Sunday, January 31, 2010

Campaign posters and flyers

I got this flyer in the mail a few weeks ago. Don't have a feel for this race as Bill Beavers face off to retain his seat on the county board against Elgie Sims. All I can say about this race is that Rich Miller @ The Capitol Fax hopes Sims will pull this one out. Unfortunately this race may well be a low priority amongst other races that get more press!

This next flyer was found in the Target parking lot on 87th and Cottage Grove. It reeks of a certain amount of desperation for Todd Stroger.

For Todd Stroger a lot of people will say that the county is in better shape than both city and state governments.  This is a sign for him posted near Michigan and 98th Place.

 This house is located between Wabash and Michigan on 95th Street. This home is almost run down and I'm uncertain that anyone lives there anymore, but it sure became a bulletin board of sorts for campaign signs.
You see a poster in the above pic for Slyvester Baker. He hopes to unseat Sheriff Tom Dart. Unfortunately that's very unlikely and you'll see a Cook County Style squash-match for Baker. Below is a flyer I have around the house for him. But you do see posters for him around the community in neighborhood businesses. Just go to Izola's on 79th Street or walk up and down 87th Street in certain commercial properties!

Don't forget to vote on Tuesday Feb. 2nd. If you don't know where you polling place is then look here!

BTW, it hits me that I saw a couple of people with a stack of signs for an appellate court candidate Friday afternoon near 95th and Michigan. They had a significant stack of them and they may not have been through for the day. Unfortunately I couldn't tell you who this judicial candidate was.

Election day is Tuesday!!!

First off Worlee at Concerned Citizens of Chatham offers a link to help you determine who will be on your ballot in your precinct!

You can also go directly to the Chicago Board of Elections website to check out a sample ballot for your precinct!

BTW, I want to share this article with you. The Defender reports that Ald. Lyle supports Pat Quinn for re-election as Governor.
Lyle, who organized the endorsing group, said they began meeting in September about which candidate to back. They looked at each candidate’s track record in addition to conducting interviews with each.

“We recommend Pat Quinn,” the alderman said.
Lyle also chimed in on Hynes’ ad.

“Friends fall out then they make up,” Lyle said, adding that Quinn and Washington remained friends.
Ah the Hynes ad. It made him a contender almost overnight and Quinn is very much playing defense with robobcalls from prominent Chicago blacks from former Harold Washington aide Jacky Grimshaw (she sits on the CTA board currently thanks to Gov. Quinn), Congressmen Luis Gutierrez, Danny Davis, and Bobby Rush. If you haven't seen it, it's old news, but here it is! We're still seeing the consequences of it!

In another post I want to show some campaign flyers. To be done today!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Chicago jobless rate climbs to 10.6%

Unemployment in metropolitan Chicago edged higher in December to 10.6%, remaining close to a 26-year high.

The seasonally unadjusted jobless rate rose from 10.3% during November in the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet area, according to figures released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

The local rate peaked at 11.3% in June 2009, the highest jobless rate since July 1983.

Chicago was among the four metro areas to post the biggest year-over-year increase, the IDES report showed. The others on that list were Decatur, Peoria and Kankakee-Bradley.
In Illinois the rate is at 10.8%.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Brookins: Significant resistance to Chatham Walmart

This is Chatham Market the proposed location of the Chatham Wal-Mart (Defender)

This is probably no big surprise to many who have read this blog during its brief existence. The Defender however recently revisits the resistance to a Wal-Mart located at 83rd & Stewart in Chicago's 21st Ward!
It is long overdue for the community to put pressure on the aldermen who oppose another Walmart within the city’s limits, said Ald. Howard Brookins (21st).

The South Side alderman has been heavily courting the Arkansas-based retail giant for six years to build a Walmart in his ward on 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue, but he failed to garner the support from fellow aldermen, he said.

“There is significant resistance from South Side aldermen. Many jobs are needed. The people are struggling to support their families. Walmart can only help provide much needed jobs for the residents,” Brookins told the Defender.
The issue is currently held up in the council’s Committee on Finance, chaired by Ald. Ed Burke (14th). The council cannot vote unless the issue makes it out of the committee. Brookins said it’s at Burke’s discretion to put the matter back on the table. The next finance committee meeting is scheduled for Feb. 8. An agenda has yet to be released.

Several aldermen, including Alds. Pat Dowell (3rd), Toni Preckwinkle (4th) and Freddrenna Lyle (6th) – publicly oppose Walmart coming to the city. An inadequate living wage and propensity of hurting the small businesses in the area were at issue.

Labor unions in the city who stated Walmart doesn’t pay middle-class wages aren’t alone. A coalition of clergy and community organizations – Good Jobs Chicago – took the same stance.

“People only hear one side of the story, that a Walmart job is better than no job. When they hear the other side, it hits them that $8 an hour won’t begin to cover basic necessities or get people off public assistance,” said Latrell Smith, a member of the Good Jobs Chicago.

Brookins said he and GJC want the same thing, but he finds it “disingenuous” the coalition targets Walmart.

“Target is a big box. So is Best Buy. So, I guess it’s OK for them to come into our neighborhoods, but not Walmart. They’re all paying about the same,” the alderman said.
Count Willie Cochran as a vote in favor of Wal-Mart!
Ald. Willie Cochran (20th) said while he understands workers need to receive a good wage that labor unions and other groups want Walmart to pay, he must stand by the decision of his community.

“My constituents are in support of Walmart. The jobs are needed now. It's about who I represent and they want Walmart to come to the South Side,” Cochran said, whose ward is a few miles north of Brookins’.
I really would like to understand the arguments regarding good wages. Who decides what's a good wage and what isn't? Who should get a good wage? The teenaged working starting their worklife, the college student putting themselves through school, the single mother, or the retired person who seeks additional income?

Two men accused of unusual Payless Shoe robbery

Location: 8552 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, IL 60619, USA

Let's start with the Tribune:
Joshua Bradley and Brian Brittnum, both 23 and of the 8200 block of South Throop Street, have been charged with two counts each of armed robbery in connection with the Tuesday night holdup at the Payless Shoe Source in the East Chatham neighborhood.

The men, wearing ski masks, walked into the Payless, 8552 S. Cottage Grove, about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday and held it up with a fake gun that police described as a drill wrapped in duct tape. Police said the two were given an undisclosed amount of money and fled.

As the pair made their escape, one of the people in the store was able to get the license plate number of their vehicle. Police traced the plate number to a residence in the 8300 block of South Ingleside Avenue.

Soon thereafter when police went to the residence, the girlfriend of one of the suspects answered the door, police said. The girlfriend, to whom the vehicle was registered, gave police permission to search the residence, and Bradley and Brittnum were found in a back room, police said.
Then more from the Southtown:
Surveillance video from Payless Shoe Source, 8552 S. Cottage Grove Ave., shows two robbers enter the store about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday and display something that looks like a gun. It turned out to be a staple gun or wrench covered with duct tape, authorities said.

Police said the video showed a bizarre scene.

"This one kid comes into the store, he realized he forgot to pull the ski mask down so he pulled it down real quick -- so the eye holes were off, causing him to begin stumbling around" before adjusting it, a police source said.

And a customer talked on her cell phone during the entire robbery -- didn't even move -- and walked out after purchasing shoes while still on her cell phone, the source said.
So where is that TV program about dumb criminals again?

Walgreen wants to sell beer, wine at some Chicago stores

Walgreen Co. on Wednesday announced it plans to request a license from the City of Chicago to sell beer and wine at 18 of its 174 Chicago stores.

The Deerfield-based drugstore plans to file its application with the city on Thursday, a spokesman said.

Walgreen said in March 2009 that it would revisit selling liquor nationwide after abandoning the merchandise segment in the 1990s. The company already sells beer and wine at its Vernon Hills, Bourbonnais, Rockford and North Aurora store. It will begin selling liquor in Niles in about a week, said a company spokesman.

“We’re responding to customers’ demand,” he said. “We’re trying to provide more of a one-stop shopping experience.”
Yeah there were some Walgreen's stores in the neighborhood such as 75th & State or perhaps once upon a time 87th & Cottage that once had liquor sections. What would you think if alcohol sales returned to our community?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Learn about Chicago's new public schools at: The 3rd Annual New Schools EXPO on January 30.2010

Presented by: Parents for School Choice & the Chicago Public Schools
A showcase of Chicago's newest public schools, including charter schools and Renaissance 2010 schools.
New elementary and high school campuses created through Renaissance 2010 or pre-existing charter schools will be in attendance.
Saturday, January 30, 2010 9:30am - 2:00pm
Soldier Field (Indoors) 1410 South Museum Campus DriveUnited Club Level One (indoors)

What to Do:
Meet new school leaders
Apply to new public elementary and high schools
Talk to other parents who are exploring the new schools
Attend workshops such as: What Makes a Quality School, From a Parent's Perspective, and more!

Participating Schools:
For a full listing of schools participating in this year’s EXPO.

What to Bring with You:
If you plan to apply to schools directly on-site at the EXPO, you are strongly encouraged to bring photo copies of the following identification items with you:
Student birth certification or legal guardianship papers
Student social security card
Parent/Guardian license or ID card (not valid for proof of residency)
Parent/Guardian proof of Chicago residency (i.e. utility, mortgage, medical card, bank statement, check card, voter registration card. No rental leases or cell phone bills accepted)
Many participating schools require this information when applying to prove that you and your child reside in Chicago. Without these items you may not be able to fully complete an application at the event.

Cost: FREE
FREE admission, FREE parking, CTA accessible

Get Involved: If you would like to get involved in the EXPO as a sponsor, volunteer or community partner, please contact Karen Corken at.Getting There:

By Public Transportation
Soldier Field is easily accessible by both CTA bus and train.

Take the CTA Green, Orange or Red line train to Roosevelt where you can pick up a free shuttle to Soldier Field.
Take the #12 Roosevelt bus to the Shedd Aquarium bus stop and walk 0.3 miles to Soldier Field.
Take the #146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express bus to the McFetridge & Park District Building stop and walk 0.3 miles to Soldier Field.

By Free Shuttle Bus
Free shuttle buses will be running back and forth from the Roosevelt L stop between 9:30am and 2:30pm.

By Car
FREE parking will be available in the South Garage which is adjacent to the EXPO venue.

Two 14 year old girls last seen near 95th & Michigan

You can read the report about these two young teenaged ladies over at Chicago Breaking News. If you have any info on their whereabouts please call the Area 2 Special Victims Unit @ 312-747-8272. Hopefully they are found safe!

Health Clinic Opens in Englewood

The first federally qualified health clinic is opening its doors in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.

The Beloved Community Family Wellness Center had been operating in three rooms at St. Bernard Hospital.

Beloved is moving to a new $2 million clinic on Halsted Street. The number of patients is expected to double to about 10,000.

Margie Johnson is executive director of the center.

JOHNSON: For year the Englewood community has gone without adequate healthcare and the individuals that reside in Englewood are what would be classified as low income.
The majority of patients have no insurance there. The services offered will range from prenatal to senior care. This center is also connected to a church founded by US Rep. Bobby Rush!

Police are watching you...AND your car!

From a Greater Chatham Alliance Newsblast
SPECIAL ALERT...........

It has come to my attention that the Chicago Police are not only patrolling our area for crime,  they are also patrolling for Vehicle Violations!

Just letting you know that if your license plate is expired, you have no City Sticker, or you have 2 or Outstanding tickets, they are placing tickets on the windows and recommending the boot!

This is just a warning so that you are aware of what is going on. The City Needs Money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May God Bless.

Toya M Bey
Chairperson for the Safety and Security Committee
Greater Chatham Community Alliance

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Sales Tax Rollback Plan Coming For Cook County

It's considered a long-shot, but a new push for tax reform in Cook County is set to be presented at a County Board meeting Tuesday.

County Commissioner Tony Peraica (R-16th) is expected to present an ordinance to repeal what's left of the countywide sales tax increase the board approved in 2008.

Commissioners already reduced 0.5 percent of the sales tax, cutting the total tax rate in Chicago from 10.25 percent to 9.75 percent. In doing so, they overrode a veto by County Board President Todd Stroger.

City Colleges moves to demolish former Kennedy-King campus

Photo by Zol87 on Flickr check out Lee Bey's Zocalo blog for more pics of KKC's old campus.

Lee Bey's Chicago:
The City Colleges of Chicago has awarded a $6 million contract to a Chicago firm to demolish the former Kennedy King College campus  and turn the site into green space, Lee Bey’s Chicago has learned.

Brandenburg Industrial Service Company will be paid $6.276 million to raze the architecturally Brutalist 38-year-old campus at 69th and Wentworth.   The vacant campus, which straddles Wentworth, has been on borrowed time since 2007 when a new Kennedy-King opened at 63rd and Halsted.  A range of reuse plans for the old facility–including converting the school into a police and fire academy–were rejected, in part, because of the expense of modernizing the building, according to one city official.

