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Black History Through Performance

by Clemolyn Brinson 

For Black History Month historical figure Frederick Douglass was portrayed by Kevin McIlvaine, former Harlan High School student, actor, singer, and educator, during a special event February 11-13 at the Field Museum. Frederick Douglass was a runaway slave who eventually became an abolitionist and founder of The North Star, an anti-slavery newspaper in the 1800s.

WVON’s Cliff Kelley hosted the event. The Apostolic Church Choir of Chicago accompanied McIlvaine, singing several gospel renditions such as “Let My People Go,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “We Shall Overcome.”
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Stop the Violence

by Cenabeth Cross 

I discovered an organization that is providing employment services for people who need it badly. The Michael Barlow Center on Chicago’s West Side is helping ex-offenders find jobs and places to live. The Barlow Center, which was dedicated on April 22, 2005, is a part of St. Leonard’s Ministries, located at 2120 West Warren Blvd.

St. Leonard’s Ministries helps inmates, women and men, with a place to stay, training and support as they re-enter society. They help ex-offenders to rebuild their lives and get a chance to make a buck. With the Barlow Center, they are expanding their services by opening new programs, including two new buildings where the residents will live and learn. One is a five-story high building where the residents will sleep. I learned this by taking a tour of the facilities after my interviews.
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CHA Development News

by Jacqueline Thompson 

Harold Ickes News

Harold Ickes is an eternally active mosaic of changing conditions. For the past nine months, we longtime residents have shared stairwells, hallways, by-ways and parking (already scarce) with strangers who look at you with surprise as they continue to claim their place in what you thought was your space.

Where the rent paying residents have no say so as to who frequents the common areas, neither do they have the authority to stop the heavy human traffic in the stairwells where our small children and seniors have to go up and down. The elevators in some buildings stop on a floor, the doors opens a peak, slams shut and the elevator continues on its way, leaving one to get off above or below their floor with or without heavy bags or other packages. Where is management?
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Pilsen Guards Against Gentrifyers

by Lorenzia Shelby 

On April 26, 2005 the Pilsen Alliance and the residents of the Pilsen community held a press conference in front of the now defunct Lerner Box Company, an industrial building on 16th Street and Carpenter. They were marching, picketing and protesting the Lipe Property Company. If you were anywhere near 16th and Carpenter that Tuesday night, you would have heard the shouting and chanting voices of men, women and a lot of young people, bellowing these words of protest: “Familias Si, Condos No” (Families Yes, Condos No).

Michael Florez of the Pilsen Alliance

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CHA Contracting Woes

by Mary C. Piemonte Editor-in-Chief

Residents of public housing are constantly being told by the Chicago Housing Authority and its private housing contractors to properly manage their personal affairs in order to be lease compliant under their $1.6 billion Plan for Transformation. But is the CHA properly managing its own state of affairs?

Mismanaged CHA Contractor under Federal Indictment
On June 15, 2005, a federal grand jury indicted three employees of CHA property manager William Moorehead and Associates, including William Moorehead himself, for “allegedly fraudulently” taking nearly $1 million housing funds appropriated for “more than a dozen U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development subsidized properties, including housing units operated by the CHA between 1994 and 2002,” according to U.S. Department of Justice documents.
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State Passes Support for Renters

by Michael Ibrahem 

In Chicago, even everyday citizens have definite ideas about affordable housing or the lack of it. Throughout Illinois, activists and legislators alike are pleased with the results of the State House vote on May 4 for S.B.75, better known as the Rental Housing Support Program. “We are very excited about the passing of this bill…it is estimated that this bill could help 5,500 homeless applicants per year,” exclaimed Mimi Alschuler from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

The Rental Housing Support Program plans to assist families earning 30 percent or below an area’s median income. In most places in Illinois, supporters say that’s about $19,000 for a family of four. More than 150 organizations statewide supported this bill. The program would be funded with a $10 state surcharge on real estate documents recorded with county recorders. All total, counties statewide could build a fund amounting to between $25 million to $30 million, though estimates vary. Those funds are expected to be sufficient annually to assist over 5,500 applicants. Each county would be allowed to keep $1 of the $10 surcharge paid for the documents recorded in the county recorder’s office, with the remainder going for the Rental Housing Support Program.
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Bird Flu Pandemic Expected

by Mary C. Piemonte Editor-in-Chief

Congressional leaders are currently rushing to prepare for the “looming danger” of a bird flu pandemic, according to U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), and others who spoke at the federal Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on Influenza Preparedness, on January 31, 2006, in Washington , D.C.

A Rush to Prepare
“The public needs to be informed about what is coming and educated about what actions are expected of it” declared Dr. Joanne Godley, a bioethicist and acting health commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Social Services.

“Scientists, doctors and public health people tell us that it’s not a matter of if but when [the bird flu] will move into a pandemic stage,” declared Harkin during the televised hearings on C-Span 2.
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Jones vs. Tatum

by Beauty Turner Assistant Editor

Running for State Representative for the 26th District is incumbent Lovanna Jones, in office since 1987, and Ranoule Tatum, a long time entrepreneur and community service worker.

Ranoule Tatum, top, is challenging State Rep. Lovanna Jones for her 26th District seat. Photos by Beauty Turner

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