Friday, November 16, 2018

Carter Temple and copper thieves

It seems 5 Loaves which had issues with copper thieves interfering with their operations over the past summer aren't the only local "institution" that are experiencing those problems. Pastor Joseph Gordon from Carter Temple CME Church (7841 S. Wabash Ave.) reported recently. As with 5 Loaves this was only a temporary set back as the church is at status quo.

Sun-Times: Aldermanic privilege steeped in power, politics — and prejudice, critics contend

Believe it or not the long-term practice here in Chicago of "aldermanic privilege" is being subjected to a federal civil rights complaint:
Aldermanic prerogative, the unwritten rule that gives local aldermen final control over zoning and development issues in their own ward, is the ultimate source of power for Chicago’s 50 City Council members.

It’s what makes them the lords of their 55,000-constituent fiefdoms and brings a steady stream of campaign donors to help them get re-elected.

It’s also the means by which aldermen illegally perpetuate the city’s segregated housing patterns, argues a federal civil rights complaint filed Thursday on behalf of nine affordable housing and neighborhood organizations that want to curb the practice.

The complaint, filed by lawyers for the Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, contends aldermanic prerogative has been used for decades to block affordable housing in the city’s white neighborhoods.

But it was racially-tinged community opposition to a pair of apartment developments proposed in recent years for the Northwest Side that prompted the legal action.

The practice of aldermanic prerogative, also known as aldermanic privilege, gives aldermen veto power over zoning, land use, sale of city land and public financing for projects in their wards.
Read the whole thing

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Potential candidate list for all municipal races for Chicago #CHGOMayor2019

If you follow IL Election Data on Twitter they provide a comprehensive list for next year's election from Mayor on down to all the alderman races. Of course the list will get thinned out as some will withdraw or get kicked off the ballot. And then again since the filing deadline is November 26, 2018, a few more candidates will probably be added to this list.
As always feel free to let us know if you're running for Alderman especially in Wards 6 & 9 which are the elections we expect to cover for next year.

Chicago's Extinct Businesses: Carr's Englewood #tbt

On Saturday I was going through a twitter page called Chicago's Extinct Businesses and just retweeted relevant tweets pertaining to certain areas of the south side. One of these tweets showed an ad for a business once located at 610 W. 63rd Street. Right in the heart of Englewood.
610 W. 63rd Street, wait wasn't that the address for the old Southtown Theater. According to Cinema Treasures:
The Southtown Theatre finally closed in August 1958. It was demolished in 1991 after serving for many years as Carr’s department store and after that, a flea market. An interesting note—two plaster musician busts from the Southtown ended up in the restored Lake Theatre in Oak Park, IL.
On this blog we have referred to the Southtown before and here's a nice shot of the theater via Cinema Treasures. We really missed the ball when this magnificent building got torn down in 1991. Though this just means with the right amount of funds an opportunity can present itself. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

For my block: When was Target local?

You might have seen this exact video on instagram through Jahmal Cole's My Block My Hood My City instagram page. Earlier this month he's shared this video on his FB page.

Basically what's he saying in this video? Cole is saying that we have an opportunity to build our local economy. We don't necessarily need a large chain store in our community. We need our own businesses to keep our cash in our communities. To go further we need our local businesses to hire people from our community and to help build up our communities.

Cole is right "Shop local. Buy local. Think Chatham".

Editorial: Target's abandonment of the South Side

Target's recent decisions to close their locations in both Chatham and Morgan Park are still being discussed in the community. I want to share with you an editorial by Chicago Tribune's Kristen McQuery
Target, which descended on the Chicago area with its Greatland outlets in the early 1990s, is closing six stores next year in Illinois, New York, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Two Illinois locations are closing and both are in South Side neighborhoods, Chatham and Morgan Park. So those red splotches on the Chicago map will be mostly on the North Side come February.

In other words, the South Side loses again. Hundreds of workers will be displaced. Nearby stores that rely on Target as an anchor will suffer. And left behind? Two vacant behemoths, each the size of three football fields.

