Bounded by Lake Michigan at Jackson Park, Cottage Grove Avenue, 59th and 67th Streets, Woodlawn in recent years has been regarded as a community that didn’t have much of a future, at least not with the middle class.

For years, it has been notorious for its gangs and drug dealers, empty buildings and high crime rates. Woodlawn was a place for the poor and the disadvantaged. The population of the community has fallen to an estimate 23,508 in 1998 from 36,323 in 1980. The 1998 median family income in the neighborhood was $17,822. Statistics from 1995 showed the area had about double the number of reported crimes as the state average, 114 per 1,000 residents versus 56 per 1,000 across Illinois. The 1998 city statistics show the neighborhood posting 107 crimes per 1,000 residents, ahead of the citywide average of 91.

Problems aside, Woodlawn was never a community without hope. Much of that hope has come from The Woodlawn Organization, a 40-year-old group whose roots go back to the activist days of the early 1960s. It was then that labor leader Saul Alinsky put together a group of religious and block club leaders to form The Woodlawn Organization. From the outset, the philosophy of the group was to mobilize local citizens in order to improve conditions in the neighborhood.

Over the years, The Woodlawn Organization grew. Today the group, along with its affiliate Woodlawn Community Development Corp., has a staff of 157. The organization provides a wide range of social services to local residents, such as family counseling, day care and help with substance abuse problems.

The improvements in Woodlawn come at a time when the South Side of Chicago, in general, is being revitalized. For instance, on the east side of the neighborhood plans have been announced to upgrade Jackson Park and expand La Rabida Hospital. And to the south, the land formerly occupied by the South Works steel mill along the Lake is being redeveloped for industry and potentially homes.

Neighborhood high school students attend special classes at the university in order to prepare them for college. About 100 university students currently work as teaching assistants in seven Woodlawn public schools. The university also has designed a literacy program for two Woodlawn elementary schools.

City of Chicago Vehicle Stickers

All Chicago residents driving, parking, leasing and/or owning a vehicle for which they are responsible in the City of Chicago are subject to the Chicago Wheel Tax and must purchase a Chicago City Vehicle Sticker. This includes Chicago residents that maintain their registration outside of the City of Chicago, but use the vehicle in the City. We want motorists to avoid costly tickets: You must purchase a Chicago Vehicle Sticker within 30 days of residing in the City or acquiring a new vehicle to avoid late fees and fines.

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Residential Parking Permits

Chicago’s Residential Parking Permit program is designed to restrict parking on designated residential streets during specified hours, except for the residents of that street, guests of the residents or those who provide a service to the residents. This program helps to ensure that residents of densely populated areas have reasonable access to parking near their residences. Cars parked in violation of this ordinance are ticketed.

The City of Chicago does not mess around. The city has a dillignet parking patrol staff that will ticket you if you are in a spot where a permit you don’t have is required. All spots that require permits are marked with white street signs. Please look out for them!

For more information, contact the city clerk at 312-744-6861 or email info@chicityclerk.com. We also recommend that you ask your Real Estate Agent, Leasing Agent, or Land Lord about parking permit requirements in your area.