Interviews | La Vida de La Villita | Little Village | Politics

Chuy García

Little Village’s first Mexican alderman recalls the neighborhood’s transformation over the decades

Ellen Hao

Earlier this year Jesús “Chuy” García scored a victory in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ lone Latinx-majority congressional seat. Born in a village in Durango, Mexico, if he’s elected to the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez in November he’ll be the first Mexican-American to represent Illinois in Congress. García’s been a Cook County commissioner representing the Southwest Side for the past seven years and forced a runoff mayoral election in 2015 between himself and incumbent Rahm Emanuel. García spoke to 90 Days, 90 Voices about his personal connection to La Villita and what he sees as its future.

Interviews | La Vida de La Villita | Little Village | Visual Arts

Omar Magana

An artist shares his love for La Villita

Natalie Gonzalez

From the traditional dances to the colorful murals, Little Village is all about art, says Omar Magana. The self-taught sculptor has long been a figure in the neighborhood’s art community. His building on 22nd and Sacramento was home to the grassroots art collective Expresiones Artisticas from 2004 until a fire burnt down the building in 2008. Today, he runs the OPEN Center for the Arts, a space where artists can come together to showcase, refine, and develop their talents. Magana took some time to speak to 90 Days, 90 Voices about the art of La Villita.

Immigration | Interviews | La Vida de La Villita | Little Village

Faustina Montoya

An avid runner and longtime Little Village resident talks about how she came to the United States

Ellen Hao

Faustina Montoya is from the Mexican state of Guerrero and has lived in Chicago for twenty-seven years. She has five children and can be seen running down the sidewalks of Little Village three times a week as part of Viento, the local running group. 90 Days, 90 Voices sat down with her to hear about her decision to come to the United States and settle in Little Village.

Interviews | Politics

Keeping the City Safe

Alicia Tate-Nadeau on emergency services in Chicago

There are few services with as consistent a range of public trust—and as little public understanding—as the 911 emergency system. This past City Bureau cycle, a team of reporters set out to understand how the Office of Emergency Management and Communications handled 911 calls in Chicago, and what stories there were to be told about the dispatch system. We found that there are few resources to offer dispatchers help with chronic PTSD that can affect their job performance, that the outsourced language translation system can lag at critical times, and there remains enough distrust in 911’s relationship to police in Chicago for some groups to seek to bypass it altogether.
—Yana Kunichoff, City Bureau