Saturday, February 2, 2008

Funny How That Works Out

We knew the proposed "Labor Ready" day labor office on Sheridan was close to the 48th ward, but we did not realize it sat on a small sliver of the 46th ward that juts up into the 48th ward. The proposed location is marked with a star on this map which puts it all into perspective. Each side of Sheridan here is divided between the wards. The map above is courtesy of the folks at who are working to keep this out of our community. Wonder what 48th Ward Alderman Mary Ann Smith has to say about all this...all this taking place just feet from her ward? Folks should give her office a ringy-dingy at 773-784-5277. You probably have a better chance of this alderman listening to your concerns. Also, mark your calendars for Friday, February 15 at 9am as the zoning hearing for this mess is scheduled then. If you have any questions, you can email the folks at "Stop Labor Ready" at


  1. Thanks again for informing the community about Labor Ready's proposed location. Thanks for encouraging people to come to the hearing and show their opposition.

    While we will be posting more information about day labor and day laborers on our website soon, one point to keep in mind is that many of the people who perform day labor are honest, hard-working citizens who are having trouble making ends meet. They live in our community and we have a collective social responsibility to making sure that they can remain in our community if they wish to live here. Uptown has always been diverse, and there is a lot of consensus for it to remain that way.

    The problem with Labor Ready's proposed plan, aside from their poor track record on worker's rights, is that they have selected a location that is in a triangle of child-centered spaces. This is a problem because they don't do routine background checks on their workers. Because it is so hard for people who have been imprisoned to find jobs when they get out, many of them turn to day labor. Likewise, people with substance abuse problems also turn to day labor. Given that some people who work as day laborers have these problems (although no data exist on exactly how many) the surrounding community says, "this is a poor location to put such a business."

  2. We get bambozzled with words like diverse and affordable and made to feel guilty. What's the impact of a Day Labor place at this location? Take an honest look at Uptown's commercial streets. Lawrence and Sheridan is already a depressed and dangerous street. JJ Pepper's has its own gang hang out issues. Empty store fronts and a slew of social service agencies. And school kids walking by all this every day.

    Say no to a Day Labor place that guarentees no thriving retail and increased problems to a diverse and struggling community.

  3. There are many reasons why Labor Ready will be a bad addition to Uptown. The previous poster stated one of the issues in another way.

    All of these voices need to be heard widely because Ald. Shiller is convinced that this business is good for workers and will really help low-income residents to improve their situation. Ultimately, these beliefs will trump any public sentiment (or cold hard data) that points in the opposite direction.

    Speak up widely and loudly about your concerns!

  4. She contacted Uptown United, and this organization said no. She contacted multiple social service agencies, and they said no. She didn't contact the local block clubs, but they said no despite her unwillingness to hear from them. She also didn't seek input from residents when Labor Ready did their proposal in front of residents this last Thursday, but they were 100% in agreement that the answer should be no.

    If Ald. Shiller goes on record before the Dept. of Zoning that she "heard" from the community, we will speak up and confront the lie.

  5. Did the neighboring property owners receive the required notices about the zoning change?

  6. I live in the Sheridan Grande next door and didn't receive anything. I'm willing to provide a signed statement to that effect to anyone who plans to go to the hearing, since I can't go myself.

  7. Brian at State Rep Greg Harris' office is collecting letters, emails, etc with opposition. Please take a moment and email him at