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Roland Burris Tapped for Vacant U. S. Senate Seat

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today appointed former politician and statewide office-holder Roland W. Burris to the United States Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Gov. Blajojevich and Senator replacment Roland Burris at a press conference on Dec. 30, 2008.
Photo by Mary C. Johns

Burris, once an opponent of Blagojevich for the governorship, was chosen for the vacant Senate position “after the Illinois House of Representatives dropped plans to schedule a special election for the spot,” according to Blagojevich.
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Deadly Moves II

by Mary C. Piemonte Editor-in-Chief

In Deadly Moves, a series of articles produced by Residents Journal and the Chicago Reporter magazine in the fall of 2004, a year long investigation found that the murder rate increased in public housing developments and areas where CHA residents had been relocated across the city under the Chicago Housing Authoritys $1.6 billion Plan for Transformation. The articles appeared simultaneously in both publications and resulted in a new police pilot program.

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Update: Questions Linger, Contributions Dwindle

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

Well over one-half of the contributions to a political fund closely linked to Chicago Housing Authority CEO Terry Peterson came from CHA contractors, affiliated companies or their employees and officers, according to an analysis by Residents’ Journal and the Better Government Association.

Over 60 percent of the itemized individual contributions to the 17th Ward Democratic Organization in 2005 came from CHA contractors and related sources, according to a comparison of records filed with the Illinois Board of Election Commissioners with lists of CHA contractors. The overall total of contributions to the 17th Ward Democratic Organization dropped dramatically in 2005 as compared with previous years after three straight years of increasing totals. The 17th Ward Democratic Organization saw its donations drop to their lowest level since 2001.

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A Questionable Connection

by Residents Journal 

Investigation by: Residents’ Journal and Better Government Association

An 8-month investigation by Residents’ Journal and the Better Government Association has found that dozens of contractors for the Chicago Housing Authority have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to a political organization linked to CHA CEO Terry Peterson.

Residents’ Journal and the Better Government Association found that many companies gave to the 17th Ward Democratic Organization – a political entity linked to Peterson – just before or just after they were awarded contracts from the CHA. One firm gave a $2,500 donation to the 17th Ward Democratic Organization the same day the firm was awarded a construction contract worth $3,292,095.
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“Deadly Moves” – an update

by Mary C. Piemonte and Beauty Turner 

The city, its police department and the Chicago Housing Authority recently proposed to increase police patrols at several public housing sites and in areas where residents have been relocated.

This announcement came after publication of “Deadly Moves,” a series of articles produced this September by Residents’ Journal and the Chicago Reporter investigative magazine on the increased murder rate in and around CHA communities since October 1999. “Deadly Moves” reported that the murder rate in CHA developments nearly doubled since the start of the Plan for Transformation, CHA’s $1.6 billion redevelopment effort.
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Publishers’ Introduction: Deadly Moves

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher and Alysia Tate, Publisher of The Chicago Reporter

A plan intended to transform the lives of public housing residents has also transformed the city’s illegal drug market — often with deadly results.

The stories in this issue document that connection. They are the products of a year-long partnership between the Residents’ Journal and The Chicago Reporter, a 32-year-old investigative magazine which keeps leaders and concerned citizens informed about the ways race and poverty shape our region’s key issues.
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Stop The Violence

by Cenabeth Cross 

I covered the recent trial of the man accused of raping Girl X in room 400 of the federal court building downtown.

Girl X, now 14, was assaulted, raped and given some type of poison in a Cabrini-Green hallway in 1997. This incident left the girl mentally damaged and blind. She was marked with gang signs on her stomach.

Most of the time, the courtroom only had reporters present in the audience as the trial went on. The girl herself was in the courtroom. During the cross-examination, the girl was urged to answer questions by the attorneys. Though she was able to give them the information, I had a doubt in my mind whether or not the girl actually knew what was going on. Read more »

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