Here’s the extra salt: Target is expanding and building on the North Side. The developers of a $58 million Target mall expected to open at the Edens Expressway and Foster Avenue secured $13 million in tax increment financing from the city. So Target is abandoning two South Side stores while taking taxpayer money to build anew on the North Side. That’s greedy.

Nationally, Target is renovating hundreds of locations and opening retail hubs to serve college towns and metro areas. The store planned along the Edens Expressway looks like an architectural gem with soft lighting and rows of landscaping, not the brick boxes built elsewhere.

But lopsided treatment is something to which South Siders, including myself, are accustomed. We’re stuck in the marketplace of low expectations. It’s not unusual to be pushing a shopping cart that is missing the lower rack where ordinarily you’d toss cases of water or pop. Company executives apparently have determined, based on my address, I might sneak items through the checkout without paying. So they rig my shopping cart. 
And let me share this with you also:
Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th, helped bring Target to the Morgan Park location and fought organized labor’s “big box” ordinance at the time. The ordinance would have required large retailers to pay a higher minimum wage. She knew Target wouldn’t come unless she blocked it. She also acquiesced on the size of the store, the grocery component and alcohol sales. The neighborhood didn’t want a superstore, but Target wanted it. And her ward needed the economic development.

She learned of the store closing via news release. Same for U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, who has been holding community meetings and talking about a boycott. He led a protest Monday at a Target store in the West Loop.

“The killer for me is you (Target) want to capture the Christmas dollars and then you’re gone,” Austin said. “That is just such heartbreak for me. We fought to keep you and keep you and keep you. And now you say you’re not making enough money. And then no warning. They didn’t tell the store managers or tell us until they gave out a press release. How do you dog people like that?”
I want you to read the whole thing when you get a chance.

Also from Worlee Glover's Concerned Citizens of Chatham. The Chatham Avalon Park Community Council is behind a boycott of Target on Black Friday though it still seems with or without this boycott the decision isn't likely to change on Target's end.

Capitol Fax: Troy LaRaviere drops out of mayor’s race as Rep. La Shawn Ford gets in

Via Mayor's Office Fellowship Program
Well we have at least 18 candidates in the race, but no clear front runner although there are a few known names in the race. We already have one withdrawal and one entered the race over the weekend.

Troy LaRaviere, former CPS Principal who was removed from his position because of his political activities against Mayor Rahm Emanuel. We're still in the petition signature period and LaRaviere realized he's come up a bit short.

However as Rich Miller notes on his blog Tuesday, as LaRaviere withdraws from the mayor's race, we have La Shawn Ford who's currently a state representative who's throwing his hat into the race.
And I just want to contrast the difference of opinion between these two leaders as far as our disruptor President of the United States Donald J. Trump. You can look at Rich Miller's post to see what La Shawn Ford says about the relationship between outgoing Mayor Emanuel and the President. And You can watch this almost 9 min video state Rep. Ford says point blank that the Mayor should work with the President especially on the crime in the city. [VIDEO]
On the other hand we have LaRaviere who is quoted in the Sun-Times as saying about Trump and with a swipe at Kanye West
“I accepted the meeting so I could tell him face-to-face that I could not accept his support as long as he aligned himself with a singularly corrupt President who poisons our culture with divisive racist and sexist proclamations every other time he opens his mouth,” LaRaviere wrote.

LaRaviere said he told West’s staffers that, if West wanted to meet, he “needed to come to my space . . . Symbolically I could not move toward a Trump supporter; if he wanted to talk, he needed to move toward me.”

West’s camp, “must have sensed my reluctance because they eventually stopped reaching out for the meeting,” LaRaviere wrote.
“I could not associate my campaign or my name with a man who had aligned himself with a president as racist, as corrupt, and as dangerous as Donald Trump. To paraphrase Omar Little, a man has to have a code,” he wrote.
Well LaRaviere probably wouldn't have worked well with the President at all! We just won't know how that will work out now. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

ABC 7 Chicago: Real-life Rosie the Riveter from Chatham continues serving community

On November 11 & 12 we observed Veteran's Day to observe the service of many active and retired military veterans. Today I want to share with you a video from ABC 7 of a Chatham resident a real life "Rosie the Riveter" was an important part of the war effort during the second World War.

Estelle Long is interviewed in this video talking about her background. She was the daughter of a veteran of the first World War - Veteran's Day initially was a day to mark the armistice that ended that conflict - and her husband served in the second World War. She truly believes in contributing to your community.

King Food and Deli update

As Worlee Glover starts his campaign for 6th Ward Alderman he offers an update with regards to the King Food & Deli at the former Church's Chicken on 87th & King Drive. It appears the owners of that "controversial" establishment are looking to change the concept of their business and establish a restaurant.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Southside Chicagoans deserve economic development solutions

You might have seen this in state Sen. Elgie Sims' latest e-mail blast referring to the future closure of Target stores in Chatham & Morgan Park.
I’m disheartened by the news that the Target Corporation has decided to close two stores in February 2019 on the city’s South Side, including one located in my neighborhood, Chatham. Not only is the store a source of income for more than 100 people, but many of my constituents rely on it for everyday essentials, including food and medication. This closure will make it harder for families who are already struggling, forcing them to find a way to travel farther to get the items they need.

It seems that the people of Chicago’s South Side, in predominantly African American neighborhoods, are always the first to be left out in the cold by big box stores. Members of the communities surrounding these stores supported them for 10 years, and now Target has decided to close their doors, giving explanations that do not seem to match with reality.

Recently, I joined with elected officials from the state, city and federal governments to speak about this ill-advised decision, which happens to involve closing the stores AFTER the lucrative holiday season, and I intend to find solutions to this problem. The people of the 17th District and all of the communities it includes deserve better.
Yes we do! Now how do our communities avoid being left out in the cold?

And also bear in mind Sims' constituent office is also near the Target at 87th & Cottage Grove.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Chicago's first streetcar #fbf

I know I did an earlier throwback post on Monday. In this case it was a throwback post regarding 63rd & Stony Island. Today we look at Chicago's first electric streetcar.

In October 2017, J.R. Schmidt did a post at Chicago History Today about the date of the first electric streetcar in Chicago. More than that it was the day "modern" mas transit came to Chicago. An electric street car line ran on Chicago's south side - well more specifically the line ran between Stony Island and South Chicago along 93rd Street on October 2, 1890.

Just think about this, this was about two years (June 6, 1892) before the first L line from Congress to Pershing Rd (39th Street) between State & Wabash entered service.

Here's a 1940 photo provided by Schmidt that shows a street car at 93rd & Jeffrey - so you get to see a 78-year-old view of what the Pill Hill community once looked like.
This is what Schmidt wrote:
The later 19th Century was the age of electricity. Cities were beginning to string overhead wire for street lights and telephones. Naturally there was talk of running street railway cars using electric power. After a few false starts, a successful electric line was launched in Richmond in 1888.

A live electric wire was strung over each set of tracks. A pole on top of the car connected to the wire, gathering power to run the car’s electric motor. The pole was called a “trolley,” so the new vehicles were often known as trolley cars.

Like most big cities, Chicago had many competing local transit companies in 1890. The city’s initial electric line ran on 93rd Street, between Stony Island and South Chicago Avenues. Rival railways tried to sabotage the effort, spreading dark rumors about passengers being accidentally electrocuted while riding the “death cars.”

But the trolley cars were triumphant. They were cleaner, faster, and cheaper to run. By 1906 both horse cars and cable cars were gone from the city’s streets.

The various local street railway companies were eventually unified. During the 1920s Chicago operated a fleet of over 3,000 cars on 172 routes over 1,060 miles of track. With 3.6 million fares each day, it was the largest city transit system on earth.
Basically we know how this story ended. 60 years ago streetcar service ended in Chicago. Streetcars after the second world war were phased out in favor of buses. So far the city hasn't shown a lot of interest in bringing back streetcars although with future development on Goose Island there is some interest in looking into a plan for light rail - which is today's version of streetcars.

