Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tribune: A lower black jobless rate. Somebody tell Illinois.

A recent Tribune editiorial, you might hit a paywell before you're able to read the whole thing:
The U.S. economy is in the ninth year of expansion. It will become the longest on record, surpassing the 1990s boom, if it reaches the second half of 2019. Growth, which had been unspectacular, perked up during President Donald Trump’s first year in office because businesses are investing more. Attribute their optimism to the tax reform deal and the administration’s focus on removing regulatory red tape.

With growth and investment come hiring: Employers added nearly 2.1 million jobs in 2017, the seventh year above 2 million. The benefits, though, aren’t equally shared. At 6.8 percent, the black unemployment rate nationwide is nearly twice as high as the 3.7 percent rate of white unemployment. Cue that 10-percent rate of black joblessness here: As more African-Americans in other states come off the unemployment rolls, many of those who live in Illinois are left behind.

In Chicago, the job situation in hollowed-out West and South side neighborhoods is dire. Manufacturers left long ago. There are few retail and restaurant jobs. All the economic activity is located miles away in the Loop and elsewhere in metropolitan Chicago. Too many young people have inadequate job training and … nothing to do. According to the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago, more than 40 percent of 20-to-24-year-old black males in Chicago are out of work and out of school. Does a booming national economy ever touch Chicago’s most impoverished neighborhoods? Can young people be drawn out of urban isolation?
On a slightly related note via CapFax, I really can't believe the statements coming from Gov. Bruce Rauner. Does he really believe Michael Madigan has so much control of this state, as a mere state house speaker? Madigan is a bottle neck through the legislature, but he really thinks Madigan is in control of this state?
Anyway, can we solve the issue of few opportunities in the neighborhoods on the south and west sides of Chicago?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Future of Chatham Avalon Park Community Council (CAPCC)

The Chicago Neighborhoods
Check out the below essay written by our own Worlee Glover over at NextDoor. Here on this blog we have considered the state of Chatham's community based organizations. I wondered if there are too many organizations as at one point there had been three CBOs in Chatham - CAPCC, GCA, and Reunite Chatham.

Now using Worlee's words you see below, there's be a lack of direction at CAPCC since a whole new regime has taken over. Chatham is a great neighborhood - a bastion of the Black middle-class in Chicago - and well we see RAGE as an organization with a great vision. Perhaps a CBO in a Black middle-class neighborhood needs to take a page out of the book of RAGE who do have a number of successes in recent years.

Beyond that, what do you think of Worlee's essay.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Shooting at 90th & Ellis

[VIDEO] There was some action near 90th & Ellis this afternoon on this MLK Day. While on this YouTube video police exchange gunfire with suspects, the actual report by CBS 2 anchor Jim Williams states specifically that any exchange of gunfire is unconfirmed.

Another report from ABC 7 says that police officers on scene had returned fire from suspects. Also 2 suspects are in custody.

Here's a map of that area

The South Side Masonic Temple is under demolition

Thanks to AJ Latrace - formerly of Curbed Chicago - we learned that the demolition process for the South Side Masonic Temple at 64th & Green Streets in Englewood has began. There were some pics provided on Friday through his twitter page.
Sorry to see this wonderful building go, unfortunately it has proven to be unsafe for it to remain standing at its location. There had been some plans over the years for it's eventual reopening but sadly nothing came through and the building sadly is coming down. The temple will not experience a rebirth.

Also on Friday Rachel Kim shared a link to a South Side Weekly article that talks about the endangered buildings of Chicago. One of those buildings of course was this masonic temple in Englewood and it was written in 2015.
Finally David Schalliol showed us his own pics of the masonic temple before it's demolition during a much warmer period of time - hurry summer can't wait! His tweet was shared last month and lets the world know as Eric Allix Rogers had also that this building is slated for demolition in the future. What a shame.
What magnificent pics, especially the interior one - almost as if this was an urban exploration photo shoot. And I really liked that auditorium with the stage. With the right plan and the right amount of money it could've been a wonderful center of activity in Englewood once again.

However, now that the building is going away hopefully the community organizations of Englewood - especially RAGE can come up with a plan for this soon to be vacant lot. So what's next for this site?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Obama Presidential Center faces opposition in Chicago

[VIDEO] This segment aired Thursday on FOX News' The Ingraham Angle. Well let's recognize that FOX News has their own bias of course, we know this as the "right-wing" news network. We find out through them that Obama's new library won't have any books or documents - which is what a presidential library is made for. So I do wonder what that's about, hopefully there's more to that.

