• Press conference/rally: 4:30PM, Tuesday, April 9
    2nd floor, City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Chicago
    Rally to follow press conference.

Mayor-elect Lightfoot must step up opposition to Emanuel’s scheme to jam through TIF handouts, as predatory lender Lone Star is poised to reap hundreds of millions in profits from Sterling Bay deal.

CHICAGOReviled Lone Star CEO John Grayken has built a multi-billion company on profits from vulture enterprises that include payday loans and mortgage practices that spur foreclosure, two business models notorious for preying on low-income families of color. He is despised by the tenants and homeowners he’s displaced—and now his company is poised to collect hundreds of millions of public dollars from outgoing Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Lincoln Yards TIF deal.

Lone Star owns one of two financial partners in the Lincoln Yards project—and Emanuel is maneuvering to push through TIF legislation on April 10 that will pony up half of the first Lincoln Yards TIF payout of $490 million to a wholly owned Lone Star subsidiary.

As part of the public pushback against the Lincoln Yards giveaway, CTU members and allies will hold a press conference and rally at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9 at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., to demand that any vote be delayed until after the new mayor and aldermen take office on May 20. The rally is part of a week of actions that seek to derail Emanuel’s rush to ink the deal before he leaves office.

The Lincoln Yards TIF deal has been widely decried as an abuse of TIFs, which are supposed to tackle blight in under-invested communities, and a handout of public dollars by Emanuel to yet another wealthy private developer that doesn’t need them. Lone Star’s profiteering in the deal is an added In a slap in the face to thousands of Chicago families who’ve been hurt in the wake of the 2007 forclosure crisis that decimated homeowners across Chicago’s South and West Sides, even as Lone Star has been sued in New York for policies that pushed Black families out of their homes.

Lone Star is a ruthless master of what American Prospect reporters have called private equity pillage, whether it’s larding grocery store chains with debt or scooping up home loans. Yet, even as Chicago’s Black neighborhoods continue to reel from the 2007 foreclosure crisis, Chicago’s lame duck mayor is planning to hand Grayken and Lonestar nearly half a billion dollars in public TIF funds as part of the financing deal around the controversial Lincoln Yards development.

Grassroots groups across the city have called on outgoing mayor Rahm Emanuel to delay the deal, which would funnel upwards of $1.3 billion dollars in public subsidies to the top-tier developer and its financial backers. The City Council Finance Committee is scheduled to vote on the deal on Monday, and the full lame duck City Council will vote on the deal Wednesday.

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.