To the editor:

We are responding to two small but important inaccuracies in your Neighborhood News article (October 9) on the proposed Gateway Mall and displacement of Pivot Point.

1. The tax increment financing (TIF) district was amended, not created, when Rudy Mulder took over the project in 1995. The TIF was declared nearly ten years ago and has already generated over $1.5 million from increased taxes, even without any development.

2. The Rogers Park Community Action Network (RPCAN) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit community organization. Contrary to your reporter’s perception, we are not “searching for a candidate to challenge [Alderman] Moore in next February’s aldermanic election,” though we do believe that contested elections are one component of a healthy democracy. RPCAN does not endorse or oppose candidates. Instead, we organize around an agenda of community empowerment and sustainable development, and encourage all officials to embrace these goals.

RPCAN works on issues chosen by its membership and puts principles before politicians. We support our alderman when his agenda is good for our members (increased school funding, a new branch library) and fight him when it isn’t (displacing tenants and local businesses, lowering interest on security deposits, declaring the Loop a TIF, voting himself a pay raise). Staying true to the interests of our members draws RPCAN into enough controversy; we don’t need to go searching for political battles.

David Smathers

RPCAN Board of Directors

Francis X. Tobin

Interim Director

Ben Joravsky replies:

Smathers and Tobin are correct that the TIF was amended in 1995. I wrote that Tobin and his allies–not RPCAN–are looking for challengers to succeed Joe Moore, which they admit.