Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 the year that was

 Earlier this year Chicagoans went to the polls to either vote out their incumbent Alderman or to vote in new ones. In addition, the city threw the mayoral contest to a run off for the first time and resulted in a victory for Rahm Emanuel and a second term for mayor.

As a result of the recent municipal elections Ald. Roderick Sawyer replaced Ald. Howard Brookins as chairman of the city council Black Caucus. Ald. Sawyer has been all over the McDonald shooting and the release of the police footage of that incident.

In addition, Ald. Brookins is running for the 1st Congressional District seat held by Bobby Rush. Congressman Rush had reportedly been looking at retirement until he revealed later that he plans to run for re-election in 2016.

Though he's been re-elected a recent reversal of events during the last two months of 2015 has activists calling for his resignation. The reversal involves a police shooting last year of Laquan McDonald shot by a police officer 16 times and any footage of this incident suppress by Mayor Emanuel & state's attorney Anita Alvarez.

Speaking of the state's attorney as a result of her alleged role in the suppression of police footage of the McDonald incident activists are calling for her to resign as well. For the moment while the next mayoral election is 2019, Alvarez has a primary coming up next year. She already has some seemingly strong opponents going up against her so we shall see if she can eke out the Democratic nomination - which is certainly a shoo-in for being elected in November.

Another Chicago politico in Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown as a result of federal investigations into her campaign has lost the support of the Cook County Democratic Party. She had originally been slated but federal warrants caused Democratic "bosses" in Chicago to remove their original slating.

We're still following the Whole Foods Market coming to 63rd & Halsted. Thanks to Bruce Montgomery on instagram we've been seeing some progress as far as construction of the future site of Whole Foods Market Englewood.

Disclosure: One of the bloggers here at The Sixth Ward is a team member at Whole Foods Market.

In addition local lender Seaway Bank celebrated 50 years in business. While loyal customers and the bank's employees are celebrating there are some hiccups and that includes the sudden resignation of their new President & CEO who had been installed in 2014.

Also another local lender Highland Community Bank failed and taken over by a Indiana-based bank. As a matter of fact in different times Seaway had been in talks to buy the bank located on 87th Street near Ashland Avenue.

BTW, on the south side Pullman after a new factory opened up and a national monument designation is in the running as of this posting for 2015 Curbed Cup neighborhood of the year. In the meanwhile near the end of the year Chatham was the recipient of further attention thanks to the many modernist homes built in the area over the years.

What is a story you followed during the past year? What are you predictions and expectations in 2016?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Curbed Cup final Loop vs. Pullman

Hotel Florence Pullman
Pullman advances and you have until tomorrow night on New Year's even to cast your vote for the neighborhood of the year over at CurbedChicago. Hopefully you're vote will be for the Pullman neighborhood which has had quite a year in 2015.
the Pullman neighborhood on the city's far south side has had a huge year. Its historic district has become the first national monument in Chicago and there's even growing support for a full blown national park campus. Pullman also welcomed the first new factory to open on Chicago's south side in three decades. The colorful factory is not only generating much needed revenue for the neighborhood, but it has also set a very high bar for other companies when it comes to being environmentally friendly.
To be sure I like the loop but home for me is the South Side and it's a no brainer that this part of town would get my vote. Hopefully Pullman is back again for the Curbed Cup in 2016.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Pullman in Curbed Cup Final Four!!!

Via The Chicago Neighborhoods
 It's the end of the year and Curbed Chicago has their annual Curbed Cup. In the final four and the neighborhoods of Pullman, Uptown, Lakeview, and the Loop.

Unfortunately I missed the start of this neighborhood competition that pits up-and-coming neighborhoods of Chicago against each other. This is how Pullman is described:
The Pullman neighborhood on the far South Side had a very big year. The area, which is known and named for its connection to the Pullman Palace Car company, was designated as a National Monument by President Obama in February. Then in April, the soap maker Method opened its $30 million eco-conscious factory in the neighborhood. Pullman gained a lot of momentum this year, and the neighborhood doesn't appear to letting down anytime soon. When we called for Curbed Cup nominations, Pullman residents came out in droves to make sure that their voice was heard.
So far Pullman has edged out Bridgeport and the West Loop neighborhoods can they edge out the north side community of Uptown?

