Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
In her flattering 2005 profile of America’s “5 Best Big-City Mayors,” Time’s Nancy Gibbs opined that Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley “wields near imperial power, and most of Chicago would have it no other way.” Fast forward three short years and a lot seems to have changed.Who is this independent caucus?
While Daley won re-election handily in 2007, capturing 71 percent of the vote to seal his sixth consecutive term, he’s siphoned political capital at an uncharacteristically consistent pace. Meanwhile, a group of alderman, including veteran progressive council members Toni Preckwinkle (4th Ward), Joe Moore (49th Ward), and Ricardo Munoz (22nd Ward), have created the so-called Independent Caucus, one that Preckwinkle assures me will “shed some light on difficult issues that face the council.” In existence for almost a year, their growth has been humble, but momentum is on their side, and before long they could represent the city council’s first formidable opposition bloc in 25 years.
Daley's iron grip on the council began to weaken several years ago as corruption allegations surfaced around City Hall. In 2004, the Chicago Sun-Times discovered that the city was paying private trucking companies – many of which had mob connections or ties to city employees – to do little or no work. Less than two years later, Robert Sorich, Daley's former patronage chief, was convicted on two counts of mail fraud for rigging city jobs and promotions to favor those with political connections. Daley escaped both scandals unscathed -- at least in the legal sense -- but his integrity was called into question.
Then came the Big Box fight. In the summer of 2006, the city council passed an ordinance that required large retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target to pay their employees a living wage. Daley denounced the bill vociferously during the initial debate, but 35 council members broke with him, forcing the mayor to veto his first bill in his then 17-year reign.
Shortly thereafter, the February 2007 aldermanic election offered further evidence of the growing discontent with the Daley Machine. A slew of reform candidates upended Daley-backed incumbents, from Dorothy Tillman in the 3rd Ward to Darcel Beavers in the 7th.
Chicago’s labor movement is largely credited with bringing about this result. The Chicago Federation of Labor, an umbrella organization for the city’s unions that for years was inseparable from the Democratic machine, broke with the mayor last election cycle, electing not to endorse him or many of his close allies. Instead, they spent $2.7 million in campaign donations and services on the reform candidates, many who would not have been given the time of day by former union leaders.
I would say they shouldn't be the only group with a voice out there.
It’s still unclear exactly who makes up the Independent Caucus, but Preckwinkle describes it as “a multi-racial coalition that includes some people who are independent, some people who are progressive, and some people who are both.” Twenty aldermen were solicited last year and between six and 15 meet regularly.
What connects a majority of the city’s reform-minded freshman with the council’s progressive stalwarts and their friends in labor? Many are tired of the administration’s tilt away from the needs of working families and government accountability and towards a focus on promoting downtown development and attracting global businesses. “While we want to work with the mayor, we should not be considered automatic supporters of his programs and policies,” says Moore. “We want to analyze and question them from a progressive perspective.” And while discontent has been building slowly, Preckwinkle thinks the time is ripe to organize around it. “For the first time, we thought we had a critical mass in the city council that might be for a progressive agenda,” she says.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
In a rebuke to the Chicago Park District, a judge Friday afternoon handed a partial victory to a citizens’ group that has been fighting the district’s deal with Latin School of Chicago to build a soccer field in Lincoln Park.
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Dorothy Kirie Kinnaird ruled that construction of the $2-million field, which is mostly complete, will be allowed to finish by the scheduled May 26 opening. But the judge put at lest a temporary halt to work on the field’s lighting, bleachers and scoreboard, and said that once work is complete, Latin will have to stand in line with any other group that wants to use the facility at about 1800 N. Cannon Drive — at least for now.
Judge Kinnaird described her decision to issue a temporary restraining order against the district and school as “extraordinary,” but said she concluded that plaintiffs were likely to prove their case that the approval of the field violated city and state law, the district’s own procedures and provisions of an anti-discrimination lawsuit the district settled several years ago.
“There is something troubling about this case,” the judge said in reading her decision. “It includes secrecy and lack of public hearings.”
When public land is involved, she added, “The public must be given an opportunity to know what is going on, and an opportunity to be heard.”
Friday, April 25, 2008
Anyway of course the ward meeting schedule will be posted and others. As always I'm looking for some help in getting news about any even going on in the ward. I'm talking about block parties, neighborhood meetins, etc. Let me know. The email address is posted in the sidebar.
Impeachment talk targeting gov heats up: 2 Dems - Sun-Times
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Chicago aldermen traveled to Springfield recently to lobby for common sense gun legislation, stating that the students’ deaths are not just a city problem. The trip to Springfield came a few days before at least three-dozen people were shot, eight fatally, during the April 18 weekend.I want to throw this quote from the article and then I want to present something else...
“These kids are getting killed and folks aren’t going to prison,” Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) said, adding that too many guns are falling into the hands of the wrong people, and children most often pay the price–– with their lives. Burnett and other aldermen said the entire state is impacted by the deaths, but what is standing in the way of “common sense” gun laws are downstate legislators.
“It looks like we have the support from the Chicago delegation and some other urban parts of the state. But many of the downstate legislators don’t understand the importance of our ties to each other.
An investment in Chicago is an investment in the entire state,” Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) said after the trip to Springfield. State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-8th) concurred and said it was a matter of simple philosophy.
