ARCHIVES

Troubling Development Update

by  Assistant Editor

Dearborn Homes; New Crack City?
Dearborn Homes are becoming like New Jack City,” said Joyce Van Allen, a long time resident of the development, in an interview in January, 2006.

“More like New Crack City,” Louisa Samuel, a relocated resident from Robert Taylor, said as she was visiting Van Allen’s apartment from next door. The residents reported a decrease in violent crime and an increased police presence but complained about a sharp rise in the drug dealing taking place on the property.

“Last year, we had no protection down here,” Van Allen told RJ, “but this year the police presence has increased.”
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Rockwell, LeClaire, ABLA Elections

by  Assistant Editor

Strange Tales from Rockwell

On a dreary, rainy November day, a large Maroon van pulled up to the polling place located at 2540 West Jackson by the Rockwell Gardens development. A short, older man adorned with a gray cap and glasses opened up the door like a gentleman for six young women who exited out of the van. I motioned for one of the young women to come over to talk to me.

Yolanda Buchanan, a resident of Rockwell and a young, single mother of five came over for an interview.Are you a resident, I asked.

“Yes, I’m a resident, I have been a resident for about six to seven years now,” Buchanan said.
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Last Day in 4525

by  Assistant Editor

Friday, Oct. 4, was the last day for the residents of 4525 S. Federal St. in the Robert Taylor Homes to be neighbors. The building was being closed in preparation for demolition. The Chicago Housing Authority closed a number of buildings in Robert Taylor this fall to make way for a new mixed-income community they have promised to build in its place.

The residents would have liked a peaceful final day in the building that many of them called home for decades. But the words I most often overheard from tenants describing that day were “chaos,” “mayhem” and “confusion.” Many of the tenants were scared, upset and confused because they didn’t know where they would live, how long they would live there, or how they would live. Read more »

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LeClaire Courts

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Once the crown jewel of the nation’s resident-managed public housing developments, LeClaire Courts was recently taken over by CHA. Agency officials accused employees of the resident managers of taking advantage of a new board. While the fall-out of that action continues, writer Andre Robinson recalls the LeClaire Courts of his youth.

The year is 1950. World War 11 is five years out of our system. The Korean War is building, Harry S. Truman is serving his first full term as President of the United States. Martin Kennelly is Mayor of Chicago and Chicago’s Midway Airport is the world’s busiest airport. One and one half miles north on Cicero Avenue from Midway Airport, between 42nd and 44th streets in a heavy-industrial area, is a patch of land that is causing controversy at City Hall between the mayor and aldermen of that district. The reason is the Chicago Housing Authority purchased that land to build low-income housing. Read more »

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