Archives:

Second Chance Legislation

by Wateka Kleinpeter 

A group of Illinois legislators believe that people who have had a brush with the law should be allowed a second chance.

Ill. Rep. Constance A. Howard (D-Chicago) was victorious on April 5 when House Bill 300 passed with very little opposition. Howard’s proposed legislation would allow the automatic elimination or expungement – of certain charges from one’s criminal background history. Expungement would erase some negative information that is held against an individual. If passed, the bill would amend the current Criminal Identification Act.

According to Howard and U.S. Rep. Davis K. Davis (D-7), the bill would allow people with negative background information a “second chance” to get a job and get their lives back on track. Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Stop The Violence

by Cenabeth Cross 

I covered the recent trial of the man accused of raping Girl X in room 400 of the federal court building downtown.

Girl X, now 14, was assaulted, raped and given some type of poison in a Cabrini-Green hallway in 1997. This incident left the girl mentally damaged and blind. She was marked with gang signs on her stomach.

Most of the time, the courtroom only had reporters present in the audience as the trial went on. The girl herself was in the courtroom. During the cross-examination, the girl was urged to answer questions by the attorneys. Though she was able to give them the information, I had a doubt in my mind whether or not the girl actually knew what was going on. Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Youths Rally For Summer Jobs

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Young Chicagoans debated with City officials in February and March about the provision of summer jobs.

In February, Chicago youths rallied at City Hall to protest cutbacks in the number of jobs offered through Mayor Richard M. Daley’s office.

They demonstrated again earlier this month at the State of Illinois building to ask the governor and state legislature for funds to provide 16- to 19-year-old African American and Hispanic young people with employment this summer. Quintana Woodridge, a resident of the Ida B. Wells development and a youth organizer for the Youth First Campaign of the Southwest Youth Collaborative, said the young people were rallying for the city to provide the same number of jobs as last year. Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Child of the Pack Saddle: Part IV

by John Sampson 

Two hours after I got into the Model T Ford a few miles north of Marksville, five Cajuns and myself pulled into a yellow two-car garage in the rear of a yellow duplex house on Holly Street in Alexandria, Louisiana.

The interior of the garage was much larger than it appeared from the outside: the floor was covered over with wall-to-wall concrete, there was a two-pane window on one side of the garage, and at the far end, there was an iron bed. All in all, the place was neat and well kept for a garage.

After everyone had gotten out of the car and removed the fishing gear, Caroline said to me, “Popcorn, you wait here while I go in the house and get some bed clothing for the bed in the corner there where you’re going to sleep. That will be your bed. You wait here and I’ll be right back.”

I guess I waited out in the garage something like 25 to 30 minutes and was getting a little uneasy when Roland walked in and said to me, “Popcorn. Uncle Johnny told me to tell you to come in the house. Grandmother wants to see you. Come with me.” Read more »

Tags:
Categories: Uncategorized

High Cost of Gas

by Bobby Watkins 

This past winter was rough on a lot of us – and not just because of winter and the frigid cold that came with it. But this winter, for a lot of people, came a big problem and that was due to the high increase in gas bills.

The high gas bills really presented a big problem for some residents who pay their own heating bill. There are some programs that offer help but what residents fear most is becoming lease non-complaint: All Chicago Housing Authority residents who pay gas and electric bills know that they can’t be behind in these utilities or have the bill in someone’s name other than the lease holder. If they are behind, they must be in some type of payment plan, the problems of which I will write about a little later in this article. Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Project Based Section-8s Threatened

by Michael Ibrahem 

All low-income Chicagoans will have less housing to choose from if a coalition of Section 8 tenants, lawmakers, grassroots organizations and activists is not able to save thousands of subsidized housing units by 2005.

The Chicago Rehab Network, Tenants United for Housing and the National Housing Law project held a briefing March 16 on the “State of Project Based Section 8″ at the Palmer House Hotel in downtown Chicago.

The event’s speakers included activists and people in the forefront of a desperate struggle to save the only homes they know. The speakers also included state Senators Barack Obama (D-Chicago) and William Peterson (R- Long Grove) and Cook County Commissioner Bobbie Steele and city Housing Commissioner Jack Markowski. Read more »

Tags: , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Transforming CHA: Ickes “New” Management

by Jacqueline Thompson 

Under new private management, in the case of Harold L. Ickes Homes, is truly a play on words; the management company that replaced CHA employee managers is a well-known established organization that has a reputation for managing good and lasting housing, social and other community services on the South Side of Chicago, The Woodlawn Organization, known as TWO.

At our first town hall meeting, the new general manager, Deborah Mallory, handed out fully prepared packets giving details of the history of the new management and just how organized they really are. They also had a pictorial display of community activities involving block clubs, churches and other groups outside of public housing that showed their involvement was truly impressive. Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

The New Teachers Academy

by Jacqueline Thompson 

The Cermak Teachers Training Academy is being built at Cermak and Dearborn Streets within the boundaries of Harold Ickes Homes. It has been in the planning stages for the last two years and the residents of the Ickes public housing development are awaiting the fulfillment of the promise that the children who live within the boundaries will attend the school.

For the past 20 years, the federal, state and city governments have all staggered under the weight of global comparison of our educational systems and the results of so much failure to produce better readers, mathematicians and scientifically astute students. So the powers that be for us – the City of Chicago or, more specifically, the Chicago Board of Education – took a look at what the causes for such widespread academic failure could be and what they could do to make a change. Read more »

Tags: , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Transforming CHA: Chewing Up Tobacco Road

by Beauty Turner Assistant Editor

The stores on Tobacco Road are losing business because of the relocation of residents of the low-income areas surrounding the stores.

As I walked down the legendary 47th Street, better known as Tobacco Road, in early March, I noticed a lot of boarded up stores. The Michigan Garden Apartments, better known as the Rosenwald complex, lay barren. The Rosenwald once housed approximately 500 low-income families. Now it’s a ghost town. No children are outside playing; no one is standing outside of the once very busy dwelling.

I was waiting for a tumbleweed to brush by my dusty boots as I continued to walk down the long road of despair. I couldn’t help but wonder: If all the stores that were located in the Rosenwald closed down, then how are the other businesses in the community doing? Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Transforming CHA: Senior Only Buildings

by Lorenzia Shelby 

The Chicago Housing Authority is making all of its 58 senior citizen buildings seniors-only by excluding new people with disabilities under the age of 50.

CHA’s Management, Analysis and Planning Department (MAP) wrote a Senior Designated Housing Plan. The overview of this draft plan reads, “The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) has submitted a one- and five-year plan that calls for the designation of all 58 CHA senior buildings as senior only. The CHA designated 20 buildings as seniors only in 1996 and planned to add 38 buildings as a result of this request.”

“This means that persons under 50 (non seniors) with disabilities will no longer be admitted to seniors-only buildings. Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized