Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Block My Hood My City visits the Austin community

[VIDEO] I had been reading this write-up from Jahmal Cole's My Block, My Hood, My City about the Austin community which is the largest community area in our city. The video above is entertaining and certainly the write-up is as well.

We learn that there is good in Austin such as a restaurant MacArthur's and of course the area also has some wonderful homes and a strong community organization as Central Austin Neighborhood Association. I had to think for a second Austin has a bad repuation but there's good in Austin and then Englewood also has a bad reputation but there's good in Englewood. So we expect good to be found in all these neighborhoods which don't get good press.

In any event this is the second community Cole had visited. He also paid a visit to the southeast city community of Hegewisch. You may have seen a "regram" on our Instagram account.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Block club sign in the 9th ward...

Location: South Indiana Avenue & East 100th Street, Chicago, IL 60628, USA
This is on the back of a block club sign on the corner of 100th Street & Indiana. Unity is certainly something all neighborhoods should strive for. Hopefully this block has it!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sun-Times: 17th Ward Alderman won't seek re-election

While the 17th Ward isn't exactly one of the wards we're covering for next year, this was an interesting development for one of the neighboring wards. Ald. Latasha Thomas will NOT be running for re-election next year:
Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th) said Saturday she won't seek reelection next spring to the Chicago City Council seat after more than 14 years representing her South Side ward.

A lawyer with degrees from the University of Illinois and DePaul University, Thomas was first appointed to the seat representing Englewood and Auburn Gresham by Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2000 and won re-election four times.

Thomas, who chairs the council's education committee, didn't give a reason in the written statement announcing her decision to step aside.
While little was mentioned of her future plans, we did a blog about this possibility. Although at that point Ald. Thomas still hadn't decided what she was going to do in 2015.

It was noted that one of her opponents - Glenda Franklin - had scored the support of Father Michael Pfleger who is the pastor of St. Sabina. Ald. Thomas claims this wasn't a factor in her decision.

CTA Tattler: Raise fares to fund rail expansion, major rehab

CTA Red Line extension
This was posted to CTA Tattler on Tuesday. Kevin O'Neill is calling on a 25 cent increase to CTA fares to fund future capital improvements to the CTA system. Especially mentioned was the CTA Red Line extension which he was unable to find any estimated funding but he says it could certainly exceed $1 billion (according to this ABC 7 article the estimated cost is $2.3 billion).

Would you be on board with a fare increase if it means the Red Line extension and other capital improvements are made to CTA?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Crain's: Here is how you rebuild Bronzeville

Via The Chicago Neighborhoods
An application (app.)/game to rebuild a neighborhood? Interesting idea:
Here's how to have fun and an impact while you're at it: By playing a game on your smartphone, you could bring retailers and public spaces to a blighted swath of Chicago's South Side.

A new FarmVille-esque app called Build It! Bronzeville allows players to earn points by creating a new and improved Bronzeville (virtually, of course) by building a playground here and a police station there, a sandwich shop on this corner and offices on that one. Players can spend those points on other new amenities. They also can earn points by scanning receipts from real-life shopping in the neighborhood or wherever.

The game could guide the city on economic development and yield data that retailers might buy: How much money Bronzeville residents spend and on what, providing store owners a better idea of the kind of retail that would be viable.

For now, the Build It! Bronzevlille app lives on a developer's phone. Like the community it's designed to serve, the game needs investors so it can move from test product to market.
Read the whole thing - this article is from Crain's you might have to get beyond a paywall. Also check out their official website @ Team Build It!

Do you think an app. such as this could help revitalize other communities such as Englewood, Chatham, and Roseland?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Campaign HQ grand opening for 9th Ward candidate for Alderman Michael LaFargue

We just recieved word of this campaign office opening today from Michael LaFargue's 9th Ward Alderman campaign.

If you have any campaign news to share with us from wards 6, 9, & 21 please let us know!

    CHICAGO, IL, October 15, 2014--Today, Co-Campaign Manager Sharon Banks-Pincham announced the official, campaign headquarters location for 9th Ward Candidate Michael LaFargue.

    The new campaign office address is 10842 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60628.

    To celebrate the launching of the new office location, Mr. LaFargue is hosting a grand opening on Friday October 17th, from 11:00 am. to 8:00 p.m.

