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Mayor Emanuel Booed at Budget Town Hall

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel tries to calm audience members who booed him at a town hall meeting on the City's budget at Kennedy King College on August 30, 2011. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was jeered and booed by many of the people who arrived early at Kennedy King College on August 30, 2011, in hopes of getting their concerns heard and addressed at the first of two public town hall meeting on the city’s budget.

Upon arrival, people learned that they had to fill out questionnaire cards rather than speak directly to the mayor. In a display of sheer disappointment, several people in the crowded main auditorium began loudly complaining about how they were denied the opportunity to speak, while the mayor attempted to answer some of the handwritten questions, which were read to him by Cheryl Hyman, the chancellor of the City Colleges, instead of the people who actually wrote the questions on the cards. Read more »

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Is Chase Bank a Slumlord?

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Residents of an apartment building at 7263 S. Coles Ave., along with their advocates from the Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO), rallied outside JP Morgan Chase’s downtown headquarters on July 15 to demand that the bank maintain their homes.

The tenants claimed that Chase, which received $25 billion in federal funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) last year, let their foreclosed building “waste away.” Many of the families said they feared becoming homeless.

For the past two years, they claimed that Chase, who has been responsible for maintaining the property since 2008, hadn’t honored its responsibility, resulting in deterioration of the building to such a degree that the City stepped in and ordered residents to vacate the property.

Crystal Richards, a tenant of the building who has six children ages 14 to several months old, told Residents’ Journal after the rally that she was worried about finding a place to live with her family.

“We’re being evicted Saturday. And as of right now, I don’t have anywhere to go,” she said. Richards said that she had been paying her rent faithfully to the manager of the building, and added that she was rallying with the others at the bank headquarters to get some remedy for her plight.

Richards said she wanted Chase “to get me some funds and place me and my children in a home or apartment somewhere,” she said.

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