Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Capitol Fax: Four of the ten worst cities for African-Americans are in Illinois

Linking to a post yesterday discussing a study at the Huffington Post, Rich Miller makes sure to note that our neighbors in Dairyland or more specifically Milwaukee, Wisconsin are #1 on this list. Otherwise we see Kankakee, Chicago area, Peoria, and Rockford were in the top 10.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

CPS enrollment: Drops, rises and consequences

Via @ChiTribGraphics
A page you should look at via Chicago Tribune. That in addition to the graphic above:
Chicago Public Schools released 10th-day enrollment statistics and projected changes to school budgets and special education staffing as a result of the changes in enrollment. This is the first year CPS is using this student-based budgeting policy where enrollment is more important than ever. Changes to funding and positions will be finalized based on enrollment as of the 20th day of the school year.
For two of our local schools:
And of course search for more 10th day enrollment information here.

The city council Black caucus wants McCarthy to go

Photo by Rich Hein/Sun-Times
A press release was e-mailed to us yesterday regarding this. It surprised me although, I realize many aren't happy with our police superintendent. I never thought this would turn into a full rebellion as columnist Mark Brown states:
The demand for the firing of Police Supt. Garry McCarthy by the City Council’s Black Caucus shapes up as the biggest aldermanic rebellion faced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in his four and a half years on the job.

“It’s bold,” agreed Caucus Chairman Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) of the surprise call to oust McCarthy, although Sawyer disputed my characterization of it constituting a “rebellion.”

I don’t know what else to call such an in-your-face move announced less than 24 hours before the police superintendent, long viewed as an Emanuel favorite, is scheduled to appear before the City Council for his annual budget hearing.
And now the playing field, what are the possibilities? Do we even know?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Harlan Community Education Advisory Committee. #harlanfalcons

Photo credit Levois J.
Received this e-mail from the President of the Roseland Heights Community Association. Interesting
development, and I'm hoping the surround community would be willing to be involved with Harlan Community Academy High School:
  • Hello Everyone,

    As you may be aware, Harlan High School has a new prinicipal. She has asked for community support to lead the school to good standing status.

    I have spoken with many of you about the importance of the schools in our community. The challenge facing Harlan requires a concerted effort and our support to reach the level of performance that is evident in a school, parents and community working together.

    You are being invited to be a member of the Community Education Advisory Committee. Communities invited to attend represent Chesterfield, Roseland Heights, Rosemoor, Vernon Park and West Chesterfield.

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 4:30pm at the West Chesterfield Community Center, 9351 S. Michigan.

    If you are Community Association President receiving this email and you have an association member who is serving as the education liaison for your organization, please feel free to extend this invitation to them also. If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call at 312-972-8239.

    I look forward to our meeting. Thank you in advance for your anticipated participation and cooperation.


    Sharon Banks-Pincham
Now I wonder whatever came of Principal Reginald Evans. Where is he today?

Friday, October 2, 2015

John T. Pirie School’s Annual Wellness Fair

This event is via the GCA e-mail blasts
  • John T. Pirie School’s Annual Wellness Fair
    This Saturday, October 3rd
    10 am to 2 pm
    John T. Pirie Fine Arts & Academic Center
    650 E. 85th Street, Chicago, IL
    For more info, call 773.535.3435

    Many services will be offered but are not limited to the following:

    · Blood Pressure Screenings
    · Back to School Immunizations
    · Glucose Checks
    · Financial Literacy
    · Health & Beauty
    · Fire Safety
    · Educational Resources

    Sponsors include but are not limited to:

    Advocate Healthcare
    Ronald McDonald Mobile Unit
    Chicago Fire Department
    Mary Kay
    City Colleges of Chicago
    Ronald McDonald
    Metro Family
    Chicago Fire Department
    Care Van - Chicago Public Health
    NHS- Neighborhood Housing Services
    Seaway Bank
    CCC - Chicago Community Collage
    Chicago Public Library
    Art Creations by Ms. Anton
    Saria “Baby Cakes”
    Trans American Financial
    Mary Kay
    CAPS Fierce Cheerleaders

Monday, September 28, 2015

Proposed photo essay project

I've been very keen on doing a photo essay taking aim at the 9th ward. Alas I'm only armed with a camera-phone at this point, but it's something worth doing.

Perhaps select photos could be posted to this blog's instagram in addition to being posted here. The goal is to document those areas that could use some investment on that part of town. The vacant lots and storefronts for example.

Another possible project to undertake with this project is the potential in the Chatham community as well. I want to look at the site of the proposed Hedgeman hotel near 76th & State Street for example. The purpose there may not be whether or not this is a great location for a hotel. Indeed it could be a matter of deciding what is a good vision for this area.

Main goal is to document the community as it is today and hopefully start a discuss as to how we want the community to look in the next few years. We can always come back and see how things have changed in the future.

BTW, I hope to cross-post some photo essays to the Shedd School blog as well.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

R.A.G.E. meeting on Whole Foods Market

DNA Info reported on a recent Resident Association of Greater Englewood meeting who had the featured guest Walter Robb who is the Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. A new Whole Foods store is coming in August 2016 to the corner of 63rd & Halsted and with it comes the new community liason who was just brought on in her capacity.
A special guest was introduced at the meeting: in July, the company said they were seeking a community liaison, someone who knows the community and is passionate about it. Cecile De Mello was offered the job last week.