A report submitted during last month’s City Colleges of Chicago board meeting by interim chancellor Deidra J. Lewis announced the bid award and said the campus would be demolished because it has been “out of service for two years and … restoration is cost prohibitive.”

It is unclear if the parcel would become permanent green space;  City Colleges last year proposed priming the site for retail or residential redevelopment by including it in an expanded tax increment finance district.

Teen jobs disappearing in city, state, report says

Greg Hinz:
Even before the economy crashed, just 15% of African-American teenagers in Chicago -- fewer than one in six -- was employed.

That's among the starker findings of a new report on youth and jobs being released Tuesday by the Alternate Schools Network and the Chicago Urban League.

Conducted by researcher Andrew Sum at Northeastern University in Boston, the study concludes that youth of all racial and socio-economic backgrounds increasingly do not work, but finds that the problem is particularly severe among minorities.

For instance, nearly 48 out of 100 affluent, white teens in Illinois held a job in 2008, versus just 13 of 100 low-income black teens, and just 23% of Latino teens.
Via CapFax morning shorts!

Monday, January 25, 2010

17-year-old charged after pointing gun at police

Lenard Myles, 17, of the 8100 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue, was charged with aggravated assault of an officer and unlawful use of a weapon, according to police News Affairs.

About 4 p.m. Saturday, a Calumet Area saturation team on patrol in the 7900 block of South Langley Avenue approached a male suspect in an attempt to interview him, police News Affairs Officer Gabrielle Lesniak said.

The man fled on foot and officers followed on foot. During the chase, the man turned and pointed a weapon in the direction of one of the officers, Lesniak said.

An officer fired his weapon at the suspect, but did not strike him and did not cause any property damage, Lesniak said.

Myles appeared in bond court Sunday.
Same story as reported on Sunday!

Comedy clubs along 79th Street

Another idea from the CAPCC blog:
Wouldn't be a great idea if comedy clubs popped up and down 79Th Street in Chatham to give people a fun place to go and venues for upcoming talent and the community to free itself of the blight? 
People in Chatham needs some entertainment. How about The Original Kings of Comedy come into Chatham to make us laugh? People would come from all over to see them. Of course parking might be an issue if we have comedy clubs operating into late night!

BTW, I really wish I can find an image from HBO's Def Comedy Jam or any black comedian performing at a comedy club. That might make this idea a lot more appealing!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A quirk in CPS' new enrollment system

A quirk in the Chicago Public Schools' new enrollment system puts children from parts of some economically better-off neighborhoods such as the Near North Side, Albany Park, Rogers Park and Uptown in the same category as children from the city's poorest areas, such as Englewood and Lawndale.

That's because the new system is designed to emphasize economic -- rather than racial -- diversity, and it assumes that where you live determines how well-off you are.

Some, however, fear that wealthier families living in census tracts classified in the system as being "poorer" will now be able to "game the system" for admission to elite schools. Studies have shown that test scores closely track with income, and students from wealthier families will likely have an edge if they test against poorer students.

Likewise, poor students who are members of some of the last remaining low-income families in recently gentrified neighborhoods now classified by CPS as "richer" could be at a disadvantage because they would be testing against students from wealthier families.
Read the whole thing!

Park Manor: police fires shots in foot chase no one wounded!

The incident occurred around 4 p.m. when a Calumet Area saturation team on patrol near the 7900 block of South Langley Avenue approached a male suspect in an attempt to interview him, police News Affairs Officer Gabrielle Lesniak said.

The man fled on foot and and officers followed on foot. During the chase, the offender turned and pointed a weapon in the direction of one of the officers, Lesniak said.

Due to this action, an officer fired his weapon at the suspect, but did not strike him and did not cause any property damage, Lesniak said.

The offender was taken into custody and no charges had been filed as of early Sunday.
Calument area detectives and Independent Police Review Authority are investigating. The IPRA investigates all police-involved shootings!

"Afternoon Social & Line Dancing"

Chatham Avalon Park Community Council blog got the scoop on us on this one...

"Afternoon Social & Line Dancing"

Census Information Early Voting Information

Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Place: Captain Smith’s Hard Time Dining

436-440 East 79th Street

Chicago, Illinois 60619

Time: 12 noon until 3pm

Line Dancing Stepping


Donation: $10.00 per person


Sponsored by: The U.S. Census Complete Count Committee &
Weorganizeit4u, Gifts, Consulting & Event Planning

Captain Smith’s Hard Time Dining

For more information please contact M.Drake at (773) 620-4578 or Mrs. Josephine Wade at (773) 487-2900.
If you've been to Captain Hard know this is a great venue for an event like this!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Illinois unemployment second-worst in Midwest

UPDATE 2:22 PM Here's a video story from FOX Chicago on the 11.1% unemployment facing our state!

Michigan's December rate was 14.6 percent, compared to 11.1 percent in Illinois, 10.9 percent in Ohio and 10.7 percent in Kentucky.
This article seemed to talk about unemployment in Indiana which was only 9.9% last month. In November of last year it was 9.6%. Still they aren't as high as our state!

More on this story from Crain's:
Unemployment in Illinois jumped to 11.1% in December, according to state figures.

The state jobless rate rose from 10.9% in November and is up from 7.2% in December 2008, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported.

The three-month average also increased to 11% from 10.8%.

“The statewide unemployment rate reflects persistent weakness in national job growth as our country wrestles toward economic recovery,” said IDES Director Maureen O’Donnell in a statement. “Given the depth of this recession, consistent and sustained job creation must occur at the national level before it can be expected in Illinois.”

The state lost 16,300 jobs during December, the 23rd consecutive monthly loss, led by cuts in construction as well as trade, transportation and utilities jobs.

Over the 12 months of 2009, companies statewide cut 237,300 workers.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cold weather suspect in death of man found on 87th Street

Vincent Hampton, 52, who may be homeless, was found at 400 block of East 87th Street in Chicago and pronounced dead at 12:55 a.m. this morning., according to the spokesman.
Autopsy is pending in this case to be schedule on Saturday.

Here is some info on cold weather shelters!

CTA sees small decline in 2009 ridership

New figures show passengers took a combined 521 million rides last year. That's down about 5 million rides, or 1 percent, compared to 2008.

CTA President Richard Rodriguez says 2009 ridership numbers are better than expected given the recession. He says the modest decline during hard economic times shows how much people value public transportation.

