West Side Alderman Picked to Meet Obama - NBC Chicago
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West Side Alderman Picked to Meet Obama



    Ald. Jason Ervin (28th Ward) is getting a chance to represent Chicago's West Side on a national level.

    Ervin was picked to join President Obama and other elected officials Friday at the White House to attend a special policy briefing.

    They'll discuss urban development, crime and unemployment, three areas where the 28th Ward, which includes the West Garfield, North Lawndale and Austin neighborhoods, has been hit hardest. Earlier this year, a study showed the ward saw some of the city's highest foreclosures.

    "I think the President is concerned about the West Side of Chicago," Ervin said. "He knows that we are in need of assistance, and to look out for us at that level speaks volumes."

    Ervin says his first priority is cleaning up the ward to attract new businesses and, most importantly, new jobs, which Ervin says he supports Mayor Rahm Emanuel's initiative in building. At the briefing, he plans to bring up the need for job creation and federal support for community policing.

    "I hope to continue to impress upon the President the need for dollars for communities in need," he said. "The federal government's job is to help us set policy ... and use our money wisely."

    Ervin leaves Friday morning and returns that evening. He'll also attend a reception with other lawmakers. This is Ervin's first visit to the White House.