 N. Ashland Ave.).

Michael VanDam (secretary) has lived in East Village for more than 6 years, and in Chicago for more than 20. He joins the board after a year as a member of the Planning, Preservation and Development committee. Living directly on Chicago Avenue, Michael is particularly interested in promoting responsible development on the commercial corridors of East Village.

VanDam grew up in Michigan and attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island before coming back to the Midwest. He works as an independent public relations consultant, specializing in business-to-business and financial services marketing.

Kok Keng (KK) Goh (treasurer) grew up in Singapore. "I studied at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, worked as a management consultant, and am currently an investor in real estate projects.

"I’ve grown to love this neighborhood for its mix of inhabitants and blend of architecture. Serving on the EVA board has left me with a deep sense of appreciation for EVA’s role in shaping the neighborhood."

Additional nominations will be accepted before the vote. Meet your neighbors and take part at 7pm in the Happy Village, 1959 N. Wolcott Ave. As Woody Allen said, 80 percent of success is showing up.

Talcott preschool applications 2015-2016

By Sachin Master

Wondering what the first or next step in your toddler’s education should be? Check out the preschool program at Talcott Fine Arts & Museum Academy. Learn more about the program and application process here.

Talcott will host a special open house for families from 5 to 6pm on March 17 at the school, 1840 W. Ohio St. To attend, email your name, preferred email and phone number.

CPS Ready to Learn representatives will be on hand to take applications from 8 to 11am March 31. The preschool program is not attendance boundaries and is open to anyone in the EVA community.

Wells High wins ward debates

By Neal McKnight

We received a question about our expenditures on the recent aldermanic debates and why we would spend money to use Wells Community Academy High School's auditorium.

A total of $1,400 was spent on the two debates. Some of these expenditures will be reimbursed by our neighboring community groups and co-sponsors. The amount of reimbursements depends on what their budgets can afford. All funds were paid to Wells Community Academy High School to defray costs for custodial and security staff and building and parking operations.

There were no other debate expenses. The audio equipment and setup was donated by at no cost to the organization. We had invited both CAN-TV and DNAinfo to stream the debates but they were unable to dedicate the resources. Portions of the debate were recorded and posted on Facebook and youtube. This video was provided by volunteers.

Wells High School was selected based on a number of factors. First, the venue was within our boundaries. Second, the venue is within the 1st Ward and very close to the 2nd Ward. Third and most importantly, Wells High School is the single largest institution within our borders. We saw the debates as an opportunity to introduce Wells High School to our community in a most positive light.

We conferred with the students, teachers and administration of Wells to coordinate the debates and increase interaction between the community and Wells High School. The debates offered an opportunity to showcase both Wells itself and the students attending Wells. EVA is proud to say that it succeeded on both counts.

Many debate attendees and we would venture to guess some of the candidates had never been inside this beautiful facility. The questions presented by the students were both insightful and provided a unique perspective on issues facing young people in our city. As we posted in social media, the biggest winner from both debates was Wells High School.

As an all-volunteer organization, we can always use more help. We encourage members of our community who are interested in contributing time, resources or money to attend both our general membership meetings as well as our board meetings. Both are open to the public. Please make time to attend. We would love to have you there.