“We had more people in the House that believe that they should continue to maintain their Second Amendment right, regardless of the need to revisit the Second Amendment and do something to reduce the number of murders that’s happening,” said Ford. Ford, who represents portions of the West Side, is the co-sponsor of HB 758, HB 796 and HB 1696, all proposed laws for better firearm control. HB 758, a push for more stringent background checks on all weapons buyers, recently failed in the House.
While police Supt. Jody Weis, along with local and state legislators, want stricter gun laws, some don’t think it will solve the problem. Marcus Greer, 17, is the latest CPS student felled by gun violence. His grandmother said more gun laws will not quell the problem.Read this Tribune column by Steve Chapman he doesn't think more gun laws are the solution and he at least backs this up with some data.
“That’s not going to work because guys running from police, they throw the guns and a little 12-yearold will pick it up, and he’ll go kill another Marcus tomorrow,” said Lula Greer.
It has done so despite the alleged problem cited by Weis, which is the availability of guns, and particularly one type of gun. "There are just too many weapons here," he declared at a Sunday news conference. "Why in the world do we allow citizens to own assault rifles?"I don't like to touch upon these criminal issues too much however crime is an important issue. It may certainly affect the middle class character of the ward. Obviously we want safe streets but let's not expect an easy solution with quick results.
Actually, in Chicago, "we" don't allow citizens to own assault rifles. Elsewhere, they are allowed for the same reason other firearms are permitted. The gun Weis villainized is a type of semiautomatic that has a fearsome military appearance but is functionally identical to many legal sporting arms.
And its bark is worse than its bite. As of March 31, there had been 87 homicides in the city. When I asked the Chicago Police Department how many of the murders are known to have involved assault rifles, the answer came back: One.
As it happens, we already have ample experience with laws against these guns. From 1994 to 2004, their manufacture and sale were banned under federal law.
Yet nationwide, the number of murders committed with rifles and shotguns began falling three years before the law was enacted.
It's true those gun homicides also fell while the law was in effect. Does that prove the value of the ban? Not exactly, since stabbing deaths fell even faster, as did murders involving crowbars, baseball bats and other blunt objects. Obviously other factors were behind the improvement.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
---In the 1400’s a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have ‘the rule of thumb’.I had no idea Coca-Cola used to be green. I would expect to be drinking green apple soda if it was green. Talk about going retro. Interesting facts yes.
---Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled ‘Gentlemen Only…Ladies Forbidden’…and thus the word GOLF entered into the English Language.
---Everyday more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury.
---Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
---Coca-Cola was originally green.
---It is impossible to lick your elbow.
---The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska.
---The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this…)
---The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%.
---The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $16,400.
You can get on on the alderman's e-mail list at the Alderman Lyle's Website. You can have the monthly newsletter sent to you by e-mail. If you don't have one I will refer to you to this post which consists of advice on how to procure yourself an e-mail address.
Lisa Williams' Austin flower shop thrived for most of its first three years.
Then, eight months ago, sales started falling. Thieves broke into the store twice in one week, making off with the cash register. Ms. Williams laid off her 15 employees as sales plunged 40% in six months. Feeling unsafe, she now closes her North Avenue store at 1:30 p.m. instead of 6 p.m.
"I don't see me making it here," Ms. Williams, 43, says.
Her business woes coincide with a wave of foreclosures that claimed more than 800 homes in Austin last year and shows no sign of abating. Driving the foreclosures are rising interest rates on subprime loans, which only a few years ago helped give the West Side neighborhood its first hope for recovery in decades.
"Austin was going through this resurgence," says Steven McCullough, executive director of Bethel New Life, a community group in the neighborhood. "I am worried that all our gains in the community will be lost."
Similar stories are playing out in neighborhoods across the city and suburbs as they absorb the effects of skyrocketing foreclosures. Home values are falling, businesses are hurting, city services are under strain and the social fabric is fraying.
More foreclosures are coming as adjustable-rate mortgages continue to reset higher than homeowners can afford to pay.
Most ominous, lenders have tightened credit standards and withdrawn from some neighborhoods altogether. Without mortgage loans, boarded-up homes lining the streets of Austin and other areas will remain vacant.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
So anyway here's some quotes from these issues...
After a unanimous vote from the body at our March meeting, CCC sent a letter to the Family Dollar Corporation informing them that a Family Dollar at the former Food Basket location would be unwelcome. Our community is in need of a grocery store or produce store. An additional Family Dollar or Dollar Store in our community hinders the stability of our community.That was from the May 2007 issue but I see this more starting at least in the Sept. 2007 issue...
FAMILY DOLLAR: THE FACTSWell, I suppose I could compare this to what many are doing with Wal-Mart. There are those forces out there that doesn't want Wal-Mart at 83rd Street. I still would shy away from preventing businesses from opening up shop. Of course the residents know exactly what they want in the neighborhood another grocery store in addition to Chatham Food Center and Jewel.
1. Family Dollar (FD)did not consult with our elected officials or community leaders
prior to deciding to open at 364 East 87th St..
2. NO AFRICAN-AMERICAN CONTRACTORS PARTICIPATED ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF THIS PROJECT.
3. There are currently six (6) Family Dollar Stores in the 60619 zip code in addition to an abundance of other Dollar Stores.