In this segment here Laura Ingraham hosts briefly Charles Birnbaum of The Cultural Landscape Foundation. They discuss the opposition of the proposed library in Jackson Park near Hyde Park. Even though Birnbaum is in Florida for his remote, he's part of the opposition of those Chicago residents who oppose the Obama library plan for that site.

And again I hope in that tower that Ingraham refers to as ugly will contain a replica of the Obama's Oval Office. It's not just for me especially if I get to walk around in it, it's for those young people who I hope will be inspired to make a run for the Presidency in their futures. Meanwhile let's figure out what to do with this library.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Summer scene from CTA at 79th/Cottage Grove

I see the CTA is snapping pics in Chatham. This time at 79th Street & Cottage Grove with a bus dropping of passengers near the Happy Liquors there. We see that Cottage Grove looking south is getting ready for a repaving. This ig post was taken during the past summer.

We had a bitterly cold winter so far and it's not even half-way over. While we had a brief warm spell that melted the snow that fell over the holidays, the cold is expected to come back soon. Meanwhile we have this ig post to give us some summer dreams until it's that time again!

Chicago Tonight: How Gentrification Takes Shape Across Chicago Neighborhoods

How often is it that I share a video from the news program of WTTW, Chicago Tonight?

Today we take a look at a segment aired on Tuesday further discussing the "strategic gentrification" comments of Chris Kennedy - a member of the Kennedy family who's running for the Democrat nomination for Governor. On this segment the discussion is between Natalie Moore of WBEZ Radio and Lynda Lopez of Streetsblog.

If I may focus on Moore for a second if there is this so-called "strategic gentrification" she's not seeing it in the Black areas of Chicago:
“We see many challenges in black South and West Side neighborhoods,” Moore said. “I don’t dispute his evidence is there about the challenges that those neighborhoods are facing but we are not seeing a replacement of people in those neighborhoods. We’re seeing population decline.”
In the above video, she specifically notes that the people who are leaving these areas aren't being replaced by more affluent people.

Also want to note this comment written to this particular segment:
 Some historical perspective. In the 1960's , 70's and 80's , many of us baby boomers and yuppies, moved into and changed neighborhoods like Old Town, Lincoln Park ,, De Paul, Lakeview , what became Wrigleyville, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square and Uptown. These were old, crumbling neighborhoods with old housing that badly needed renovation and/or replacing . Many of us did that work, or paid to have it done or paid the increased rents that ; incentivised landlords and developers to have it done.. In the process we pushed out or priced out the poorer residents who lived there. We didn't ask the questions posed by Lynda Lopez such as what is our impact and should we be doing this. We knew what we doing. We were making better housing for ourselves in an urban environment, near to where we worked and not in suburbia. We were buying housing we could afford and building up personal equity in the process. I and many other had no regrets about who we replaced, priced out or pushed out. Its a good thing we didn't because in the process, we changed the North side and made it into what it is today: a part of the city that is growing and a destination for new residents and tourists alike. It also provided tax revenue to support the city's taxing and spending plans. Some of the existing residents saw what was happening, jumped on the improvement train and improved their lives. Others were content to sit on their porches , watch the changes until the rising tide of improvement and higher prices swept them away. Overall, this process was no different than what others had been doing in Chicago for almost 200 years . Chicago was built on real estate speculation, development, building and improvement. Navel gazing questions like those raised by Lopez in her self indulgent tweet such as "Should a white person move into Pilsen" "What will be impact if I do" run counter to the very essence of Chicago. These are not the kind of questions to be asking if this City is to grow and prosper. We cannot build walls around islands of stagnation and poverty and say "hands off ". If our city is lucky enough to get Amazon's second HQ waves of improvement and change are going to come fast and furious and everyone living here had better be ready to handle it. Those who cannot handle living in a capitalist city that is always changing and growing should find a tranquil backwater where they can live out their days in peace and mind numbing tranquility.
I wonder, what if someone with the resources in a depressed neighborhood could do the work necessary on their home. It could be mostly outside with work on windows, roof, sidewalks, garage, outward appearance, etc. It could also be inside work as far as plumbing, electrical, redecorating, etc. It's your property and it's in your best interest to do the work necessary to keep it up. Perhaps if you're concerned about being squeezed out that's the best thing one could do.

Regardless this whole "dreaded G word" angle still has us talking since Mr. Kennedy made those remarks.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Former President Obama tweaks plans for his library

[VIDEO] We have some updates to the Obama presidential library expected to be constructed in the future at the expansive Jackson Park. There were some complaints with regards to some of the plans per an article from Crain's Chicago embedded below with a tweet.
Here's another link via Curbed Chicago which further discusses the tweaks that was made in response to opposition to the plans for the library.
I hope there will be a replica of Obama's Oval Office - most other presidential libraries contain one. Right now it's not very likely that I'll see the oval office but at least I and the many visitors will come close to the oval office with this library. That'a assuming many of us don't want to visit the other libraries that are out there in the nation!

I wonder if there are any Hyde Park folks reading this blog. Is the presidential library taking shape for you?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Portion of sales from Whole Foods Market donated to Comer Youth Center

Capitol Fax: Kennedy alleges 'gentrification plan'

Yesterday from the Capitol Fax, Rich Miller wrote a syndicated column about Chris Kennedy - who's running for Governor in the Democratic primary this year - and further discusses his comments last week with regards to "strategic gentrification". Please give it a read right quick and also do you agree.
To be fair and was noted in the column, the idea of getting "Black folks out of Chicago" is nothing new. A fringe mayoral candidate whom nobody likely remembers said this on her CAN-TV show - that nobody likely watched. So many years ago, and yet it's gotten some traction lately. 

Also the title you see for Miller's post at his blog, it's actually Kennedy's response to Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Kennedy clearly took issue with what he perception that Mayor Rahm Emanuel using his police chief to speak on the issue of crime - which Kennedy did refer to in his comments - as nothing more than political games.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Whole Foods Market distribution facility open in Pullman

This all occurred yesterday including the bread breaking which is what they do when they open new stores. For example they did the same thing upon opening the Whole Foods store at 63rd/Halsted. This is from the Mayor's ig page.
And also Elgie Sims - state representative of the 34th District for Illinois - was also in on the action and also posted a college of pics on his ig page also.

Monday, January 8, 2018

For What It's Worth: Every candidate but one draws an objection in 2nd Subcircuit race

I'm quite late to this post however Jack Leyhane - the blogmaster of For What It's Worth - covers the race for 2nd Subcircuit. Mainly the news is over objections to petitions, and recent entrant to this race 21st ward Ald. Howard Brookins scored himself two objections. Perhaps someone out there didn't like the fact that he pivoted towards a judicial election as opposed to taking on Bobby Rush for US House or Representatives.

This race is for the vacancy of Valerie Turner who was forced to give up her post when it was discovered she allowed a clerk to don judicial robes and preside over cases for traffic court. The clerk attorney Rhonda Crawford ran for judge in 1st subcircuit and won, however, was barred from taking the bench.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Throwback: New Year's Eve 2007

New Year's Eve 2007
On New Year's Eve 2007, I captured a few snapshots and posted three of them to the blog. The one shared above was of the sign at Seaway Bank which reflected a name change. I probably chose those three thanks to some then current events & changes at the time.

In 2008, Seaway National Bank of Chicago would become Seaway Bank & Trust Company in a re-branding. That's what you see here eventually the sign that has been outside of this branch probably since it opened in the 1960s (seen here) would ultimately be replaced. On this day however a simple tarp covers the bank's former official name.

Of course on that day 10 years ago, that wasn't the only shot I captured as I captured the sign of Illinois Service Federal bank near 87th & King Drive. During the summer of 2007, the bank had been robbed and a teller was killed. In recent years the bank robbers have been caught and ultimately convicted for the robbery and murder of a teller.

I also captured a shot of the Family Dollar - across from ISF bank - which was formerly a Food Basket grocery store. The Family Dollar at the time shocked me because I had little idea that the old grocery store had closed. With the Chesterfield Community Council at the time - as documented in their newsletters back then - were opposed to the Family Dollar being there and advocated instead for another grocery store to move in. Unfortunately as happens with real estate and business for whoever owns this property, it's possible getting the rent was more important than who exactly moves in later.

If it wasn't so cold out this New Year's and with snow on the ground, I would've liked to have re-enacted some of these shots and even taken some additional ones on New Year's Eve 2017. From Cottage Grove to King Drive at least, there has been a lot of changes on that stretch

Friday, January 5, 2018

Herbert Hedgeman RIP

On the weekend of New Year's we learned of the passing of businessman Herbert Hedgeman. If you don't remember a few years ago there was a proposal for a hotel near 76th & State which was largely rejected forcing him to shelve his project.

I posted a pic of his image - attributed to the late DNA Info - on our ig page although I would like to also include the posting over at Worlee Glover's Concerned Citizens of Chatham.
I hope that there is another local entrepreneur who will start where Mr. Hedgement left off!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The discussion of "strategic gentrification" continues

This time another angle as shown on the Capitol Fax blog today. Part of this strategic gentrification advanced by Democrat gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy - and yes he's related to the late President John F. Kennedy - at a news conference yesterday. His point, the fact that Black Chicago is in decline due to population because there is a strategic plan involved.
For example the angle in question, the four Englewood high school - which are generally under-enrolled are slated to close at the end of the school year - in favor of a new high school set to open in 2019 for freshmen. One aspect of this "strategic gentrification" are to close schools in minority areas such as Englewood.

