Saturday, August 19, 2017

Crain's: Rehabs stabilizing market in this South Side neighborhood

Via The Chicago Neighborhoods
You might have seen this over at Worlee's Concerned Citizen's of Chatham fb page. Perhaps this is the expected outcome that we've been waiting for with Chatham referred to by Dennis Rodkin as "a longtime center of Chicago's middle-class black population":
In the past 12 months, nearly one in four of the houses sold in the neighborhood have been recent rehabs, typically by builders and investors, according to Crain's analysis of Midwest Real Estate Data records. Of 199 houses sold in the period, 48 were rehabs.

That's 24 percent, a far higher proportion than in other South and West Side neighborhoods that were hit hard by the downturn. Rehabs were fewer in nearby neighborhoods South Shore (15 percent), Park Manor and South Chicago (both 17 percent) and Auburn Gresham (19 percent).

"You're watching Chatham get rejuvenated," said Virgil Landry, a rehabber and Kale Realty agent.

In January, Landry paid $39,000 for a house on 90th Street that had recently completed a seven-year foreclosure process. He put the four-bedroom house through a rehab that included repairing a faulty foundation and installing new flooring, kitchen appliances, furnace and air conditioner. Landry put the 2,000-square-foot home half a block from Tuley Park on the market in late July, asking $199,000.

The median price of a house sold in Chatham has jumped this year, largely because of the higher-priced sales of rehabs. At the end of June, the median sale price of a house was slightly more than $120,000, up 42 percent from the year-earlier figure, $85,000, according to the Chicago Association of Realtors. That's not evidence of skyrocketing home values but of the shift from a market that was heavy on bargain-priced foreclosure sales last year to resales of improved homes this year. Data provided by Renovo Financial, a Chicago-based lender that funds many rehabbers' projects, shows that rehabbed houses in Chatham are selling at an average of nearly $212,000 this year.

Chatham was hit hard in the foreclosure crisis. At its worst, in 2009, the neighborhood had 4.2 foreclosure filings per 100 properties, according to the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University. Some neighborhoods, including Burnside, Chicago Lawn and East Garfield park, peaked at more than seven filings per 100. Yet like most of the South Side, Chatham saw a stark slide in home values. By November 2011, they had dropped 57 percent from their December 2007 peak, according to a study Crain's published last fall.

Not all of the rehabs are former foreclosures. Some are homes that longtime owners sold at depressed prices.
Unfortunately I'm not a real estate buff nor do I have any connections to the real estate business. With that said I wonder how many of the people who bought these rehabbed homes plan to put down roots in Chatham. Here's hoping we got new residents who plan to grow old in this longtime center for Chicago's Black middle class.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The vandalism of an Abe Lincoln bust...

DISCLAIMER: The Sixth Ward blog or is written by three bloggers who aren't associated with any public official in Chicago. If that changes there will be full disclosure of that fact. With that being said let's talk about something unusual that recently happened.

Recently Worlee was contacted by a reporter for RT America looking for a comment - likely from an Alderman and we can't help with that - regarding a bust of President Abraham Lincoln located at 69th & Wolcott being vandalized recently. Ironically the first time hearing about it was on John Ruberry's Marathon Pundit yesterday. Friday, Ruberry shared a segment from FOX News' Tucker Carlson Tonight where he discusses the Lincoln bust. [VIDEO]
So why is this in the news now? As you see in the above video there are people in the nation who want to eliminate primarily statues of prominent Civil War Confederates. As we all know the Confederate States of America is very controversial because we largely know them as the side that wanted to preserve slavery. And now that this bust of Abraham Lincoln - popularly known as the President who freed the slaves - is a target of those same individuals who want Confederate statues removed.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Thursday: 6th ward senior ice cream social

6th ward senior ice cream social
Thur. August 10th, 2017
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
706 E. 79th St.
Chicago, IL

For more information contact the 6th Ward service office @ 773.635.0006 and visit the website of

Also refer to flyer below.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Seaway Bank Farmer's Market

Seaway Bank as a division of Self-Help FCU is hosting a farmer's market every Wednesday from Aug. 2 to Sept. 20, 2017 from 9 AM to 2 PM. at the main branch located at 645 E. 87th Street. Refer to flyer below for more details or click this link for a printable flyer.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Hinz: City projects lowest deficit in a decade

So perhaps Rahm Emanuel finally has displayed some financial acumen:
In a statement, Emanuel praised the moves under his direction to end the use of one-time revenues, gradually restore actuarial funding levels to the city's four major pension systems, exchange variable-rate debt for fixed-rate securities, trim spending (Emanuel claims $600 million in cuts) and phase out by 2019 the use of "scoop and toss" financing, in which the city delays repayment of both loan principle and interest.

"We are more financially secure today than we were six years ago," said Emanuel, who took office in 2011 and soon will have to decide whether to seek a new term in the 2019 election.

Emanuel has had the benefit of a much better economy than predecessor Richard M. Daley did. City Hall says vacancies in city factories are at the lowest rate in 15 years and occupancy of downtown office space at the highest level since 2008—though Crain's reporting shows that market is softening.

Still, the city faces some continuing fiscal headwinds: It needs hundreds of millions of dollars more each year by early in the next decade to completely stabilize the four pension funds, and city sales tax revenues are slowly decreasing.

Beyond that, city labor unions can be expected to try to benefit from the better times, and the mayor will be under continuing pressure to spend money to try and curb the city's horrific murder wave.

Monday, July 31, 2017

WBEZ: Is Notoriously Segregated Chicago Becoming More Integrated?

To really look at the point of this article, let's look at the Ashburn community of the south side. How truly integrated is this part of the city
But while the data suggests there are six more integrated communities in Chicago today than there were in the 1990s, the maps and the numbers don’t tell us if residents actually feel integrated.

That’s why we went to Ashburn, a middle-class community of 40,000 people located on Chicago’s Southwest Side. It’s almost in the suburbs, and feels like it, with row upon row of bungalow homes and manicured lawns.

Ashburn was nearly all white 27 years ago, but today it’s a mixed community of blacks, Latinos and whites. It’s also the only neighborhood in Chicago with a dominant black population to add black residents from 2000 to 2010, at a time when black people have been leaving the city in droves.

If you visited Ashburn in 1990, more than four in five Ashburn residents would have been white.

Now, it’s about half black, 38 percent Latino and 13 percent white.

Ashburn’s white population declined rapidly after black people began moving into the area in large numbers in the 1980s. Today, whites continue to leave, and blacks are still moving in, along with Latinos.
Like Chicago, Ashburn is divided by invisible racial lines.

It’s almost like there are two neighborhoods within the official community area, one predominantly black and segregated and the other largely Latino with most of the white population sprinkled in. On the east side of Ashburn, at Dan’s Soul Food, owner Dolph Norris says integration is happening in Ashburn, “but it’s basically still segregated.”

“Hispanics [mostly] live west of Pulaski, and then African-Americans live east of Pulaski,” says Norris, who is black. “And you can tell by just walking and going to the parks.”

Loury says that while Ashburn is a diverse community, he takes “integration” to mean a more substantial mixing of people of different groups.

“Essentially what we're seeing [in Ashburn] is that they're all in the same space defined by a border, but they're not necessarily living amongst one another,” he says.

You can see the divisions between blacks and Latinos on a map of Ashburn — and you can also see them by walking around the community, according to Fernando Serna, who is Mexican-American and owns an auto body shop in Ashburn.

Serna says there’s a vibe in the neighborhood he calls: “You do your thing and I do my thing.”
So two or more groups merely living in a community area but in different parts isn't integration. It's not many different ethnicities living on the same block.

Click on the link in the embed tweet below and read the whole thing.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

HUFFPOST: Wake Up, Black Community

N'Digo's publisher Hermene Hartman writes about the changes taking place in Chicago and how these changes affect Black Chicago:
There are two Chicagos, one Black and one White. There are two districts in the city – the White one north and the Black one combining the South and West Sides.

By the time Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s term is up in 2019, the city will be revamped, the redesign of Chicago will be complete, and the divide will be greater than ever through economic maneuvers.

The Black community, the Black vote, as usual is being taken for granted by the Democrats and ignored by the Republicans. You can see it everywhere and the Black community is losing as the renaissance of the city goes forth before your very eyes.

Taxes are increasing, housing is changing, and the cranes in the south loop and downtown Chicago are erecting condos and hotels as fast as possible. Hyde Park is a new community with high-rise rentals and new stores as they prepare for the Obama library.
And then it goes on:
The Black community is asleep, a sleeping giant, the voting elephant in a room where Black lives don’t matter in reality. Wake up, if you please, and look at the surroundings.

The neighborhoods are changing rapidly and Black folk don’t matter and we don’t know the plan. Hopefully we will look through the political talk and hold the politicians accountable.

Crime is rampant in our neighborhoods that will change soon, bringing new land development and new populations. Displacement abounds. New schools are coming. New stores are coming. New restaurants are coming, but they are not for the Black community that is currently in those neighborhoods now. Economic development is not coming our way. The newest innovation is pianos in the park, where Blacks are afraid to play, ride bicycles or picnic for fear of being shot, while listening to the tinkling piano music, I suppose.
I excerpted a lot more than I should've but read the whole thing & let me know what you think. Whenever the subject of the decline of Black Chicago comes up on this blog, there is a recurring theme. Blacks are leaving the city of Chicago and going to the burbs or out of state - perhaps to the south. Also we're losing population, however, there is a construction boom near downtown Chicago or in Hyde Park.

So right now what do we do to stem the tide?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Armed & fabulous: In Chicago, women worried about violence join gun club.

Found this article over at Instapundit. They're talking about a local business that offers gun training classes.
Javondlynn Dunagan, came up with the idea of gun training classes geared toward women, and for the "Ladies of Steel" gun club -- after successful training, the women gather twice a month to practice their skills.

Dunagan served as a parole officer for 25 years before finishing her career in January, but had rarely held a gun when dealing with convicts.

She said she started carrying one after divorcing her police officer husband.

"I was at home by myself with my daughter, and I was used to having a firearm in a home with my ex-husband," she explained. "So, I wanted to make sure that we were safe."

But Dunagan noticed something curious when she visited gun ranges around Chicago to practice.

"I noticed that I never saw two women at the range together or a group of ladies," she recounted.
As for the answer to women who are scared of guns:
That answer prompted her to start JMD Defense & Investigations, offering gun training programs geared towards women. The "investigations" side of the business will debut next year.

Dunagan also offers classes such as the "Mommy & Me Self-Defense Class," where women can bring their daughters, ages 8-18 years, to learn hand-to-hand combat.

"That came about because my daughter was going to college four years ago and she couldn't find a self-defense class on the south side of Chicago," Dunagan said.

