Converted Crawford power plant is the kind of investment Latino communities need

Hilco Redevelopment Partners’ conversion of the former Crawford power plant into a vibrant and sustainable logistics hub in Little Village is an example of how to remake industrial corridors.

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Demolition of the Crawford Power Plant on June 2020 in Little Village.

Demolition of the Crawford Power Plant on June 2020 in Little Village.

James Foster/For the Sun-Times

Our mission at the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) is to contribute to the financial strength and well-being of the Hispanic community by helping businesses grow, create jobs and drive prosperity. Promoting public policy that incentivizes economic investment in Hispanic neighborhoods is critical to this mission.

We recently had the opportunity to host then-candidate, now Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson at our offices for a roundtable discussion on the issues that affect our Latino business community and how to make it easier — not harder — to bring in private sector investment and jobs.

Hilco Redevelopment Partners’ (HRP) conversion of the former Crawford power plant into a vibrant and sustainable logistics hub in Little Village is a prime example of the investment we need to attract to the often-overlooked industrial corridors of our city.

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Working with the city, Hispanic business and labor organizations including IHCC, and the local community, HRP constructed a LEED-certified facility that reflected the community’s priorities, including electric vehicle infrastructure, a solar-ready roof, hundreds of trees and plantings, and pedestrian and bike pathways that make the site itself, and also local businesses, more accessible to the new influx of workers.

HRP also entered into the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s (IEPA) voluntary soil remediation program and received a “no further remediation” letter.

As a result of this investment, the Exchange55 facility and soon-to-be-completed adjacent fleet storage yard on South Lawndale Avenue have attracted a Fortune 100 company — Target — to locate and create thousands of good-paying jobs in Little Village.

We reaffirm our total conviction that this project, which will generate direct jobs and multiply local small businesses in Chicago’s second commercial corridor, will be the engine of new development for a region that has been demanding quality investment for decades.

Jaime di Paulo, president and CEO, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Chicago needs tough love

Thank you, Sun-Times Editorial Board. Your recent editorial about youth violence and accountability was as if you were speaking from my heart.

I love Chicago. I believe in the city. It is beautiful, however, it is facing a critical trial in its life. I have been telling people exactly what you said. It’s both ways. Good cops need to be allowed to police, and they need to be supported 100%. Bad cops need to be called out by good cops and their superiors. 100%.

Our youth need better opportunities. 100%. The city is not equal to all, and the more people are willing to acknowledge and embrace that, the sooner change can really happen. But let’s not get it twisted: Whether you’re 15, 18, 28 or 50, you cannot be given a free pass for committing crimes just because you lack opportunities. We all lack something at times.

Taking from others, victimizing other people or businesses only makes you more part of the same system you feel needs to change. We need tough leaders who are honest and compassionate. Love works, but tough love is what the city needs. Honest and compassionate leaders. Is that too much to ask?

Juan Garcia, Wood Dale

Supremely unethical behavior

The disregard for consistent ethical behavior by some Supreme Court justices is destroying one of the key branches of our republic.

Warren Rodgers Jr., Orland Park

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