Friday, June 30, 2017

How long does it REALLY take to get a garbage can in Chicago?

So how long does it take to get garbage cans in Chicago?

In Chatham, in the homes southwest of 79th & King, one neighbor has been waiting since April 3 to get a set of garbage cans.

Now, to set the stage...In September of 2015, the building went into foreclosure. In 2016 , new owners were renovating the building.  By the end of the summer, 2 black garbage cans mysteriously disappeared. I assumed they had been used by renovators to haul garbage from the building to the alley (as they had earlier in the summer), but it turns out they were missing.
One of the new tenants (who moved in by March), on April 3, 2017, called to request new garbage cans.  The request number is 17-03567043.  I called the city again on May 31 .  A couple of days later, I passed that info onto Alderman Rod Sawyer's office. It's now the end of June. 3 full months have passed. Not ONE extra garbage can in the whole city? Really???

And this is costing the city money, as apparently there is a special pick-up due to this situation. (The recycling isn't "ruined" due to "contaminated" recyclables, as we have heard on the news).  Wouldn't a couple of cans be much cheaper than constantly brining out "special forces" to take care of this mess?

Can someone from WBEZ, DNAinfo , Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times or some other news source get some public data from the city, and see how long it takes a request for garbage can to be fulfilled. I really wonder if Jefferson Park, Lincoln Park, South Loop, Mt. Greenwood or Hyde Park has these issues. I would expect that wait time to be AT LEAST 66% shorter.

Streets and Sanitation has gone to a grid system, so apparently Aldermen don't have the clout anymore to get things happening.

Please let us know what you have experienced, and let's hold our city accountable.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Keeping 79th Street safe on Fridays , starting TOMORROW!

The merchants on 79th street will gather at the corner of several streets along 79th during the summer. It is part of the 79th Street Corridor Business Association's "Safe Summer 2017".

They ask participants & supporters to wear Orange on Friday evenings, 6pm -8pm.

While our presence will provide safety, the organization will also provide resources such as for health services, training and jobs.

The schedule is as follows, all on Friday evenings:
  • June 30 =  Cottage Grove
  • July 7 =  Ingleside
  • July 14 = Langley 
  • July 21 = King Drive 
  • July 28 = Eberhart
  • August 4 = Evans 
  • August 11 = St. Lawrence
  • August 18 = Vernon
  • August 25 = Cottage Grove 

We would love to post photos of any night you attend, as well as any stories. Send them to blog (at) the sixthward (dot) us

Wendy's coming to 95th/Michigan?

Worlee wrote this over at NextDoor recently
107 E. 95th Street - June 2017
  • Where o Where Will Wendy's Go

    The plot thickens. There is an unverified report that Wendy's will take over the former KFC site at 95th Michigan. 

    Also, it has been reported that Wendy's will be opening a store at the 87th street retail corridor. 

    So will we have two stores opening? Will we have 4 stores in a 5mile radius with the existing stores at 86th Stony and 83rd Ashland? 

    What's your thoughts?
In addition there's also a Wendy's at 111th/State in Roseland. Also let's not forget that the former Wendy's at 95th/King Drive still hasn't found another tenant yet. Though its great to finally have a new business in the former KFC space which closed permanently near the end of 2015. Here's one of our ig posts.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The city of Chicago is OK with dead bodies in the alley?

Why is the city OK with dead bodies sitting around for days?
OK, so it's not a HUMAN body.

But I called on Friday, June 23 about a dead kitten in the alley.  While someone moved the body deeper into the weeds, the body is still rotting, with flies all around.

It has been nearly a week, with no action. (Well, the flies certainly have a lot of action). I called again today. Foolishly, I forgot to get the request number. course, they have no record of the request. Reminder: ALWAYS GET THE REQUEST NUMBER, and HAVE THEM TEXT IT TO YOU! The request number is now  17-04280559

Why is the city OK with dead bodies (even if it is an animal)? We know the mayor has an affinity for dead fish....but dead kittens?

