City of Chicago Creates Advisory Council to Ensure Input on Chicago Casino

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, with the support of Alderman Burnett (27th) and casino operator Bally’s, announced the formation of a Casino Community Advisory Council (CAC) that will serve as a channel for community input as the City moves forward with the first Chicago casino. The proposed Casino CAC includes residents, and community groups from surrounding neighborhoods, as well as experts on a range of relevant topics listed. Management and oversight of the CAC will be jointly shared by the Department of Planning and Development, the Mayor’s Office of Community Engagement, the Department of Transportation, and the CFO’s office. The primary focus of this Casino CAC is to secure community input on the development of the entire permanent site; however, the Casino CAC will also consider issues related to the operation of the temporary site as they are applicable to the future permanent casino project. The Casino CAC will remain intact until the opening of the casino.  The group will meet quarterly to discuss the project and address issues raised by community members including issues relating to arts and entertainment, economic development and planning, social impacts of gambling, housing and community development, infrastructure and transportation, local industry, equity participation, open space and environment, business and finance, public safety, public transit, organized labor, workforce development, and job creation.

Members of the Chicago Casino Advisory Committee:

Neighborhood Representatives  

• Maurice Edwards, President, Cabrini-Green LAC Community Corporation   

• Robin Schabes, Resident and Volunteer Chair of the River North Residents Association Development & Land Use Committee  
• Julie Darling, Board Member of the West Loop Community Organization 

• John Bosca, President Emeritus at Neighbors of River West  
Issue Experts  

• Edward Warm, Chicago Independent Venue League   

• O. Victoria Lakes-Battle, Executive Director – Chicago Metro Region at IFF   

• Jose Bedolla, Board Member, West Central Association   

• Eunice Liao, Mental Health Counselor and Gambling Program Lead at Pui Tak Center   

• Julianna Castro, Financial Assistant, American Indian Health Service of Chicago  
• Darlene Oliver Hightower, President and CEO at Metropolitan Planning Council 

• Nilay Mistry, Interim Program Director, Illinois Institute of Technology  
• Jonathan Snyder, Executive Director at North Branch Works   

• Nadia Quarles, Assistant Vice President for Business Diversity at the University of Chicago   

• Phillip Nicodemus, Director of Research at Urban Rivers   

• Marty Padilla, President at Greater River North Business Association  

• Michele Dreczynski, Program Manager/Consultant at Near North Unity Program   

• David Powe, Director of Planning and Technical Assistance at the Active Transportation Alliance   

• Andrea Kluger, Deputy Chief of Staff at the Chicago Federation of Labor   

• Chynna Hampton, Equity Director, Climate Jobs IL, IL AFL CIO   

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