CHATHAM — After weeks of searching for a neighborhood ward office, Ald. William Hall (6th) has found a location to set up shop in Chatham.
Hall announced Monday on his ward’s Instagram he signed a lease for a new headquarters. The office will open in September, five months after he was elected, at 8050 S. King Drive in Chatham, an office representative confirmed Wednesday.
Hall, a lifelong Chatham resident, declared victory over competitor Richard Wooten in the April runoff election. Hall succeeded Ald. Roderick Sawyer, a three-term leader who vacated his City Hall seat to run for mayor in the 2023 election.
Since the May inauguration, Hall has operated ward services out of his City Hall office Downtown at 121 N. LaSalle St., he previously told Block Club. He hired a team of seven to assist with the role, four of whom handle “constituent needs” directly in the ward, he said.
But as the weeks ticked by, frustrated neighbors began to question when the newly elected official would open a South Side office. Neighbors depend on a centralized location in their community for simple questions and critical community decisions. The 6th Ward includes parts of West Woodlawn, Chatham, Park Manor, West Chesterfield, Auburn Gresham and Englewood.
Hall searched for “multiple spaces” to open the 6th Ward office to no avail, he previously told Block Club. The ward office needed to be near public transportation and ADA-compliant, Hall said.
Finding an office space “is a universal issue right now” for newly elected and veteran alderpeople, Hall said. Alderpeople use funds from taxpayer-funded expense allowances to cover rent for ward offices. Each alderman currently receives $122,000 annually, according to a report from the Tribune.
Other freshman alderpeople elected this year have opened offices in their wards, including Alds. Desmon Yancy (5th), Peter Chico (10th), Julia Ramirez (12th), Ronnie Mosley (21st), Ruth Cruz (30th), Bennett Lawson (44th), Angela Clay (46th) and Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth (48th), according to the city’s website. Ald. Jeylu Gutiérrez (14th) has opened a temporary office in her ward.
Besides Hall, two other freshman alderpeople haven’t opened ward offices. Ald. Lamont Robinson (4th) is working out of City Hall for now, but plans to open an office at 928 E. 43rd St. in September, said staffer Rafe Wright. Ald. William Conway (34th) conducts ward business out of his City Hall office, but it’s across the street from his ward.
The new King Drive office is steps away from a 3 King Drive bus stop. A 2017 Redfin listing cites the first floor of the two-flat building as “zoned for limited business like community or governmental use.” It has not been confirmed if the building is ADA-compliant.
Hall did not respond to Block Club’s requests for comment.
In recent weeks, Hall launched new initiatives to meet neighbors in the 6th Ward.
For “Walk A Mile Mondays,” Hall walks and talks for a mile in every neighborhood in the ward. He kicked off his first walk in Englewood Monday.
“Tennis Tuesdays” will feature friendly matches with Hall. His first match was at West Chatham Park, 8223 S. Princeton St.
“We understand the inconvenience of coming into the [Downtown] office, which is important for those who don’t have access to technology or are used to the convenience of going to the office the same way they would the grocery store or the bank,” Hall previously said. “That inconvenience is something that we’re hoping to see concluded very soon. We’re just asking for grace right now.”
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