West Chesterfield on the recent Walgreen's closure in the neighborhood

347 E. 95th Street - June 2017
Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to go to the recent meeting hosted by state Rep. Elgie Sims on the Walgreen's store that closed on Tuesday Jun. 27th at 95th/King Drive. However I'm glad that the West Chesterfield Community Association was able to share a quick report on their fb page. That report is embedded below

Monday, June 26, 2017

Against All Odds: The Fight for the Black Middle Class

[VIDEO] One of the main reasons why I started The Sixth Ward was to in some way highlight the middle-class aspects of the 6th Ward as it was drawn between 2002 to roughly 2015. Chatham isn't the only community with a solidly Black middle-class population, but it has often been considered a bastion of the Black middle-class.

This documentary was mentioned on the ig profile for the new owners of the former Seaway National Bank - Self-Help FCU - doing a quick mention of this documentary Against All Odds: The Fight for the Black Middle Class. It's available for viewing either on or you can watch it through the PBS app available on iPhones & iPads and likely Android also.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Concerned about the impact of Springfield budget stalemate

Log onto fb and watch a live broadcast of the state legislative Black caucus as state Sens. Donne Trotter and Kimberly Lightford host a discussion on the budget stalemate on Blacks in Illinois.

Here's a tweet below
And then here's a link to the Black caucus fb page.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A continuation: the decline of Black Chicago

The Capitol Fax today had a post excerpting from several articles regarding the exodus from Illinois. Of course often the focus on this blog is the exodus of Blacks from not only the city but from the state itself. So one of those articles is of focus for us. First let me share the link from CapFax.
And of course we look at the article from the Chicago Tribune which discusses further the exodus of Blacks from Chicago and Illinois:
Cook County in 2016 again recorded the largest black population of any county in the U.S., but it carries that title with less conviction than previous years as more African-Americans move to outlying suburbs or warmer states in the South and West, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Between 2015 and 2016, more than 12,000 black residents left Cook County, an increase from the previous year when about 9,000 residents left. The greater Chicago area, which for the census includes parts of Indiana and Wisconsin, has lost nearly 46,000 black residents since 2010. That exodus is larger than in any other metropolitan area in the country....
Some of those who left Chicago and Cook County relocated to other parts of the state, but Illinois still recorded a population drop of about 10,000 black residents between 2015 and 2016, more than any other state. Experts say it is an indication that the majority of the state's black flight is occurring in Chicago.

The black exodus is part of a larger pattern of general population decline in the region. Illinois dropped by 37,508 people in 2016, losing more residents than any other state, and Chicago was the only city among the country's 10 largest to drop in population. Between 2015 and 2016, the greater Chicago area lost 19,570 residents.

Dozens of former residents surveyed by the Tribune over the past year who've packed up cite a variety of reasons for leaving: high taxes, the state budget stalemate and the weather. But what's propelling black flight isn't quite the same as what's driving out the city's white population.

Africans-Americans are leaving in search of stability, experts say, hoping to find stable incomes and safe neighborhoods, something they feel Chicago isn't offering them. The city of Chicago lost 181,000 black residents between 2000 and 2010, according to census data.
Alright, it's very interesting that we still talk about the last decennial census which occurred in 2010. Because of that last census the ward maps were redrawn and at least for the period of time in which the remap occurred, many weren't happy that they could be drawn into a different ward with a different alderman. Either way we have a real situation Blacks are leaving Chicago or they're leaving this state. Perhaps they're going to Atlanta - which seems to be a trend anyway.

Corey Brooks pastor of Chicago's New Beginnings Church was quoted throughout this article and ends this article:
Brooks, the South Side pastor, says the consequences of so many black residents leaving each year is that these neighborhoods will deteriorate or lose their identities, and potentially succumb to gentrification.

"Unless we all come together as a community to try and resolve these issues ourselves, unless we build businesses and create jobs," he said, "we'll be left with communities ravished by crime, violence and a bad economy."
Yeah he discussed why there is a crime problem in Black communities. It's all economics, a shortage of jobs. Pastor Brook's direct quote: "It's not just gang violence retaliation," he said. "(Violence) is about economics. People can't eat. People can't sustain their families."

Again the question, what can we do to change the current situation? 

Monday, June 19, 2017

87th & Dan Ryan donation box broken!

Location: 8800 S Lafayette Ave, Chicago, IL 60620, USA
The clothes donation box at 87th & The Dan Ryan has been vandalized!!!. 