CTA rail ridership was just over 202 million for 2009, an increase of around 2 percent. Bus ridership in 2009 was about 319 million, a nearly 3 percent decrease.
I would like to refer you to Worlee's Concerned Citizen's of Chatham blog to take a lot at the service cutbacks by CTA that is set to commence on February 7th.

ALSO, read this piece from Greg Hinz regarding City Hall's weakness on addressing the needs of the CTA.

UPDATE 11:03 PM State hasn't paid the RTA since July according to Chicago Current!
The state of Illinois has not paid the Regional Transportation Authority since July and now owes the transit agency $250 million, the RTA said today.

The recession has forced state government to pick and choose where to send its limited funding, and the Chicago region's transportation agencies have gotten the short end of the stick.

To bridge the gap, the RTA has the authority to issue $260 million in "working cash" — essentially IOU notes. While the RTA still has a few other sources of funding to get by on, the state’s non-payment could become a big problem if it lasts much longer.

"We have to let them know the consequences of this situation," RTA Executive Director Stephen Schlickman told the agency's board today. "We don't want doomsday all over again."

Intersection between the 46th and 6th wards

Uptown Update is a little upset that they get more news about what's going on with TIFs in the 46th thru our Alderman's Oct. 2009 newsletter!

BTW, here is this month's Aldermanic newsletter from Ald. Freddrenna Lyle.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Seaway sees steady growth in spite of tough economy

According to this article from the January 13, 2010 edition of the Chicago Citizen. And I like the fact that the 45-year-old bank is finally seeing a young generation of customers banking there. Of course the article offers that Seaway has always had customers who are 40 and up banking there.

The article discusses a banking financial series hosted by the Chatham Business Association.

While you're at it, check out this page at the official Seaway Bank & Trust website! The benefit of banking locally, especially this one that should catch our attention:
Dollars deposited in Seaway circulate 5 to 6 times in the community.

Woman, 2 men shot on South Side

A woman was shot in the abdomen and critically injured and two men with her were also wounded during a late Wednesday attack that left the car they were in riddled with bullets on Chicago's South Side.

The three were sitting in a vehicle at 11:20 p.m. at 558 E. 76th St. when three men walked up and at least one of them fired into the vehicle before they ran away, police officer Hector Alfaro said.

All three people in the car were wounded, he said.

A source said they were in a late 80s car that was "shot up and riddled with bullets."

After the shooting, the victims drove themselves to East 75th Street and South Cornell Avenue where the Chicago Fire Department responded, Alfaro said.
Police are still investigating but as of yet, there is no motive in this incident.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

County Commissioner candidates along 95th Street

Location: E 95th St & S Forest Ave, Chicago, IL 60619, USA

Elgie Sims & Commission William Beavers will face each other for the position of 4th District County Commissioner. Those two posters were near 95th & Forrest.

Man charged in fatal shooing of South Side boy

We missed this earlier. 11-year-old Aston Wise was a student at Ruggles school.

The incident happened this past December 11, but the story was published December 23

Man charged in fatal shooing of South Side boy :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Chicago Crime

Harlan and Robeson gets funding for mentors and citizen patrol squads

A new Chicago Public School anti-violence campaign is sending the bulk of $30 million in federal stimulus dollars this school year to 38 high schools identified by officials Tuesday.

Roughly 80 percent of CPS students who were shot or killed in the last five years attended classes at one of these locations, CPS officials say.

As a result, the schools are producing plans to bring a "culture of calm" to their campuses. They will be hiring community groups to provide mentors, truancy workers and citizen patrol squads.
Other local high schools in addition to Harlan and Robeson include: Chicago Vocational, Simeon, Corliss, Julian, Hirsh, TEAM Englewood, Bowen Campus, and South Shore Campus.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Would you support a 6th Ward meeting on Education?

For more information contact:

Monique Bond

CPS Office of

Phone: 773-553-1620

Fax: 773-553-1622


January 19, 2010

Chicago Public Schools Officials Announce 2010
Proposed School Actions

New Student Bill of
Rights Criteria Guides Process

Chicago Public Schools officials today announced a series of proposed school actions that are designed to improve educational opportunities for students at low-performing schools and create operational efficiencies by closing school buildings that are under enrolled or in poor condition.

CPS Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman and Chief Education Officer Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins said the proposed actions call for the turnaround of five schools, closing four schools, consolidating four schools and phasing out one school.

"Our primary obligation is to assess the performance of schools and provide the best possible educational opportunity for students in every school in Chicago," Huberman said. "This means taking a long hard look at every school under our Performance Policy and making what can be difficult decisions on whether a school is properly serving its students.

"At the same time, we – like virtually every school system in the U.S. – are faced with tough budget constraints and, as a result, we must ensure that we are using our limited operational funds in a smart, cost-effective way. We cannot afford to operate schools where the student population has declined to a level in which keeping a school open is no longer fiscally prudent."

Under Board-approved policy, CPS can close or create turnaround schools for chronic low performance; for low enrollment and underutilization; or if a building has fallen into a state of substantial disrepair.

- more-

In cases where school actions are approved by the Board, new guidelines introduced this year aim to ease the transition of students from one school to another.

Huberman said the proposed actions are the result of months of study, analysis and outreach, and that a series of public hearings will take place over the next few weeks to hear from school communities, concerned citizens and other stakeholders. Following the hearings, CPS administration will make a recommendation in February to the Chicago Board of Education for turnarounds, phase-outs, consolidations and closing that would take effect beginning with the 2010-11 school year

Huberman said two high schools and three elementary schools are proposed for turnaround because of poor academic performance. Under the turnaround strategy, students stay at their school and new leadership and staff are brought in to change the school culture and performance expectations.

The turnaround strategy at CPS began in 2006 with the conversion of Sherman Elementary School by the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL). The following year, Harvard Elementary School was turned around by AUSL. In all, 16 CPS schools are currently being turned around by AUSL; by the CPS Office of School Turnarounds, which reports to Chief Education Officer Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins; or are engaged in turnaround efforts that are principal-led.

AUSL would be designated to implement the turnaround strategy at four of the schools for which turnaround is being proposed:

  • Bradwell Elementary School, 7736 South Burnham
  • Frank L. Gillespie Elementary School, 9301 South State St.
  • Charles S. Deneen Elementary School, 7257 South State St.
  • Wendell Phillips High School, 244 East Pershing Road
The current John Marshall High School, 3250 W. Adams, is proposed to be turned around by the CEdO-CPS Office of School Turnarounds.

