CAC Releases Vision for the Future

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

September 12, 2012 -Elected leaders of Chicago’s public housing families today issued the 2012 Strategies and Recommendations Report, a comprehensive vision for the future that would see the city provide quality housing to many more low-income families who need it in these tough economic times.

Twelve years after the Plan for Transformation for the Chicago Housing Authority was launched by Mayor Richard M. Daley, much work remains to be done. All of the city’s public housing high-rises for families have been demolished and a small number of mixed-finance communities have been built, but large tracts of land across the South and West sides remain vacant, awaiting a new vision that will deal with the realities of the current housing market. CHA remains the landlord, meanwhile, for more than 130,000 people in low-rise family developments, senior citizen high-rises and private apartments rented through the Housing Choice Voucher program.

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Stopping Elder Abuse

by David Cal 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Teen Living, a youth services organization.

There are countless acts of senior abuse that occur daily in places such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. This much we know. The big questions that remain are: What steps are necessary to ensure that these numbers are reduced? What are people in authority doing to stop elder abuse? What can someone such as a mere witness do to prevent this?

To answer some of these questions, I turned to someone with some prior knowledge and experience in the senior rights movement, Lori Clark of the Jane Adams Senior Caucus.

I asked Clark these questions and more followed as the conversation continued and my interest was persistently piqued.

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Resident Survey Ends June 1!!! Click This Link Today!

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 


Attention Attention

Calling All CHA Residents and Former Residents,

Please follow the link below and fill out the following Survey. This Survey will help Resident Leaders negotiate with city officials to make sure the Plan for Transformation 2.0 truly works for all Chicago families.

Everyone who fills out the survey will qualify to win a laptop computer or a $250 gift card. Feel free to share the link with anyone you know. Anyone who fills out the survey is eligible to win the prizes. ACT SOON, the survey closes June 1.

The Survey is sponsored by We The People Media, the nonprofit publishers of Residents’ Journal, working with the elected leaders of public housing families. You can find out more about We The People Media at

Please call the Central Advisory Council at (312) 913-7828 with any questions or concerns!

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Enter Survey, Win a Laptop Computer!

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 


Dear Friends :

We The People Media is asking people to fill out an on-line survey we developed with the Local Advisory Council resident leaders. Anyone that fills it out gets the chance to win a laptop computer or a gift card!

The survey is geared toward current CHA residents as well as former residents, but we’re looking for everybody’s opinion. Feel free to copy the link and send it out to others:


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Altgeld Tenants: Police, Cameras Not Improving Security

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Bernadette Williams, the tenants Local Advisory Council president, complaining to CHA Board members, on October 18, 2011, about increased shootings at the far south side public housing site. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

Tenants of public housing have said throughout the Plan for Transformation that they see very little police activity in their areas, except during drug raids.

In decades past, police officers used to walk the beat, but they are little seen these days, and the public housing tenants living in CHA developments and in areas where they relocated wonder where “Officer Friendly” is, especially in light of the fact that the Chicago Housing Authority has been paying the Chicago Police Department millions of dollars annually to provide foot and car patrols.
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John H. Johnson Honored with Black Heritage Forever Stamp

by Mary C. Piemonte 

The John H. Johnson Forever Postage Stamp. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

Pioneering entrepreneur and publisher John Harold Johnson received one of the U.S. Postal Service’s highest honors on Jan. 31 when he was commemorated with this year’s Black Heritage Forever Stamp.

Johnson, the founder of the Johnson Publishing Company, which publishes Ebony and Jet magazine, now joins the 34 other honorees in the Postal Service’s Black Heritage Stamp series since 1978.

Johnson was born on Jan. 19, 1918, and died of heart failure on Aug. 8, 2005, at the age of 87.

Johnson made the decision to first publish the horrific details and photos of the open casket funeral of 14-year-old Emmett Louis Till, a Chicago youth who was murdered in Mississippi by two white racists for whistling at one of their wives in August 1955.