Vote here now and hopefully by tomorrow we'll know whether or not Pullman moves onto the final and hopefully a wonderful 2016 for that historic far south side community.

BTW, I wonder if our friends up there at Uptown Update are following this -  and they are.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

John's Hardware featured on TV!

Our independently owned John's Hardware, based in Englewood, was featured on WCIU's "You and Me" morning show.

Thanks to Judge Fredrenna Lyle for posting this news on her Facebook page!

You can also find the segment here.

Help support the store by visiting
(773) 483-7443

Monday, December 21, 2015

Our very own Jahmal Cole featured on TV

2 Saturdays ago, ur very own Jahmal Cole was featured on ABC 7's African-American centered public affairs show "Heart and Soul."

See it for yourself!

You can also visit the ABC 7 Chicago website for the segment.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Are we losing our Christmas spirit?

So are our neighborhoods losing our Christmas spirit?

So for example, on my block, we have a tradition of the light posts alternating red and green lights. But in 2015, it's literally the middle of December, and only 9 homes have changed their lights.

I have also noticed that the 8700 block of Calumet, which used to have each household have some kind of light display, is also lacking this year.

How are things in your neighborhood? And have you noticed the difference?

But as a reminder, Williams Hydroplants is selling fresh live trees. Please support our local business. Read more from our previous post on William Hydroplants.

From that post:

Their store is at 311 E. 79th Street Chicago, IL 60619. They will sell the Christmas Trees in their lot across the street at 79th & Prairie, also across the street from the south playground of Ruggles elementary school. Their phone number is (773) 651-3426, so can call ahead and schedule your pickup.

Also, if you have other needs, please contact them.  They can have items such as salt and snow melt ready for you out there as well.

Let them know JP Paulus (dad of Mia and Faith) sent you. It won't result in any discount. But it would be great to know connections have been made


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Murder and a missing child

In our Facebook newsfeed, we saw two stories we felt the need to share.

Today a tow truck driver was shot   in the 6800 block of South Anthony about 9 a.m

ABC 7 Chicago has the story details.

Also from Greater Grand Crossing (thanks Fatimah Macklin for having this on your newsfeed):

A 14-year-old girl has been missing since Monday from the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood on the South Side.

Samaria Banks was last seen 10:30 p.m. Monday, according to a missing person alert from Chicago Police. Her family told police that this is the first time she has been missing and that she frequents the area around the 200 block of East 69th Street.
She is described as a black girl with black hair and brown eyes, standing 5-foot-5 and weighing 135 pounds.

Anyone with information about Banks’ whereabouts should call the Area Central Special Victims Unit at (312) 747-8380.

See the full story from Fox 32 Chicago.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Today is a great day for a birthday.

A little self-indulgence...but today is my (JP Paulus) birthday. It's also the same date as the birthdays of a diverse group of people in our community.

First and foremost, it's also the birthday of Levois, the creator & administrator of The Sixth Ward Blog.

Former State Representative Connie Howard (D) shares this birthday.

On the other end of the political spectrum, Former 6th Ward Republican Committeeman candidate Fatimah Macklin shares this day with us as well.

If it's your birthday, Happy Birthday to you! And while we're here.. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Brown Sugar Bakery robbed -- of their cakes!!!

Location: 328 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
We have a report from DNAinfo that our very own Brown Sugar Bakery-Chicago was robbed -- but of all of their cakes (and apparently sold them for cheap).   This happened shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday and the thieves stole 48 cakes, cupcakes and brownies. Thankfully, there was no other serious damage other than the window (which has since been repaired).

So please come out and support them so they can recover their losses... and does the no-snitch policy hold when it comes to selling illegally obtained cakes?

Please visit 328 E. 75th St., Chicago IL 60619 . Their phone number is (773) 224-6262 and the website is 

You can also find them on Facebook, to leave a supportive comment.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Recounting all of our officials who have gotten into trouble

We're following up on yesterday's post about former State Representative Connie Howard.

The following officials were all in office at the same time for at least 6 tears (2006-2012). That’s 4 out of 5 of our local offices where there’s been at least a serious allegation or arrest, if not a conviction. (We don't have any official allegations for Aldermanic offices, at least east of the Dan Ryan and north of now 87th).

It is interesting to note that in several elections, these officials ran unopposed.

