Archives:

A Special Tribute

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

The last time I saw Izora Davis, a We The People Media board member, neighborhood activist and my good friend, was during a black-out that left much of the South Side without power on the first day of August.

Izora Davis

Izora was leaning on her walker in the heat in front of 3983 S. Lake Park, a high-rise public housing building that she had saved more than a decade before.

When the electricity failed the previous evening, Izora and her neighbors were evacuated from the building by the fire department.

They stood around in the dark for hours until city officials working with Commonwealth Edison decided that repairs would still be going on for some time, and offered to take all the blacked-out South Siders to a hotel where they would be given food and drink.

Read more »

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

Crystal Clear Views

by Crystal Medina Editorial Assistant

I was recently invited to speak at a panel discussion to talk about a scary incident I had with asthma last summer. I almost died because I didnt take care of myself the way I should have.

I spoke at an asthma summit sponsored by the Grand Boulevard Federation on August 22nd and 23rd at Lindblom High School. Other presenters at the event spoke about their concerns about what was triggering asthma attacks in their communities and the reports of increased cases of asthma throughout the city. After hearing the others speak and thinking about my own near-fatal account with asthma, I felt the need to share my story further with the public. I cannot stress enough the importance of taking care of yourself if you are asthmatic.
Read more »

Tags: , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Whose School Is It?

by Clemolyn Brinson 

The Little Village High School, 3120 S. Kostner Ave., opened in September 2005 after parents waited years for it to be built as promised by the Board of Education. But after just one semester, the school of four small schools located in the citys Latino community had already become the subject of debate.

Little Village High School, 3120 S. Kostner Ave., was a recent subject of debate between Little Village residents living outside the school’s boundaries and those living in the predominantly African American North Lawndale community, whose children also attend the school. The school is home to four charter schools. Photo by Clemolyn "Pennie" Brinson

According to Jaime De Leon, the new communities program director of the Little Village Community Development Corporation, a number of Latino parents solicited the help of state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-12) to establish a referendum to re-draw the schools attendance boundaries. The boundaries are east of Pulaski, west of Kenneth near Cicero, north of 16th Street, and south of 33rd Street. The parents, who live in Little Village but outside the attendance boundaries, want their children to attend the beautiful new school, but say that African American students who live in the community of North Lawndale are taking up the space.
Read more »

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

Illegal Immigration: Cries For Justice

by Mary C. Piemonte Editor-In-Chief

Around town and around the nation, many voices have been crying out for justice regarding the issues of illegal immigration.

At a massive march on May 1 in Chicago, hundreds of thousands of undocumented illegal aliens and their advocates marched and rallied demanding labor and civil rights, as well as to convince U.S. congressional leaders to give them amnesty for their illegal entries into America.

These Mexican undocumented workers were among many other illegal immigrants who demanded better treatment from the U.S. government and their employers during a rally for immigration reform in Union Park on May 1. Photo by Mary C. Johns

RJ attended the march and interviewed both leaders and marchers. Later, RJ also attended a rally held by a group of ex-offenders and others who protested against the legalization of the illegal immigrants.

Read more »

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

A Questionable Connection Update

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

Terry Peterson was the head of the Chicago Housing Authority until earlier this year. Now he is the manager of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s campaign for reelection.

But in the months preceding Peterson’s departure from the helm of the CHA, a ward organization closely linked to him saw a sharp drop in contributions.

The 17th Ward Democratic Organization took in just $12,000 in itemized contributions in the first six months of 2006, according to records filed with the Illinois Board of Election Commissioners.
Read more »

Tags: , ,
Categories: Investigative Reporting

Guard Recklessly Shoots CHA Youth

by Beauty Turner Assistant Editor

A mid sizzling weather on May 30, tempers were blazing between tenants of the Chicago Housing Authoritys LeClaire Courts complex and the developments security guards. A confrontation between residents and security guards left 12-year-old Marcus Finley shot and wounded.

According to dozens of witnesses to the incident, the security guard aimlessly fired his weapon into a crowd of people during a squabble with a few of the residents at the public housing site on the far Southwest Side.

According to residents, the shooting later resulted in several protests for the dismissal of the guard as well as for the security firm hired to serve and protect the residents and management.

Read more »

Tags: ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Altgeld Gardens News

by Mary C. Piemonte Editor-In-Chief

I toured the Altgeld Gardens public housing development on the far South Side following the June 20, 2006 Chicago Housing Authority Board of Commissioners meeting after several residents strongly encouraged me to talk to tenants they said had some concerns about their rehabbed units.

My tour guides, current Altgeld resident Gail Jackson and former Altgeld resident Renae Wilkins – who relocated out the public housing development with a housing voucher – led the way and introduced me to several residents who recently moved into refurbished apartments at the site and were concerned about the quality of the construction.
Read more »

Tags: , , , , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Ickes and Other CHA News

by Jacqueline Thompson 

Once again, the residents of Harold Ickes Homes have been rewarded with a new manager. Her name is Renell Caint. Once again, we are faced with a new person not familiar with the residents, a person unknown to the residents. The reasons for the successive changes have never been fully revealed.

However, some things remain constant. Late rent statements that sometimes carry new charges or incorrect charges that take months to unravel. But the latest blow touches every lease holder occupying an apartment within CHA properties. I learned of a new $20 “Surprise and Demand Blanket” when I overheard one resident talking to another.
Read more »

Tags: , ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Last Days At Ogden Courts

by Cenabeth Cross 

I recently moved out of Ogden Courts after living there for 10 years. Ogden Courts consisted of two buildings. Each one was seven stories high and there were 10 apartments on each floor. The one I lived in was 2710 W. Ogden Ave. The second one was 2650 W. Ogden. We lived across the street from Mt. Sinai Hospital.

This building at 2650 W. Ogden Ave. was part of the Chicago Housing Authoritys Ogden Courts public housing complex that was totally demolished in 2005. Photo by Cenabeth Cross

In 1995, I was allowed to move into Ogden Courts after a long wait. I got to know the manager because I had to speak to her on the phone many times. She kept telling me there were problems on the premises that she had to deal with and that therefore, my moving in wasn’t her priority. The harassment stepped up a notch after she met me. But I soon found that she hadn’t picked me out to be mean to. She was that way with everyone. She was, however, the only manager that stayed as long as she did.

Read more »

Tags: ,
Categories: Uncategorized

Security Problems Continue for Residents

by Beauty Turner Assistant Editor

Crime continues to weigh on the minds of many families in the Bronzeville, Auburn Gresham and Englewood areas, where many public housing residents have relocated under the Chicago Housing Authority’s $1.6 billion Plan for Transformation. They are continuing to complain about shootings, the tainted heroin and other illegal drugs circulating in their neighborhoods, as well as the general level of criminal activity in the remaining Chicago public housing complexes and at other crime ‘hot spot’ areas.

CHA is currently paying the Chicago Police Department $16 million annually to provide “above baseline services” to residents under the Plan for Transformation. However, current and former CHA residents are still complaining about the lack of a police presence in their communities to deter crime.

Read more »

Tags: ,
Categories: Uncategorized