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A son of a union laborer and community organizer, Charles Kyle is a lifelong Southside resident who learned at an early age to be the change that you want to see in your community. Charles was educated through the Chicago Public School System attending Beasley Elementary and Kenwood Academy High School. He graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2009 with a B.S. in Biology.

On a mission to improve the southeast side, Charles joined The Planning Coalition board of directors. Their mission is to improve and uplift the South Shore Community. During his time on the board he helped spearhead the South Shore grocery store initiative to bring a high-quality grocer to the community. He also sat on committee for the Southeast Side Block Club Association, and facilitated a workshop at the first Block Club Assembly hosted for the southeast side.

ABOUT CHARLES

Big on community and government dialogue, Charles hosted Exchange Idea’s, a community discussion forum in the South Shore community. The goal of Exchange Idea’s was to facilitate honest conversations about economic development, housing, and policy between the community and various elected and government officials. During these forums, community members were able to converse and engage with officials in a setting that was neutral and organic. This allowed for more transparent dialogue.

Because of his commitment to service Charles has held several back to school events in the ward and donated to multiple other events. He is a past member of the Rainbow Park Advisory Council, and is active with the community policing program CAPS. He has a 9 year old son, who is the catalyst for his work around education and community. He’s a program director for a youth agency and also a homeless youth advocate, having worked with them for the last 4 years.  He’s a Chicago Marathon finisher, and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Charles Kyle Hosting Exchange Idea.

Charles Kyle Hosting Exchange Idea.

Issues

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Education

As a product of Chicago Public Schools, the public school system is extremely important to Charles. He believes they are the nucleus of the community and the lone equalizer to upward mobility for students of color. He believes the school closings had a direct effect on the population loss of African-Americans in the city. Charles supports a moratorium on charter school expansion, fully funded public schools, and an elected school board.  He also believes that every Local School Council should be fully functional, with full governing power and that additional funds should be available to increase parent and neighborhood engagement around the school community.

 
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Economic Development

Charles believes that economic development and gentrification does not go hand in hand. He believes that currently blighted business corridors can be viable and vibrant by high impact city investments in those corridors. He believes tax subsidies should be given to businesses that improve the quality of life for underserved communities, and that minority business owners should get priority for those tax subsidies. Charles believes community involvement in the governing process is imperative and will host Participatory Budgeting meetings for allocation of all menu money.

 
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Public Safety

Charles was forced to move when his apartment was broken into twice. In one instance the perpetrators coming through the window of his son’s room. Because of that, improving the safety of our communities is very important to Charles. He will actively work with the police commanders of the 7th ward to come up with solutions and strategies that will help decrease crime. Past involvement with community policing (C.A.P.S.) has made Charles a believer in its power and he will make sure residents are engaged and aware of what’s happening to improve the safety of the community.

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Housing Development

When looking at what has happened to other communities of color as major development projects have come into their neighborhoods, Charles recognizes the need for safeguards to displacement and gentrification.  Charles wants to help current residents of the ward by finding avenues to improve access to capital so that they can purchase the apartments and houses they call home. With numerous vacant properties throughout the ward, he would like to stabilize the housing market of the 7th ward by holding banks and landlords accountable for the maintenance and upkeep of their properties. Charles believes that rent control is vital to holding the line on displacement and will advocate the state to push through rent-control legislation.

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The 7th Ward

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