The complete press release can be found at

Would you support and participate in a 6th ward meeting on Education? Based on the above and the new enrollment policy for selective enrollment schools that may not allow some high school bound students attend the school of their choice and lastly the lack of support for Harlan, the only decent high school in the area.

Three ward schools are targeted for turnaround

According to the Sun-Times:
  • Ruggles Elementary, 7831 S. Prairie
  • Gillespie Elementary, 9301 S. State
  • Deneen Elementary, 7257 S. State
You'll see that in the left column of the article along with other schools around the city that are either being closed, turned around,consolidated or otherwise phased out!

Let's get to the article itself!
Storied Phillips High -- where Nat "King" Cole once walked the halls -- and basketball powerhouse Marshall High School are among 14 Chicago public schools expected to face massive shakeups, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Fewer than 4 percent of students at both schools passed their state exams last year, putting both Phillips and Marshall on the radar for a "turnaround'' in which schools are re-staffed but kids stay in place.

Both predominately black schools have faced major overhauls in the past, with little academic success.
The shakeup plan under discussion Monday called for the closure of Las Casas and three other schools, whose children would be sent elsewhere. Four others would consolidate with other schools; one would stop accepting new kids and phase out over time, and five would experience staffing "turnarounds." However, the plan was still being tweaked late Monday, when four small high schools in one building were spared from turnaround.

Schools CEO Ron Huberman is expected to announce the list of school closures and other shakeups today, but he does so after proposing a new "Student Bill of Rights'' intended to ease the transition for kids switching to new schools.

For the first time, kids in schools closed for either academic reasons or for lack of enrollment have been promised they will be sent to higher-performing schools. Some receiving schools will get longer school days and some transferred kids will get summer school classes to guard against academic loss.
I wonder why these major overhauls, haven't been met with much success at these underperforming schools?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Where's the Neighborhood Stabilization Money?

Gaper's Block Mechanics has a post regarding neigborhood stabilization money. A group of community activists & community groups seek a city council hearing by sending a formal letter to Ald. Ray Suarez, chair of the Chicago City Council's Committee on Housing and Real Estate.

There is a map there I post that here. At the website and there is a post there which shows all the neighborhoods slated to get money. Of those communities Chatham and Englewood are listed.

Justifications include high foreclosure rates and areas where homeowners took subprime loans.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Old-style architecture

Location: S Union Ave & W 66th St, Chicago, IL 60621, USA

This residential building built in 1879 (not sure if it's a house or an apartment building) is located on the southeast corner of 66th & Union. Photo by Curtis Locke and posted onto Flickr.

Daley stresses Wal-Mart's importance in Chatham neighborhood

Mayor Richard M. Daley Saturday again stressed the importance of a Wal-Mart in the Chatham neighborhood, but would not say he would grant administrative approval for the retailer.

“You don’t want to push something down someone’s throat,” said Daley, speaking at a community policing event on the South Side Saturday. “Nothing happens then. You have to educate people and that’s what this is all about.”

He made his remarks while standing with Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), who has supported bringing more Wal-Marts into minority communities.

Daley said that the public must be educated about the importance of bringing a Wal-Mart to the South Side. He stressed, as he has done on many other occasions, that the Wal-Mart fight is “all about jobs and economic development.”

“I’m not blaming any unions,” Daley said. “The blame game is over with. We’re going to work with everybody and we’re going to come up with a solution.”
I would rather this issue be hammered out than for there to be dogmatic resistance to a business that seeks to open up shop in our community. In fact Wal-Mart merely wants to open another store in the city not just one community or another.

Not a Wal-Mart shopper, however, it possible that I would shop there. Especially since I wouldn't have to travel up to an hour to the nearest ones in either Evergreen Park, Crestwood, or even one near Ford City.

All the same looking at the Mayor's comments I have some questions. First, who said anything about ramming Wal-Mart down anyone's throat? Chatham may have determined that they don't want a Wal-Mart, but I don't think city government should say no just because the community may not want it. The community would vote with their feet and NOT shop at Wal-Mart if they disapprove.

As for education. Not sure where to start there. First off Wal-Mart needs to educate people on how they treat their workers. I don't necessarily buy the arguments of Wal-Mart opponents who seem to "rail" against the wages Wal-Mart pays or the lack of benefits. Wal-Mart could also do a better job of telling us how they don't "exploit" their workers.

On the part of Wal-Mart opponents, I want to hear a little more than emotional appeals on why we should oppose Wal-Mart. If they are exploiting their workers show me one person who really felt exploited by that company. Let them tell their story and I hope they don't merely have a grudge against Wal-Mart either.

Finally what do you think? As always we want your point of view. Do you think a Wal-Mart would be a valuable asset to our part of the South Side? Why or why not?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

4 injured in alcohol-related Dan Ryan crash

The crash happened at about 3:30 a.m. when the driver of a Chevy Tahoe headed south near 95th Street tried to swerve across several lanes of traffic, said Master Sgt. Gregory Coate.

The SUV went out of control and flipped over, ejecting the driver and three passengers. None was wearing a seat belt, police said.

The driver was most seriously hurt and was taken in critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was on a ventilator, police said. The passengers suffered minor injuries and were also taken to local hospitals.

Preliminary investigations indicated that the driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, Coate said.
Please don't drink and drive out there people!

Campaign season on 87th Street

Location: Chatham, Chicago, IL, USA

You may have seen Shelter Deli on this blog already. It currently sits vacant but amazingly enough there is a campaign sign for Kari Steele in the windows for both the lounge and the deli.

This is the picture of one of them. The sign is in the window for the lounge.

A poster on a tree is fitting since being a commissioner at the Water Reclamation District is considered something of an environmental position. This is on 87th & St. Lawrence.

Look who has a poster up on 87th. A certain west side state senator is seeking his party's nomination for Lt. Governor in this year's February primary.

These next posters are of people running for judge

This is on the block on 87th between Rhodes & St. Lawrence looking East.

This is on the corner of 87th & Vernon.

This is on the northeast corner of 87th & King Drive

These signs of judicial candidates, Lt. Governor, and Water Reclamation Districts are on the northwest corner of 87th & King Drive.

Campaign season is here in the 6th Ward, Chatham neighborhood!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chicago Gets $98 Million to Stabilize Neighborhoods

Chicago Public Radio:
The city of Chicago is getting $98 million from the federal government to buy foreclosed properties. It will go to help stabilize hard-hit neighborhoods.

Chicago got more than any other city in the country except for Los Angeles. The money comes from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency. Chicago already received $55 million last year in the first round of the so-called Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Ellen Sahli is with the city’s Department of Community Development. She says they’re getting a better sense of the market as they buy more foreclosed properties.

