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Dear Resident

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Dear Resident:

Please forgive me for not greeting you in the manner to which I hope you have become accustomed. That was done in the article that I originally wrote for this issue of RJ. But after much observation and many recent experiences, I feel the need to address a more important issue – “Us.” Us being you, I, me, we – Black Women. I recently had an opportunity to watch a television show on one of the Public Broadcasting channels about how Black women are and have been perceived by people throughout history. Of course, the show confirmed what I have always believed about Black women. We are some of the most beautiful women on Earth. We take beauty through every vein of shape, color, form and fashion. From one end of the spectrum to the other. Admittedly, at times we are even awed by each other’s beauty. The show went on to bring out how men of all races describe us as “most desirable.” Read more »

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Dear Resident

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Dear Resident,

Welcome back, welcome back to us all. I say “to us all” because since the last edition of Residents’ Journal I had quit resolving never to write for RJ again. I quit because I had become disillusioned with RJ and the direction which it seemed to be taking. For me, RJ began in a small room, with a small group of residents with big visions for RJ. Residents Journal, “a publication for and by the residents of Chicago Housing Authority.” I must have been euphoric to the point of being naive to believe that RJ would be a resident driven publication, without many of the same problems as the other CHA programs, projects and proposals of the past which seem to benefit the people outside of public housing more than the people in public housing. The most disillusioning thing for me is that while RJ reaches individuals across the city, state, country and even overseas, it is not reaching what I consider to be a reasonable majority of CHA residents. In my development, Cabrini-Green, only people who walked into the management office and noticed the papers or those to whom I gave copies actually had seen it. Read more »

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Dear Resident

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Patricia Johnson-Gordon

Cabrini-Green

Dear Resident,

If you are familiar with the above “greeting,” you know its origin. If you are a resident of “CHA” and not familiar with the above “greeting,” you could be placing your “continued occupancy” in jeopardy. For as we all know, ignorance is not an acceptable excuse. “Dear Resident” letters are sent to us by CHA to communicate with and notify us of various “changes” within the Authority. These letters are usually included in the envelope with our rent statement and without a doubt, will or should have an affect of some degree on us and our families. After more than two decades of ineffective management, poor resident representation and an apathetic resident population, there is a move to redevelop public housing, not only in Chicago but throughout the United States. For that reason, it is important that you become familiar with this “greeting.” Read more »

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Marion…Marion Stamps

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And so we came together as a community, as we often do, and the press came to watch this community, as they often do. A community no longer defined by boundaries but by time, events and realities common to us all. And we stood and waited, anticipating the arrival of Marion(to those who knew her) and Marion Stamps (to those who did not.)

As a community, we gather together on many occasions. None of us are there all of the time. But, if there was a gathering that struck at the heart of this community, you could anticipate the arrival of Marion…Marion Stamps. If the issues were children, families, education, housing, welfare, warfare, building them up or tearing them down, she was there. Like it or not, invited or not, she was there. And even as a community, like it or not, invited or not, because some did not like it or invite, she represented us. She represented us because the issues that she challenged and championed affected each and every one of us. So, those of us who knew Marion… Marion Stamps knew that she was coming and anticipated her arrival. Read more »

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