At least there is footage of Chicago's last streetcar run which finished near 79th & Wentworth on the south side back in 1958.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Doesn't look like Target will reconsider #6thWardChicago

Posted to the Concerned Citizens of Chatham FB page (which is run by Worlee Glover who's running for 6th ward alderman) an article about Target choosing to double down on their decision to close two of their south side stores.

City officials are scrambling to get Target to reconsider its decision to close two South Side stores early next year, offering the retailer millions of dollars in incentives to keep the stores open.

But Target, which last week announced plans to close stores in the Morgan Park and Chatham neighborhoods, said it is standing by its “difficult decision” — one that has been met with criticism from shoppers and local officials alike.

The city is still trying to get Target to change its mind, though officials recognize it’s a long shot, said Adam Collins, a spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel has spoken with Target’s CEO at least five times since the company notified the city of its plans the day before the closures were announced publicly, and he has offered millions of dollars in tax increment financing assistance, said Collins, who declined to comment on details of the city’s offer.

On Wednesday, Emanuel signed an executive order that would keep developers seeking TIF money for retail projects from getting incentives if one of their large tenants is planning to close stores in another part of the city.

The move was in response to Target’s announcement, Collins said. The City Council recently approved $13 million in assistance for a shopping center in Albany Park that the city said is expected to include a Target. The Minneapolis-based retailer has not publicly announced plans for a store at that location.

Emanuel said the executive order is meant to ensure “if you’re going to be a Chicagoland store you’re in all parts of Chicago.”
Mayor Emanuel may be unpopular for a variety of reasons, but I am with him on this. If you're going to be in Chicago you have to be in all parts of the city. It's one reason why Whole Foods Market is in Englewood today!

On the other hand, what would it take for Target to change their minds on closing either or both stores on the south side? It seems like they've made up their mind and no mood to change it!

RELATED: Target to exit far south side neighborhoods #6WardChicago

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

CTA Budget hearing going on tonight!

UPDATED Nov. 9, 2018 with a new link and embed of the recent CTA budget hearing from Wednesday.

[VIDEO] You might have seen notices posted on CTA buses and trains recently. CTA have a hearing going on tonight with regards to their proposed budget. Right now you can watch this hearing live. The hearing itself takes place at CTA HQ 567 W. Lake Street.

Even if you don't get to watch this live, I would expect it would remain available her for those who couldn't physically go to CTA HQ or wasn't able to watch the hearing as it happened.

Election season continued...

We got through our mid term and gubernatorial election this year. Gov. Bruce Rauner will be succeeded next year by now Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker. Pritzker will be joined with his Lt. Governor-elect Juliana Stratton who is the first Black American to hold that position.

Kwame Raoul wins the race for Illinois Attorney General. Raoul is a state senator who had succeeded Barack Obama in Springfield once he had been elected a US Senator in 2004 (and we all know what happened from there).

Now we turn our attention to the municipal elections in February. At last count that I know of, there are 18 candidates looking to succeed Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he retires from office next year. There are a few names most voters know, however, as far as I know there isn't anyone who's been able to break out so far. If anyone sticks out for mayor feel free to post a comment, tweet us, or even write a quick comment on our FB page.

As we had for the past two elections we had a page dedicated for the alderman elections in 2011 for the 6th ward. In 2015 we covered three alderman elections (wards 6, 9, & 21) due to the ward remap. I would imagine 2019 isn't much different, but we hope to have a page ready to go for next years election. We do hope to keep it local and perhaps keep an eye on the mayor's race as well.

This year we usually are a stickler for making sure people know to register to vote or go to the polls on election day. We didn't do much with regards to letting you all know about early voting for this year's elections. Hopefully we'll do a lot better with regards to sharing information with you all about next year's elections as we get closer to February.

