Bishop John Bryant replaces Leon Finney on city planning board
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporteremail@example.com October 5, 2011 3:10PM
Updated: October 5, 2011 5:35PM
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday appointed African Methodist Episcopal Church Bishop John Bryant to the Chicago Plan Commission to replace controversial board member Leon Finney.
Bryant is on Ebony magazine’s list of the 100 most influential black Americans.
Last year, South Side residents disrupted a Plan Commission to demand that then-Mayor Richard M. Daley remove Finney because, they claimed, Finney is a “slumlord.”
At the time, Finney’s assistant acknowledged that the nonprofit Woodlawn Redevelopment Corp. “didn’t have the money” to do renovations to five properties cited by the protesters. The assistant argued that Woodlawn had owned the properties since 1973 and that the problems “just started in 2007.”
Daley responded to the allegations of deplorable living conditions by ordering city inspectors to take a fresh look at Finney’s South Side properties. But, the mayor allowed Finney to remain on the Plan Commission, a seat he has held since 1979.
“Everyone has a right to live in a home that’s clean and safe,” Daley told reporters at the time.
“There’s no city funding [in those properties, but] we are looking at that situation. We sent people out to the buildings. We listened to the people. If that’s true, they have a right to have clean, safe housing for them. Yes, they do.”