Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mather's More than a Cafe is Undergoing Renovations

Location: 33 E 83rd St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
No, this particular post is not an April Fool's joke. Beedie Jones, director of Chatham's Mather's More than a Café, sent a robocall with important news.

The center will be undergoing renovations ("renovating our space and updating our décor") during much of April, and into May, and will be closed.

The Café will stop serving food on Saturday, April 2, but re-open on Tuesday, May 3. So tomorrow (Friday) might be a good time to stop by!

The center itself, with its many activities, will remain open until Wednesday April 20 until Monday, May 2.

The official grand re-opening will be Tuesday, May 3.

Call 773-488-2801 for any questions. Contact Mather's to be put on their e-mail. list, so you may receive renovation updates.

Note there has been no update of this renovation on the Mather's website.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

#MBMHMC wants you to Explore Englewood

Mr. Cole outside of Clara's House

Jahmal Cole of My Block My Hood My City wants Chicagoans to visit Englewood on April 23rd. Perhaps I should at least visit Kusanya Cafe.

Monday, March 28, 2016

WTTW: Segregation and Racial Barriers on Chicago's South Side

Last week WBEZ's Natalie Moore was on WTTW's Chicago Tonight to talk about her book The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation. The book is based on her experience, but it discusses how segregation on the south side shapes our city. Have you read Moore's book?

UPDATE @ 11:33 AM The Tribune did an article discussing Moore's book earlier this month.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sneed: Black officials to boycott Duckworth event

Last week Tammy Duckworth became the Democratic nominee for US Senate against incumbent Senator Mark Kirk. I would ask if this would hurt her chances to win, however, I recognize that we have a long way between now and November.
“Why would we want to express unity with Tammy Duckworth, who was selected for that spot by the Washington insiders at the Democratic National Campaign Committee?” said a powerful member of the City Council’s 18-member black caucus who asked to remain off-the-record.

Sneed is told a hush-hush meeting of aldermanic and state caucus members, who had endorsed Andrea Zopp for the U.S. Senate seat, met recently in Hyde Park to discuss the boycott of the Duckworth event, which sources claim was organized by U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly and Secretary of State Jesse White, who supported Duckworth’s primary candidacy.

Word is the boycott support group includes powerful State Sen. Kwame Raoul, State Sen. Kim Lightford, State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, State Sen. Patricia Van Pelt, Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) and Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th).

“It was taken for granted we would suck it all up — her candidacy — and it was patently unfair,” the source added.

The Duckworth event is set for 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Pearl’s Place, 3901 S. Michigan Avenue.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

DNA Info: Rauner Tours Englewood Blue; Discusses Jobs with Business Leaders

So Gov. Rauner visited Englewood recently:
Gov. Bruce Rauner toured a business incubator in Englewood on Monday afternoon.

He met with leaders of the Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation, which houses Englewood Blue, to discuss bringing more manufacturing jobs to Illinois.

"When you talk about some of the violence in communities like Englewood, we made the point that in communities of no hope and no careers, violence is just the bi-product, it's going to happen," said George Wright, Midwest region director of community development, Citi Bank and Englewood CDC chairman.

"So he resonated with that, he agreed with it."

Rauner wanted to visit to learn more about the work the Englewood business organization has been doing and to see if the model can be replicated, Wright said. The governor also talked about the Whole Foods Market, which is slated to open in August. He was supposed to tour the the outside of the building, but ran out of time so the visit was cut short.
The Governor was met by an activist who had to hit him with the current budget stalemate in Springfield. Of course he got no response and went on his way. You can see a Tweet embeded below of Rauner's visit to Englewood.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

More media on the Pullman Whole Foods distribution center #teamwholefoods

ABC 7 did a story on this Thursday
And then they noted an information session for those interested in a job at the coming Whole Foods Englewood store expected to open this fall. That event should've been held Thursday night at Kennedy King College (@ 740 West 63rd Street).

