Monday, May 20, 2019

Curbed Chicago: Rahm Emanuel’s top accomplishments as mayor of Chicago

Rahm Emanuel is leaving office soon and last week Curbed Chicago wrote about some of his accomplishments. Of course they still look at some of the issues that remain.

With this said, best wishes to the new Mayor Lori Lightfoot as she tackles some of he pressing issues of our city. As always for the Windy City, hoping for the best!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Metra upgrades and slashing Metra Electric fares...

[VIDEO] As there is a bill being proposed in Springfield that would fares on the Metra Electric line in the city, perhaps I should share this story. This aired on CBS Chicago on May 9, 2019 and was shot at the Metra station at 115th Street or in Metra parlance Kensington. It illustrates the need for upgrades to Metra stations.

The aforementioned bill to cut fares to ride the Metra Electric line within the city limits is designed to make riding that route within the city a more attractive option and was introduced by local state representative Marcus Evans (D - 33rd District). From the Tribune on May 7, 2019:
The bill, introduced by Illinois State Rep. Marcus Evans, Jr., a Democrat, would set fares for Metra Electric trips within the city as equal to CTA rail fares, which are $2.50 at the regular rate. Metra Electric fares within the city currently range from $4 to $5.50 for a single ride.

South Side community activists have long discussed converting the Metra Electric line, which runs from downtown into the south suburbs, into a rapid-transit line with more frequent stops to make up for a lack of rapid transit options on the far South Side.

“It’s a quality-of-life issue,” said Linda Thisted, co-chair of the Coalition for a Modern Metra Electric, which supports the bill. “A lot of people can’t afford Metra Electric fares so they take really slow buses. This could transform the South Side and the South Shore.”
Expansion of South Side service through Metra could be less expensive than a parallel expansion of the CTA’s Red Line south from 95th Street to 130th Street, which will cost about $2.3 billion. The CTA is planning the extension, though it does not yet have the money to pay for it.

Metra said it was willing to discuss the proposal, which also would allow Metra Electric riders to use the Ventra card to get on the train.

“We would look forward to working with Rep. Evans and others to determine whether doing this is feasible and affordable,” said Metra spokesman Michael Gillis.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

On The Table at Urban Partnerhip Bank THIS Tuesday

I apologize for this late post, as the information was sent much earlier.

But if you are able to attend, there is at least one open On The Table event in the Chatham area.

If you have additoinal #OnTheTable events, or want to report on yours AFTER the event, contact us at

Here is the press release for the event


Nonprofit Utopia, Providence Bank Invite Local Stakeholders to Write a Memo to the Mayor

Nonprofit Utopia, the ideal community for emerging leaders, and Providence Bank & Trust will host a meetup, On the Table: Memo to the Mayor on May 14, from 9:00 am until 11:00 am at Urban Partnership Bank. The bank is located at 7801 South State Street in Chicago. Guests will write a memo to the Mayor, reflecting the results of each table’s conversation, including collective points-of-view; recommendations and ways the Mayor and her administration may address problems, make something better or otherwise follow up.

The target communities for discussion include Chatham, Avalon, Auburn-Gresham, West Chesterfield, Park Manor and Greater Grand Crossing. Guests will break out into 4 groups to discuss issues of concern as they relate to how Mayor Lightfoot can implement policies for individuals around investment and wealth creation; economic development; job creation and affordable housing and related policies.

"Every idea is important", said Valerie F. Leonard, the Founder of Nonprofit Utopia, LLC. "Therefore, our memo will take into account all the ideas shared On the Table". Depending on the pleasure of the group assembled, the memo can be made up of words only; it might include a photo; a vision board; it might even include a poem. It is the guests' opportunity to cast a vision for their local community.

On the Table is sponsored by the Chicago Community Trust, and is a daylong civic conversation involving thousands of people all across Chicago and neighboring communities. All events will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at times convenient to local groups. Friends, co-workers and even strangers gather that day for mealtime conversations about topics that matter to them. This year’s theme is Memo to the Mayor.

Learn more about Nonprofit Utopia at and

Learn more about Providence Bank & Trust at Providence Bank & Trust is a Member of the FDIC and is an Equal Housing Lender.