1st Congressional District – U.S. Representative
Bobby Rush
17th District – State Senator
Donne Trotter
34th District – State Representative
Connie Howard
4th Cook County District – County Commissioner
William Beavers
Convicted of tax evasion.  Spent 6 months in Federal prison

How does that make you feel about our representation in our area? Will we have choices and accountability in the next election?

Rep. Bobby Rush

St. Senator Donne Trotter
Former St. Rep. Connie Howard

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Former State Representative Connie Howard sentenced for fraud

Former St. Rep. Connie Howard
The Chicago SunTimes has reported that former 34th Distirct State Representative Connie Howard will be sentenced for fraud. (we first posted the link this morning on our Facebook page).

In addition to 3 months, and then a 2 year supervised release term, she was ordered to pay $28,000 in restitution, the same amount she was convicted of pocketing.

The Chicago Tribune has a more detailed article

Tomorrow we'll make a note of other politicians in our area who have had some trouble.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

CapitolFax: Could Rush be toast?

Just to piggyback off of JP's post this morning we get some more details on the petition challengers of Bobby Rush. Alderman Howard Brookins who is also running for the 1 congressional district seat initiated a challenge to them. Over there you will get links to see copies of the petitions in question that Rush had turned in.

In a press release Brookins noted the following discrepancies:
  • Multiple signatures from the same person on different petition sheets.
  • One signer signed for another person or multiple people at a single address.
  • Circulators signed their own sheets.
  • Circulator signatures do not match.
  • Notary notarized his own signature.
  • Circulators repeatedly visited the same addresses and collected duplicate signatures.
  • Some sheets have no signatures and only printed names.
  • Is it possible for the veteran Congressman to push back the challenges to his petitions?

Here are the examples of the discrepancies for Rush's petitions provided by Howard Brookins
Will the veteran Congressman be able to beat out these challeges to get on the ballot next March?

1st Congressional District Candidates We w

At the end of this post is the list of those who have registered to be on the March 15, 2016 primary ballot for U.S. Representative for the 1st Congressional District. You can find this list at the state election website.

We will post more information such as photos & websites once all the challenges have been handled. We ask that candidates send us you web page link, as well as a link to your preferred photo, so that we can post this information  on the blog.

Note that the incumbent, Bobby Rush, has been challenged, as well as Harold Bailey. We should see the results by January 1, 2016.

(Obj. Pending)
11/30/2015 8:12 AM
11/30/2015 11:12 AM
11/30/2015 12:02 PM
(Obj. Pending)
11/30/2015 5:00 PM
MOKENA, IL 60448
11/23/2015 3:48 PM
11/30/2015 3:14 PM

Monday, December 7, 2015

Konkol: Roseland's Only Steak House Survives Tough Times Down At 'The Ranch'

Photo by Mark Konkol - Yolanda Pierce from right and two employees
All the times I passed this place on Michigan Ave and never been inside. It seems to be one of the few consistent businesses on this stretch. It survived a long time and apparently still does although times and demographics have changed since this business opened in 1969.
On a morning stroll, I hiked west from Pullman and under the 113th Street viaduct that leads to the wrong side of the tracks.

I walked past Palmer Park, where the faint scent of marijuana hung in the cool, humid air, and headed up the hill toward Michigan Avenue — Roseland’s once-vibrant shopping strip now populated by hustlers, pimps and dealers who openly cater to the vices of the addicted, the desperate and the damned — on my way to “The Ranch.”

That’s what locals call the neighborhood’s only surviving steak joint, where you can get a T-bone, charbroiled just the way you like it, with a baked potato and salad for less than 20 bucks. And they serve tasty breakfast — two eggs with hash browns and toast for under $5 — all day long.

The late John Kapsaskis opened The Ranch Steak House at 11147 S. Michigan Ave. in 1969. Back then, Roseland was home to mostly blue-collar white families who later fled to the suburbs when black folks moved in and good-paying steel mill jobs dried up. His son, Dino — “The Greek Cowboy,” as one photo behind the counter calls him — kept the family steakhouse going even as the neighborhood’s population changed and its economy slumped.

