Economic Development

Protecting our financial health

Debra makes the economic health of the 50th Ward a priority. Over the last few years, many new businesses have opened in the 50th Ward. This neighborhood has some of the most unique and diverse shops in the City of Chicago – and people are starting to take notice. Debra actively engages the business community and residents at every step of development and asks for their input. The 50th Ward has amazing people with great ideas. Debra works to hear those ideas, publicize them, and make them a reality.

The 50th Ward has some of the most unique and amazing businesses in the City of Chicago. Business owners all know that Debra is there to support them. Whether it is help getting permits or applying for grants to improve their storefronts, they know she is always just a phone call away.
Our local businesses need safe streets that allow shoppers to browse their wares. Highlights of Debra’s terms have been a multi-million dollar Streetscape project on Devon Avenue that brought wider sidewalks, beautiful lighting, and benches to the central business district. In recent years, Howard Street has also undergone a Streetscape transformation and Touhy Avenue has received pedestrian-friendly lighting.
Debra worked for years with the City and with community partners to develop a comprehensive plan for Western Avenue. In 2022, the Chicago Plan Commission officially adopted the Western Avenue Corridor Study recommendations. A strategy is now in place to reimagine Western from Howard Street in the 50th Ward south to Addison. The plan will support a thriving, attractive, and safe Western Avenue corridor that meets a range of community needs .
One of the best jobs an Alderman has is to welcome new businesses to the 50th Ward. And we have a lot of them! Over the last several years, we have seen numerous small businesses opening along Devon Avenue, as well as large developments on Touhy, Western, and Peterson. From kosher bakeries to halal restaurants, the 50th Ward has something to offer everyone.