Learn more about On the Table events at

Photo: Hurley Green, III

Valerie F. Leonard 
Founder, Nonprofit Utopia
Phone: 773-571-3886
E-mail: Website:
Coming Soon: Capacity Building Blocks Online

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Capitol Fax: Lightfoot, Rush appear to move on from the past #ChiMayor19

Lightfoot will take her place on city hall's 5th floor on May 20, 2019 and we're already seeing some indication of her relationship with some of Chicago's US Congressmen (or Congresswomen). Today we talk about her future relationship with 1st Congressional District congressman Bobby Rush who made some very racial incendiary remarks about Lightfoot before she won last month's runoff election for mayor.

Read about it at CapFax

Monday, May 6, 2019

Rant: Community Organizations and the 6th Ward

Worlee Glover shared this rant on Concerned Citizens of Chatham yesterday. Is there truly a disconnect in the 6th Ward between say the western part of the 6th Ward and the eastern part? Basically between say Englewood & Chatham?

Friday, May 3, 2019

Capitol Fax: Senate income tax roundup

This was posted to the CapFax yesterday. A roundup of coverage for the state senate passing Gov. Pritzker's plan for a graduated or progressive income tax. How many of you know that Illinois' income taxes are flat? I never realized the political implications of attempting to insure a graduated or progressive income tax in this state.

The flat rate had been increased in this state in 2017 and earlier in 2011 which was allowed to expire in 2014. And if you've followed Pritzker's campaign for Governor last year he's always talked about insuring that the high-income earners - or the rich - pay their fair share in this state.

BTW, it should be noted to change the flat tax to a graduated tax on income. It requires a constitutional amendment so one of the bills that passed the state senate allows whether or not to change the constitution for this will go through the state house and ultimately we'll see it on the ballot in the next election. The curiosity is what will the state's voter's decide on this issue.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Federal probe on Gov. Pritzker #twill

Rich Miller digs as far as the new federal investigation with regards to property tax breaks for our current Gov. JB Pritzker. It's the funny story about removing toilets from a residence in Chicago's Gold Coast near downtown to make that house not only uninhabitable, but eligible for tax breaks. Our ineffective former Governor Bruce Rauner tried to make this a campaign issue during his unsuccessful bid for re-election last year.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Rib Hill Restaurant in Pill Hill

Something see on Pete Kastanes' Vanished Chicago Businesses on instagram. This business was located at 9129 S. Jeffery Blvd. What you see here is a menu from that long gone business.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Capitol Fax: It's just a bill

A couple of bills being reported here that caught my eye. One bill lowering the minimum age for a child to be enrolled in Kindergarten. Also a bill that we should keep an eye on, the state's legislative Black caucus fights a bill with regards to "forced unionization" until there is meaningful inclusion of minorities in trade unions. Go over to Rich Miller's blog for more.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Al Capone's former house on Prairie Ave has been sold!

We've occasionally followed the stories revolving around this home which was once where infamous Prohibition-era mobster Al Capone once resided. When it had been in the news often it was for sale and now during this past week it had found a buyer.

According to the Tribune
The red brick two-flat in the South Side Park Manor neighborhood that legendary mobster Al Capone once lived in sold April 5 for $226,000.

The 2,820-square-foot two-flat, at 7244 S. Prairie Avenue, sold for more than double its $109,900 asking price.

“We had like 80 offers on it,” listing agent Ryan Smith of Re/Max Properties told Elite Street. “We had a lot of press on it, so I think that helped it out.”

Capone moved into the two-flat with his mother and sister in 1923 after moving to Chicago from New York. Although Capone's name was never actually on the purchase deed, his mother's and wife’s names were on it, and the family owned the two-flat until the 1950s, when his mother died. After Capone got out of prison in 1939, he lived in Florida until his death in 1947.

Built about 1909, the two-flat, which sits on an extra-wide lot, has had several owners since the Capones, and in 1989, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks and the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council both rejected bids to make the house an official landmark.
Also Curbed Chicago picked up on the sale of Capone's old hime.

Just last night I looked for any YouTube video regarding this house. Some tourists came to Park Manor to check this home out and shot some video outside. It was uploaded to YouTube in June 2018 [VIDEO]