You can see a video of Residents’ Journal’s coverage of the Johnson Publishing Company’s involvement in the memorial service on the 54th anniversary of Till’s death at:

The Johnson “Forever Stamp” was designed by art director Howard E. Paine and is equal in value to the current First Class stamp, 45 cents each or $9 a sheet.
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Blackhawks Host CHA Kids

by Mary C. Piemonte 

CHA youth practicing their moves on the ice, during Chicago Blackhawks “Event to Inspire” Hockey Clinic sponsored by 1 World Sports, at Johnny’s Ice House on January 19, 2012. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

For the second year, the Chicago Blackhawks met and greeted 61 Chicago public housing youth during their “Event to Inspire” Hockey Clinic sponsored by 1 World Sports, at Johnny’s Ice House, 1350 W. Madison Street on January 19, 2012.

During the three-hour sports clinic, the girls and boys, ages 6 to 12 all from CHA family developments, laced up their ice skates and were instructed in the fundamentals of hockey.
Later, they applied the new skills they learned from Kevin Delahny, the Blackhawks skills coach, to score puck-shots on Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery.
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Remembering the Servitude of Dr. King

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Marshawn Frencha reciting a Dr. Margeret Burroughs speech to his peers and their parents during the Dr. Martin Luther King event at Sixth Grace Presbyterian Church on Jan. 16, 2012. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

Listening to a radio show on WVON 1690 AM this past Monday, I was moved by the tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s efforts to create change for Black people, as well as the diligent efforts of so many others who fought to honor him for his leadership in the civil rights movement.

The civil rights movement did so much more than win more rights for Black people; it defined basic community service towards our fellow human beings. As I contemplated this notion, I got off my rear end, left my comfort zone, and went out of the house to give some of my time to help others, keeping in tune with the ideology that Dr. King’s fought so hard for, and eventually died for.
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Group Carols to Save Mental Health Clinics

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Protesters who want to avert cuts to the city’s mental health clinics tried a unique tactic this week.

As the City Council convened their first session since voting to close half of the city’s clinics and privatize all of its neighborhood health centers, members of the Mental Health Movement wore Santa Claus hats and formed a circle in the hallway outside the elected officials’ offices at City Hall, then sung altered classic holiday songs.

In their rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” and the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” they accused Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other city officials of catering to “corporate greed,” and giving “tax breaks” to the wealthy while closing clinics in poor African American and Hispanic communities “without shame.”
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Parents Protest CPS Turn-Arounds

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Walter H Dyett High School, 555 E. 51st St., which is slated to be closed under a new plan announced by the Chicago Public Schools. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte.

A South Side community group “fed up” with the Chicago Public Schools closing and turn-around process in low-income areas of color brought their protest to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office this week.

“CPS’ top-down school actions in North Kenwood and the Greater Bronzeville community have caused spikes in violence and destabilized schools, and not improved student outcomes,” reads a statement from the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, also known as KOCO.

KOCO members, along with parents from North Kenwood, Oakland and Bronzeville neighborhoods, rallied outside Emanuel’s office on December 1, and called on him to partner with them to implement “The Bronzeville Global Achievers Village,” an alternative school transformation plan they’ve developed over the past 18 months.

KOCO member Shannon Bennett told Residents’ Journal shortly after the protest that members from his organization and several community parents, along with representatives from the Centers for New Horizons and the Grand Boulevard Federation, first met with CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard at their office on November 21 regarding KOCO’s plan to counteract CPS policies concerning school closings, phase-outs and turnarounds. Brizard said he would get back to them but did not, according to Bennett. “So that’s why we have gone around him, and go to his boss,” Bennett explained.

Bennett said members from KOCO delivered a letter to Emanuel through one of his staff members, and added that members of his organization are particularly upset about the phasing out of Walter H. Dyett High School, 555 E. 51st St., which KOCO noted in their press release is the only neighborhood high school in Kenwood-Oakland. Sending students to Wendell Phillips Academy High School, 244 E. Pershing Road in the Bronzeville community, will result in increased violence, he argued. In 2005, Bennett said he personally experienced a spike in crime in Kenwood-Oakland after the closing of two schools, the Jackie Robinson and Price elementary schools.

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