Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Call To Action! Write The CHA About The Gangs

The "Open Letter From A Scattered-Site Housing Resident" below certainly hit a nerve. This is what readers have told us:
  • The owner of the housing is the City of Chicago and it is managed by Housing Resource Center, a division of Hull House.
  • The managers of the HRC property in question are Stephen DeWhite and Serie MacDougal (Updated)
  • These sites have a long, long history of mismanagement -- and were and still are havens for drug dealers.

So what can we do? WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!

We suggest a snail mail or email to those listed below, reproducing the "Open Letter." If enough of us make noise, maybe we can get someone -- anyone -- to address this ongoing, tedious and dangerous problem.

Jerry Williams
Vice President of Housing
Housing Resource Center
Administrative Office
1030 W. Van Buren
Chicago, IL 60607

Lewis A. Jordan
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Housing Authority
60 East Van Buren
Chicago, IL 60605-1207

The Hon. Richard M. Daley
Mayor, City of Chicago
City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street
Room 406
Chicago, IL 60602
Fax: 312-744-8045

*UPDATE: The mayor does not have an email address. The Mayor's office only accepts faxes or mail.

Superintendent Jody P. Weis
Chicago Police Department
3510 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60653


  1. I truly hope that somone is cataloguing all of the great tidbits that we are finding on here. That way, in the next election, we can have a single resource from which we can draw quotes, articles, etc when we are producing materials for whomever is running against Shiller...

  2. okay, i'm a lazy sun of a gun, but is there any way someone can draft a form letter? that way, it'll be a lot easier for us to write in to these folks. I can put my own story to it (like I just moved to Uptown a year ago and I'm very concerned, yadda, yadda), but I thought we may be able to get more folks to write in if we gave them some language to use.

    maybe it's just my lazy ways!

  3. Excellent that someone came up with this information. Going directly to the source responsible is always the preferred method of solving problems.

    Marathonman1977: If youre competent enough to operate a computer and post a comment on this site, you can easily write your own letter. Other commenters might accuse me of being negative here, but a lot of folks who post on Uptown Update need to remove the phrase " . . . could someone else . . . ?" from their vocabularies.

  4. I am not opposed to writing letters but I ask what the purpose is? Everything contained in that letter is well known by the recipients. In addition, Denise said that Shiller's office was aware of the situation and will do something about it. Either they actually are...or they will block help for some reason. We'll have to wait to see what, if anything is done.

    People who know what I usually post here should recognize that I am not trying to pour cold water on this idea just for the heck of it. While these letters may say "others are interested and watching" it will still not solve the underlying problem of (as in the next Update) this community being purposely divided for political goals.

  5. It wouldn't hurt to email or CC some of the media contacts. UU has a list of their email addresses listed under the links.

  6. In addition, Denise said that Shiller's office was aware of the situation and will do something about it.

    Saskia, did you read the next article that had Denise Davis standing with Couraj in saying that CAPS involvement in getting the gangs out of the scattered site housing is racist, classist and only concerned with raising property values?

    Do you really think Denise or Helen will raise a finger to improve the lives of the residents like the one who wrote the "Open Letter"?

    Writing to HRC's city HQ, the mayor, the Chief of Police, the media, etc. has one purpose: to go over the head of local politics and obstructionists and get someone who can override their objections and fix the situation.

    It in increasingly obvious to me that the alderman not only doesn't want to hear my voice, but that her goals and aspirations for this neighborhood are the exact opposite of mine.

  7. Yeah. I read the next post. I know their deal. On the other hand---just to play devils advocate---don't they want to help the people they are actually claiming to help? I am also (minorly) concerned about any retribution coming resident's way in terms of inspections and fines, etc., now that they will have people's addresses. (I personally am not afraid of that but it has happened.) Of course, property owners have much less to fear than CHA residents who are often concerned about losing their housing.

    I really do not desire to muddy the waters here or anything. I think I am also on record about my critiques of Shiller, COURAJ and on and on. I guess what I am asking is if people are just through with Shiller and are ready to go about doing anything they can (whether it will work or not) in order to provoke change? If so, the only way that will work is if you get A LOT of people on board. (Just like a rally---it only makes a statement if lots of people show up.) If that is the turn that people have made, then I am on board to support the cause.

    :) Just my pre-caffeinated thoughts this morning!

  8. So I sent a letter, but the Daley email link is getting bounced back.

    Helen's office was to busy yesterday killing plans for a street fair in Uptown because they felt asking for a donation was racist and elitist. Say what???

    Did you all see the crime statistics in the paper this morning? 20 more murders in Chicago over this same time last year? Is that right?

    My head done just blowed up I reckon.

  9. what is this killing plans for a street fair stuff, Uptown Dad?

  10. Although I understand it's a lot easier to get people involved if there's a form letter, I agree that even brief letters in our own words demonstrate our level of concern and the effort we are willing to make on behalf of the community. After all, we're motivated enough to be posting here and reading the website regularly. Those 5 minutes could also be used to write a note.

    Our condo association wrote group letters after the gunfire last fall to all the relevant folks, and never got any replies...but perhaps it's worth trying again.

    The person taking over for Mr. Brown is:
    Mr. Steven DeWhite
    Housing Resource Center
    4429 N. Clifton Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60640

  11. Oops sorry to drop that street fair bomb on you Saskia before your coffee. I sprinted to starbucks this morning so my head was rolling! It was way off topic, so now I feel bad but it was on my mind.