Inside the front door is a far different world than the one left behind on the sidewalk. A set of bull horns hang from the ceiling. A sign welcomes customers to a dimly lit dining room decorated with carved Indian chief statues and faded photos of cowboys, those rifle-toting white men on horseback from Hollywood westerns.
Yolanda Pierce runs the ranch although the family who owns it no longer appears to be involved. Pierce's ex-fiance who's family runs the business is out taking care of his elderly mother in Greece. So now it's Pierce:
She’s the blond-haired, blue-eyed gal, a former hair stylist from Griffith, Indiana, who runs The Ranch now that Dino Kapsaskis — the owner and her ex-fiance — packed up and moved to Greece to take care of his 93-year-old mother.

Pierce’s friends tell her she should be angry that Kapsaskis left her to run The Ranch by herself, unsure if he’ll ever return.

“Even though he is my ex, this is his business. Dino could have sold this place. He always said business is business. He felt like he was doing me a favor. If I go anywhere else I’ll make minimum wage. What can I do?” Pierce said.

“We still care about each other enough to keep it going. I’m not mad at him. He did what he had to do. I’m taking care of my mother. I take care of my daughter. I do what I got to do.”
If you read the rest of the article she'll not that this place considering it's location isn't making a huge profit but she emphasizes how she helps her employees:

She doesn’t just do it for herself and her own family. The Ranch is the lifeblood that keeps a lot of people — her dishwasher, waitresses and cooks and even Kapsaskis, whom Pierce sends cash she considers “rent” — on the winning side of “the struggle.”

“They say when you eat at Outback Steakhouse or one of those chain places you’re paying for the owner's private jets and fancy houses. What we make helps everyone here. Nobody makes a lot of money. Here, you’re paying for our people to buy clothes for their kids,” Pierce said.

“I just feel like I don’t care if it’s a struggle. I’m gonna keep it going and that’s how Dino feels, too. No matter what, we’re going to try to keep The Ranch open for as long as can. Either things are going to get better or … whatever.”
I suggest you read the whole thing. This is a course on how to run a business in a difficult community to own a business. You may not agree with everything Griffith says about parking meters or minimum wage

Here's hoping The Ranch survives for any position renaissance that I expect Roseland to one day have. Especially when the CTA Red Line is finally extended further south. Plus I hope that the Pullman National Monument will have an effect on the surrounding communities as well.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

LaQuan McDonald

Unfortunately, I was asleep when the whole LaQuan McDonald story came out. Kudos to the person(s) who were able to bring this to light. There are a lot questions worth asking about what happened last year when he was killed by a police office. We now see photographic evidence for what it was worth of what happened that night.

We see a lot of people are passionate about what happened with Mr. McDonald and it's ramifications. Alderman Roderick Sawyer of the 6th Ward has been on top of this story in his capacity as chairman of the city council Black Caucus.

So the question is what now? Well there have been demonstrations around downtown Chicago, some shenanigans took place such as ripping Christmas decorations off of the tree in Millennium Park. Perhaps some issues in the South Loop on the first day of demonstrations. And then the Black Friday demonstration where protesters block entrances to the many stores on Michigan Avenue to impact sales.

Thankfully no serious unrest and hopefully it stays that way. In the meanwhile, now it's time for the hard questions between the city's authorities regarding not only the McDonald case. Also regarding the relationship between police and the city's "minority" communities.

I've attempted to keep up with the various aspects of this story. For example the Capitol Fax has covered this story in it's various facets which also includes the firing of police chief Garry McCarthy

BTW, if you haven't seen the unfortunate dash cam video of the police action against McDonald click on video in brackets [VIDEO]. I have no plans to watch it but I know so many have been all over it. At the same time I have little interest in seeing a man get killed in real time.

ALSO, yesterday we learned that the state Attorney General is going to ask the Federal government to conduct a civil rights probe on the Chicago Police. So if the feds do take a look at this then there will more heat on local police in light of what happened to McDonald and perhaps other cases that can be uncovered.

Below is what was posted to our ig account an example of the Black Friday protests on North Michigan Avenue.
A video posted by The Sixth Ward (@thesixthward) on

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mid-century modern homes in Chatham

8459 South Michigan - Eric Allix Rogers
In 2012, I posted  here about the modernist architecture legacy of Chatham. The many homes that were outside of the general character of that Black middle-class community had been documented over the years. And recently was documented at New City with the photography of one Eric Allix Rogers. I'd suggest you give it a read.