SAHLI: I think we assumed that the housing stock would be in a little bit better shape or quality than I think we’re seeing now as we’re getting into homes and outlining the specifications to rehab them.

That means the dollars won’t stretch quite as far. With the new money, the city plans to target neighborhoods it expects to bounce back quickly, like Albany Park and Logan Square. The city will also focus on more hard-hit areas, like Englewood and South Chicago.
Will Chatham or any other community in the 6th (well Englewood was mentioned) get some of this cash?

Via CapFax morning shorts!

Is this what we want ?

Article From Alderman Lyle's facebook page

Is Wal-Mart Killing Your Business?

Caitlin McDevitt ,

On Wednesday December 23, 2009, 6:09 am EST

When small retailers see the blue big-box giant Wal-Mart moving into town it can be a scary thing. Wal-Mart has a powerful presence, especially now, as customers are drawn there for their legendary low-prices and wide array of offerings.According to a recent study from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, the entry of a Wal-Mart does significantly impact sales at other local establishments. After observing the effects of seven Wal-Mart openings, researchers saw a 40 percent sales drop at nearby mass merchandise chains and 17 percent sales drop at supermarkets.Kusum Ailawadi, the professor of marketing who led the study, was interested in not only the impact of Wal-Mart's entry, but in how different retailers reacted."In their reactions, retailers did a mix of everything," she says. "In general, they tended to reduce the number of brands they carried, lowered their price, and also cut promotions."It turns out, Ailawadi found, that these most commonly employed strategies were the least effective. Those stores that reduced prices often could still not match Wal-Mart's offerings. "You can't beat Wal-Mart on price," she says, so those retailers just ended up losing customers and revenue.Instead of reducing brand offerings, Ailawadi found it was better to diversify and sell products that Wal-Mart won't have???such as higher-tier goods. She says that small businesses will have an easier time competing on this front because they will have less difficulty adjusting inventory in a more nuanced way. "What we found is that big retailers don't have the flexibility to react category by category, but small businesses have much more flexibility to fine tune a reaction."Finally, she suggests that local retailers that can't match Wal-Mart's "everyday low prices" offer more promotions to draw customers. "If a store is offering weekly specials, it's harder to make exact price comparisons," she says.The outlook, no matter what tactics retailers use, Ailawadi says, is bleak. While smaller companies may more easily fine-tune a strategic reaction, it's often less about boosting sales and more about survival.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Haiti earthquake even touches the Chatham community

UPDATE 4:32 PM Click here to find out how YOU can support relief efforts in Haiti! Below this article see the story about Cook County Nurses going to Haiti for the relief efforts!

At home in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood, Marie Auguste and her family have been crying nonstop since they learned of terrible news: A relative in Florida heard they had lost four loved ones in a matter of moments in the earthquake that devastated Haiti.

"Everybody is going through hell right now," said her son, Darryl.

While the family's tragedy was relayed through a rare phone connection to the island, most other Chicagoans who hail from Haiti or have devoted their lives to helping the needy nation were enduring a different sort of hell Wednesday, as a nonstop series of telephone calls and e-mails was met with sickening silence.

The earthquake may have triggered a massive, 21st century relief effort. Appeals for help were going viral on the Web. On-the-ground dispatches were shooting around Twitter. And people were posting photographs of missing relatives on Facebook.

But a more common reality for Chicagoans was frustration over a lack of information about loved ones or getting answers to life-and-death questions through an excruciating and unreliable drip of news, parceled out in third-hand accounts from neighbors or abrupt text messages.
Read the whole thing!

UPDATE 4:24 PM ABC7 has a story about Stroger Hospital Nurses on their way to Haiti. Below is a video report!

Park Manor couple dies in murder suicide

The two were found dead at 1:24 p.m. Tuesday on the first floor of a home in the 7600 block of South Prairie Avenue, according to police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala.

Responding officers found the woman’s body in bed with covers over it. When detectives arrived and looked under the covers, the man’s body was found, according to police who said both were shot.

Martha Byrd, 52, and Ralph Linder, 62, were found dead in Byrd’s home at 7603 S. Prairie Ave., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Linder, of 7555 S. Prairie Ave., died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the medical examiner’s office. His death was ruled a suicide. Byrd died from multiple injuries from an assault and her death was ruled a homicide, according to the medical examiner’s office.

A note found on the scene indicated the deaths occurred because of an “infidelity,’’ according to police, who said the man may have been the woman’s boyfriend.

Wal-Mart items

First a debate between Ald. Emma Mitts who hosts the city's only Wal-Mart in her ward (37th Ward) and UIC Economics Department Chairman David Merrimam on Chicago Tonight from Jan. 4th, 2010. Duration of this vid is about 9 minutes.
Also from Clout St. Mayor Daley makes his comments about getting more Wal-Marts into the city:
Chicago should open its arms to Wal-Mart just as the suburbs do, Mayor Richard Daley said today.

“These questions are not debated in the suburban area,” he said. “They are never even talked about.”

The mayor was responding to a failed attempt by Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, the influential Finance Committee chairman, to force the mega-retailer and other smaller operators to pay a higher minimum wage in the city if they receive any type of city subsidy.

Most retailers receive such subsidies, either directly or indirectly, when they open stores in new developments.

Daley was addressing for the second time in recent weeks a long-standing stalemate in Wal-Mart’s effort to build more stores in Chicago and added that he was making plans to resolve the issue. “We will mention it when we finish it,” he said, declining to reveal details.
Although the mayor has the authority to simply sign off on Wal-Mart stores in areas appropriately zoned for them, like the one in Brookins’ ward, he has refused to do so, saying he wants a majority of aldermen to reach agreement on the issue.
Honestly I'm with the mayor on this. The suburbs aren't debating whether or not Wal-Mart is offering enough pay and benefits to their employees. They accept them with open arms. Why can't Chicago?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

6th Ward meeting with Alderman is TOMORROW (Thursday)

REMINDER: The January Monthly Ward Meeting is Thursday, January 14, 2009 6:30 PM at New Bethlehem Church, 8850 S Cottage Grove Ave.

For further information about any of these events, call the 6th Ward Service Office at (773) 846-7006.

Roseland Heights: Stay committed "WE are One".