Unfortunately election season still isn't over for us. We'll still see yard signs, workers seeking petition signatures, politicians, news stories, etc for just a little while longer.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Phillip Jackson RIP

Phillip Jackson was truly a very important man in the community with his activism as founder of the Black Star Project and he was CEO of the Chicago Housing Authority. Learned of his passing through RAGE's IG and would like to offer condolences to his family. Jackson at one point tried his hand at politics running for state representative for Illinois' 26th District.

Here's a news story regarding Mr. Jackson published Monday in the Chicago Tribune.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Chicago Mag: Pullman’s Renaissance #Ward09 #BuildingwithBeale

Published on October 26th, 2018 I'm sorry that I only found out about it recently. A lot of good things is going on in the Pullman neighborhood.

63rd/Stony Island in 1974

Sorry to have missed this Chicago History Today post from June 2018. It shows 63rd Street & Stony Island from 1974 to 2018. Perhaps dreams of restoring the East 63rd St. L back to Stony Island which has cropped up during the course of the past year is to see service restored to Stony Island as it was until the early 1980s.
According to John Schmidt who authors this blog this was what was in the area in 1974
In 1974 the Jackson Park ‘L’ terminal at 63rd-Stony Island was in its eighty-first year of service.  By that time the neighborhood was in decline, and many of the buildings that had gone up around the terminal had been town down.  Meanwhile, CTA had announced plans to replace the old station with an elaborate park-and-ride facility.
Now the future of this area revolves around the future Obama Presidential Library which had been unanimously approved by the Chicago City Council.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Upset with the closure of Target?

The store in Chatham & Morgan Park which was announced earlier this week? Concerned Citizens of Chatham let's us know who to direct our questions and concerns to. Probably worth it to reach out and let them know how valuable the store has been to our community.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

BlockClubChi: Target Boycott Considered As Company Closes Stores In South Side Neighborhoods

From Block Club's Lee Edwards who covers stories in Chatham.The neighborhood is abuzz with the news that our local Target store is closing.
Black Chicagoans are threatening to boycott Target after the retailer decided to close two stores on the South Side.

A Target spokeswoman said the store at 8560 S. Cottage Grove and the Morgan Park location at 11840 S. Marshfield Ave. are two of the five stores nationwide picked to close because they’re not profitable.

This baffled shoppers and local elected officials, who said the stores were always bustling with customers.
Target spokeswoman Jacqueline Debuse said the primary factors leading to the closure of both stores are performance and profitability, but declined to release details on the stores’ financial performance. Both stores are slated to close Feb. 2.

“If the stores had been underperforming for several years I don’t understand why they wouldn’t look to the city for information, if not assistance, to do what we can to keep those stores afloat,” [Ald. Roderick] Sawyer said.

The backlash on social media to the closures was swift, with frustrated South Siders pointing out that the company is growing rapidly on the city’s mostly-white North Side.
Sawyer said he’s already made a few preliminary calls to developers and potential stores to gauge interest in filling the 126,000 square-foot space. He said he intends on working with city and community partners to find a viable tenant for the space in the coming weeks.

“For such a large retailer as Target it demonstrates a lack of a connection to the community and extreme insensitivity toward people’s feelings about their shopping experience,” he said. “I have friends that are religious Target shoppers and for them to do something like this it’s extremely disconcerting and I think extremely insensitive.”

Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) scheduled a press conference in the parking lot of the Target store in Chatham for Thursday morning. 
“Target should immediately postpone their closure date,” Rush said in a statement. “They cannot take our money around the holiday season and then pack up and leave.”
Worlee Glover of Concerned Citizens of Chatham was also quoted:
Glover said companies like Target leaving the community impacts young people and seniors the most. He said his late mother was able to visit Target’s pharmacy and grocery store via a local transit and return home, and teens are losing employment opportunities within the community.

“When companies like Target and Best Buy have moved out of my community I do my own silent boycott,” he said. “If my money is no good with you in my neighborhood, my money is no good with you outside of my neighborhood. I will find another source.”
I didn't see much about a boycott here, question is whether or not this will influence Target's decision for either of the two south side Chicago Target stores. Although many seem to be making their own boycott as Worlee does. Our money is no good to you, then why support you?