Her clients are from the predominantly African-American communities in Chicago's south side, in or near neighborhoods struggling with runaway gun violence.
If you'd like follow JMD (visit their website) on ig. Their offices are located in Beverly at 1447 W. 103rd Street

Thursday, July 20, 2017

CPS enrollment drop and budget

Yesterday Englewood residents attended a meeting at Parker Elementary regarding a new high school coming to that community. Today WBEZ has a report about CPS enrollment declines:
CPS officials estimate 8,000 fewer students will enroll in the city’s public schools next school year. District officials gave principals their budgets Thursday. This is the latest school-based budgets have been released in recent memory.

Separate from the enrollment drop, CPS plans to boost per pupil spending by about $200 this year to $4,390. That’s good news for principals who need the money to cover staff raises promised in contracts approved last year. Still, overall school spending will be $43 million less than last year — nearly $2.3 billion total — primarily because of the enrollment drop but also because the school district is expecting less federal money.

For the third year in a row, CPS it is crafting a budget that counts on state money that may never materialize. This year, CPS is assuming an overhaul of the state’s school funding formula will become law and deliver an extra $300 million to Chicago. Lawmakers passed the bill in May but Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will veto it. He calls it a “bailout” for the school district.
Via Newsalert

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

6th Ward Shred-a-thon tomorrow

6th Ward Shred-a-thon
Parking Lot
215 W. 71st St.
10 AM to 1 PM
for residential only - not for businesses

Refer to the ig post from Ald. Sawyer's office below however for more information feel free to call them @ 773.635.0006

Monday, July 17, 2017

Capitol Fax: Austin is no longer the city’s largest neighborhood

I'm sharing a direct tweet to an article about Austin losing its designation as Chicago's most populous neighborhood - though remaining the largest community area geographically.

According to the Tribune article shared over at the Capitol Fax it loses this designation to the north side Lakeview neighborhood:
Home to nearly 118,000 people in 2000, Austin has seen its population drop to 97,600, according to an average of census data collected between 2011 and 2015. It has been overtaken by the North Side's Lakeview neighborhood, whose population has remained steady since the 1980s and currently has about 98,200 residents.
Now the reasons Austin is losing population is not much different than a number of neighborhoods on the south side or even the west side. Better yet not much different than why many are leaving Chicago, period.
In a neighborhood as large as Austin, each block can be its own world.

The tree-lined ones, with restored Victorian homes or brick two-flats and kids playing in polished gardens, are what residents call good blocks. They're free of the shootings and drug deals that plague others. But those other blocks, dotted with boarded-up houses and vacant lots with overgrown weeds, are often down the street or around the corner.

Austin is the city's largest community area geographically, and was the most populated for 45 years. But as the West Side neighborhood's gun violence has increased, so too has families' realization that at any moment the shootings can creep into their blocks — even the good blocks. Austin's residents are leaving, with some saying goodbye to the place they've called home their entire lives.
Chicago's violence is at its highest since the drug wars of the 1990s, and Austin is center stage to many of the shootings and homicides: As of July 13, there were 258 shootings in the area in 2017 and 44 homicides, according to Tribune data. More than 1,900 people have been shot in Chicago so far this year.

The city as a whole is losing residents, and Chicago last year was the only city of the country's 10 largest to lose population. Residents who've packed up and left Chicago have cited a variety of reasons — high taxes, the state budget stalemate and the weather.

Those in Austin have a different list of concerns. More than 30 percent live in poverty. Storefronts are shuttered, and grocery stores are few and far between. The neighborhood high schools that remain open are under-resourced.

But in a neighborhood where retaliatory shootings mean unending violence, many residents say safety is the biggest issue.
Of course there is more to this story so I suggest you give this a read. And check out the video with the Trib article. If only many of us has signs like this to rep our neighborhoods. For example I <3 Chatham or I <3 Roseland or I <3 Englewood.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

How bad is the reporting for the South Side

UPDATE 10:55 AM - Had to make some updates and tweaks to this post for better readability. It's generally a policy for this blog not to copy and paste whole articles. However I've left this article up in light of JP Paulus' points. If you click link to the article you will see that it has been corrected there were some corrections - Levois

I noticed a couple of major errors in this ABC channel 7 news story on the slaying of a community leader.  I am just wondering if other people have noticed these type of inaccuracies in stories on the south side.

Here's what they published on the internet:
By Michelle Gallardo

Saturday, July 15, 2017 11:27PMCHICAGO (WLS) --A 58-year-old community activist was fatally shot Saturday afternoon across the street from the nonprofit he ran in Chicago's Far South Side.

William "Willie" Cooper was principal officer of Lilydale Outreach Workers for a Better Community, a nonprofit that provides jobs to South Side teens.

"People are so cold-hearted. How could you take somebody's life? He helped everybody. I just don't understand," said Patricia Carter, the victim's niece.

The shooting occurred at about 4:15 p.m. in the 1100-block of West 95th Street. His nonprofit is nearby on 95th Street near the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Cooper was walking when he was hit in the mouth and back by someone in a dark-colored vehicle driving by. No one was in custody late Saturday.

It was immediately unclear if others were on the street, but the shooting occurred near a liquor store that has been the scene of several shootings in recent years.

"Will is preventing violence. Trying to find jobs for ex-offenders, working in this community. I almost want to name him the mayor of 95th Street," said Bamani Obadele, a friend.

Cooper died at the scene. An AR-15 was used in the shooting.

"It's scary when you hear that an assault weapon is used. It's scary when you hear and I'm not saying how many markers, but when you show up and there are 35 shell casings on the street, that's scary," Dawn Valenti, a crisis responder.