    Residents throughout the ward are invited to visit and "meet and greet" with LaFargue. Light refreshments will be served and engaging conversation will be encouraged all day long.

    Mr. LaFargue, endorsed by "The People's Candidate" by the 9th Ward Aldermanic Search Community Council," will be on-hand to talk to area residents all day. He will be available to answer questions regarding hot topic community and city issues, in addition to area resident concerns.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Did you see last nights governor's debate?

Yesterday I noted GOP candidate for governor Bruce Rauner visited Flecks Coffee on Tuesday - watch this Early & Often [VIDEO]. This was before a debate with Gov. Pat Quinn that aired on CBS 2 last night. If you missed you will be able to see it at the end of this post.

The debate held at the DuSable Museum on Cottage Grove was geared towards Black voters.

I wanted to provide two posts from the Capitol Fax to analyze the recent debate.
  • Post-debate spinning - Every candidate after a debate will attempt to paint themselves in the best light
  • Some riveting TV -As for this one at the end of this post the discussion was regarding Gov. Quinn's body language
If you saw last night's debate or even if you're just now watching it today, let us know what you think. Who won this debate? Would this influence how you would vote next month on Election Day?

[VIDEO] of the debate is below

NBC Chicago: Group Identifies 10 Most Dangerous Chicago Intersections for Pedestrians

Three nearby intersections among 10 in Chicago have been considered most dangerous:
  • South Cottage Grove Avenue and East 79th Street in Grand Crossing/Chatham
  • South Ashland Avenue and West 63rd Street in West Englewood
  • South Martin Luther King Drive and East 63rd Street in Woodlawn
The 10 in the city and the other 10 in the suburbs were identified in this way:
Now [Active Transportation Alliance], which is known for its work on behalf of bicyclists, is warning Chicagoans about the most dangerous places to step into the street.

Active Trans analyzed crash data from the city and asked for feedback from the general public to arrive at their findings.
I should look to see what policies could we put in place to make these intersections safer for pedestrians.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Strausberg: Spencer Leak, Sr. leads fight to restore bible to CPS

Spencer Leak, Sr, CEO, Leak Funeral Homes, told dozens of ministers he is in this fight to restore the bible to CPS to the end and will hold the mayor and all 50 aldermen accountable before February 24, 2015, which is the municipal elections. Leak and his church, Liiberty Baptist Church, will be leading this battle they say is need to teach students about morals and values.

By Chinta Strausberg

Even though 52-years ago the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-1 to ban prayer in schools, Spencer Leak, Sr., CEO, Leak & Sons Funeral Home and chairman emeritus of Liberty Baptist Church, met with scores of ministers and church members at Josephine’s Cooking Restaurant where he vowed to lead the fight needed to restore prayer in Chicago Public Schools (CPS)

Leak, a member for 45-years of Liberty Baptist Church, said his pastor, Rev. Dr. Darrell Lamar Jackson, will hold a planning meeting in three weeks at Liberty located at 4849 S. King Drive. Leak said Rev. Jackson “is going to take the lead in our quest to get the bible in the CPS.” Black On Black Love is also involved.

Leak explained that meeting “will be timed after the Nov. 4th election because the election we are concerned about is the one for mayor and 50 aldermen who we are going to put this proposition to. We are going to make this a part of their campaign. They are going to have to answer to us whether we can get this done and if not we need an elected school board to get this done.”

He will be inviting the aldermanic candidates asking for their support. “We know the timing is right for us to get this done. We won’t have another municipal election for four more years,” said Leak vowing to press this issue to the aldermen and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU). “We want them to put the bible in the curriculum of the CPS.”

“If we can have Huckleberry Finn in the curriculum of the CPS where Finn uses the word ‘n….’ 15-30 times in the course of that story…if that book can be a part of the CPS curriculum and it should be, then certainly the bible can,” Leak stated.

“The bible is a book of values and when Mayor Emanuel was asked when we had a spike of violence over one of the weekend why, he held his hands up and said ‘values.’

“What other book teaches values like the bible. No other book can do it. We’re holding the mayor to his word. Mr. Mayor, you said the problem was values. We got a book that teaches values and we can keep our young people from destroying themselves if that book is put into the CPS,” Leak told this reporter.

