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Update on the Resident Survey

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

Dear Friends:

We want to thank all of our readers and supporters for participating in our recent Resident Survey. The results have been overwhelming: We received more than 500 responses, an unprecedented level of enthusiasm, and are rapidl

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y entering all of the information into our handy database. In coming weeks, we will be releasing what we’ve learned about the opinions, thoughts and aspirations of Chicago’s public housing families, so stay tuned to this web site.

Also in the next few weeks, we will be making the random drawing for our two prizes and informing the winners. We’ve received some questions about the process for the drawing and we want to explain that it will be a completely random drawing conducted solely by We The People Media’s executive staff.

Thank you once again for your participation, and for your patience. Please do not hesitate to call or write to me directly if you have any questions or concerns.

Ethan Michaeli

Executive Director/Publisher

We The People Media/Residents’ Journal

ethan@wethepeoplemedia.org

(773) 726 5780 x101

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Closing the CTA Red Line

by Mary C. Piemonte 

CTA CEO Forest Claypool (left) speaks to activists including Willie “Jr” Fleming. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte.

Train commuters recently expressed grave concerns about the Chicago Transit Authority’s plans to completely close nine South Side Red Line ‘El’ stops for five months in spring 2013:

“I want guarantees that our voices will matter, as opposed to you opening up your ears for this evening and then doing whatever you want to do anyway,” declared one woman who attended the first public hearing on the CTA’s plans at Kennedy-King College Gymnasium at 6343 S. Halsted St., on June 21, 2012. This woman was one of a small but determined group of community residents who came out and voiced their opinions to CTA Chairman Terry Peterson and CEO Forest Claypool.

The woman speaker added that the CTA’s Green Line reconstruction some years ago was “a fiasco” in which promised services were never delivered and some stations were never restored. “We were promised one thing and got another,” she said.

During the 5-month closure, crews will work on the stations as well as the tracks from Cermak-Chinatown to 95th/Dan Ryan, replacing ties, rails, third rails and the drainage systems. The CTA’s rationale for completely closing the Red Line for this time period is to avoid the additional expense that would come from doing the project incrementally as well as inconveniences such as additional commuting time for riders, crowded trains, frequent schedule changes and multiple reroutes. CTA officials also indicated that an extended project would have fewer community jobs and no extensive shuttle bus service.

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Stray Dogs in Englewood

by Tyreshia Black 

This dog happens to be behind a fence, but many canines roam the Englewood neighborhood off the leash, terrifying pedestrians. Photo by Tyreshia Black.

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood.

The dog had white and gray fur, and blue piercing eyes. Its teeth were long and yellow. The ears on its head were perked up. The dog’s face looked angry and determined to kill.

I encountered this dog while walking out of my house on a normal day to school. I was about a block from my home when the dog came around the corner. When I saw him, I quickly stopped walking, attracting his attention. The dog gazed at me, like a wolf staring at a deer in the forest.

As we locked eyes, he made the first move and circled me about three times before he sniffed my leg and shoes. I felt an urge to run but I knew what would happen next – he would kill me.

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Exploring After-School Programs

by Bre Patterson 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with SGA Family Services and Luke O’Toole Elementary School, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood.

I’m a student at Luke O’Toole Elementary School and I participate in two after-school programs called ST Math and Achieve 3000. ST Math was developed in 1998 by the Mind Research Institute, a California-based non-profit education group, according to eschools news. ST Math is a program on the computer in which we work with a penguin character named “JiJi” who knows nothing. We can teach him everything we know. At the same time, we are playing a game and practicing our math.

The ST Math Program was started in 2009 in 14 Chicago Public Schools on the South Side. The schools where the program is active have an average of 89% African American, 11% Hispanic and 4% other students, while 98% of the students get a free or reduced lunch, according to a report written by Dr. Shawn Smith, chief area officer.

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CHA Opens Public Housing Wait List for South Side Neighborhoods

by Mary C. Piemonte 

The Chicago Housing Authority is opening up its public housing wait list only for residents of the Douglas, Oakland, Kenwood, New City and Fuller Park neighborhoods.

This will not be a “first come, first served” opportunity to get your name on the list. Instead, qualified applicants will be placed in an “electronic lottery drawing” to determine each registrant’s place on the Wait List after the closing date, according to the CHA.

The registration period begins on June 4 and runs through June 29, 2012.

Residents of those communities can apply at the Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church at 4100 S. King Drive Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, and Saturday, June 23.

The Requirements

Those who reside within the boundaries of those outlined areas at the time of application as well as during the screening and unit offer process, and who are 18 years or older, are required to have a picture ID and two forms of proof of current address. They must also qualify for a one-, two-, three- or four-bedroom unit based on the “Occupancy Guidelines” established in the CHA’s “Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy” (ACOP). Their income must not exceed the maximum income restrictions under federal law and the applicants must meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) requirements in citizenship or eligible immigration status. In addition, the applicants “must provide social security numbers for each member of the family, or certification that they do not have a social security number.”

Accessible units are also available. For more information, those interested can call 773-324-6305.

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