Dear Resident

by Patricia Johnson-Gordon 

Dear Resident,

As I sit in my apartment preparing to write my column for this edition of RJ, I can’t help but find myself awestruck by the power of words spoken, written and implied. Especially as I hear them, indoors through the television and radio, next door from my neighbors’ apartments and outdoors from people as they walk, pass or stand in the street.

Only the air that surrounds us is more invasive (involving entry into the body) than the spoken word. And in our community, more often than not, the words being propelled through the air are unpleasant, foul and profane as they have become a part of our everyday vernacular (vocabulary). Profane words used in our daily speech but not necessarily in a profane manner. Read more »

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Lathrop News

by Bobby Watkins 

On April 17, there was a march to stop the violence in Lathrop Homes. The march took off from the Cotter Boys and Girls Club.

In attendance were members of the Cotter Club as well as staff along with Local Advisory Council members as well as the CHA Service Connectors, members of the Tenant Patrol and staff of the DePaul University Urban Systems of Care, members of Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy and officers of the 19th District.

There could and should have been more residents of the community involved, especially since a young man was killed in the community a couple of weeks before the march. There have been reports of gunfire being heard in the development and the summer hasn’t even started yet. Let’s hope this march is the beginning of many such events to help the residents and, most of all, our children to have a safe and violent-free summer in all developments, not just Lathrop Homes. Our children deserve to be in a safe environment. Read more »

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by Karen Owens 

Many times when a person thinks of residents of public housing communities, they think of them as down trodden, hopeless and uneducated, people who have no plans, opinions, or ideals as to how they want to live as individuals or families. The stereotypes are that residents are isolated from society.

The ABLA Local Advisory Council (LAC), along with its president, Deverra Beverly, other concerned residents of ABLA and various city agencies are working hard to erase these negative stereotypes. Read more »
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Stop The Violence

by Cenabeth Cross 

Courtroom Drama

In the last issue, I wrote about the three youths who were incarcerated for the Lori Roscetti murder. Omar Saunders, Calvin Ollins and his cousin, Larry Ollins, spent 15 years in prison for a murder they didn’t commit. A lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, had their cases reviewed and had DNA tests taken that proved that they were not the ones. They were released Dec. 6, 2001.

The irony of the case was that there was a fourth suspect, Marcellius Bradford. He had testified against the other three and got a shorter sentence.

The case was reinvestigated and Eddie Harris, 36, and Duane Roach, 46, were arrested. They had matching DNA. They both confessed and had their first day of trial on Feb. 8. They were indicted for murder with no bond. At a press conference, Omar Saunders said that he was glad the 1 percent of doubt was cleared up. Read more »

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The Renowned Vernon Jordan

by Lorenzia Shelby 

Before he went to college, civil rights veteran and businessman Vernon Jordan’s mother told him to join the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), according to his book, “Vernon Can Read.” All the white people she had worked for made their children join ROTC, his mother reasoned. “There must be something to it,” she told the young Jordan.

Jordan was a strong-willed, determined young man who persevered in his quest to succeed. He got a good education, was a successful activist and then became a business executive as well as a consultant and friend to President Bill Clinton. Though many Americans know Jordan from his involvement in the Monica Lewinsky scenario, most African Americans know about his record of accomplishment. Read more »
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