4. Our community is in need of a grocery store or produce store.
5. According to FD website, they open stores in low-income to middle income communities.
WE SAY NO TO FAMILY DOLLAR !!!!
This location itself used to be a grocery store. I don't know when Food Basket left this location. I do know when I found myself on 87th, instead of the familiar Food Basket there was a Family Dollar instead. And I'm sure there was bound to be some opposition.
I heard about another dollar store opening up in Pill Hill near 87th & Stony Island. I heard that the residents there were upset because their window displays wasn't entirely tidy. Rest assured that dollar store cleaned up in no time.
Apparently and you can include me there are those of us who have a preconceived notions of dollar stores. Perhaps it's an income thing and Chatham, Chesterfield and Pill Hill are considered middle class enclaves. At the same time most of the Dollar Stores I've seen are located in mostly poor areas.
In fact they are occupying buildings that used to hold mainstream retailers Food Basket notwithstanding. That Dollar Store on 87th and Stony used to be a Jewel's many years ago. In the early 2000s, Jewel's moved to a shopping center on 95th and Stony Island.
Also a dollar store, I think it's a Family Dollar is located on 87th and Racine. That used to be a Walgreen's that many years ago my family used to frequent. Walgreen's moved to 87th and Ashland not too long ago.
On 95th and Racine there is a Dollar Junction. Not too long ago that also used to be a Walgreen's. It seems some of these stores are attracted to these areas that aren't doing very well. Oh I should mention this Walgreen's moved closer to the Beverly neighborhood at 95th and Ashland. And I know that for certain because I had a classmate who worked there.
I should mention I don't know if it's still there because some buildings were torn down on the block where I thought it was. But Beverly isn't a bad area and even they had a dollar store on 95th Street mind you. I don't know if the residents there were up in arms, but it was there. The block in question is 95th and Western right across the street from The Plaza.
Maybe someone out there can enlighten me on a few things. When did Food Basket close on 87th? And why the resistance to dollar stores?
A new study by the Chicago Tribune might make you think twice before taking a drink of tap water. The report says you could be gulping down small amounts of drugs and chemicals along with that H2O.That's great I just wonder if I should go back to using filters at home like my family used to do in the past.
As CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli reports, it's the second recent study that shows our water purification systems aren't filtering out everything.
Ryan Russell is one of the 7 million people in the Chicago area who drinks treated water from Lake Michigan – water that he's just learned still contains trace amounts of drugs and chemicals.
"I think that's awful, actually," Russell said. "You would imagine that water would be safe to drink, safe to bathe in."
And Chicago officials say it is, but a Tribune-financed study found tiny amounts of an anti-seizure medication, caffeine, acetaminophen and two chemicals used to make Teflon and Scotchguard in water it sampled.
The paper hired a lab to do the testing after the city refused to the testing on its own.
Commissioner Suzanne Malec-McKenna with the Chicago Department of Environment says Chicagoans should not worry about their tap water and that the trace amounts are incredibly small.
"One part per trillion is equivalent to one second in 32,000 years," Malec-McKenna said.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
BTW, I've started linking to local neighborhood business websites. Let me know of any area businesses with a website. Blogs are included.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
"Well, you know, I've said, we have priorities. OK. And let's be realistic. OK. Wrigley Field, all the sports, everybody enjoys it. But we really have priorities. Now I need infrastructure for schools even before we even discuss that. Even before we discuss it you have to really work out infrastructure. You have to set priorities, and if you don't set priorities then you're out on a tangent. As I said, taking our sales tax money on behalf of Wrigley is something … why would we do that? It's a very valuable piece of property.
It's a valuable team. And so that's what you have to really look at. I don’t think it's a priority in Springfield. You know, like anything, 'Oh, is mayor Daley going to kill the bill?' I'm not killing anything. I just said I don’t think it’s a priority in Springfield. You can talk to your senators and representatives. I don’t think it’s really a priority down there."
The voyage may sound improbable, but wildlife officials say that a DNA test should reveal whether a cougar killed Monday in Chicago took a 1,000-mile trip from the Black Hills of South Dakota through Wisconsin before being shot by police in the Roscoe Village neighborhood.
On Tuesday, veterinarians performed a necropsy, an animal autopsy, on the cougar at the Cook County Animal and Rabies Control facility in Bridgeview. Early evidence indicated that the cougar was of wild origin, rather than an escaped captive, and samples were taken for comparison to blood that a cougar left in January in Milton, Wis.
DNA analysis suggested that the Wisconsin animal was most similar to those which live in South Dakota, and experts say it may be the same specimen that eventually strayed into the city.
"It's intriguing to think it may end up being the one that was here in Wisconsin," said Doug Fendry, a wildlife supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The unexpected visit fascinated researchers and put police officers in the unusual dilemma of balancing public safety with the beauty of an animal not seen in Chicago since the city's founding in the 19th Century.
Most wildlife experts who have dealt with the potentially dangerous animal, also known as a mountain lion, said it's difficult to criticize the Chicago Police Department's decision to shoot the cougar Monday saying that such animals pose a threat to humans and are difficult to effectively tranquilize.
"Determining what you have to do for public safety can be a gray area," said Steve Martarano, a spokesman for California's Department of Fish and Game. "Mountain lions can be very difficult to tranquilize and then move."
Police defended the shooting Tuesday, saying that the decision to shoot the animal protected bystanders and was not out of line with their usual response to threatening animals.
