Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The New Year: Looking back and then forward

2011 was an interesting year.

First and foremost residents of the 6th Ward voted for change and elected a new Alderman in Roderick Sawyer. Fredrenna Lyle - the previous Alderman who Sawyer defeated - was herself appointed to a judgeship on the Cook County bench.

Chatham still gained attention thanks to a series of columns from Mary Mitchell (she also appeared on TV to talk about her columns) and a series of videos [Part 1 & Part 2] featuring Worlee Glover shot by the real estate website YoChicago. Chatham still has issues with crime a fatal shooting back in October. Just one of many issues to continue to work through going forward.

2010 census numbers show that a little over 181,000 Blacks have left Chicago. Total population loss for Chicago is approximately 200,000. As a result of the census data we see a ward remap fight where the Black caucus wants to maintain their level of representation on the Chicago City Council. The Latino Caucus on the other hand seeks more representation on the city council as Latinos add 25,000 people to Chicago's total population.

BTW, we also continue to celebrate the heroes of our community from Corey Ankum to Thomas Wortham IV to Michael Bailey. And speaking of Michael Bailey we now have a suspect in his murder!

Looking forward to 2012.

Now Chatham residents can ring in the New Year with Garrett's Popcorn and no longer does anyone have to go all the way downtown to make a purchase! Garrett's new store came just in time for Christmas.

Another big thing to look forward to is the Walmart Supercenter near 83rd & Stewart coming next spring. It's will be interesting to see what traffic it will bring and what traffic Garrett's will bring in the future. Let's also note that last summer Walmart had already opened an Express store in the Chatham Market development where the Supercenter will also reside.

We will have another election, President Barack Obama is up for re-election in 2012. Alderman Sawyer seeks his father's (late former Mayor Eugene Sawyer) old position as 6th Ward Democratic Committeeman. And an open seat for 34th District State Representative with several contenders seeking that seat in the state House of Representatives.

Of course the remap issue still hasn't been resolved although those 6th Warders who are concerned about where they stand see what's been filed with the city clerk so far. Since the City Council still hasn't been able to vote and agree on a map we still have no idea what the final ward maps will look like. And there could be either a referendum or litigation on the future ward map.

Is there anything you would like to add to what happened in 2011? Is there anything you're looking forward to in 2012?

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