The takeaway is that 60 or so years ago Blacks were finally able to move away from the then Black Belt what we call Bronzeville today. While there may still be a dearth of housing options for that generation of Blacks even in spite of the end of restrictive covenants many found a place to create the suburban lifestyle they sought but weren't able to access.

Chatham was one place many were able to not only purchase a home in a nice area, they were also able to build a home. Probably a matter of buying an empty lot or tearing down a building to custom build a home. How many places in Chicago would one be able to do this today?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

TONIGHT: Elected school board taskforce hearing

Sorry about the last minute notice on this blog regarding this hearing. I did however post this on IG at least 4 days ago. Rep. Sims' hearing will take place tonight from 6 PM to 8 PM at the Chatham-Avalon Church of Christ at 8691 S. State Street regarding an elected CPS Board. I'm sure many of us are passionate about this.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pray for Chatham today - #PrayChicago

This is a follow-up to a previous post about an effort to pray for all 77 of Chicago's community areas. Today is Chatham's turn.

We posted  Chatham's prayer requests, and had some interesting feedback on our Facebook page.

What are your thoughts? Are the requests accurate? What would you ask Chicago to pray for in Chatham?

Here's what PrayChicago posted:

Pray for the ‪#‎Chatham‬ community on ‪#‎Chicago‬'s South side. ‪#‎WestChesterfield‬

Here are some ways you can pray:

- New residents are moving into the area due to the closings of housing projects in other parts of the city. Pray that these new residents and for great respect and care for neighbors and the neighborhood.

- Pray for the elderly residents of Chatham, many of whom are widows and widowers. Pray that they may find community and would not feel overlooked in their later years.

- As the community is beginning to experience socioeconomic transition, pray that class struggles would not cause division among the residents.

- Pray for the followers of Jesus and the churches in this region, that the would be a light to this community! ‪#‎Pray77‬ ‪#‎PrayChicago

And what JP Paulus posted:

PrayChicago is focusing on ‪#‎Chatham‬ Today (including ‪#‎WestChesterfield‬, ‪#‎Chesterfield‬, ‪#‎WestChatham‬ ‪#‎EastChaham‬ ) . I ( JP Paulus) also asked them to include this:
Would you mind re-issuing this later in the day, but also add these requests (feel free to tag/mention me as a Chatham resident if you'd like.):

Pray for unity among the churches. & community groups There are over 100 churches within 1 mile of 79th Street & King Drive. Pray that not just pastors, but members work with each other to complement, rather than compete, in their efforts. Secular community groups (as well as several churches) have undergone dramatic leadership transition in the past few years.

Pray for economic development. Several longtime, as well as new businesses have failed over the past few years, leaving very few businesses for residents to frequent.

Pray for youth: there are few opportunities for youth to grow, be mentored and to make a positive impact in their immediate community.

Pray for young leaders who grew up in the community to come back and take their place in leadership & community development.

#WestChatham (part of the community area, but separated by the Dan Ryan, so a little distinct)

What are YOUR thoughts?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Could we do this with some of our potholes?

I saw this piece of art near the intersection of Michigan/Ohio in downtown Chicago. It was formerly a pothole and then recently saw that a piece of mosaic artwork has been embedded in this pothole. My comments on ig was basically in support of such activity by an artists. Surely there are other parts of the city that may not get the services it should get where someone who cares about the community can do something such as this.

 Sooner or later unfortunately the city will probably destroy this piece, the artist Jim Bachor is not sanctioned by the city to do this. It's probably a wonder that Bachor hasn't been arrested by authorities for his activities and doing such a bold thing but going to such an active part of town to fill in a pothole with his materials.

I know there are more creative people in our communities who could do this with our potholes. Knowing this can only cost money if the businesses and residents of our community was able to do this with our potholes. Our IG post on this is below

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bobby Rush might step down as US Rep for the 1st district

Location: Chicago, IL, USA
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush

U.S. Representative for the 1st District (the US Rep for most of our readers) Bobby Rush might not run again , according to an article from Sun-Times gossip columnist Michael Sneed.

Rush and his wife have had health issues over the years, and some of his financial dealings have been scrutinized.

In addition to being a husband of a wife with health issues, the  68-year-old is also Pastor of Beloved Community Christian Church in Englewood.

Sneed reports that Brookins is circulating petitions to run for the office.