Family and friends came to the scene of the shooting, sharing the same story of a man dedicated to his community and spending his life helping others get a leg up.

"Since my dad passed away he's been a man in the house, making sure that me and my mom was ok," said Carter, his niece.

"I met him when I was a little boy and all through time there are so many stories of him doing good in the community. Him paying for funerals for other people, people to go to school. Whatever anybody needed. Whatever anybody needed," said Donovan Price, of Praise Chicago.

I sent in my corrections on Sunday at 8:37 am :
it looks like 2 major typos.

1st, the address... you have listed as 1100 W 95th.. that is near my church Oakdale Covenant Church, and Popeyes, Metra & Oakdale Park.

The victim's nonprofit is much close to 100 W 95th (near the Dan Ryan).
HUGE difference.

Also, Donovan Price is a part of PRAYCHICAGO ( ), and NOT Praise Chicago
What has been your experience?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

#63rdL and a hopeful PR response from CTA

[VIDEO] What you see above is a video advertising the petition campaign to restore East 63rd Green Line service to Jackson Park.

As always if you support restoration of the East 63rd Green Line then sign the petition over at There are also some updates provided and as of the latest update reportedly Reuben Lillie - who you see interviewing Woodlawn residents above - has recieved 405 signatures to his petition.

The campaign got the attention of Chicagoist who shared this response from the CTA:
Irene D. Ferradaz, a CTA public affairs representative told Chicagoist:

"The CTA is focused on rebuilding and modernizing the existing ‘L’ system, and on pursuing the extension of the Red Line South to 130th Street. While there are no current plans to extend the Cottage Grove branch of the Green Line, CTA always looks for opportunities to improve the system to meet ridership demand."
As stated in an earlier post about this if there is some opportunities to expand public transit on the south side as far as the L system this is one worthwhile project in addition to my favored CTA Red Line extension south from 95th Street. Here's hoping Lillie's campaign is successful and this becomes part of CTA's long term plans.

Friday, July 14, 2017

A DJ booth at the new 95th Red Line station?

New 95th station cta web
Since we've found ourselves talking about public transit with a petition for the restoration of the East 63rd Green Line service east of Cottage Grove, via Chicagoist we get wind of some plans for the new 95th terminal. These plans were created by Mr. Theaster Gates. The same one who created the Currency Exchange Cafe on Garfield and the Stony Island Arts Bank.
The under-construction upgrades to the 95th Red Line Red Line stop are getting on board with some arts-and-culture additions. Renowned Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates on Wednesday unveiled renderings of his twin contribution to the South Side station, including a DJ booth—and potential radio station.
The CTA will pipe the jams from the steel wheels through the station's PA system—with the possibility kept open to also broadcast the music via Internet radio in the future.

The second aspect of Gates' 95th work will incorporate decommissioned firehoses, sewn together, into a large-scale tapestry. It's intended to echo the black civil-rights movement, when citizens were blasted with high-pressure hoses.
 Hearing some jams while waitng for a bus or train? Sign me up!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Garry McCarthy for Mayor pt. 2 #GMFM

So 2nd City Cop finally got into the possibility of Garry McCarthy for Mayor.
Back when he was making his first run at the top job, the media pointed out his documented propensity to use a certain racial slur. During his second run, we pointed out his "holier than thou" attitude when his daughter got pulled over by regular cops and also the numerous broken streetlights that appeared in close proximity to him. Since he's been fired, his choice of company doesn't inspire confidence in his judgement at all.

But he could tap into a certain amount of resentment. And if he opened the doors on how the McDonald tape really got suppressed and who really saw it before the settlement offer, well.....that could sink Rahm before he even got started.
What do you all think? 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Petition to restore East 63rd Green Line service to Stony Island #63rdL

In April I've written about a future project involving the East 63rd branch of the CTA Green Line which would mean upgrades to the Cottage Grove station the current terminus of this branch. Now a petition which you can find through Here's a portion of the argument in favor of restoration that you might read with the petition:
While CTA Buses, Metra Electric trains, and S. Lake Shore Drive carry passengers along the Lakefront, none of the existing infrastructure effectively connects the South Side Lakefront with points west. Without restoring the ‘L’ between Cottage Grove Ave and Stony Island Ave we have no way to carry people through the heart of Woodlawn. Likewise, residents, students, and commuters to Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and South Shore who do not live, study, or work near the Lakefront arterial infrastructure have no way of accessing the ‘L’ to travel to and from other parts of Chicagoland. Restoring the E. 63rd Street branch of the Green Line with strategically placed stations not only encourages visitors to Jackson Park to take in the surrounding neighborhoods but also enables our South Side neighbors to move more freely to, from, and within Woodlawn and steps from the University of Chicago in ways they have not been able since the ‘L’ was razed 20 years ago. 
This is one project worthwhile in addition to the plan to extend the CTA Red Line further south from 95th Street. Let's hope that CTA will eventually add for future expansions the possible restoration of the former Jackson Park branch of the Green Line to it's former terminus at Stony Island. Perhaps even a pipe dream send the L over to the Museum of Science & Industry as it once was during the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

You can read more of any proposals surrounding the restoration of CTA Green Line service to Cottage Grover via this tweet below from Curbed Chi.
In addition this petion is not only directed towards Mayor Emanuel, also 5th Ward Ald. Leslie Hairston, and 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale who chairs the city council transportation committee. Those three especially in addition to 17 other decision makers.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Boombox Chicago is coming to 79th & Rhodes

79th Street and Rhodes this past spring
 The former site of the Rhodes Theater is going to get itself a clean-up and a new use. If you're not familiar with Boombox read more at the site They nearest set up they have is across the street from Whole Foods Market Englewood at 63rd and Halsted. An example of this you will see below

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Garry McCarthy for Mayor???