I recently got this message from a representative of the Roseland Heights Community Association, Clevan Tucker. A lot of issues going on there:
Dear Members,

Let's start the New Year right by keeping the changes we are delivering for Roseland Heights going and the hope we are bringing for a brighter future for our community. I hope there are none of you who may prefer to return to the failed policies of years gone by of doing a little or nothing and hoping it works. You have proven by attending meetings and with your calls & emails that no attack by any special interest agency can stop us from getting the services we deserve.

Make no mistake about it: city special interests are going after whatever we have to offer. They have opposed the care of our park, enforcement of RHCA rules, and plans to keep this community safe. They are trying to block financial reform and accountability for how the "city money" is spent in our community. Like the gamblers who nearly wrecked the economy, they have engaged in some of the worst demagoguery and destructive rhetoric America has seen in decades. If the city is going to spend our tax money and start programs in this community WE SHOULD BE INFORMED! Did any one hear about the new program at Harlen High School? Did you know the Mayor would be here 1/4/10? No one told RHCA either.

Now many are intent on claiming that Americans have abandoned President Obama's call for a new kind of politics after his first year in office.

That's why your participation will be perceived as an important indication of the level of support for President Obama's & RHCA agenda. We cannot let the Republicans or special interest backers claim they are right. RHCA needs your support to stand up against an opponent who has demonstrated almost no limits on what they are willing to do or say to achieve their goals. Thank you and please continue your commitment with your work and membership to RHCA...

CAPS meetings will start this month Rosehaven Manor, 10220 S. Michigan Ave. 7:00pm (1st Tuesday of each month) today Jan. 5, Feb. 2, Mar. 2, and Apr. 6. Pass this on to anyone who wants to come.

Many Thanks

C. Tucker

P.S. We are focused on just one thing: I'm asking you to stand with me and your fellow RHCA members against the radicals who would take control of this community! I urge you to be as generous with your time as you have been. It would be a terrible mistake to underestimate the capabilities of the radical elements calling the shots in our future! Stay committed "WE are One".
The event where the mayor showed up at Harlan High School was reported here that same day!

You can read more about the organization by visiting their Neighborhood Links website @

Wal-Mart items

This was submitted via e-mail to the blog today. A Tribune column by Steve Chapman titled "Chicago's stupid war on Wal-Mart":
In most places, the arrival of a new Wal-Mart is occasion for happiness or even excitement. When one opened in Provo, Utah, last year, the local paper reported, "It was a time of celebration in Cedar Hills early Wednesday morning. The newest Wal-Mart Supercenter opened its doors there on the corner of 4800 West and Cedar Hills Drive at 8 a.m., to a very eager crowd." But the Chicago City Council would sooner welcome a cholera epidemic.

Since 2004, the company has wanted to build a new store on the South Side, and since 2004, aldermen have been blocking the way, with the strong support of unions. Ald. Ed Burke was trying today to break the deadlock by offering a "living wage" ordinance requiring many larger companies to pay at least $11.03 an hour. But even that wasn't enough to satisfy opponents.

What on earth is going on here? Chicago is in conspicuous need of three things: more jobs, higher tax revenues and better shopping opportunities for minority communities. Wal-Mart would help satisfy all three. So what does it get for its trouble? A kick in the teeth.
The common refrain, jobs. In addition to more tax revenue and a first better shopping opportunities for minorities. I have often heard the food desert argument but never better shopping opportunities. Well perhaps our community could seek out more retail than what may exist here currently.

Also John Ruberry @ Marathon Pundit takes on a UIC professor who claims that Wal-Mart isn't a jobs engine as many are attempting to paint bringing Wal-Mar to Chatham:
Merriman said that 300 jobs were lost in surrounding zip codes after Chicago's Wal-Mart opened.

Gee, didn't a recession start about a year later?

As for the people who shop at that Wal-Mart, they are paying less for their goods than they did before. As I wrote last night, much of Chicago is a "food desert," an area where there are no supermarkets offering fresh and inexpensive food products.

David Merriman, another clueless expert.
Both sides are going to offer arguments. One side is going to talk down Wal-Mart and there are those who are against Wal-Mart anyway and will listen to anything negative about the company. Then another side may talk up the benefits such as jobs, greater business opportunites, or more tax revenue for government.

What matters here is that a business wants to set up shop. Why not just let Wal-Mart do so?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

1st Congressional District candidates

There are 4 candidates running for the 1st Congressional District, US Representative, including the incumbent.

Harold Bailey
Friends of Harold Bailey
645 E. 87th Street
Chicago, IL 60619
Phone: (708) 268-4900

JoAnne Guillemette
4541 S. Vincennes Ave.
Chicago IL 60653

Bobby Rush
PO Box 7292
Chicago, IL 60680-7292

Fred Smith
Fred Smith for Congress
PO BOX 428543
Evergreen Park, IL 60805

More on the Wal-Mart battle

You can read the initial reports from yesterday regarding the potential Wal-Mart vote by Ald. Ed Burke's Finance Committee which was postponed. Starting with Crain's:
Legislation that could pave the way for a second Wal-Mart store within Chicago has been stalled once again.

The city’s Finance Committee, led by Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), on Monday also postponed considering a revived “living wage” ordinance that would require retailers that receive city subsidies — directly and indirectly — and employ more than 50 people to pay workers at least $11.03 an hour.

It’s a broader-based measure than the “big-box ordinance” that stirred up controversy more than three years ago and prompted Mayor Richard M. Daley to issue his first veto since he was elected in 1989.

But the Finance Committee postponed a vote on the measure until Wednesday, before the full Chicago City Council meets.
More from the Sun-Times:
The living wage would not have applied to the proposed Chatham Supercenter because that redevelopment agreement has already been executed.

But, it would have applied to four other Supercenters in the works in the 9th, 12th, 20th and 34th Wards in the heart of Chicago’s “food desert” as well as to every other business that gets city help from now on.

Burke was so certain he had a deal, he put the Chatham Wal-Mart and living wage ordinance on Monday’s Finance Committee agenda. But, frenzied negotiations in the anteroom behind the City Council chambers failed to produce an agreement, prompting the powerful chairman to postpone a vote.

“We share the same concerns of many businesses across Chicago -- that this policy is the wrong direction for a city that desperately needs jobs and economic growth,” said B. John Bisio, a Wal-Mart spokesman. “This ordinance does not address the needs of the people of Chicago who want jobs and access to fresh and affordable food. It is being considered at the expense of Chicago's working families, not on their behalf.

“This is a job-killer. I’m stunned that anyone would even consider something like this when we have over a 10 percent unemployment rate,” said David Vite, president of Illinois Retail Merchants Association.
Then we finish up with the Tribune:
But in the end, aldermen, retailers and unions could not agree, and the long-standing impasse remained.