If Brookins does run, Sneed noted the scrutiny he will be under:

Ald. Howard Brookins Jr.
Earlier this year, a federal judge sentenced Curtis V. Thompson Jr., Brookins’ former chief of staff, to 15 months in prison for taking a $7,500 cash bribe at a 2013 Christmas party . . . and there were whispers of a wire being used.

Are there any other candidates we can look forward to? (Whether this race, or any other in the upcoming spring Democratic primary)?

Opinion from JP  (which we encourage discussion on):

I hope we don't have a Jesse Jackson Jr. situation again, where Rush still runs, and gets elected, but then resigns for "health reasons." We then get essentially an unelected representative (since in the general election 90% of our district won't vote for anyone but a Democrat -- not even a Green Party member!)

That would not be fair to the electorate, and shows why the Democratic establishment isn't any better than Republicans who do similar stunts in other states.

By the way, has anyone seen Rep. Rush in a public meeting or event in the past few years?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mahalia Jackson’s Home

Mahalia Jackson's home - 8358 S. Indiana Ave.
I missed this post from Chicago History Today posted in September talking about the history of the famed gospel singer Mahalia Jackson who purchase the house you see above in Chatham in 1956. The Chatham of the 1950s was a different community and it wasn't a Black middle-class neighborhood as it's known today.

When Ms. Jackson moved into this house there was racial tension, however, ultimately the whites in this community moved out. The fear that this community would become a ghetto proved to be incorrect.

An unknown to me tidbit shared from Chicago History Today, this house was home to a white surgeon who declared that he would be proud to sell his home to Jackson. Unfortunately many of his then neighbors disagreed.

Monday, November 9, 2015

StoryCorps Chicago: Former alderman says it sometimes felt like a 'useless task'

Former 6th Ward Alderman and sitting Cook County Judge discusses with StoryCorps her time as a member of Chicago's city council. She describes the job as a "useless task", but relishes the small victories even though she describes a treadmill where she can never keep up with the needs of her constituency. If you want to run for Alderman by 2019, this is an interview you need to listen to.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

PrayChicago prays for a Neighborhood a day

Location: Chicago, IL, USA
OK, some of the major controversy (at least with a member of Greater Chatham Alliance) is that the term "neighborhood" gets confused with the term "Community Area".

There are 77 official community areas. There are dozens more neighborhoods. The problem I mentioned is that some neighborhoods also have the name of the community , such as Chatham. The community area covers more than those who consider the Chatham neighborhood only between State and Cottage Grove, 79th to 87th.
The media labels a community area a "neighborhood", even if the neighborhood has a different name, and perpetuates the confusion.

All this to say, PrayChicago is a movement to have Christians pray for the city of Chicago. They have had rallies in different areas of the city, such as at Salem Baptist's House of Hope on the South Side in January (they return to House of Hope, January 20, 2016). There are a variety of leaders, including Dr. John Fuder, formerly of Moody Bible Institute and now with Park Community Church.

They are spearheading an effort to pray for all 77 community areas (though they are calling them neighborhoods) of Chicago, 1 day until their big even on January 20.

Here are some of the community areas we cover at The Sixth Ward blog:

Let us know what you are praying for in your community area, and let us know if we are missing any community areas.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dreaded G-word redux

A reader sent in this link to a DNA Info article out of Pilsen referring to her neighborhod Chatham as "under serviced" because as she puts it: "so that all the middle-class, black folks will want to leave: then the white folks can return and take back the city."
Anti-gentrification signs have again popped up at Bow Truss coffee shop on 18th Street, this time reading: 'White people out of Pilsen!"

The coffee shop, at 1641 W. 18th St., has been vandalized five times in the last two or three weeks, Bow Truss owner Phil Tadros said Monday. The latest anti-gentrification messages, posted sometime late Sunday or early Monday, are in the form of stickers fashioned to look like the Chicago flag.

In January, anti-gentrification signs reading "Fresh Roasted Gentrification Served Here!" and "Wake up and smellllll the gentrification" were plastered over the windows at Bow Truss. The next weekend, the shop was hit again, prompting the Chicago-based owner to ask those targeting his store to come forward and talk about the polarizing issue.
On Monday, Tadros renewed that call. To date, nobody has claimed responsibility for the signs, he said.
I'm a long way from saying Chatham is under the "gentrification gun". But on the fb page I see there are those who believe it's coming. I'd be very curious to hear from those who do and those who may not see it.

