Ald. King presents Community Advisory Council framework at meeting for North Kenwood-Oakland

Ald. Sophia King (4th) speaks during the Community Advisory Council meeting for North Kenwood-Oakland at the Kennicott Park fieldhouse, 4434 S. Lake Park Ave. (Photo by Aaron Gettinger)

Staff writer

Eleven months after she announced the new program, Ald. Sophia King (4th) held her first Community Advisory Council (CAC) for North-Kenwood-Oakland on Jan. 8, explaining that the triannual meeting bodies would enable constituent volunteers to do community work, share concerns with her office and allow developers and other authorities to meet directly with area residents.

King said the CAC’s mission is “to empower neighborhoods to make substantive improvements to their community and quality of life.”

“The Council is going to be fluid, and we’re counting on the community to help us grow this,” she said. “We see it as an opportunity to communicate … to you, but also for you from the community to communicate to our office.”

CAC subcommittees will meet monthly; plans call for panels on economic development, education, infrastructure, public safety, arts and parks.

Each CAC will have a chair, vice chair, secretary and block club chair, who will organize existing local block clubs and liaise between them and public safety authorities. The plan is for subcommittee chairs to eventually meet as a 4th Ward-wide advisory council.

King said she held the first meeting in North Kenwood-Oakland because of its history with the North Kenwood-Oakland Conservation Council (NKOCC), which evaluated development proposals in the neighborhoods.

More than 30 North Kenwood-Oakland residents attended the meeting.

CACs are planned in each of the community areas that, in part, populate the 4th Ward. In Kenwood, King represents the area between Cottage Grove and Lake Park avenues, Hyde Park Boulevard and 47th Street on City Council. In Hyde Park, she represents the block between Greenwood and University avenues, Hyde Park Boulevard and 52nd Street and the area between Woodlawn and Lake Park avenues, Hyde Park Boulevard and 53rd Street.

No date has yet been scheduled for those CAC meetings.