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Local Pastor Camps out on Motel Roof to Highlight Area Violence

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Pastor Corey Brooks, of New Beginnings Church, camping out on the rooftop of the vacant Super Motel, as a statment to crime in the area, on November 22, 2011. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

In an effort to bring attention to violence in Chicago’s Woodlawn and Englewood communities, a local pastor has decided to camp out on the roof of an abandoned motel for 21 days, or until enough funds are raised to buy the motel and transform it into a community and economic development center.

“We’re trying to raise the funds, $450,000 so that we can purchase this motel, tear it down and do something economically that will be a blessing to the community,” said Corey Brooks, pastor of New Beginnings Church, 6620 S. King Drive, during a Nov. 22 interview on top of the former Super Motel, located across the street from the church. During the rooftop interview, members of Brooks’ church – which has over 3,000 members – were using a lift to haul electric heaters and other items onto the roof to help the pastor while he lives in a tent they had set up on top of the motel.
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Tenants’ Lawyer: CHA Drug Testing Policy Will End Up in Court

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Tenants' Central Advisory Council President Myra King telling former CHA Chief Lewis Jordan that their proposal to drug test all public tenants was “unfair and cruel," during a public hearing on the subject, at the Charles A. Hayes Family Investment Center on June 2, 2011. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

After a huge public outcry this past June, the Chicago Housing Authority Board of Commissioners decided against drug testing all public housing tenants in the family and senior housing portfolio it oversees. See Residents’ Journal’s coverage here: http://wethepeoplemedia.org/homepage/board-squashes-cha-drug-testing-plan/
But CHA still approves of testing public housing tenants at their mixed-income properties managed by private developers as a condition for occupancy, which is not sitting right with the tenants’ Central Advisory Council.
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New Mandates for Chicago Public Schools

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Illinois Senator Mattie Hunter talking about CPS practices, as Andrea Lee, (seated far right), Grand Blvd Federation’s Peer Parent Education Network organizer, along with other members Angelique Harris, and Josephine Norwood, looks on during the public forum on new mandates for Chicago Public Schools at the Illinois Institute of Technology on November 15, 2011. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

Chicago residents now have a louder voice when it comes to the city’s schools under new legislation passed by the state, and a community organization recently brought together several elected officials and area residents to discuss how best to use their new power. On Nov. 15, the Grand Boulevard Federation’s Peer Parent Network and Illinois Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) hosted “Know Your Rights,” a community forum at the Illinois Institute of Technology 2011.
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CHA Reopens Landmark Senior Building

by Mary C. Piemonte 

CHA CEO Charles Woodyard talking about how lives have been changed because of the renovations at the Pomeroy Senior Apartments, as Ald. Harry Osterman (48, from left) and Steven Meiss, director of HUD’s Illinois Office of Public Housing, look on, during the opening ceremony of the landmark building, on November 8, 2011. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

Seniors who have been waiting for 5 years to return home to the Chicago Housing Authority’s Ralph J. Pomeroy Senior Apartments can now do so.

The 9-story, 89-year-old landmark building at 1039 W. Hollywood Blvd. in the Edgewater neighborhood, which the CHA obtained in 1966, officially reopened yesterday after receiving a “$21 million makeover,” said CHA’s new CEO, Charles Woodyard, during the grand opening ceremony.

Residents’ Journal reported in the fall of 2008 that many relocated seniors were eagerly waiting to return to the Pomeroy Apartments, which closed in the first quarter of 2006. You can read about it here:http://wethepeoplemedia.org/uncategorized/cha-seniors-keep-waiting-to-return-home/.

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$1 Billion for CTA

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Gov. Pat Quinn talks to reporters about his efforts to create jobs with infrastructure improvements as CTA President Forrest Claypool looks on during a press conference on renovating the Red and Purple ‘El’ public transit stations on Nov. 3, 2011.. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

Two of the Chicago Transit Authority’s busiest train line stations will be improved and rebuilt, according to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The two announced today during a press conference at the 35th Street Red Line ‘El’ station that “slow zones” will be eliminated, systems will be upgraded, and tracks will be repaired on the Red and Purple train lines.

Quinn said during the press conference that this $1 billion “state capital investment” plan from a combination of state, local and federal funds would also create 2,700 jobs.

“Jobs that you can support a family on, construction jobs, good jobs,” he added.
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