The Tribune was there at a presser at the site located near 720 E. 111th Street. If you want to forgo reading that article there's a video there you can watch. It shows comments made by Michael Bashaw the Midwest region President of Whole Foods flanked by Mayor Rahm Emanuel & 9th ward Alderman Anthony Beale.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Whole Foods Distribution Center to be built in Pullman

[VIDEO] So more big news for Pullman. They will be home to a new Whole Foods Market distribution center to be located at 720 E. 111th Street. You see the video from our local CBS affiliate. Here's some words from Crain's:
Whole Foods plans to build a distribution facility in the Pullman neighborhood on the South Side that would employ 150 people.

The 140,000-square-foot facility will be at 720 E. 111th St., according to the city of Chicago. The site is currently vacant.

The center, to open in early 2018, will replace an existing Munster, Ind., facility and will serve up to 70 Whole Foods stores in the Midwest and Canada, according to the city.

The city "will consider approximately $7.4 million in tax-increment financing assistance" for the project, according to a statement. The subsidy is being considered "to ensure the site was competitive with the existing facility in Indiana," the statement said.
This is treated as a developing story sooooo I look forward to finding out more about this project in the near future.

Here's a map of the future site below thanks to Google Maps.

Click for a larger resolution

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

#alvarezisgone 2016 primary elections

via @toy4dst ig
Not that I had been all over this, but aside from Donald Trump winning this state in his bid for the Republican nomination for President - the same with Hillary Clinton, btw. Also with longtime Congressman Bobby Rush beating his challenger Ald. Howard Brookins tonight. We have this.

I consider her response to a question about guns when Anita Alvarez first ran for Cook County State's Attorney. Her performance on 60 Minutes discussing Chicago being the false confession capital. And then the protests following the release of a video of a fatal confrontation with Laquan McDonald.

I share the pic above not only here but to our ig page just to share that someone is happy about Tuesday night's victory for the new Democratic nominee for State's Attorney Kim Foxx.

BTW, I have wondered people in other parts of the country and as it turns out suburban Cook County get those "I voted" stickers. Why don't we? DNA Info answers and unfortunately it took a few people to ruin it for everyone else as it turns out. :(

Monday, March 14, 2016

Orientation sessions for Whole Foods Englewood #teamwholefoods

Via WFMEnglewood
Recently the above image was reposted onto our ig page via the official ig for the coming Whole Foods Market Englewood store. There is a link on their profile to a series of events that allow anyone, but certainly targeted to Englewood residents to explore working for Whole Foods Market.

    Explore career opportunities with Whole Foods Market Englewood at several upcoming information sessions.

    Whole Foods Market 101: Introduction to Whole Foods Market and the Application Process
    March 17th, 5:30pm - 8:00pm

    Whole Foods Market 102: What It's Like to Work at Whole Foods Market
    April 20th, 5:30pm - 8:00pm

    Whole Foods Market 103: Tips on Getting the Job
    May 19th, 5:30pm - 8:00pm

    All sessions held at Kennedy King College, Great Hall - 740 West 63rd Street

    Participation in all three events is encouraged. 
Disclosure one of the bloggers is a Whole Foods Market team member.

Hope Dealers on TV Sunday

I sadly didn't recognize that Corey Hardiman's alternate spring break in 2016 got some attention on ABC Chicago. These Men of Morehouse came from Atlanta many of them originally not from here to be "Hope Dealers" - a force for change for other male youths on the South Side. Perhaps many more of us would be more apt to support such a mission.

BTW, the reporter of this story Leah Hope had been an mc at the recent Morehouse College Glee Club concert at the Harris Theater (205 E Randolph St) this past Tuesday night. And even better she has a personal connection as a descendant of the first Black President of Morehouse College Dr. John Hope.

Howard Brookins mail for US Congress

Tomorrow is primary election day and one of the races Democratic voters will consider is the 1st congressional district race Bobby Rush has a challenger in Ald. Howard Brookins (21st ward) who shared this tidbit in a mailer that you see below:
I see got to hit him for that missing money for a job center. A story we've written about a few times in the past. Is this enough to propel Brookins from Chicago's City Council to Washington? Good question.