When told that some ministers said the fight to restore the bible to the classroom is a losing battle, Leak quipped, “God specializes in losing battles. He specializes in the impossible. When you give God the proposition that something is losing…God gets active and God can only get active if we his created ones. This will win and we’re going to make it win,” he said.

Dr. JoAnn Long, pastor of the New Life Believers Church, said, “I believe in Dr. Leak’s vision in getting the bible restored in our classrooms to have that option.” As a child, Dr. Long said she read the bible in school and that children today should be able to do the same thing. She said the bible teaches morals and values and that is what students today need. “We want our children to have high morals. The bible is also a guide….”

Also attending that meeting was mayoral hopeful Bill Walls who said, “The Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court has decided that it is legal to teach the bible in schools. You can teach it, but you can’t preach it. The bible is taught in schools all across America and there is no reason why it can’t be taught here in Chicago.”

Bishop Edgar Jackson, pastor of Beth El All Nations Church, said the bible “is an instrument we must use to bring some civility back into our society especially the young people who don’t know right from wrong. They do not have a moral foundation that they may be able to judge between what is right and wrong.

Agreeing was Gwendolyn Smith who said, “We perish for lack of knowledge and without knowledge we can’t move in this world. A lot of children have lost their way because they have not been taught…. We can’t let them learn on their own.”


In the meanwhile, after reading the article above what do you think about this issue? Do you think the bible should be restored to CPS' curriculum?

Monday, October 13, 2014

CTU Prez Karen Lewis diagnosed with a brain tumor

I'm so sorry that Karen Lewis - the current head of the Chicago Teacher's Union - has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. She had recently been admitted to the hospital with a "serious illness". As a result she won't be running for mayor of Chicago.

I'm sure this news disappoints many who wanted to support Ms. Lewis, but many hope she will return to good health.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Well wishes to teacher's union Prez Karen Lewis

I'm sure many people who want to see teacher's union Prez Karen Lewis take on Mayor Rahm Emanuel next year for mayor would be disappointed that she's ill at the moment. Whether she gets in the race or not here's hoping she recovers from her serious illness.

This has been news since Sunday and unfortunately all that has been reported is that she has a serious illness or she underwent surgery. In the meanwhile the work of her union continues under CTU's VP.

DNA Info: Englewood Lots to Be Sold for $1 to Local Groups Under City Housing Plan

City of Chicago graphic via DNA Info
If you took advantage of this program what would you use your vacant lot for or how do you plan to use it?
Mayor Rahm Emanuel will formally propose Wednesday that 322 city properties in Englewood be sold to local groups for $1 apiece as part of an ambitious five-year housing plan.

The "Large Lots" pilot program, to be submitted in the City Council meeting, would sell the properties to area homeowners, block clubs and nonprofit groups.

Ald. JoAnn Thompson (16th) pointed out the program has been in the works for a while, but welcomed Emanuel's move to advance it.

"The lots are being sold to the residents who live next to them," Thompson said before Wednesday's City Council meeting. "I'm pretty sure they're using them for side yards." Yet they also eliminate vacant lots at the same time, she added, and "get the community looking better."

According to the Mayor's Press Office, the program was so successful in Englewood that it's been expanded to East Garfield Park.
You can also read more on this subject from DNA Info's Wendell Hutson.

Not to be a downer but for those of you who are seeking to use the vacant lot as a garden take heed what this woman is going through in Rogers Park. The city could still come over and slap you with violations.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Aldertrack is back...

Since we've started getting into political mode yesterday it's OK to start sharing this website.

You may have heard about Aldertrack over the years. It was around for the 2007 elections and in a different iteration it was around for 2011 as part of the Early & Often service provided by the late great Chicago News Coop.

This year it's back and you can purchase from them a "racing form" which shows all the candidates for the 2015 elections along with new ward maps. You can purchase them a digital copy online for $5 although you can also pick up a paper copy at bars around the city. The only south side location appears to be in Beverly near 106th & Western.

As always of course we are covering wards 6, 9 & 21 for the 2015 so you can always check our coverage here. I did forget to post the link to our 2015 page in a recent post and don't forget if you have any news to share feel free to share with us on our Twitter & FB pages along with sending an e-mail (posted in the sidebar).