Early Action Projects

Background Info

Early Action Project are improvements to the neighborhood that will occur while the Downtown/East Side plan is being prepared. Early Action Projects are physical improvements that are clearly visible to the community and demonstrate the ability to make positive change. They show residents that planning can lead to actual improvement.

What defines an Early Action Project?

Early Action Projects are:

  1. Physical neighborhood improvements
  2. Completed within six months, if not sooner
  3. Projects that the community wants to see happen
  4. Implemented with neighborhood resident participation

Is there funding available for these projects?

Yes. The City of Chicago Heights and the Housing Authority of Cook County have set $50,000 aside for Early Action Projects. These funds are available to quickly implement consensus choices for Early Action Projects

Early action projects should:

  • Be able to happen within 3-6 months
  • Include opportunities for community volunteers
  • Be low-cost
  • Build off of local assets and one idea that could address local challenges

What Early Action Projects have been done elsewhere?

Pop-Up Grocery Store, Brownsville, Texas

A vacant storefront was acquired and an operator found to open up a temporary food store.


Adding Bike/Pedestrian Lanes to Streets, Bowling Green, Ohio

The pavement on neighborhood streets was reallocated to provide safe sidewalks and bike lanes.


Highway Crosswalk Improvement, Birmingham, Alabama

A crosswalk across a busy street connecting residents to shopping was improved with striping, medians and lighting to make to safer.

Tree Planting Program

The City of Chicago Heights applied for a grant from the Open Lands Project to fund the planting of up to 50 trees. This will be an Early Action Project.


In August, 2018 Resident Ambassadors of the Chicago Heights Downtown / East Side Choice Neighborhood Plan conducted surveys of their neighbors on potential “Early Action Projects” for the plan.

You can take the Survey HERE

A link to the full report of their findings can be found here: Early Action Project Report