She said she’s “honored, overwhelmed and excited.” She plans to work on creating meetings, focus groups and more, anything to connect the community to the store, she said.
And then the number of jobs expected to be created. In addition to a Starbuck's coming to the future Englewood Square shopping center there will also be a Chipotle:
The store will create 80-90 jobs, said Michael Bashaw, Whole Foods Market Midwest Regional president. He estimates that at least 200 jobs will be created when the other tenants like Starbucks and Chipotle move in.

“We’re not going to make a lot of money doing this for our mission,” he said. "We’re coming on faith."
Another DNA Info article discusses the fact that there aren't enough Blacks on the Whole Foods Market board of directors or even the corporation's executive management team.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Update on Hedgeman's proposed hotel zoning hearing

The initial hearing had been held recently at City Hall an update provided by a Greater Chatham Alliance e-mail blast.
  • Update on the 76th State Street Hotel Zoning Hearing meeting held on Friday, September 18t at City Hall.

    The zoning hearing on the hotel was continued until: December 18th at 2:00 p.m. in City Hall, room 200.

    This request was officially made to the zoning board by Alderman Sawyer. The Alderman wants the developer to provide more documents and information about his proposed hotel, which is rumored to be a franchise or branded hotel.

    According to Alderman Sawyer, he has not received any new, or updated presentations regarding Mr. Hedgeman’s hotel proposal.

    The Alderman said at the zoning meeting that he was not opposed to a hotel; but, he added, the hotel had to be a branded franchise (I.e., Holiday Inn, Best Western, Marriott, Ramada, La Quinta or Embassy Suites for example).

    Approximately 35 to 40 people from the community were present. At the next zoning meeting in December, GCA hopes three or four times this amount of residents attend: we need to make sure the zoning board understands what the community wants!

    Ms. Helena Haley, President of 75th, 76th, 77th, 78th Wabash Block Club, is currently in the process of planning a community Town Hall meeting to work on a strategy for going forward.

    This meeting is tentatively slated for October.

    Be on the lookout for the October Town Hall meeting’s when, where and time.

    Attached, you will find a letter that was submitted to the City’s Zoning board by Mrs. Haley’s group.
EDIT: Forgot to post that letter. Here it is below

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Darrell Jackson out at Seaway

What is going on at that bank? Via Crain's:
The president of Seaway Bank & Trust has departed barely a year after he succeeded Chicago's longest-tenured bank CEO as top executive at Chicago's largest African-American-owned lender.

In a release, the bank gave no reason for the exit of Darrell Jackson, who took over at Seaway Aug. 1, 2014, after nearly two decades at Chicago-based Northern Trust. Veranda Dickens, chair of the bank's executive committee, is assuming Jackson's duties while she leads a search committee to find a permanent replacement for him.

“We are grateful to Darrell for his contributions to our organization,” she said in a release. “His experience and presence have been assets to our team, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Jackson's departure marks yet more uncertainty for Seaway, which has struggled to find its footing after two acquisitions of failed banks in Milwaukee and the western suburbs resulted in losses.

Dickens took over ownership of Seaway after her husband, bank Chairman Jacoby Dickens, died in spring 2013. A little over a year later, she pushed out CEO Walter Grady, who had led Seaway for more than three decades.

The bank appeared to need to raise capital to stay afloat after losses mounted, but a team of outside consultants concluded the prior management team had made accounting errors and restated six quarters of prior results. The restatement, plus an aggressive campaign to shrink the bank's balance sheet, brought capital levels back to where the bank didn't need to seek new investors.

Monday, September 21, 2015

9th Ward Community Meeting

Via an e-mail blast from Ald. Anthony Beale:
  • Please Join Us!

    9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale and City Department Representatives
    present a 9th Ward Community Meeting

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015
    6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

    Pullman Presbyterian Church
    550 East 103rd Street
    Chicago, Illinois 60628

    9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale
    34 East 112th Place
    Chicago, Illinois 60628

Friday, September 18, 2015

Whole Foods Market Englewood updates

Two meetings are coming up next week where Englewood residents will receive updates on the future Whole Foods Market coming to 63rd & Halsted. First up you will hear updates regarding employment, opening and other ways to support the future store at a RAGE meeting next Tuesday:
The Resident Association of Greater Englewood has invited Whole Foods to provide an update to the community on Tuesday.

Co-CEO Walter Robb is scheduled to attend the meeting to give an update on the progress of the new 18,000-square-foot Englewood store at 63rd and Halsted streets.

The RAGE meeting will be held at Kennedy-King College, 6301 S. Halsted, Room U-105 from 6-8 p.m. Dinner will be served.
On Saturday 16th Ward Ald. Toni Foulkes will also discuss the future Whole Foods Market among other issues at her meeting as well:
Ald. Toni Foulkes (16th) will discuss the new Englewood Whole Foods and more at a community development meeting on Saturday.

The meeting will take place from 10 a.m.-noon at Providence Elementary School, 6515 S. Ashland Ave.

Foulkes will also give updates on on Woods Academy and Botemps Public School, commercial property at 60th Street and Western Avenue and the Montclare Senior Residence building.