As of Sunday afternoon at 5pm, these pictures were the scene. This donation box is on the 8800 block of Lafayette, near Sistar Beauty at the Chicago Ridge Mall.
The door was busted open, and clothes and other items (including a  computer monitor) were strewn about.

This is a very sad situation, and adds to the negative perception about our community.

This mall is also under fire for potentially hosting a Chuck E. Cheese, who some in the community are strongly against.

There is a number, 1-800-264-8560, which is listed on the box.  
We will try to call the phone number to report it, but please feel free to make your own calls, and post the results in our comments section. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy father's day

I'm sharing a few ig posts for this special day. Two of them I regrammed to our ig account. All these posts pertain to the businesses that reside in the 6th Ward community.

To start, a couple of posts from our longtime BBQ house Lem's celebrating father's day and of course celebrating the late James Lemons. Lemons is one of the brothers that started this longtime business.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The former Seaway Bank still has business

As the formerly Black-owned bank known as Seaway National Bank or Seaway Bank & Trust Company heads into its second month as a division of the North Carolina based Self-Help FCU we see in the news that there is a lawsuit that involved Seaway Bank.

The excerpt is from an article written by Crain's Steve Daniels who covered the many stories regarding the late Seaway Bank.
Seaway Bank & Trust is no more, but its ghost haunts another South Side lender, Urban Partnership Bank.

A lawsuit Seaway filed in early 2016 against UPB after a deal to buy $90 million in mainly South Side mortgages from UPB went sour still is pending despite Seaway's failure earlier this year.

That’s because the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which sold off most of Seaway’s assets and liabilities when the bank failed, took over the case and is continuing to press it.

UPB had a deal to sell 849 mortgages to Seaway, going so far as to take a $6.5 million down payment in late 2015. The two banks soon thereafter disagreed on terms, and Seaway backed out. But UPB wouldn't refund the money.
I suggest you read the whole article before coming to your own conclusions.

Friday, June 16, 2017

State Rep. Elgie Sims community meeting on impending closure of Walgreens at 95th & King Dr.

347 E. 95th Street
You may have seen this over at Concerned Citizens of Chatham during the course of the week. I have an updated flyer regarding a community meeting to discuss the soon to close Walgreen's store at 95th & King Drive which was posted to our ig today. Does anyone have any ideas for the soon to close Walgreen's store at 95th & King Drive?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Time for city sticker sales

It's that time of year again for your city of Chicago sticker sales and you can buy them at an Alderman's office for example according to this calendar from the Chicago City Clerk on Tuesday you can purchase your city sticker at the offices of Ald. Roderick T. Sawyer (6th ward) and Ald. Tom Tunney (44th ward).

As a matter of fact Ald. Sawyer's @6wardchicago ig page shared an announcement:
A post shared by 6 Ward Chicago (@6wardchicago) on

Friday, June 9, 2017

An interesting proposal for the former UPB branch/Jeffrey Theater

UPDATE 11:25 AM - I apologize, failed to give this post a title!

7054 S. Jeffrey Blvd
Through NextDoor I found a DNA Info article regarding Alisa Starks making a pitch to the South Shore community regarding the former Urban Partnership Bank branch located at 7054 S. Jeffrey Blvd. It sounds like a good plan:
Alisa Starks, who developed movie theaters in Lawndale and Chatham, has been brought in by Monroe Investments to revive the bank at 7054 S. Jeffery Blvd. that closed in 2014.

At a 5th Ward meeting Tuesday at the South Shore Cultural Center, Starks presented a rough idea for the 46,000-square-foot bank that included a four-screen movie theater on the main floor, a six-lane bowling alley in the basement and a kid-friendly restaurant and play area on the second floor.

“It’s designed to be a boutique theater, think Hyde Park’s Harper Theater,” said Starks, who said she was alerted to the bank’s potential by one of her South Shore neighbors.

She said the first floor would also include a Cajun restaurant called Odessa with live jazz and blues run by the chef from the now-closed Epiphany Bistro in Lincoln Park
The former UPB branch - and longtime hq for the defunct Shorebank - had been closed since 2014. The space also includes the facade of the former Jeffrey Theater. It would be very cool to redevelop that site and it could be a movie theater again and revive this corner now that a important business anchor had left. There's just one problem.