"There's no time to waste when you have a predator, an animal like this," police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. "We shoot pit bulls who charge [at officers], so [would it make sense] to let the cougar charge?"
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Mayor Richard M. Daley says he would welcome an extra chance to make a pitch for Chicago to the International Olympic Committee before they decide which city will host the 2016 summer games.
Mr. Daley welcomed the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Summit Monday morning in downtown Chicago.
Last week, the IOC's executive board said finalist cities will be able to explain their bids to IOC members a few months before next year's final vote. The special meeting will be in Switzerland next spring.
Chicago will find out this June whether it's one of those finalists.
How about some John Kass in case you are cynical.
Could this be a sign that wild animals might like the idea of urban living even though most of us in general are probably not used to having wild animals especially one like a cougar in our midst? Who knows? Well the animals might know but no one can truly read their minds.
The article mentions that a cougar last ran around in Chicago in the 19th Century. Where have they been for the last 100+ years.
Monday, April 14, 2008
State Rep. Jack Franks and Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn are fuming mad that a state senator who called Franks' proposed recall amendment “stupid” has become its chief Senate sponsor.
Franks, D-Woodstock, is scrambling to get his proposed constitutional amendment to allow voters to recall state elected officials out of the hands of state Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago, who opposes the measure. Quinn, a long-time advocate of recall, and Franks late last week denounced Trotter's move to become chief sponsor, just days after the amendment passed the House with the needed three-fifths majority.
Trotter told the Chicago Tribune last week that the idea was “stupid” and that voters could oust unpopular leaders in regular elections.
“I want to expose what I think is the corruption of the system and the cronyism, quite frankly, and re-emphasize that I'm trying to give government back to the people,” Franks said. “This is exactly the types of shenanigans and dirty deeds that I've vowed to root out.”
Franks accused Trotter, the Senate's majority caucus whip, of sponsoring the bill to make sure that it died in committee. Trotter denied Friday that he intended to keep the amendment from a vote, but called it a way for Franks to take his public feud with Gov. Rod Blagojevich to a new level by amending the Constitution to help get rid of him.
“As a matter of fact, what I told Representative Franks is that I believe it's a bad bill and it's a stupid bill, and I don't think it should focus on getting rid of someone in a way that circumvents the Constitution and free and fair elections,” Trotter said.
Trotter said the bill would fail on its own lack of merits, not any attempt by him to kill it. He said he would welcome changes, such as allowing for recall of any elected official down to the local government level.
House members voted, 75-33, on Tuesday to approve the amendment, which would allow voters to gather signatures to recall statewide office holders and General Assembly members. Thirty Democrats, mostly from Cook County, and three Republicans voted against it.
Services for Chicago's barbeque king, Leon Finney Sr., have been finalized. Finney, founder of Leon's Bar-B-Q, died April 4 after a battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 92. Born the son of an entrepreneur, Finney came to Chicago from Mississippi in 1938 hoping to join the Navy.
But a head injury he sustained while working at a manufacturing plant cut that dream short, his son, the Rev. Leon Finney Jr., pastor of Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church, said. A few years after arriving in the city, and with the help of his father T.J. Huddleston, owner of many funeral homes in Mississippi, Finney embarked on his own road as a business owner.
His aunt, Bertha Montgomery Brody, worked for a man who ran a barbeque shop on Garfield Boulevard with a bookie joint in the basement, Finney Jr. said of his father. When police raided the joint, and shut it down, the owner offered to sell the barbeque enterprise for $700.
Finney bought it with money from his father. He opened up Leon's Bar-B-Q on Garfield Boulevard in 1941, and a few years later, in the same vicinity, added two more restaurants. But, the post-war economy wreaked havoc on Black business owners and meat prices were too high for Finney to keep the company afloat.
He suspended the restaurants' operations for about 10 years, then reopened in a different location, near 83rd and Cottage Grove Avenue, said Finney Jr., who is also a community activist and founder of The Woodlawn Organization.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Cook County circuit judge Sophia Hall dismissed today a parent-led challenge to a Chicago Public Schools policy which results in some schools using appointed local school councils instead of elected ones.
The ruling means that the School of Technology and School of Entrepreneurship, part of the South Shore campus on the 7500-7600 blocks of South Constance, will not be a part of LSC elections next week. Hall had been asked to issue an emergency injunction.
"We're pleased that the judge agreed with us and dismissed the case," says Michael Vaughn, CPS communications chief.
"I'm disappointed," says the Rev. Charlie Walker, a member of the Mose Vines Academy LSC on the West Side and one of the plaintiffs.
However, the challenge will likely be back in the court within a month. Elaine Siegel, the head attorney for a plaintiff group which includes Walker and three LSCs, says she intends to re-file the case. Hall granted Siegel until May 12 to do so.
At issue in the case was a state law saying small and alternative schools without an existing elected LSC are not required to have one. The district is free to encourage parental representation in any way it chooses.
