Commissioner Fails to Show at Mental Health Town Hall Meeting

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Community activist Lonnie Richardson discusses the need for mental health services for young people at a town hall on Aug. 5. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte.

Dozens of people concerned with the state of the city’s mental health services, who packed a community meeting this week, were disappointed when the city public health commissioner did not show up.

N’Dana Carter, a member of the Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) community human rights organization, who was moderating the event at Mercy Hospital’s Joyce Auditorium, 2525 S. Michigan Ave., on the evening of August 5 told the audience that Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Bechara Choucair called and cancelled two hours before the meeting began.

“Our fearless leader Dr. Choucair…called at 3:30 p.m. to cancel. He will not be here,” declared Carter, a consumer at the Greater Grand/Mid-South Mental Health facility at 4314 S. Cottage Grove.

“Dr. Choucair didn’t make the meeting tonight, because he felt that we were going to ambush him. And he was afraid. He was afraid because the citizens of the city of Chicago and our visitors want the mental health clinics, and they don’t want privatization of any of the health clinics,” she added.

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RJ Publisher on “Chicago Newsroom”

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

This week, I was honored to appear on “Chicago Newsroom,” hosted by veteran broadcaster Ken Davis, along with fellow guests Art Golab, Database Editor with the Chicago Sun-Times, and Charlie Meyerson, a regular voice on Chicago radio. We discussed the progress of new Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the ouster of Chicago Housing Authority CEO Lewis Jordan, the future of the Taste of Chicago and other issues.

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New Mayor Emanuel’s Road Map for Chicago’s Future

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Publisher’s Note: Regular readers might have noticed a change in the by-line of our Editor-in-Chief, who was formerly known as Mary C. Johns. Mary got married last month and changed her name to her new husband’s family name. On behalf of the board and staff of We The People Media/Residents’ Journal, congratulations Mary!

Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel being sworn into office by the Honorable Timothy Evans, chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County as his wife and children looks on, at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, on May 16, 2011. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

“Today, more than any other time in our history, more than any other place in our country, the city of Chicago is ready for change,” said new Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at his inaugural ceremony before a massive crowd at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park today.

“For all the parents who deserve a school system that expects every student to earn a diploma; for all the neighbors who deserve to walk home on safer streets; for all the taxpayers who deserve a city government that is more effective and costs less; and for all the people in the hardest-working city in America who deserve a strong economy so they can find jobs or create jobs – this is your day.”

Emanuel said he was dispensing with “old ways and old divisions…New times demand new answers; old problems cry out for better results…I am proud to lead a city united in common purpose and driven by a common thirst for change.”

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