Found this Tribune article via Newsalert this morning. An interesting, however, unlikely possibility if you believe Rahm Emanuel's former Chicago Police superintendent.
Former Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is mulling over making his first run for political office against the man who fired him — and now there are campaign buttons.

Small gold and green "GMFM" buttons have been circulating in some corners of the city. That's short for Garry McCarthy For Mayor. And in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, McCarthy acknowledged he's weighing a challenge against Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"There's a group of people who are very serious about this, and they are looking at all the angles," McCarthy said Wednesday. "I haven't said 'no' yet. Let's put it that way."

He's not close to saying "yes" yet, either, calling a run for mayor "probably unlikely.
And here's more:
McCarthy, 58, said he knows running for mayor would be difficult on his family. He's married to prominent attorney Kristin Barnette, and the couple have an 8-month-old son. But McCarthy also said he "can't stand what's going on in this city."

"Honestly, I swing back and forth both ways. ... I'm not sure I want to do that to my family. As my wife so eloquently put it, 'Everybody just started leaving us alone, why would you want to get back into a rat race like that?'" McCarthy said. "But I have this thing about making a difference, and I was well down that road before the rug got pulled out from underneath me."
Of course he may still have to answer for his role in the LaQuan McDonald story where there were allegations of a cover-up in releasing any footage of McDonald's shooting in 2014.

Would anyone like to see McCarthy as Mayor of Chicago? Is anyone certain Mayor Emanuel - who had a tough go as Mayor since 2011 - will run in 2019?
Just remembered, what does the blog 2nd City Cop have to say about this?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Trump and county sending help for violence in Chicago

President Trump
Lost in all the tweets of personal attacks on cable network media personalities and a video which portrays the President at a past WWF Wrestlemania attacking someone who represents CNN (whose logo you see in place of their face - probably WWF owner Vince McMahon) was a mention of federal help being sent to Chicago.
Bear in mind earlier this year he wrote this tweet
It appears the President of the United States is actually fulfilling that initial promise:
Twenty federal gun agents have been assigned to Chicago to join a newly formed task force aimed at cutting the flow of illegal guns into the city and cracking down on people repeatedly arrested on gun charges.

Hours after the Chicago police department sent out a news release about the task force, President Donald Trump claimed credit for sending in the agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The roughly 40-person strike force, which consists of Chicago police officers, ATF agents and Illinois State Police, will be working on unsolved shootings and gun-related homicides and combating illegal gun trafficking, officials said Friday.
In addition to the federal angle help from the Cook County Sheriff is coming to the south side also announced late last month:
The sheriff's office announced Wednesday that 55 to 60 sheriff's police and staff members would "supplement" the work already done by Chicago police in the Calumet and Gresham police districts.

Sheriff's officers and staff will help with patrol units, special operations, crime suppression tactical teams, evictions and other services.

Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) asked the sheriff's police to help "to create a safer, healthier environment," according to a news release.
Will additional law enforcement help from the federal government or the sheriff be enough to curb violent crime in the many low-income neighborhoods of Chicago?

BTW, yes the WWF is actually WWE now, however, as a wrestling fan old habits die hard. WWE will always be WWF or World Wrestling Federation to me. The usage of WWF was intentional.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day

We here at The Sixth Ward blog and the folks of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (RAGE) - who provided the ig post embedded below - wishes everyone reading this blog a happy and safe Independence Day and Fourth of July. Enjoy your bbq and fireworks with friends, neighbors, or family on this day.
A post shared by R.A.G.E. (@rage_englewood) on

Monday, July 3, 2017

Are you going to Lem's on the Fourth?

If you attempted to pay Lem's Bar-B-Q (@ 311 E. 75th Street) a visit the evening before the 4th of July there was a line wrapped around the establishment. It seems a lot of people want to get that quick Lem's fix in time for the holidays. Bear in mind however that the long-time bbq restaurant will be open on the Fourth and will be closed Wednesday. Normally Lem's is closed on Tuesday.

I'll even post the ig post from the official Lem's profile below:
A post shared by Lem's BarBQ (@lemsbarbq) on

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Windows shot out at Seaway National Bank

Posted some shots on ig of the main branch of the former Seaway National Bank at 645 E. 87th Street  Friday night. I heard reports that someone likely used pellet guns to shoot out some of the windows there

It could be alleged that someone was upset with the situation of the bank which failed at the end of January 2017 and has undergone two ownership changes - from State Bank of Texas to Self-Help FCU. Then again this could be a random act of vandalism which unfortunately isn't too uncommon and both situations are certainly out of anger regardless of the reasoning.

Incidents such as this shouldn't be tolerated.

Friday, June 30, 2017

How long does it REALLY take to get a garbage can in Chicago?

So how long does it take to get garbage cans in Chicago?

In Chatham, in the homes southwest of 79th & King, one neighbor has been waiting since April 3 to get a set of garbage cans.

