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Harold Ickes News

by Jacqueline Thompson 

Building Improvements Uneven
Harold Ickes Homes can now boast that one building has the honor of having seven floors with brand new blue tiles in the hallway of each level. It is truly lovely to see. I wonder when our nine story building will be on the receiving end.

Yes, in our building we have iron pipe hand railings, new push plates on the front and back doors, but the doors are beat up and falling apart, so the new plates are not even adhering to them. One side of our double front door fell off of its hinges somehow overnight.

At least the glass blocks that grace the front of the building have been replaced, thank you. So some upkeep work has been done.
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Crystal Clear Views

by Crystal Medina Editorial Assistant

Dear Crystal:With spring time knocking on my door, I’m starting to be more mindful of what I eat. For me, overeating is a problem and as a single mother I just can’t find the time to exercise. I really do want to slim down and stay healthy. Do you have any tips to help me?

-Junk in the trunk

Dear Trunk:

Well, with the weather getting warmer, a lot of us are wondering how we are going to shed those winter pounds. First of all, remember that in order to stay healthy, we have to see losing weight as a lifestyle change and not as a temporary diet.
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Black Metropolis National Heritage Area Project

by Mary C. Piemonte 

A small group of Chicago Bronzeville area residents, local business people, and housing developers recently got together to talk about ways to make the “Black Metropolis” a National Heritage Area (NHA). They see the NHA as a way to preserve the historical sense of community, and to care for their land and culture, as well as provide an opportunity to pass on the knowledge and culture of the past to future generations.

The National Park Service defines a National Heritage Area as “a place designated by Congress where natural, cultural, historic and scenic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape arising from patterns of human activity shaped by geography.”
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Healthcare Justice Act Raises Hopes

by Lorenzia Shelby 

Advocates for universal healthcare celebrated passage of the Healthcare Justice Act of 2004, Illinois House Bill 2268, this past summer. The new legislation is designed to help the 3.5 million uninsured people in Illinois. On December 15, 2004, supporters of the bill held a candlelight vigil. At the candlelight vigil, State Senate President Emil Jones and State Representative William Delgado were the keynote speakers. Other speakers included Alivio Medical Center Director Carmen Velasquez and Health and Policy Research Group founder Dr. Quentin Young.

Illinois State Representative William Delgado played a major role in promoting and supporting the Healthcare Justice Act of 2004

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Senior Services 2005 and Beyond

by Michael Ibrahem 

Seniors may be living longer these days, but they still need services. Recently, two seniors asked me for assistance to expedite resolution of problems they confronted.

In the first case, she was confused about her appointments and couldn’t read the forms the clinic gave her. I made about a dozen phone calls to my friend’s health-care provider and two clinic visits. Later, the doctors surmised her medicine was too strong, causing the confusion.

The second neighbor I helped was Carolyn Smith, a senior Section 8 Voucher holder who has heart trouble, crippling arthritis and cannot hear well. She has had multiple problems settling down to adequate living arrangements. Presumably, the CHAC service providers were there to help her.

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Tales of Lawndale Housing

by Beauty Turner Assistant Editor

Many of the poorest of the poor in Lawndale feel as if they have been exploited for years by Cecil Butler and his company called Lawndale Restoration as well as U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.

Until last year, no one paid close attention to the cries of the people in the Lawndale community. People only started to cast their eyes to this West Side neighborhood when one of Cecil Butler’s apartment buildings’ roofs caved in, endangering the safety of residents.

Pictured here in September, 2004, a dismantled ceiling in one of Cecil Butler's dilapidated buildings. Photo by Beauty Turner

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The John Howard Association

by Cenabeth Cross 

During my visits at the county jail and other places, I discovered an organization that helps the ones in need. The inmates that are inside the jails and institutions are the ones who come first with this organization. It’s called the John Howard Association.

The John Howard Association monitors the prisons, jails, and juvenile detention centers here in Illinois. Their job is to review law makers, and their laws. They also make policies on prison reform and try to educate the public. They wish to bring about fair and humane treatment of the inmates in the prison populations. John Howard Association provides direct and indirect service to the incarcerated, corrections professionals and affected communities. JHA strengthens its advocacy work by developing relationships with reform organizations.
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Illinois Democrats Resist Social Security Privatization

by Mary C. Piemonte 

The Republicans and the Democrats are battling it out over Social Security. While everyone agrees Social Security must be reformed, Democrats deny there is a crisis, as alleged by President George W. Bush.

The President’s Pitch
President Bush has said that Social Security faces a $10 trillion unfunded obligation to beneficiaries. Trustees of the Social Security program have projected that by 2018 the program will owe more in annual benefits than the revenues generated by the payroll tax. They also say the program will be bankrupt by 2042.

In the 1950s, there were about sixteen workers paying for every Social Security beneficiary. Today there are about three, and eventually there will only be two workers per beneficiary, according to the President.
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Utility Problems Persist for Residents

by Beauty Turner Assistant Editor

The living situation many relocated CHA residents are facing is like an Easter egg without the yolk – pretty on the outside but with nothing on the inside. They are living in an extremely fragile housing situation that could leave them homeless if their problems are left unaddressed.

Fontain Fleming, a young, single mother of nine, relocated from the Robert Taylor Homes to Englewood in 2002. One of her children is 16 years old and disabled. This young lady is also the mother of a one year old child, who lives within the Fleming household, bringing the total number of people in the household to 11.
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There’s H.O.P.E. for Gary Residents

by Beauty Turner Assistant Editor

RJ recently learned about a $19 million H.O.P.E. VI grant our neighbors to the south at the Gary Indiana Housing Authority received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1999. The housing authority is using the grant to replace the Duneland Village public housing development with a new mixed income community.

So one day in late January, we drove over the slushy, potholed streets of Chicago to Gary, in hot pursuit of a story about housing being built that might be beneficial to the poor.
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