Thursday, August 16, 2018

Hal Baskin RIP

Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune
EDIT 11:08 AM - per suggestion of the reader I just changed from the YouTube video from 2011 to a Tribune file pic of the late Hal Baskin! So now the first thing you won't have to see is 6th Ward Ald. Roderick Sawyer once you click the post link! My apologies for the confusion.

I'm mostly familiar with the longtime Englewood community activist for his run for 16th Ward Alderman in 2011 a campaign we documented through mostly clips from the former WYCC program Off 63rd with Garrard McClendon. He was one of the challengers for Alderman from different wards that included now Alderman Roderick Sawyer who himself was challengening then 6th Ward Alderman Freddrenna Lyle, and of course Rhymefest who was hoping to unseat Ald. Cochran in the 20th ward.

On the other hand Mary Mitchell had written far more about him and his background as of late and it makes reference to his youthful past as a gang member. I definitely will applaud that he was able to turn his life around. Unfortunately there are those who refuse to let that past go.
Hal Baskin could not outlive his past.

Although he had put away his gang affiliation long ago — choosing to be part of the solution instead of the problem — his past as a teenage gangster hung on.

He died suddenly on last Friday at 66 years old.

Baskin had left the gang life at 19 and eventually founded P.E.A.C.E. — People Educated Against Crime in Englewood — an organization formed to keep young people out of trouble.

He made several unsuccessful runs for alderman, was an unofficial peacekeeper at Englewood High School, a grass-roots community organizer, and a real estate developer.

Still, the headline on his obit read “Former Gang Member Became Voice for Peace in Englewood.”
Baskin's death was noted on RAGE's ig page and Englewood has lost a champion. Condolences to Mr. Baskin's family.

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