Perhaps it's time to revive an old discussion "gentrification prevention" or Chatham "South Looped".

BTW, I like how Tadros the owner of this coffee shop is attempting to handle this situation. At the same time, it appears those who opposes this business and gentrification may have no interest in talking.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

#mbmhmc Rally for Interconnectivity

A rally this weekend in Chatham. In support of Jahmal Cole's Explorer's Club which is his way of exposing teenagers to other parts of the city. A worthwhile cause to support.
  • Rally for Interconnectivity

    Community Captains

    I'm looking forward to having lunch with you on Saturday, November 7th, in Chatham. I do hope you can join me, as I'm anxious to meet with and learn more about all of you-and I'm excited to share our purpose with each of you.

    As straightforward as I can say it, we will be marching down 79th Street, holding "picket" signs that read "Inter Connectivity" "77" (referencing all 77 Chicago community areas) and, of course, signs promoting My Block, My Hood, My City. Feel free to make your own signs, as well-I want your voice to be heard, too.

    You might be wondering why we'll be doing a march. Part of the "why" is told by history. A march was the form of public demonstration that helped Martin Luther King Jr. enthuse passion in citizens of all races, and marches have helped other civil rights leaders raise awareness and peacefully protest throughout the years. But there's another reason to our "why." To be honest, we're doing this for to uplift our spirits and help raise awareness for the Explorers' program. During our short half-mile walk, we're creating awareness to our vision of an interconnected Chicago. We're more than diverse-we'll be demonstrating our commitment to equal opportunities amongst all Chicagoans. The best way you can support the Explorers' program is to join us in our March for Interconnectivity. We'll talk more about our specific organizational needs at the luncheon. I'll buy Chicken and waffles for the 1st fifty people. Captain Hard Times has a lot of great food options too.

    We'll gather at 11:00 AM at PRIDE CLEANERS PARKING LOT on 79th St, Chicago, IL 60619.

    While you're there, be sure to notice Pride Cleaners' sign-it's a Beacon of Hope for the Chatham community. After a brief rally for interconnectivity, we'll take a walk east on 79th for few blocks until we get to Cottage Grove, and enjoy Chicken and Waffles at a local hidden gem business named "Captain Hard Times." Lunch is my treat and my way of thanking you for supporting our cause.

    WHEN: Saturday, November 7th at 11:00 am
    WHERE: Meet at PRIDE CLEANERS PARKING LOT 558 E 79th St, Chicago, IL 60619,
    LUNCH: Captain Hard Times Restaurant: Chicken and Waffles
    WHY: Rally for a more interconnected Chicago. Together, we can make a difference in a teenager's life and in our city. See you on November 7th.
    I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and experience different cultures, ideas, and perspectives. Wear your Hoodie. Explore Chatham!!

    Jahmal Cole | My Block, My Hood, My City

Friday, October 30, 2015

Tribune: Spike Lee's 'Chi-Raq' gets Dec. 4 release date

How many of us will go to the Studio Movie Grill in Chatham to check this film out. There was lots of publicity generated by certain politicians hate for the film title. Here's hoping it gets the reception it deserves from Chicagoans and the rest of the world when it's released on Dec. 4th.
Spike Lee's controversial "Chi-Raq" movie that's a satirical look at Chicago violence will be released Dec. 4 in some theaters, Lee confirmed on Instagram.

The movie, which is set on the South Side and based on the ancient Greek comedy "Lysistrata," is about women withholding sex to get their men to stop committing violence. Lee drew backlash from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and some aldermen when he announced the title of the movie earlier this year.

Lee shot the movie, which is produced by Amazon Studios, from June 1-July 9. Amazon Studios has partnered with Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate for the theatrical release, according to Deadline, which was the first to report the news of the release date. It's unclear when the film will be available on Amazon's Prime Instant Video service.

CBS Chicago: Mayor Rahm Emanuel Planning To Run For Third Term

It's probably always smart for an unpopular politician who has to tackle some important issues to state their future plans which is to stay in the game. We've heard earlier this year how unpopular the mayor is but with the budget impasse in Springfield and the need for a city to increase revenue is it in his best interest to be seen as a lame duck?

Those who don't like the mayor may have a problem with him even thinking about a third term, but let's remember he still won a second term.