Friday, April 11, 2008
The Cook County Board rejected a plan to let voters decide the fate of the county's home rule powers. A proposal to put the question on the Nov. 4 ballot was denied by the board 12-1. The question could still wind up on the ballot, but it would take more than 100,000 signatures on a petition that is due to the county clerk's office by Aug. 18, county officials said. Home rule allows taxing bodies to add or increase taxes without voter approval. Cook County is the only county in the state with home rule powers and it was enacted in 1970 without voter approval. Republican board member Tony Peraica was the initiative's sponsor and the lone vote in favor of putting the question to voters
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Anyway, it was advertised on Clout St. that the city council would pass a $1 fare increase for taxi drivers yesterday and apparently it passed. In addition to that the city council honored a soldier who died in Iraq.
Anyway if you want to see your city council at work you can watch it live thru the city clerk website. Here's a calendar for Chicago's city council.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Chicago Public School officials want lawmakers to boost Illinois' income tax to help fund schools. In Springfield yesterday, Board of Education President Rufus Williams tied the funding issue to school safety.
With more money, Williams says the district can provide additional after school activities to keep students off the streets. Twenty CPS student have died in shootings this school year.
WILLIAMS: The thing that we know for sure is that we can't teach them if they're scared, we can't teach them if the teachers are scared and we certainly can't teach them if they're dead.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Check out more videos at the City Colleges' YouTube channel.
Visit the City Colleges' website here.
The Chatham community is known for being the community of the largest Black middle class and a community of excellence.I know this is a long post but I found if off of some archive site and I saved it onto my harddrive in order to bring this to your attention later. I don't own this article most certainly do not hold a copyright and I attempted to cite who published it.
There have been many people from different walks of life and different professions that have contributed to its growth and excellence making it a desirable place to live. One organization, the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council (CAPCC), has stood in the forefront helping Chatham excel as a model community.
Chatham received its name from a stock farm named Chatham that was owned by L.G. Fisher, who was from a county in Massachusettes named Chatham. That farm was located at what is now 79th Street, 83rd King Drive and Cottage Grove, according to Mae Gregory, head librarian at Whitney Young Library, who has researched the Chatham community.
African-Americans began migrating to the community in the 1950s. Washington Burney is a member of CAPCC, and he was one of the original members when the organization was first founded.
Burney remembers when he first moved to Chatham in August 1954. He knew it would be an outstanding community to raise his children. He recalls that in March 1955 whites were about 85 to 87 percent of the population.
Around that time, he said, a flyer brought to his attention a meeting that was being called by the white residents at the YMCA on 83rd and Ellis Avenue. He and a friend, John Sloan, decided to attend that meeting although they were not invited. They were the only two Blacks in attendance among about 300 whites. The agenda of that meeting, according to Burney, was to keep Blacks out of the community.
"When we came in the meeting it kind of threw things off. When they saw us things got confused. There were arguments and debates, and we decided to adjourn and we met again in May," Burney said.
Before that next meeting in May, Burney and Sloan went to every Black resident in the community and made sure they would be present at the meeting. Altogether, Burney said there were about 75 Blacks in attendance and 450 whites.
At that meeting, Burney said it was agreed, although some whites were not obliging, that everyone should and could co-exist together regardless of race.
A committee was then set up comprised of both Blacks and whites, and it was agreed that an organization be formed called the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council. At that time, Burney said there were a lot of whites who lived in the Avalon area east of Cottage Grove.
Burney explained that when he attended the meeting he was not at all scared or nervous.
"I wasn't nervous. If anything I would have gotten mad. There were about 75 Blacks living in the entire community in 1955. At the second meeting the hostility had subsided but there were some whites who were still upset," he recalled.
In the early spring of 1955, whites began leaving Chatham in great numbers because of the sudden migration of African-Americans. Burney recalled how whites left the community, which seemed a bit peculiar to him and other Blacks.
"What was peculiar about the exodus of the whites was they moved out at night at around midnight, and the next day Black would be moving in to the (vacated) home in the morning," he said.
According to Burney, in about three months, over half of the whites were gone from Chatham. Around late 1955, Blacks became the majority race with a population of about 85 percent. There wasn't any "race friction," Burney said, because whites were moving out so fast.
Gregory's research of Chatham did point out some racial incidents that occurred because of the sudden change. She wrote that in 1949 a four-day riot broke out on the 7200 block of St. Lawrence. According to her research, Arthur Jordan was the first Black to move on that block.
"Women cursed, children jeered, teenagers hurled bricks angrily, `burn the black b---- out,"' she wrote.
For several months, Jordan had to have police protection. One evening, Gregory said, he came to his door while police held back an angry crowd and shot a bullet from his shotgun into the air.
The purpose of the formation of CAPCC was to maintain a community of excellence and to keep the neighborhood and schools ungraded maintain police protection by having a close relationship with the police department and cleanliness by making sure each neighbor kept pride in their property.
Burney proudly explained the CAPCC raises its own money through fundraisers and dues paid by its members, and the group has many accomplishments making the organization very successful. Recently, they bought two lots and plan to build a community house on 82nd and King Drive. CAPCC, according to Burney, has never received any grants from the city and he says there is a reason behind that.
"We wanted to say what we wanted and criticize who we wanted. We want public officials to be servants to the community and not the community servants to politicians," he said.
CAPCC holds two of three fundraisers a year, and an annual dinner dance in October which is quite successful. They also hold several activities for youths in the community such as skating parties for the children.
One particular success story of the organization involves the Whitney Young Library located on 79th and King Drive. Burney recalls that the original plans were to build a gas station, but the community came together and stopped that from occurring, and it was decided by the residents that a library should be build at the location instead. CAPCC was successful, and the library opened in 1973.