As you see over at the Capitol Fax, we see a series of tweets by members of the Chicago Teacher's Union taking on this issue of closing the four Englewood high schools Harper, Hope, Teamwork Englewood & Robeson. The comments Kennedy - who was involved with the massive Merchandise Mart building downtown - has touched a nerve as he specifically directed his comments towards Mayor Rahm Emanuel yesterday. Some of the comments seemed to support Kennedy running for Mayor of Chicago next year.

Also, reported today on the Capitol Fax blog Kennedy appears to be backing down from his statements yesterday. He was on a radio show to somewhat clarify his remarks although he may not have been forceful, he chose to be a bit more artful in his clarification. Though Miller believes that Kennedy his backing away from his comments of course his campaign disputes this.


Black Caucus Chair on the decline of Black Chicago

6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer is also chairman of the city council Black Caucus and distributed a statement on Black population loss through his campaign FB page on Tuesday. So the decline of Black Chicago is on the mind of Black aldermen.
What say you on this? Is Sawyer correct in pointing the finger at Gov. Rauner? Do you think he should just easily point his finger at Mayor Rahm Emanuel or some of his city council colleagues?

Is there "strategic gentrification" in Chicago?

Yesterday at the Capitol Fax we see that Chris Kennedy - and if you want to know yes he's a member of that family Kennedy family related to the late President John F. Kennedy - made some comments. He believes in "strategic gentrification" so guess what in 2018 a return to the "dreaded G word".

From the Sun-Times:
If businessman Chris Kennedy is to have any chance of winning the Democratic nomination for governor, he needs to get black voters excited about his candidacy.

With that clearly in mind, Kennedy turned his sights Wednesday on Mayor Rahm Emanuel, accusing the mayor of being part of a “strategic gentrification plan” to intentionally push black residents out of the city.

“We’re cutting off money for schools, cutting off money for police, allowing people to be forced to live in food deserts, closing hospitals, closing access to mental health facilities,” Kennedy told reporters during a news conference that began as a criticism of the city’s efforts to stop gun violence.

“What choice do people have but to move, to leave, and I think that’s part of a strategic gentrification plan being implemented by the city of Chicago to push people of color out of the city,” he continued.
Pressed further, Kennedy said: “I believe that black people are being pushed out of Chicago intentionally by a strategy that involves disinvestment in communities being implemented by the city administration.”
Then he states who he blames for this:
Asked who is behind this alleged plan, Kennedy pointed to Emanuel.

“I believe in the tone at the top,” he said. “I believe the mayor is aware of what’s going on, and I think he is allowing that to occur and in some ways encouraging it.”
“And I believe Rahm Emanuel is the head of the city administration and therefore needs to be held responsible for those outcomes.”
What do you all think? Is this all politics? Is this something that will spice up the Democratic primary for Governor this year? Do you think Kennedy is right about "strategic gentrification"?

Also check out the reaction over at the CapFax. We see statements by Rahm Emanuel & Superintendent in reaction to Kennedy's comments. Also check out the comments section, who thinks Chris Kennedy should run for mayor if this Governor's thing doesn't work. Mayor Emanuel needs a challenger. :P
BTW, when you think about it sharing this is a great companion to this morning's post about South Loop winning the Curbed Cup 2017. South Loop is a changing neighborhood or we could say gentrifying since the 2000s at least.

ALSO, here's another tweet from WGN's political editor Tahman Bradley

South Loop wins the 2017 Curbed Cup

Via The Chicago Neighborhoods
Congrats to the South Loop. It's a great neighborhood with many things happening and it doesn't hurt that it's on the southern outskirts of downtown Chicago. It's a vibrant neighborhood with great activity and perhaps an example of how to turn around an area that for many years had been depressed.

If you want to follow more of what's going on in the South Loop check out Sloopin - A South Loop blog. They will let you know especially of any new businesses - whether national chains or small/locally owned establishments that set up shop there. It's a great blog if you want to see what goes on in another south side neighborhood. Yes I do consider South Loop a south side neighborhood.

Here's the tweet to announce the Curbed Cup results for 2017 from Curbed Chicago.

Woodlawn made it to the finals and didn't quite make it to repeat last year. That's OK because Woodlawn is still a neighborhood to watch for the future, it's another neighborhood that for many years had been depressed and today it's being built back up.