OUR HISTORY

During the past forty years, working with both its partners and predecessor organizations, ICE's volunteer leaders and professional staff have been at the forefront of efforts in Chicago to assist communities in crisis.  Their campaigns are “stories of hope” as they have changed the footprint and spirit of Chicago’s communities in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.  These successes include:

  • Stopping the Crosstown Expressway from being built in the early 1970s;
  • Confronting "redlining" by local financial institutions in the mid-1970s, leading to the first savings and lending disclosure agreements in the nation and triggering financial institutions' support for local community mortgages and development;
  • Instituting the nation's first Guaranteed Home Equity Assurance programs in three Chicago communities encompassing more than 100,000 households;
  • Developing the local model of police/community partnership informed by local crime statistics now used in every Chicago community through the city’s CAPS program;
  • Helping to conceive, draft and win support to pass the Chicago School Reform Act of 1988 that introduced site-based school governance to 540 Chicago public schools;
  • Blocking the City of Chicago's efforts to close all of its community-based mental health clinics, while developing an alternate funding model for expanded mental health services.
  • Helping Bronzeville residents fight the 2016 Olympics, once the city failed to commit to supporting affordable homes on the 500 city-owned vacant lots in the community.

Work by ICE’s leaders and staff to increase community empowerment was the common denominator in each campaign to preserve safety, vitality, stability, and economic opportunity in all of our city’s communities. 

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