The whole mailer you can see below or here.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

DNA Info: 'Hope Dealers' Mentor Chicago Teens During Spring Break

Here's hoping Mr. Hardiman and his hope dealers get more and more attention as he continues his project in the future. Recently he was featured in DNA Info:
Morehouse College graduate Corey Hardiman is on a mission to spread hope.

The Roseland native graduated with a Political Science degree in 2014 from the all-male historically black college in Atlanta.

It was during his spring break that he came up with a different kind of spring break trip. He and other Morehouse students gave up their vacation to visit elementary and high schools on the South Side. They’ve been in Chicago this week visiting schools like Robeson High School in Englewood and his former high school Corliss.

Hardiman and his 16 “Hope Dealers” share their personal stories and talk to the young men about college.
“I believe in the philosophy if I don’t see it, I can’t become it, but if I do see it, I have a vision in mind,” he said.  “Hope Dealers is a two-fold thing. It’s to get students politically engaged, educationally inspired, and to challenge the social quota, defying the [black male] stereotype.”
Neither of Hardiman's parents finished high school. He’s the only male in his family to graduate from college.

Hardiman said he’s always felt there was somewhat of a disconnect between young black males and college-age men, which he’s trying to address. 
I wish the Hope Dealers well in their continuing studies or success when they graduate.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Another palm card mailer

You may have recieved this palm card from the Cook County Democratic Party in the mail recently. A sample ballot endorsing the many candidates for judge in the primary election next Tuesday. It is clear that this palm card is something you can bring into the voting booth with you.

Tribune: Rush's campaign receives financial support from some of Emanuel's closest political backers

Howard Brookins we learned has help from the state House Speaker Michael Madigan. Bobby Rush is getting help from embattled Mayor Emanuel's financial backers:

With longtime U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush caught in a heated re-election battle for Congress, he's receiving major financial support for the first time from some of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's closest political backers.

The money comes as Rush has become a supportive voice for Emanuel in the African-American community, even as the mayor has struggled to regain trust with black voters after the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by a white police officer.

Though Rush and the Emanuel confidant who organized the fundraising effort deny any connection between Rush's support for the mayor and the contributions, records show they were made a little more than one month after Rush flanked the mayor and turned aside calls for Emanuel's resignation.

Led by close confidant and hedge-fund boss Michael Sacks, 16 top Emanuel supporters in February contributed more than $64,000 to Rush's campaign fund, according to newly filed federal campagin finance reports. Except for a small donation more than a decade ago, it is the first time any of the donors have ever given Rush political money. Their contributions account for most of his individual contributions since the campaign went into high gear, records show.

Rush and Sacks said the donations are a product of getting to know each other independent of Emanuel and that they have been working on projects to stem violence in the city and generate jobs.

Rush, in fact, said it was "absurd" to suggest a connection with Emanuel. Still, the congressman has refused to join calls for Emanuel to resign from protesters angered by the mayor's handling of the McDonald situation.

9th ward democratic party sample ballot

If you live in Chicago's 9th ward you may have recieved this in your mailboxes. This is a palm card that you can take into the voting booths next Tuesday. So for 9th ward residents the Cook County Democratic Party isn't picking a horse for US Senate, President, or 1st congressional district.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Crain's: CTA OKs $1B contract for train cars built on South Side by Chinese firm

At first this article said Pullman but it appears that these new rail cars expected to be seen - the prototypes at least - by the end of this decade. More jobs for the folks on the far southeast side of town. And not far hopefully from that future red line extension:
A Chinese manufacturer has won the contract to build the next generation of Chicago Transit Authority rail cars, and part of the deal calls for building the cars on the Far South Side at 135th Street and Torrence Avenue.

