Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Letters to the Editor in the current issue of the News-Star:

Tactic polarizes Uptown community

I would have to disagree with the assessment of Mr. Williams, a spokesman for COURAJ, that the mission of CAPS is to promote gentrification of the neighborhood. The desire for a safer neighborhood to raise children spans all socioeconomic and ethnic groups of people in the neighborhood. It insults everyone to even suggest that people living in poverty have different standards for safety. This tactic is an attempt to pit one economic group against another, and that's what polarizes this community.

Those who attend CAPS will often observe a diverse group of residents who share the belief that everyone can step forward and work together to make our neighborhood a safer place for everyone. It's this shared belief that actually helps to unite and strengthen this very diverse community.

As for the motives of residents attending the June 7th anti-crime rally, I think it more appropriate to ask those who attended about their motives. Nevertheless, Ald. Shiller has issued no statement about the recent murder, nor has she said anything about the increase in gang activity. She also continues to send no representative to the CAPS beat meetings. It is a fair assumption to expect residents to feel upset when they see other local aldermen responding differently.

James Cappleman

Couraj justified about Uptown gentrification

Dave Williams of COURAJ is justified in his concern over the gentrification of Uptown. I live in the West Roger Park neighborhood and, right next door to me, are six - figured luxury townhomes. So no community is immuned to this trend, which I find troublesome. More and more, society is conveying the message that low- and middle-income families are a nuisance that must be eradicated. I add my voice to the chorus crying out for justice and affordable housing for ALL, not just the chosen few.

Jackie L. Tajiri
West Rogers Park


  1. The reason you don't see or hear from Shiller is because she is caught between a rock and a hard place.

    She can't be the same liberal whack job she used to be years ago but can't fully embrace gentrification because those are her voters and how she wins by a few hundred votes.

    Mr. Williams might as well take up a new cause because market forces are at play and gentrification in Uptown and Rogers Park is here to stay.

    It he wants to offer low income housing I suggest he buys everything that is for sale and rent it below market.

    I bet even Holstein in the end doesn't offer the kind of housing Mr. Williams wants for Uptown.

  2. Well said James. I think people in Uptown confuse culture with crime, and make excuses for it.

    My son had a birthday party last week, 6 of the kids were white, 2 were japanese/american, 3 were Spanish/American, and two were african /american. Even my own son carries duel citizenship to two diferent countries.

    The best part? The kids didn't notice anyone was any different or from any different socioeconomical level. Some were renters, some were condo owners, and some had single family homes. They just play and have fun. Maybe they are the generation that will look beyond all the issues we fight about on a daily basis?

    The common ground for us adults? All of us are concerned about the crime and drugs in Uptown.

  3. People should be outraged at our local, state and national politicians.

    They just aren't and I don't get it.

    Being a politician is the only job where you don't have to answer to anyone. Being a politician in this country is more and more like being a dictator.

    The American people need term limits and recall mechanisms for all elected officials.

    America is going backwards. The only time you hear from Shiller is around election time.

  4. To me, the most important and most poignant part of Cappleman's letter is the statement that "It insults everyone to even suggest that people living in poverty have different standards for safety." When people living in poverty hear leaders say that efforts to promote safety "pick on them," they should be outraged. I know I would be.

  5. What is really funny about all this is that every time I go to a CAPS meeting, no matter how large or small the crowd is, it's always a good mix of people and income. There's plenty that live in apartments along with condo/home owners.

  6. I really tire of the term "gentrification" being used every! time! we talk about neighborhood safety--as though residents are attending CAPS meetings and demanding that the empty storefronts on Broadway be occupied by Chanel or Armani or something, instead of voicing concerns about growing crime. Newsflash people--these are two separate (yet related) topics!! To echo ltn318, EVERYONE in Uptown deserves a safe neigborhood, and residents who disagree with this basic truth clearly have their own agenda.

  7. right on Ed!

    And James as well! he is 100% correct using the line..."insulting to everyone..."

  8. Does anyone know the specific funding base for Couraj? I know they are backed by Shiller, but I would be very interested to find out if they have any tax ID number where we could track the contributors precisely...

  9. It's a IL Non Profit Corporation that according to the Secretary of State not in Good Standing.
    File Number 61614044
    Agent Name MARC KAPLAN
    Agent Street Address 4701 N BEACON ST #015

    Just a hate group if you ask me and a tool for Shiller to get votes.

    If I was running against her next time I would expose this group for what it is.

    Why would Uptown need a group like this?

    I would also subpoena their records to make sure they are a true non profit and are not giving political contributions.

    Shiller won't be able to hide much longer and not speak out.

  10. "Not In Good Standing," eh?

  11. Good work B!

    Though what does the term "not in good standing" mean? Does it mean that the "Corporation" owes money to the state or city?

    What a laugh riot.

  12. Most often haven't filed the proper paper work with the state.