"We'll let them digest this and chew on it a little bit and see if we can come to some kind of agreement," Burke said after setting the proposal aside at a meeting of the Finance Committee.

Burke said the measure -- which would apply only to companies with 50 or more employees who benefit from a city subsidy -- would satisfy labor leaders who have opposed more Wal-Mart stores in Chicago.

Burke, who has made it clear he sides with the unions on the issue, said he also hoped it would respond to concerns by Wal-Mart, which opposed a living-wage ordinance that Mayor Richard Daley vetoed in 2006. That ordinance singled out "big box" stores with 100,000 or more square feet of space.

In return for the new wage proposal, supporting aldermen were willing to give a final sign-off for a South Side Wal-Mart. Because that development was approved some time ago, the new living-wage ordinance would not have applied. Wal-Mart has a store on the West Side.
Hopefully there will be more news on Wednesday.

Let's go back into the past for a second. ABC7 has a video report on the study that claims taht Wal-Mart isn't a job generator

Vacancy is the norm on this block

Location: 6917 S Normal Ave, Chicago, IL 60621, USA

Via Curtis Locke on Flickr of two boarded up houses on the 6900 block of Normal!

From the 6th's EveryBlock Feed.

Monday, January 11, 2010

St. Sabina Screening -Invictus at ICE on Jan 12th

The Faith Community of Saint Sabina will host a showing of the movieInvictus.  This movie tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forceswith the captain of South Africa’s rugby team to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knew his nation remained racially andeconomically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he could bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandelarallied South Africa’s underdog rugby team as they made an unlikely runto the 1995 World Cup Championship match.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010
7:30 p.m.ICE Chatman Theater
210 West 87th Street
Name ________________________________________________________
Phone ________________________Email__________________________________________________________________________________________ Number of Tickets ______________ Money Enclosed _______________
Rev. Michael L. Pfleger, Pastor

Setback for Chatham Wal-Mart

FOX Chicago. The video above has comments by Ald. Brookins of the neighborhing 21 Ward who will be the home of the new Wal-Mart:
There was a new setback today for supporters of a second Walmart store in the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago. A planed discussion at City Hall was canceled this morning by finance committee chairman Ed Burke.
The finance committee has yet to reach a resolution about the proposal, which has been stuck in committee for months. No substantial agreement has been met.

Critics of the proposal, like the labor unions, suggest that these new jobs will come at the expense of surrounding businesses and they do not pay a living wage. These unions have influence on city aldermen like Ed Burke of the 14th ward. Kori Chambers reported that an ordinance will force Walmart to pay all of their employees no less that $11.03 an hour, which equals living wage.

Supporters flooded City Hall today, in an attempt to get the committee to reach a decision. Residents and aldermen alike believe that the success of the Walmart in Austin could also come about in the Chatham neighborhood.
Previous post: Wal-Mart vote today in Finance Committee

UPDATE 2:04 PM Clout Street has more on this development
David Vite, president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, said Burke’s proposal would have prevented even smaller businesses, including some restaurants and franchised hardware stores, from locating in the city.

“Nobody is going to leave, but they certainly would not invest in Chicago,” Vite said. “We shouldn’t be putting roadblocks to employment up in Chicago.”

Aldermen who support plans to add a Wal-Mart store on the South Side objected to parts of the proposal as well.

Wal-Mart vote today in Finance Committee

This story from the Sun-Times was posted on January 9:
The developer of a former Chatham industrial site that was supposed to house Chicago's second Wal-Mart and first Supercenter that sells groceries is facing foreclosure after falling four months behind on loan payments.

The default -- and Archon Group's behind-the-scenes threat to file a $30 million lawsuit against the city if it loses the property -- turns up the heat on City Council Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) to break the log-jam that has prevented Wal-Mart from building as many as five Chicago Supercenters in impoverished wards stuck in "food deserts."

An amended redevelopment agreement to pave the way for construction of the first of those mega-stores -- at 83rd and Stewart -- has been stuck in the Finance Committee since July.
Late last week, Burke met with Chicago Federation of Labor President Dennis Gannon and Ron Powell, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 881, to finalize an exit strategy.

They talked about tying the Chatham Wal-Mart to an ordinance that would require retailers with more than 50 employees that benefit from city subsidies to pay a "living wage" of at least $11.03 an hour.

Wal-Mart has not asked for a subsidy for its Chatham store. But the redevelopment agreement includes a $32 million subsidy for the Chatham Marketplace.
Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) said he's hoping the Finance Committee will approve both measures Monday. "If we pass this ordinance before we pass 83rd Street, I'm confident we will have more than enough votes," Beale said.
Also Hermene Hartman has this to say regarding the Wal-Mart issue:
On Monday, January 11, City Council will make a decision about Wal-Mart coming to Chicago. The world's largest retailer is trying to open a new store in Chatham. Alderman Howard Brookins, has championed the cause. But powers larger than he are blocking. Wal-Mart wants to open a total of five new stores on Chicago's South Side in the 9th, 12th, 20th and 34th wards. The stores would be a welcomed assest in these communities. The Super Wal-Marts would serve the food desert communities with wholesome food at affordable pricing.

Wal-Mart has meant the resistance head on with business sensibility. The primary obstacle is the minimum wage supported by the Unions. Wal-Mart wants all of Chicago businesses to uphold the "new" wage, rather than it being a Wal-Mart unique ruling. This is only fair and equitable.
I'll let you go there to read her reasons why there should be other Wal-Marts on Chicago's south side. In addition to the proposed one at 83rd & Stewart. There are 10 of them.

Finally consider this an obligatory anti-Wal-Mart link courtesy of Gaper's Block:
The opening of a Walmart store in Chicago's Austin neighborhood in 2006 has not increased retail activity or employment opportunities, according to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Loyola University Chicago.

The study found that stores near Walmart were more likely to go out of business, eliminating the equivalent of about 300 full-time jobs -- about as many as Walmart initially added to the area.

The findings support the contention that urban Walmart stores absorb sales from other city stores without significantly expanding the market, said study co-author David Merriman, head of the UIC department of economics and professor of public administration.

"What we're seeing here is that placing a Walmart in an urban setting is basically a wash in terms of sales revenue for the city and jobs for local residents," Merriman said. "This means that communities around the city shouldn't see Walmart or other big-box retailers as a panacea for local economic problems."
As always your thoughts on this issue is appreciated. The question hasn't changed. Would you like a Wal-Mart in our community? Why or why not?