The CTA board today voted unanimously to award a deal worth $1.31 billion to CSR Sifang America to build up to 846 CTA train cars over the next several years.

The new cars will look similar to those that have been put into operation in the past few years, with a few tweaks. Most notably, they will have fewer center-facing seats in favor of cross-car seats. The will also have LED lighting and at least 11 security cameras per car.
CSR Sifang's bid was $226 million below that of a division of Bombardier, a Canadian firm that is the builder of the newest group of CTA cars. Parent company CSR America is owned by the Chinese government, but CTA officials stressed that the bid includes a significant "Made in America" component.

According to CTA spokesman Brian Steele, not only will the cars be assembled at a Far South Side plant but CSR has promised that at least 69 percent of all components will be made in the U.S. The operation will employ about 160 workers.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

#MBMHMC I don’t live in Chi-Raq, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist

This report is via My Block My Hood My City by their head of data, Matthew Pietrus. The map above chronicles homicide hotspots throughout Chicago:
After analyzing homicides locations in conjunction with demographic data, I found that of these thousands of homicides from 2010-2015, two thirds of them occurred in neighborhoods that are two thirds or more black. Compared to just over 12% in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods and under 2% in predominantly white neighborhoods, it is clear that violence is not equally shared.

Unfortunately, this is not news. Most Chicagoans understand the disparities that exist in the city so studies like these can seem repetitive. But the significance of this map, and other studies like it, lies not in the data displayed on its surface but in the social interactions that create it. While what is occurring is certainly of importance, only in understanding why something is occurring can change happen.

That is why the story this map tells, the story of Chi-Raq, is an important one.

With the mention of that term, many readers may have moved on from this piece, and with understandable frustration. With massive clusters of homicides isolated in the South and West sides of the city, to many Chicagoans, Chi-Raq, the city more deadly than a warzone, is not the city they know nor is it the reality they face. For this reason, there has been constant backlash to the city’s new name, dating from the term’s inception to Spike Lee’s recent film. However, is this image of Chicago really a misrepresentation? More importantly, is our outcry over the term Chi-Raq really more important than the larger socioeconomic, racial, and violent disparities that it brings up?
Similarly, for city officials and community members to continue a blasé approach towards reading these stories is a form of complicity, permitting the city to continue its violent polarization. Instead of becoming numb to statistics and these stories, we instead need to mobilize when Chicagoans like Bettie Smith, Quintonio LeGrier, and Tyshawn Lee are killed. We need to call our aldermen, protest, and make our dissention known.

In the end, this map tells the story of Chicago’s segregation. This story is not just one depicting a lack of cultural integration but one telling of a social isolation which disproportionately impacts black communities. But just because this may not be the story of your Chicago does not mean it is a story you should ignore.
Now how do we change this idea of violent polarization in those violent communities?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Speaker Madigan endorses Brookins....

I saw an article about this in the Sun-Times yesterday, and it's unbelievable. In addition to being the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Springfield, Michael Madigan is also the 13th ward Democrat committeeman and chairman of the state Democratic Party. He is also one of the most powerful Democrats in this state.

Make no mistake many politicians including some of his fellow Democrats have had to do battle with him and with varying degrees of success (which could be little to none). That being said when he makes an endorsement that would likely carry lots of weight. That being said Brookins (who faces Congressman Bobby Rush for his 1st Congressional District seat) still have to go through the primary.

Rich Miller takes a further look at this recent development:
As explained in the story, Brookins asked Madigan for help with his petitions and Madigan complied. Madigan’s 13th Ward has just two precincts worth about a hundred votes two years ago in that district, so it won’t mean much, anyway.

* But, c’mon. There’s no big mystery here. At the same time Brookins made his pitch to Madigan, Congressman Rush’s son Flynn was running against Madigan’s House Majority Leader. He ended up dropping out, likely because of serious defects in his petitions.
BTW, yesterday was the first day of early voting. Do you plan to vote ahead of the March 15th primary? Have you received your voter registration cards?