Now, to set the stage...In September of 2015, the building went into foreclosure. In 2016 , new owners were renovating the building.  By the end of the summer, 2 black garbage cans mysteriously disappeared. I assumed they had been used by renovators to haul garbage from the building to the alley (as they had earlier in the summer), but it turns out they were missing.
One of the new tenants (who moved in by March), on April 3, 2017, called to request new garbage cans.  The request number is 17-03567043.  I called the city again on May 31 .  A couple of days later, I passed that info onto Alderman Rod Sawyer's office. It's now the end of June. 3 full months have passed. Not ONE extra garbage can in the whole city? Really???

And this is costing the city money, as apparently there is a special pick-up due to this situation. (The recycling isn't "ruined" due to "contaminated" recyclables, as we have heard on the news).  Wouldn't a couple of cans be much cheaper than constantly brining out "special forces" to take care of this mess?

Can someone from WBEZ, DNAinfo , Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times or some other news source get some public data from the city, and see how long it takes a request for garbage can to be fulfilled. I really wonder if Jefferson Park, Lincoln Park, South Loop, Mt. Greenwood or Hyde Park has these issues. I would expect that wait time to be AT LEAST 66% shorter.

Streets and Sanitation has gone to a grid system, so apparently Aldermen don't have the clout anymore to get things happening.

Please let us know what you have experienced, and let's hold our city accountable.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Keeping 79th Street safe on Fridays , starting TOMORROW!

The merchants on 79th street will gather at the corner of several streets along 79th during the summer. It is part of the 79th Street Corridor Business Association's "Safe Summer 2017".

They ask participants & supporters to wear Orange on Friday evenings, 6pm -8pm.

While our presence will provide safety, the organization will also provide resources such as for health services, training and jobs.

The schedule is as follows, all on Friday evenings:
  • June 30 =  Cottage Grove
  • July 7 =  Ingleside
  • July 14 = Langley 
  • July 21 = King Drive 
  • July 28 = Eberhart
  • August 4 = Evans 
  • August 11 = St. Lawrence
  • August 18 = Vernon
  • August 25 = Cottage Grove 

We would love to post photos of any night you attend, as well as any stories. Send them to blog (at) the sixthward (dot) us

Wendy's coming to 95th/Michigan?

Worlee wrote this over at NextDoor recently
107 E. 95th Street - June 2017
  • Where o Where Will Wendy's Go

    The plot thickens. There is an unverified report that Wendy's will take over the former KFC site at 95th Michigan. 

    Also, it has been reported that Wendy's will be opening a store at the 87th street retail corridor. 

    So will we have two stores opening? Will we have 4 stores in a 5mile radius with the existing stores at 86th Stony and 83rd Ashland? 

    What's your thoughts?
In addition there's also a Wendy's at 111th/State in Roseland. Also let's not forget that the former Wendy's at 95th/King Drive still hasn't found another tenant yet. Though its great to finally have a new business in the former KFC space which closed permanently near the end of 2015. Here's one of our ig posts.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The city of Chicago is OK with dead bodies in the alley?

Why is the city OK with dead bodies sitting around for days?
OK, so it's not a HUMAN body.

But I called on Friday, June 23 about a dead kitten in the alley.  While someone moved the body deeper into the weeds, the body is still rotting, with flies all around.

It has been nearly a week, with no action. (Well, the flies certainly have a lot of action). I called again today. Foolishly, I forgot to get the request number. course, they have no record of the request. Reminder: ALWAYS GET THE REQUEST NUMBER, and HAVE THEM TEXT IT TO YOU! The request number is now  17-04280559

Why is the city OK with dead bodies (even if it is an animal)? We know the mayor has an affinity for dead fish....but dead kittens?

West Chesterfield on the recent Walgreen's closure in the neighborhood

347 E. 95th Street - June 2017
Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to go to the recent meeting hosted by state Rep. Elgie Sims on the Walgreen's store that closed on Tuesday Jun. 27th at 95th/King Drive. However I'm glad that the West Chesterfield Community Association was able to share a quick report on their fb page. That report is embedded below

Monday, June 26, 2017

Against All Odds: The Fight for the Black Middle Class

[VIDEO] One of the main reasons why I started The Sixth Ward was to in some way highlight the middle-class aspects of the 6th Ward as it was drawn between 2002 to roughly 2015. Chatham isn't the only community with a solidly Black middle-class population, but it has often been considered a bastion of the Black middle-class.

This documentary was mentioned on the ig profile for the new owners of the former Seaway National Bank - Self-Help FCU - doing a quick mention of this documentary Against All Odds: The Fight for the Black Middle Class. It's available for viewing either on or you can watch it through the PBS app available on iPhones & iPads and likely Android also.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Concerned about the impact of Springfield budget stalemate

Log onto fb and watch a live broadcast of the state legislative Black caucus as state Sens. Donne Trotter and Kimberly Lightford host a discussion on the budget stalemate on Blacks in Illinois.

Here's a tweet below
And then here's a link to the Black caucus fb page.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A continuation: the decline of Black Chicago

The Capitol Fax today had a post excerpting from several articles regarding the exodus from Illinois. Of course often the focus on this blog is the exodus of Blacks from not only the city but from the state itself. So one of those articles is of focus for us. First let me share the link from CapFax.
And of course we look at the article from the Chicago Tribune which discusses further the exodus of Blacks from Chicago and Illinois:
Cook County in 2016 again recorded the largest black population of any county in the U.S., but it carries that title with less conviction than previous years as more African-Americans move to outlying suburbs or warmer states in the South and West, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Between 2015 and 2016, more than 12,000 black residents left Cook County, an increase from the previous year when about 9,000 residents left. The greater Chicago area, which for the census includes parts of Indiana and Wisconsin, has lost nearly 46,000 black residents since 2010. That exodus is larger than in any other metropolitan area in the country....
Some of those who left Chicago and Cook County relocated to other parts of the state, but Illinois still recorded a population drop of about 10,000 black residents between 2015 and 2016, more than any other state. Experts say it is an indication that the majority of the state's black flight is occurring in Chicago.