EDIT 11:49 AM There's a growing fued between the Mayor and Governor. Even though they represent different parties during last year's campaign it came out they were buddies of sorts. Of course when it comes to politics things change. It appears in the press they're trading barbs according to the CapFax.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Buy-N-Save Supermarket: What would YOU like to see here?

Last week I walked along 103rd Street and these two images are examples of some of the shots I had taken. Not sure how long this store at 209 E 103rd St has been closed, but it was a surprise when I found out it had been and in a boarded up state. The next is what would you like to see here? Is it possible to attract another grocer here?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

CPS enrollment: Drops, rises and consequences

Via @ChiTribGraphics
I intended to post this earlier this month and never got around to it until now. So apologies for that. Here's hoping further information on enrollment will be available during the course of the school year.

A page you should look at via Chicago Tribune. That in addition to the graphic above:
Chicago Public Schools released 10th-day enrollment statistics and projected changes to school budgets and special education staffing as a result of the changes in enrollment. This is the first year CPS is using this student-based budgeting policy where enrollment is more important than ever. Changes to funding and positions will be finalized based on enrollment as of the 20th day of the school year.
For two of our local schools:
And of course search for more 10th day enrollment information here.

What is going on at Shedd School

See the ivy growing over the windows at the closed Shedd School. Vegetation growing over the windows to the kindergarten classroom and across the way over the windows to the auditorium. At least the rest of the property appears to be well maintained as the grass is cut.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Trouble for Dorothy Brown?

It was reported last week that federal authorities executed a search warrant and it involved the Circuit Court
The FBI has seized the cellphone of Cook County Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown as part of an ongoing investigation into a 2011 land deal involving a longtime campaign contributor that netted Brown and her husband tens of thousands of dollars.

Agents showed up at Brown's home last week armed with a search warrant for her phone, said attorney Edward Genson, who is representing Brown in the criminal investigation. Genson said he had "no idea" why the FBI wanted the phone.

"They are very close-mouthed about their investigations," he said.
Sources told the Tribune that federal authorities have joined an investigation initially launched by the Cook County state's attorney's office into the sale of a North Lawndale building owned by Narendra Patel, a longtime campaign donor to Brown and a west suburban businessman.

Patel, who is now deceased, gave the 2,275-square-foot, triangle-shaped property on South Pulaski Road to Brown's husband, Benton Cook III, at no cost in June 2011, records show. Within months, Cook put the property in the couple's name. Later, they transferred it to the Sankofa Group, a for-profit company Brown had set up years earlier.

The couple then sold the run-down building for $100,000 to developer Musa Tadros, county documents show.
And now here is some fall out:
The Executive Committee of the Cook County Democratic Party will meet Wednesday to consider reversing its decision to slate Clerk of the Circuit Courts Dorothy Brown.

If the Executive Committee decides to no longer support Brown, it will need a full vote from all of the 80 members of the Central Committee, according to Manuel Galvan, a spokesperson for the Cook County Democratic Party.

Brown, who has held office for 15 years, is now facing a federal investigation, although she says the multiple published reports about it are just rumors. Cook County Democratic Party Chairman Joe Berrios told reporters Friday that Brown was questioned before the slating about whether she faced an investigation, and she told them no.
 Rich Miller of the Capitol Fax further opines: "That last sentence right there is enough to revoke the slating."

She's up for re-election next year will there be trouble for her with the county Democrats and amongst primary voters?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Capitol Fax: Four of the ten worst cities for African-Americans are in Illinois

Linking to a post yesterday discussing a study at the Huffington Post, Rich Miller makes sure to note that our neighbors in Dairyland or more specifically Milwaukee, Wisconsin are #1 on this list. Otherwise we see Kankakee, Chicago area, Peoria, and Rockford were in the top 10.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

CPS enrollment: Drops, rises and consequences

Via @ChiTribGraphics
A page you should look at via Chicago Tribune. That in addition to the graphic above:
Chicago Public Schools released 10th-day enrollment statistics and projected changes to school budgets and special education staffing as a result of the changes in enrollment. This is the first year CPS is using this student-based budgeting policy where enrollment is more important than ever. Changes to funding and positions will be finalized based on enrollment as of the 20th day of the school year.
For two of our local schools:
And of course search for more 10th day enrollment information here.