Saturday, May 8, 2010

Comment regarding the May 6th Ward meeting

Submitted to us via e-mail and was posted by Worlee in a post advertising the special May monthly ward meeting:
The 6th Ward's crime meeting Wednesday night left me cold. I came to meet my neighbors and to listen to their suggestions and warnings about crime in our lovely community but, unfortunately, there wasn't a spot in the program for community members to express their concerns. Huge hole as far as I'm concerned. I want to have as much information as possible at my disposal. Is Cole Park safe? Why not? Are there streets I should avoid? What about the shooting at 95th and King Drive? Gang-related or just another nitwit with a gun who can't aim for nothing? We need to talk to each other a whole lot more. I wish we could have started the conversation last night.

the observer
The Alderman responded in a later post:
I appreciate the desire of the commentator to have a dialogue and encourage him/her to do so at a block club meeting, community association meeting; a CAPs meeting or our monthly Ward meeting. I also highly recommend that he/she meet his/her neighbors, first beginning on his/her block and then branching out as mentioned above. We set up our monthly ward meeting to discuss crime, before the surge in violence. As it became clear that we would have a huge crowd (and every seat was taken including the overflow room where the meeting was being televised)a decision was made to present as much information as time allowed and to do the breakout where residents could talk to their Police officers.

With any large group the motivations of those in attendance range from people seeking information (provided by the speakers and ex-burglars); those wishing to address specific issues (the break out room) those wishing to make speeches & grandstand; to those wishing to disrupt. Many of the attendees were most grateful that the meeting was not consumed by the final two categories of attendees as they had been to too many meetings where that happened.

As to your questions: with the exception of the temporary locking/removal of the nets, Cole Park is operating as normal. The South Side Little League Pee Wees are practicing and playing in the Park. Seniors and others continue to walk around the Park and to the extent the 6th Dist. can provide extra officers they patrol the Park. We are continuing to push for the assignment of an off duty Chicago Police Officer. I would answer the safety question with a yes. I know of no streets that any person should avoid. The shooting at 95th & King is believed to be relational meaning there was some type of relationship between the shooter and the victim.

Also we will be converging en mass in Cole Park during the next hot spell. We have commitments from neighbors, Churches, community associations, CAPs and others to meet us there for an informal, impromptu community get together. This will be an excellent opportunity for neighbors to get to know each other.

Again I invite the "observer" to our next meeting so that he/she can meet his/her neighbors. I know some people left the meeting 'cold' because it did not meet their expectations and others because they didn't get a chance to perform in public. It is however impossible to anticipate the expectations of hundreds of people that are not required to RSVP and state their expectations in advance. While we would have loved for everyone to leave happy, on the whole, most of the feedback we received has been very favorable.
OK does anyone have any thoughts to share about that meeting if you were there Wednesday night. I want to remind you that we want a serious discourse and please avoid negative comments. If you don't like the tone of this place there's really no reason for you to be here. You are more than free to start your OWN blog at Blogger!

BTW, we are grateful for this comment regarding JP Paulus' brief write-up about what happened at the ward meeting:
Thanks for the updates, I share them with some of the elderly in neighborhood who can't get to meetings.
This is one main reason for this blog to disseminate information. :)


  1. While I did not attend the meeting. Based on the comments here and at the CCC Blog there is a recurring theme going on. There is a crack in the pipeline the Alderman has mentioned. The crack is at the community based organizations (CBO). Much of the conversation the alderman mention should take place at that point but isn't at that is why the readers are voicing their frustration because this information is not being discussed and our readers are not given the opportunity to voice their opinions at that point.

    It's unfortunate that these meetings have morphed into forums to promote personal interest and interest of friends versus meaningful discussions on how to make our community better. I believe the readers have attended these meetings and have chosen that it was unproductive.

  2. Even though I would have like to have seen "some" discussion-- with hundreds of people at the meeting last Wednesday, it would have been too much and too long, probably with a lot of "griping", and not very productive. This is how a lot of people get discouraged at Community/Town Hall Meetings. By all the back-and-forth, going off on tangent, holding 20-30 year grudge "meetings".

    Quite frankly, I was pleased by the showing of residents, and had several discussions after the meeting with some of the Police Commanders and CAPS staffers-- some of who I've worked with at the Chicago Public Schools-- as did a lot of other residents who needed to express, and ask questions.

    I even met Ald. Lyle for the first time, and she was very approachable.

    My neighbors commented that they were pleased with meeting the Police Staff, and obtaining the info they did from "Keepin It Real".

    However, as I've stated before-- The responsibility is on ALL of us to see that our ward, neighborhood, community is as safe as possible. We know what we have to, and SHOULD do-- we just have to do it!!

    You don't need a meeting to take action or to make a stand. You just have to do it!

  3. Ald. Lyle,
    Please let me know when you are going to do the Cole Park en masse gathering. If I don't have to work, I'd like to be there, and perhaps my nephew can be there as well if the Dr. o.k.'s it.

    I couldn't be with you and Reverend Jackson last week-- was managing a Peace Rally at Harper HS with their students. Perhaps this is something we can do at one of the schools in the ward before the end of school. Susan Ellis has my information. She and I attended Julian HS together back in the day.

  4. First, let me thank everyone for attending the meeting at St. Marks, the response was overwhelming. The message got back downtown that we are very serious about these crime issues. One of the Chiefs told me at the meeting that this was the largest crowd they have ever seen in a south side meeting.

    We originally said the first 80 degree day we would all converge on the Park. I'm checking the weather forecasts and hope that day comes on a weekend. But it doesn't look like its going to be this weekend. As soon as we fix on a date, I'll post the info here.


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