The black exodus is part of a larger pattern of general population decline in the region. Illinois dropped by 37,508 people in 2016, losing more residents than any other state, and Chicago was the only city among the country's 10 largest to drop in population. Between 2015 and 2016, the greater Chicago area lost 19,570 residents.

Dozens of former residents surveyed by the Tribune over the past year who've packed up cite a variety of reasons for leaving: high taxes, the state budget stalemate and the weather. But what's propelling black flight isn't quite the same as what's driving out the city's white population.

Africans-Americans are leaving in search of stability, experts say, hoping to find stable incomes and safe neighborhoods, something they feel Chicago isn't offering them. The city of Chicago lost 181,000 black residents between 2000 and 2010, according to census data.
Alright, it's very interesting that we still talk about the last decennial census which occurred in 2010. Because of that last census the ward maps were redrawn and at least for the period of time in which the remap occurred, many weren't happy that they could be drawn into a different ward with a different alderman. Either way we have a real situation Blacks are leaving Chicago or they're leaving this state. Perhaps they're going to Atlanta - which seems to be a trend anyway.

Corey Brooks pastor of Chicago's New Beginnings Church was quoted throughout this article and ends this article:
Brooks, the South Side pastor, says the consequences of so many black residents leaving each year is that these neighborhoods will deteriorate or lose their identities, and potentially succumb to gentrification.

"Unless we all come together as a community to try and resolve these issues ourselves, unless we build businesses and create jobs," he said, "we'll be left with communities ravished by crime, violence and a bad economy."
Yeah he discussed why there is a crime problem in Black communities. It's all economics, a shortage of jobs. Pastor Brook's direct quote: "It's not just gang violence retaliation," he said. "(Violence) is about economics. People can't eat. People can't sustain their families."

Again the question, what can we do to change the current situation? 

Monday, June 19, 2017

87th & Dan Ryan donation box broken!

Location: 8800 S Lafayette Ave, Chicago, IL 60620, USA
The clothes donation box at 87th & The Dan Ryan has been vandalized!!!. 

As of Sunday afternoon at 5pm, these pictures were the scene. This donation box is on the 8800 block of Lafayette, near Sistar Beauty at the Chicago Ridge Mall.
The door was busted open, and clothes and other items (including a  computer monitor) were strewn about.

This is a very sad situation, and adds to the negative perception about our community.

This mall is also under fire for potentially hosting a Chuck E. Cheese, who some in the community are strongly against.

There is a number, 1-800-264-8560, which is listed on the box.  
We will try to call the phone number to report it, but please feel free to make your own calls, and post the results in our comments section. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy father's day

I'm sharing a few ig posts for this special day. Two of them I regrammed to our ig account. All these posts pertain to the businesses that reside in the 6th Ward community.

To start, a couple of posts from our longtime BBQ house Lem's celebrating father's day and of course celebrating the late James Lemons. Lemons is one of the brothers that started this longtime business.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The former Seaway Bank still has business

As the formerly Black-owned bank known as Seaway National Bank or Seaway Bank & Trust Company heads into its second month as a division of the North Carolina based Self-Help FCU we see in the news that there is a lawsuit that involved Seaway Bank.

The excerpt is from an article written by Crain's Steve Daniels who covered the many stories regarding the late Seaway Bank.
Seaway Bank & Trust is no more, but its ghost haunts another South Side lender, Urban Partnership Bank.

A lawsuit Seaway filed in early 2016 against UPB after a deal to buy $90 million in mainly South Side mortgages from UPB went sour still is pending despite Seaway's failure earlier this year.

That’s because the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which sold off most of Seaway’s assets and liabilities when the bank failed, took over the case and is continuing to press it.

UPB had a deal to sell 849 mortgages to Seaway, going so far as to take a $6.5 million down payment in late 2015. The two banks soon thereafter disagreed on terms, and Seaway backed out. But UPB wouldn't refund the money.
I suggest you read the whole article before coming to your own conclusions.

Friday, June 16, 2017

State Rep. Elgie Sims community meeting on impending closure of Walgreens at 95th & King Dr.

347 E. 95th Street
You may have seen this over at Concerned Citizens of Chatham during the course of the week. I have an updated flyer regarding a community meeting to discuss the soon to close Walgreen's store at 95th & King Drive which was posted to our ig today. Does anyone have any ideas for the soon to close Walgreen's store at 95th & King Drive?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Time for city sticker sales

It's that time of year again for your city of Chicago sticker sales and you can buy them at an Alderman's office for example according to this calendar from the Chicago City Clerk on Tuesday you can purchase your city sticker at the offices of Ald. Roderick T. Sawyer (6th ward) and Ald. Tom Tunney (44th ward).

As a matter of fact Ald. Sawyer's @6wardchicago ig page shared an announcement:
A post shared by 6 Ward Chicago (@6wardchicago) on

Friday, June 9, 2017

An interesting proposal for the former UPB branch/Jeffrey Theater

UPDATE 11:25 AM - I apologize, failed to give this post a title!