"(CAPCC) kept Chatham organized and kept undesirables and undesirable businesses from moving into the community...We take care of our buildings and make sure landlords do the same. We have abandoned buildings torn down, and we work closely with the police department to eliminate crime," Burney said.
Because the community worked together and CAPCC has kept residents informed on issues involving the community. Chatham was able to eliminate many gas stations from moving into the area and they voted 14 precincts dry to alcohol and improved many of the schools in the community. They also make sure they receive proper city services such as snow removal and tree trimming.
Part of CAPCC's overwhelming success Burney said, comes from the fact that several block clubs have been organized in the neighborhoods.
"Each block in Chatham became organized, and we have strong block clubs. Every block at one time was strongly organized and held meetings and paid block club dues. This is one thing that made the community different from most. We had strong block clubs. We stated the block club movement in Chicago," Burney stated.
Chatham has changed from the first time Blacks began migrating into the community, and although crime is low in the community, there has been an increase.
"Crimes is all over the city and all over the country. That's one of our biggest problems. We're fortunate not to have (as much) crime as other communities," Burney said.
Another change that is taking place is that the residents have gotten older and don't have the energy they used to, he said. Younger people moving into the community, Burney said, haven't grasped the enthusiasm that the older residents had, but that is changing.
Eighty-five percent of the residents are senior citizen homeowners. The younger people come to the meetings, and they are beginning to feel a sense of the enthusiasm," Burney added.
Chatham is also known for the its many Black-owned businesses. If you drive through Chatham, you'll notice Soft Sheen Products. Independence Bank and Seaway national Bank, which are two of the country's largest Black-owned banks. The first Black-owned business located in Chatham, which opened in 1954, was a real estate company owned by Joseph Bridges.
Burney said it is a known fact that many residents are not supporting the many Black-owned businesses in the community, but instead support white-owned businesses in other communities. If Blacks invested in Black companies it would benefit the entire community as a whole, he said.
"Businesses are not as good as they used to be because the community doesn't support them as much as they should. For some reason, Black folks don't trust each other. They think white businesses take care of their money more than Blacks," Burney explained.
"If we spent a larger percentage of our annual income (on Black-owned community businesses) we'll be one of the richest communities in the country. The income in Chatham is strong enough to make it a strong community," Burney said.
What the future holds for Chatham seems bright because of organizations such as CAPCC. Chatham can thrive even more if the community continues to work together Burney believes.
"You can't find a better community to live in. These people still live in their own homes. I wouldn't live anyplace else and I'll probably die where I am."
Sunday, April 6, 2008
ADDITION: I had to check around on this website. Good information here, but they haven't accounting for many changes that have occured roughly the last couple of years. Especially those Alderman who were defeated last year such as Arenda Troutman and it still lists Todd Stroger at the Alderman of the 8th Ward although he was elected County Board President in 2006.
I also hope you're taking advantage of the blog's "Posts of Note" and the "Wal-Mart posts of note" directly on top of the "Must Reads". Also closer to the bottom of the sidebar just on top of the Accuweather.com widget with current weather, weather forecasts, and radar is an EveryBlock feed for the 6th Ward, at this moment there's even an article about the late Judge Pincham. Of course this feed covers small stories such as licenses, business inspections, restaurant reviews, as well as crime reports.
More updates later.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Thank you for your interest in Neighborhood Link! Neighborhood Link provides neighborhood and community organizations with their own free, interactive Web site. In addition to facilitating communication within each neighborhood, Neighborhood Link also creates a two-way communication channel between local government and neighborhoods. Neighborhood Link has been successfully deployed in nearly every major metropolitan area, hundreds of cities, and tens of thousands of neighborhoods in the U.S.Check it out!
Neighborhood Link makes it quick and easy for you to create your own interactive Web site. In minutes we can help you create a comprehensive Web site for your neighborhood that includes:
# Your association's contact information
# Your neighborhood newsletter and history
# Local school information
# Community calendar
# Discussion area
# Customized pages containing information you choose
# Links to your city council members, mayor's office and community police
Anyone with access to the Internet can set up a site. No special computer or programming skills are required.
Neighborhood Link is very simple and fast! The neighborhood sites are created using simple Web forms. You can either type or copy and paste your group's information into the forms. The Web pages are automatically created or modified.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Playing the race card once again, Mayor Daley said today he’s not afraid of a protracted court fight over his plan to build a $100 million Children’s Museum in Grant Park because he’s firmly convinced he would win it.In today's news from the Sun-Times....
“A 5-year-old child is worth fighting for. . . . I believe that as a parent. I believe that as a grandparent. I believe that as a mayor. . . . It’s very important to have a great children’s museum next to Millennium Park. I’m very passionate about it,” Daley said.
Seven months ago, the mayor took considerable heat for accusing residents of high-rises surrounding Daley Bicentennial Plaza who oppose the project of having racial motives.
But that didn’t stop him from pulling the red-hot card out of his hand again today.
“You [mean to] tell me that children from ... the West Side or South Side ... can’t go to a museum in Grant Park? They're not the gangbangers . . . They're not the dope dealers. These are 5-year-old kids. . . . We can all walk around Millennium Park. That's all right. But the children should not have a museum in that park. Put 'em someplace else, he said.