This article is almost two years old. Published in August 2015 and during that month Starks' ICE Theaters had filed for bankruptcy. Of course this is not to say this wouldn't be a successful venture and that this project genuinely caught the entrepreneurial eye of Ms. Starks.

Not mentioned in this article was ICE Theaters other than the fact that the Chatham 14 was sold by the Starks and ultimately that venue is under the ownership and banner of Studio Movie Grill. So no indication of this development on Jeffrey becoming an outpost for ICE Theaters.

Now, it's about to be summer 2017, which is the expected opening date for this venue. One wonders if there are any further updates about this development or even a grand opening. In the meanwhile it's safe to say this space remains shuttered and there is also a shuttered grocery store just across the street still looking for a tenant.

Finally here's a recent picture of 71st/Jeffrey taken from the J14 bus on the way to downtown Chicago. I could be wrong but there's no evidence of any development here. Perhaps Ms. Starks wasn't able to make this development happen during the course of the last two years.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

6th ward senior meeting on Thursday

Location: 706 E 79th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
If you haven't already heard, there's a new ig profile for 6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer @6wardchicago. This is where you will see info on this seniors meeting. Of course for those of you who live in Chicago's 6th Ward always feel free to get in touch with them if you want more information than what's provided here.
  • 6th ward senior meeting
    Thur, June 8, 2016
    11 AM to 1 PM
    706 E. 79th Street
Instagram post is below!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mary Mitchell writes about the decline of Black Chicago

Sun-Times columnist Mitchell takes on the issue of Blacks leaving Chicago
After a lifetime of living in Chicago, my husband is seriously talking about moving away.

It’s not just one thing that is spurring him to pack up and leave, he explained; it’s a combination of things.

He cited high taxes, crime and bad politics, but he’s obviously not alone. Black people are fleeing the city’s predominantly black neighborhoods on the South and West Sides.

Meanwhile, according to recent U.S. Census data, white people are flocking to neighborhoods near Downtown.

Chicago, once a haven for the black middle class, is no longer seen as a place of economic opportunity for African Americans.
6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer was quoted:
Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) argues that white people are moving in as black people abandon these neighborhoods.

“I’m in Woodlawn right now, and there are white people walking down the street, walking dogs and jogging. People don’t mess with white people. If I walked up and down the street over here, I would probably get hit in the head, and that’s an awful thing to say,” Sawyer conceded.

“But we can make it better by staying and putting in the time and work and getting involved in your neighborhood. You can’t complain about it while you are locked up in your house,” he said.
“We may lose another black alderman as some of our wards are teetering around 60 percent black. In fact, Walter Burnett’s ward is not black. We lost the second ward in the last redistricting,” Sawyer said.

Still, the alderman is wary of the Census data.

“I don’t think as many people are leaving, as they are not being counted,” he said.
This latest Census data shows black residents want the same things other people want: employment, fair government, safe neighborhoods and good schools.

Unfortunately, too few African-Americans in Chicago can say they have any of those things.
Employment, fair gov't, safe neighborhoods, & good schools. How do we get any of those?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

VIDEO: "Welcome to Englewood" Sign Unveiling, May 12, 2017

[VIDEO] I'm sorry to have missed this video. Last month the Englewood community got themselves a landmark sign located at 63rd/Yale (almost near what used to be the former Harvard stop on the CTA Green Line). This is an event I caught wind of mainly on ig and even regrammed one record of this event.

Anyway this illustrates something that I've noted here on this blog. Englewood has a marker, and then I found that Grand Crossing and Park Manor have markers. Even suggested at one point perhaps Chatham should have a sign or mark at entry points into the Chatham perimeter.

Perhaps on King Drive, Cottage Grover, 75th, 79th, 83rd, 87th and certainly on State Street. I got one potential candidate for what this sign this Chatham brand should look like. Of course someone who lives there has to make the proposal and ultimately make it happen.

Of course I recognize that's not the only community that can use this idea. Perhaps once Pullman's national monument really gets going this is the treatment they get. Hopefully in the future Roseland can have one to begin it's revitalization, especially when the CTA red line gets extended past 95th Street.

Forgot to add this video was produced by an old favorite artistmac who was also in Englewood for the groundbreaking and grand opening of Whole Foods Market Englewood. And he also drove along 63rd Street at one point also.