7054 S. Jeffrey Blvd
Through NextDoor I found a DNA Info article regarding Alisa Starks making a pitch to the South Shore community regarding the former Urban Partnership Bank branch located at 7054 S. Jeffrey Blvd. It sounds like a good plan:
Alisa Starks, who developed movie theaters in Lawndale and Chatham, has been brought in by Monroe Investments to revive the bank at 7054 S. Jeffery Blvd. that closed in 2014.

At a 5th Ward meeting Tuesday at the South Shore Cultural Center, Starks presented a rough idea for the 46,000-square-foot bank that included a four-screen movie theater on the main floor, a six-lane bowling alley in the basement and a kid-friendly restaurant and play area on the second floor.

“It’s designed to be a boutique theater, think Hyde Park’s Harper Theater,” said Starks, who said she was alerted to the bank’s potential by one of her South Shore neighbors.

She said the first floor would also include a Cajun restaurant called Odessa with live jazz and blues run by the chef from the now-closed Epiphany Bistro in Lincoln Park
The former UPB branch - and longtime hq for the defunct Shorebank - had been closed since 2014. The space also includes the facade of the former Jeffrey Theater. It would be very cool to redevelop that site and it could be a movie theater again and revive this corner now that a important business anchor had left. There's just one problem.

This article is almost two years old. Published in August 2015 and during that month Starks' ICE Theaters had filed for bankruptcy. Of course this is not to say this wouldn't be a successful venture and that this project genuinely caught the entrepreneurial eye of Ms. Starks.

Not mentioned in this article was ICE Theaters other than the fact that the Chatham 14 was sold by the Starks and ultimately that venue is under the ownership and banner of Studio Movie Grill. So no indication of this development on Jeffrey becoming an outpost for ICE Theaters.

Now, it's about to be summer 2017, which is the expected opening date for this venue. One wonders if there are any further updates about this development or even a grand opening. In the meanwhile it's safe to say this space remains shuttered and there is also a shuttered grocery store just across the street still looking for a tenant.

Finally here's a recent picture of 71st/Jeffrey taken from the J14 bus on the way to downtown Chicago. I could be wrong but there's no evidence of any development here. Perhaps Ms. Starks wasn't able to make this development happen during the course of the last two years.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

6th ward senior meeting on Thursday

Location: 706 E 79th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
If you haven't already heard, there's a new ig profile for 6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer @6wardchicago. This is where you will see info on this seniors meeting. Of course for those of you who live in Chicago's 6th Ward always feel free to get in touch with them if you want more information than what's provided here.
  • 6th ward senior meeting
    Thur, June 8, 2016
    11 AM to 1 PM
    706 E. 79th Street
Instagram post is below!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mary Mitchell writes about the decline of Black Chicago

Sun-Times columnist Mitchell takes on the issue of Blacks leaving Chicago
After a lifetime of living in Chicago, my husband is seriously talking about moving away.

It’s not just one thing that is spurring him to pack up and leave, he explained; it’s a combination of things.

He cited high taxes, crime and bad politics, but he’s obviously not alone. Black people are fleeing the city’s predominantly black neighborhoods on the South and West Sides.

Meanwhile, according to recent U.S. Census data, white people are flocking to neighborhoods near Downtown.

Chicago, once a haven for the black middle class, is no longer seen as a place of economic opportunity for African Americans.
6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer was quoted:
Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) argues that white people are moving in as black people abandon these neighborhoods.

“I’m in Woodlawn right now, and there are white people walking down the street, walking dogs and jogging. People don’t mess with white people. If I walked up and down the street over here, I would probably get hit in the head, and that’s an awful thing to say,” Sawyer conceded.

“But we can make it better by staying and putting in the time and work and getting involved in your neighborhood. You can’t complain about it while you are locked up in your house,” he said.
“We may lose another black alderman as some of our wards are teetering around 60 percent black. In fact, Walter Burnett’s ward is not black. We lost the second ward in the last redistricting,” Sawyer said.

Still, the alderman is wary of the Census data.

“I don’t think as many people are leaving, as they are not being counted,” he said.
This latest Census data shows black residents want the same things other people want: employment, fair government, safe neighborhoods and good schools.

Unfortunately, too few African-Americans in Chicago can say they have any of those things.
Employment, fair gov't, safe neighborhoods, & good schools. How do we get any of those?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

VIDEO: "Welcome to Englewood" Sign Unveiling, May 12, 2017

[VIDEO] I'm sorry to have missed this video. Last month the Englewood community got themselves a landmark sign located at 63rd/Yale (almost near what used to be the former Harvard stop on the CTA Green Line). This is an event I caught wind of mainly on ig and even regrammed one record of this event.

Anyway this illustrates something that I've noted here on this blog. Englewood has a marker, and then I found that Grand Crossing and Park Manor have markers. Even suggested at one point perhaps Chatham should have a sign or mark at entry points into the Chatham perimeter.

Perhaps on King Drive, Cottage Grover, 75th, 79th, 83rd, 87th and certainly on State Street. I got one potential candidate for what this sign this Chatham brand should look like. Of course someone who lives there has to make the proposal and ultimately make it happen.

Of course I recognize that's not the only community that can use this idea. Perhaps once Pullman's national monument really gets going this is the treatment they get. Hopefully in the future Roseland can have one to begin it's revitalization, especially when the CTA red line gets extended past 95th Street.

Forgot to add this video was produced by an old favorite artistmac who was also in Englewood for the groundbreaking and grand opening of Whole Foods Market Englewood. And he also drove along 63rd Street at one point also.