I'm very proud of the children of Chicago -- black, white, Hispanic and Asian. I want the best museum we can have for our children. . . .I really believe that is the right location.
Peggy Figiel, co-founder of Save Grant Park, called the mayor's remarks outrageous and unfortunate.
This is not about race. It's not about children. It's not even about the Children's Museum. This is about legal precedent. Grant Park has been protected for 172 years. We believe we owe it to future generations to protect that same land for them, Figiel said.
The Chicago Park District and the Children's Museum have jointly applied for a zoning change to build a $100 million museum in Grant Park, setting the stage for a Plan Commission vote next month and a City Council showdown in June.Well I'll have to slow down these postings about the Chicago Children's Museum's attempt to move into Grant Park, but this is an interesting aspect of city politics right now. Will the mayor trample on aldermanic privilege to get his way? Well I think this could be dangerous for him. I should note this fight has been brewing since last year.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported last week that Mayor Daley has the 26 votes he needs to win City Council approval of the Grant Park plan.
The decision to set the legislative process in motion signals the museum's confidence in that support. It also ends a period of shadow-boxing and moves the fight out into the open.
"We moved ahead because all of our paperwork was ready. We feel really confident in the level of support we have throughout Chicago," said Jennnifer Farrington, president and CEO of the Children's Museum.
"The Children's Museum in Grant Park is very consistent with the true spirt of Montgomery Ward and Daniel Burnham's vision for the lakefront. The center of the city is the heart of Chicago ‹ the heart of cultural life. It serves as a gateway to all Chicago. . . A place in Grant Park adjacent to all Millennium Park and the Art Institute has to offer that can truly serve as that gateway is what our children and families deserve."
Farrington said the application includes "no major changes" to the plan previously unveiled to area residents.
Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), who opposes the Grant Park plan, said he'll believe that when he sees it.
"Usually, when a developer is seeking approval from the Plan Commission, they review that application with the lcoal alderman prior to them making the filing. The fact that they didn't says, perhaps, that they're not open to extensive public scrutiny. We'll have to review this application very carefully," Reilly said.
Reilly said the application is a "pretty clear indication" that Daley is hoping for Plan Commission approval in mid-May and a full council vote in June. That gives Reilly two months to turn the tide in his favor, maybe longer if the Department of Planning and Development takes longer to review the application.
"This would be an infringement on the longstanding tradition of deferring to the local alderman on decisions within his or her ward," the alderman said.
"My primary focus is discussing the merits of protecting Grant Park. But the notion of protecting aldermanic perogative is also relevant. Many of my colleagues have grave concerns about the implications this could have on their aldermanic perogative."
Peggy Figiel, co-founder of Save Grant Park, promised to file a lawsuit "immediately" if the City Council approves the mayor's plan.
"Unless Mayor Daley gets to pick the judge, I don't see how four Illinois Supreme Court decisions are going to be overturned. The Supreme Court has ruled that no obstruction that is a building that charges admission and is not for dedicated park purposes can be built in Grant Park," she said.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Mayor Richard Daley laid some political ground cover for a potential property tax increase for Chicago Public Schools on Wednesday, saying such a hike would occur if the system doesn't get at least $180 million from the state this year.I wish our leaders could do a lot more than making these threats to force other politicians to adhere to their will. Who knows it could work, but I wish Daley luck in attempting to navigate this mess in Springfield.
As proposed in Gov. Rod Blagojevich's budget, the city's schools stand to get $60 million more, "which is not enough," according to Daley.
"We don’t want to raise property taxes, we want to avoid that. I want to make it clear, the Board of Education is forced to raise property taxes this year it will be because Springfield forced them to do that," Daley said at a news conference.
R. Eugene Pincham, a former judge who ran for mayor of Chicago on the Harold Washington Party ticket, died this morning, his family said. He was 82.It wasn't that long ago that I saw him in person. Actually it was when I was still in high school. He was giving us some young buck some advice or inspiration. Actually I barely remember this assembly or why it was convened. I can't even tell you what the lesson was.
Pincham, who served both as a Cook County judge and Illinois Apellate Court justice, was known as a vigorous critic of the criminal justice system.
He became a Circuit Court judge in 1976 and was assigned to the Criminal Division, where he served until 1984. Pincham went on to become a justice of the Illinois Appellate Court.
Pincham resigned from the bench in 1989 and unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party's nomination for president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. In 1991, he became the Harold Washington Party's nominee for mayor of Chicago. He lost but carried 19 of the city's 50 wards.
Pincham was born on June 28, 1925, in Chicago but grew up in Alabama.
After his high school graduation in 1942, Pincham attended LeMoyne College in Memphis and, in 1944, transferred to Tennessee State University in Nashville, where he earned a bachelor¹s degree in political science in 1947.
In 1948, he married his college sweetheart, Alzata C. Henry, and that same year enrolled in Northwestern University School of Law. He worked his way through school, waiting on tables at the Palmer House Hotel and shining shoes. He earned his law degree in 1951.
I suppose that's just an indicator that I didn't want to be there anyway. That or I was just plain ready to go and I wouldn't have appreciated being there in the first place. Certainly the guy was around beyond this assembly as I would see him on TV from time to time on Chicago cable access.