    I am sure UU will do a write up on it soon. I know a lot of people were working hard on it and had dreams of Uptown having a sizable street fair like neighboring wards.

    On a side note my new Billy Joe filter that I ordered from Amazon is working great! Fits like a glove.

    Get some coffee! :0)

  12. Where'd you get that filter, Uptown Dad? I could use it right about now.

  13. "I truly hope that somone is cataloguing all of the great tidbits that we are finding on here. That way, in the next election, we can have a single resource from which we can draw quotes, articles, etc when we are producing materials for whomever is running against Shiller..."

    This strategy is wrong, but some of it is right. Writing letters, cataloguing information, citing historical reports from the past, tracking the people on the revolving door of activism to sustaining old "New Left" politicians is awesome.

    Talking about using this information to defeat Shiller is terrible. Her two strongest assets are the elderly and everyone else skeptical of "Big Evil Condo People". Her office and her Sandinista surrogates are highly aware of how to marginalize these moves. They don't defend anything. They attack everything.

    I'd love to talk about a strategy to defeat Shiller, but this isn't the proper venue. This site is about Uptown. Where it came from, where it has been, and where it is going. It's hard to avoid politics in a place like Chicago, but you do it to protect the integrity of valuable community assets that should remain solely about the interests of the people of Uptown.

    The one proper political discussion here is encouraging Uptown residents to vote. Plug in. Get your name and reputation into the system. Don't tell people for whom to vote, but encourage them to vote. Get on the record. Report incidents. Call 311. Call 911. Call them again. Tell them who you are. If you only do one of these things the most important one is TO VOTE.

    If you think ShillerCo can cause trouble now. Just wait until the Big Evil Condo People start to vote in droves.

  14. After being too close to the events of Sunday evening and being a prior victim of an armed robbery when I first moved to Uptown, I am(finally?) thinking that maybe it is time to get outta Dodge. We (gentle taxpayers) keep insisting on gentrification yet always so stunned when it doesn't happen. It's pretty obvious the right people don't care.

  15. You are right, "the soul..." especially this part: they don't defend anything, they attack everything. Look closely at the pat response anytime anyone criticizes anything---they respond with a negative. More than being "for" anything all of their behavior is oriented around being "against" something. Of course, that something is middle class property owners living in what they had considered their protected zone. '

    All of this BS about "balanced growth" is just that. Like the NY Times article posted elsewhere on this blog, Shiller and her minions didn't do anything to work with the slumlord who ended up in housing court and was ordered to sell his properties. She just cried foul when a developer bought the property and made it market rate. It doesn't take a genius to see that if he had been called to task to maintain his properties (rather than being protected) then the courts wouldn't have ordered him to sell.

    Work to educate people who will really respond to such information but most of all get out the vote because it will all come down to the same old polarization crap anyway but if we've got a Daley appointee then we will have that do deal with too.

  16. Give up the goods, Uptown Dad. Inquiring minds want to know what street fair Shiller squashed.

  17. Uptown SuperHero!: The machine only works when you supply it with fuel. Politics is the just the oil. Political campaigns are the refined fuel. Do not fill their tanks.

    Shiller is born and bred by the "New Left" in the 60s. She studied at UW-Madison for crissakes. This is the US campus where the New Left wove their Trotsykite clothing on top of their Leninist skin at that time.

    Shiller shares the passions of Lenin. Ensure there are rich, ensure there are poor, and you will ensure you maintain control. An educated, outspoken, property owning, voting middle class is the greatest foe of Shiller.

    I support Uptown Update to remain anonymous. However, it should also remain independent of any and all campaigns for political office and extend to discussions of removing any elected official from office through any and all means.

  18. Whatever her roots may have been, she is now a twisted and incoherent version of "the new left." Lefties should be disappointed and should stop groveling for crumbs at the Shiller/Daley table.

    PS- "educated, outspoken, property owning" is also an accurate definition of Helen Shiller. I wonder what kind of mirror she owns.

  19. I sent some e-mails! I'll keep you posted on any replies..

  20. Voice of the People is a low income property owner and has Metroplex managing their sites. They own at least 12 buildings in Uptown all infested with gang violence/drug dealing/public disturbance and there has been prostitution in some sites. To check out arrests see crimewatch and look at Uptown area (I bet you ncan guess where these building are) in addition to the CHA sites.
    There have been 3 shooting associated with these sites in the last year. Remember the problem on Racine? That building was not CHA it was a Voice of the People biulding managed by METROPLEX. I do believe writing letters will help and will give us credibility to any media wanting to pick up a story on it (if it is not on paper it didn't happen) Voice of the People is at 4861 N Kenmore Ave Chicago Il 60640 and letters can be directed to the property manager
    there I am not sure of the name. Metroplex has a good name in Chicago I sure they do not want it to be tarnished by this kind of problem.I thought the resident open letter was very courageous considering that living in a low income site you are already walking a thin line between housed or homelessness and the problems they could cause with other residents that are involved with illegal activity and mark them as a snitch.I feel really bad for folks that are just trying to raise their families working and thought that low-income housing would help instead it can put them and thier children in a very dangerous situation

  21. I received this response today (although I already had provided this address)... But this is the first and only response I received.

    Can you supply me the address(es) of the gang activity within CHA owned and HRC managed properties. Hopefully, I can then investigate the incidents and activities you noted in your e-mail to Mr. Jordan.

    Thanks in advance for your help.