Cross-posted at It's My Mind.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Mayor Daley has the 26 votes he needs to win City Council approval of a new, $100 million Children's Museum in Grant Park, according to influential aldermen, but opponents are threatening a protracted court fight to block construction.A threat to this idea of aldermanic privilege. Something that has either been used wisely or misused (as the Broken Heart seems to suggest in his post). I have no problem with the idea of Aldermen having say over certain projects in their wards. Especially projects that concern government such as streets, parks, or anything else. Private development is another matter though in that case if this was about vacant land that should be utilized then I have no problem with an alderman trying to attract some development to that land.
"Montgomery Ward was in court for 24 or 27 years. Hopefully, it won't be that long," Peggy Figiel, co-founder of Save Grant Park said Wednesday, referring to Ward's 19th-century court battle to keep businesses from building on the lakefront. "We're prepared to do whatever we have to do to keep Grant Park 'forever open, free and clear.' This would set a dangerous precedent. Grant Park would be piece-mealed out to whatever one of Daley's friends wants a part of it."
Residents want hearings on museum plan Vote: Should the museum move to Grant Park?
Jennifer Farrington, president and CEO of the Children's Museum, said she's not afraid of fighting a lawsuit alleging the museum would be an intrusion in Grant Park that would violate legal covenants restricting lakefront construction.
"We believe our plans are consistent with what is allowable in the park . . . Chicago has a great tradition of marrying parks and museums," said Farrington, who put a $100 million price tag on the project, with $40 million raised so far.
The museum plans to submit its application for a "planned development" in 60 to 90 days, triggering a legislative process that will begin with the Plan Commission and end with the City Council.
Influential aldermen predicted this week that Daley has at least 30 votes to approve the project over strenuous opposition from local Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd).
Reilly countered, "By my count, they don't have the votes." But, he also said, "I've been trying to avoid this City Council showdown for months by suggesting alternative sites. My hope is, cooler heads will prevail and they'll agree to seek a more appropriate site."
Now the question here is whether or not Daley is effectively trying to supersede aldermanic privilege in order to secure a home for the Children's museum in a public park which was designed to be forever open and free? Do any of you think this is such a good idea? That is for those of you who go downtown and visit Grant park or any other lakefront park?
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
We’ve received some calls from residents concerned about a little paragraph in Sneed’s column on Tues. The story stated that Congressman Bobby Rush would not run for the position of Ward Committeeman of the 2nd Ward. It went on to state thatI understand this is basically old news but we should know what's going with the party leadership in this ward. Rush does represent a piece of the 6th Ward as a member of the US Congress, but I guess the rules are different if you're not the elected to serve the ward in a party capacity.
he would be joining the 6th Ward Democrats as President. Here’s what happened. The Ward committeeman is the party representative in the Ward. The job pays no money whatsoever. There are Democratic, Republican and soon to be Green Party Committeemen throughout Chicago. The Ward committeeman in our Wards is charged with running the election, even when he/she is not on the ballot. The Ward committeeman is charged with getting out the vote and encouraging people to vote for the candidates of the party he/she represents.
Because patronage is no longer legal and the job does not pay, Ward committeemen positions are not as coveted as they once were. Some people run for Committeeman to get access to the party leaders; to be players in the political system, or to influence the selection of candidates. Congressmen have access to the party leaders; are big time players in the political system and can and do influence the selection of candidates. So the Congressman decided it was not worth the money it would cost to challenge the new Alderman in what is almost a totally new Ward. He discussed this with me on several occasions and I was honored that he would want to join the 6th Ward as his ‘political’ home. He does not live in the 6th Ward and has no intention of moving into the 6th Ward, thus he has no intention of ever seeking elected office from the 6th Ward. I asked him to join our organization as President and he accepted. That’s it, that’s all. No games, no ulterior motives, no intrigue.
It's kind of unfortunate that I'm not a regular Sneed reader or otherwise I'd wonder about this one myself. I wouldn't have asked too many questions nor would I have assumed that he had plans in anyway for the 6th ward. I would wonder if he should participate in a political organization of a ward he doesn't reside in.
BTW, I did mention that the committeeman's offices were up for election in the February 5th Presidential Primary. At this point we know who represents the Republicans, Democrats, & the Greens around the city. The Alderman's message explains in detail the job of a ward committeeman as you see in the quote above. Even including the patronage angle. A very excellent description.
Most Democratic organizations in the city are referred to as either enter ward # here Democratic Organization or enter ward # here Regular Democratic Organization. A few years ago I Googled the 6th Ward Democrats and it appears at the time they were named the 6th Ward New Democrats. It almost sounds like a new regime and a break with the past. I should add that the sixth ward Democratic Committeeman is the City Democratic Chair. Well I mentioned that here on this blog.
Let me just note the party structure locally is strange and I'm talking about for the Democrats and Republicans. Outside of the city, the county is divided into Townships. Like the wards in the city, the townships also elect a committeeman. Normally the township do it during a Gubernatorial primary, while of course the city wards would do it during a Presidential primary.
On top of that there is a county party as well as apparently a city party. This is for both the Republicans and Democrats. Suburban and city Democrats and Republicans elect a chairman for the county of course the city have to elect a chairman for their own respective party organizations. Are you confused yes?
I have to wonder where the county ends and the city starts. What role do city party leaders (i.e. committeemen) play when part of the county party? Or perhaps I'm just over thinking this. I think I am.
Well that's what I get for being a political junkie!