Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chi-Town Daily News Covers Wednesday's Meeting

"Uptown Residents Pack Meeting to Address Crime"
BY AMY CRIDER, July 31, 2008 12:45 PM

An excerpt:

"But gunfire and gang activity weren't the only issues. As Uptown Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Christie Hahn put it, businesses can no longer put up with the "everyday harassment" of their patrons that included public drinking, pot smoking, urination, and panhandling.

Molly Phelan, the Buena Park CAPS liaison, drew loud applause when she demanded that someone "take a leadership role" in addressing the problems.

The loudest applause of the night came when a man turned to Alderman Helen Shiller, (D-46) who was seated in the audience, and asked why she was seated there rather than on the dais with the panel.Thunderous response drowned out the rest of his remarks, exposing an undercurrent of frustration with the alderman's office. One speaker was booed when she attempted to defend Shiller.

Shiller did not respond to the complaints during the meeting."

Read the entire article here.


  1. Uptown residents inspired me with last nights positive meeting. Thank you.

    Screw the Alderman. I'm calling my State Senator!

  2. so, the meeting takes place in the 46th ward and that alderman or the office of the alderman is NOT on the panel. that really says enough about her desire to change things. schulter's office was reprensted for chrissake's!

    i could not make it last night but thank you to all who went!

  3. After 9/11, everyone flew the Stars and Stripes. I'd like to see an Uptown flag created that we could fly in the same show our support, concern, and determination to end crime and make Uptown meet its potential.

  4. Chris M, you have a great idea and others have mentioned similar ideas. Some have thought to create a sticker or window sign with a message of unity. Such as: NOT IN OUR UPTOWN! or CITIZENS FOR IMPROVING UPTOWN or FIGHT FOR UPTOWN etc. I'm gonna ask UU to post an uptown slogan contest to get people thinking and acting.

  5. "Uptown Rising Up"

    Show a Chicago Flag Upside down. International Distress Signal.

    How bout dis as a symbol?

  6. Great idea UptownUnity.

    I love the flag concept too. Bigger and better than a window sticker.

  7. Know Hope.

    Uptown. Past, Present and Future.


    Vive la Resistance!

  8. okay, irish pirate, i'm calling you out on the quote from the south park movie! good one!

    how about...

    Uptown United or Uptown Unified

    Get down with Uptown

    Uptown: Not just for low incoming housing anymore!

    damn, this is tough.

    viva la resistance!

  9. How about Uptown Pride? Then you can also make use of the two letters to spell UP too.

  10. Vive la resistance originally was used by ze French in WW2 as a slogan against ze Botsch.

    Or we could use "

    "What would Brian Boitano do" or "we're on a mission from God" if we want to stick to movie quotes.

    "Go ahead, make my day".

  11. I guess I was thinking something simple like a U. I'm not encouraging a sports theme, but when you see the W flag, it means the Cubs won and it's super simple. I guess I wanted something along those lines. If someone was unsure of what it meant, they could ask, and the dialogue would be good. Maybe it should just be a patchwork of colors to represent the diversity of Uptown. Sort of like the Buddhist flag.

  12. An open letter to Alderman Helen Schiller:

    Dear Mrs. Helen Schiller
    Alderman 46th Ward - Chicago, IL

    Good Afternoon,

    My name is Laurence Hall and I am a resident of the 4600 block of North Magnolia in Cook County, Chicago, Illinois. I’ve been a resident of Chicago for 5 years, though only in Uptown for a few months. I’ve lived in many cities and many neighborhoods throughout my life and have decided that Uptown is one of the greatest places I have had the privilege to reside, and yes, it is a privilege.

    There are many blossoming neighborhoods in this great city and Uptown I believe is a shining star. Just last week, the Red Eye published an article, claiming Uptown to be one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Chicago. I feel that too. There is something about walking down the street here, as you step through past, present and future. I can still feel the presence of Al Capone and the many jazz greats who have graced the Green Mill. I feel the energy that every rock concert brings to the Aragon or the Rivera and the excitement accompanied with it. There is a mystique here that has lasted through the generations and preserved this neighborhoods history.

    I remember first stepping off the El at the Wilson stop and just being amazed by how the tracks go over Broadway Avenue. The look and feel of the buildings make you want to jump right in and delve into their heritage. The energy is amazing and there is a harmony. Every person, every place and every street plays a roll in shaping our community and I am more than happy to be a part of this community. As a musician, frequently, I sit on my porch to grab inspiration and it is easily found. Many of my ideas as of late are the direct impact of what I see and what I feel in our neighborhood.

    That being said, I heard many of my fellow community members in distress last evening. They are lost. They don’t know where to go. They don’t know who is on their side and who their friends are. I think there was a very strong message that leadership is needed. Resources need to be pulled together and someone has to coordinate it. More importantly, residents need to be informed as to what they can do and what their responsibilities are. Living in such a great neighborhood with so much history requires the participation of all who reside within its boundaries. Above all, we need leadership. This is why I’m making a plea, on behalf of my community, to you.

    I know that there was negative talk about you last evening. I don’t know enough to make any sound judgment on your character or that of your staff. However, I want you to know that I want to work with you to help you lead us. If you can’t do it alone, then you have one more, and that is me. I will stand side by side with you and confront our neighborhoods problems - even if it is only you and I, 2 is much stronger than 1. I will face the gangs and take a punch or a beating for Uptown. I will face the drug dealers and risk my life for Uptown. I will march through my community with a sign that says ‘Helen Schiller and I aren’t going to take it any longer’ if necessary. I will fight for Uptown. I will fight for this neighborhoods history and I will fight for the future of it.

    I know many of my neighbors will gladly do the same. If needed, I will go door to door and ask them to join me to oust the ‘hanky panky’ in the alleys. I will call the presses and take pictures of the offenders in my neighborhood. I will do whatever it takes to make Uptown an awesome place. I’m not afraid.

    In the brief moments I have lived in this neighborhood, something has been instilled into me and that is the history of these great sidewalks, buildings and people. I am here to help and to help you succeed. I want Uptown to succeed and I want the community to do it together. Please be our liaison, be our advocate and be our leader. We need you to help us and we will help you. Otherwise, Uptown is going to lose the feeling it has and succumb to darkness.

    Kind Regards,

    Laurence Hall

  13. Larry -- thank you for such an eloquent letter. I hope that Helen will read it and respond to you.

    If she doesn't respond, then it needs to be addressed to James Cappelman who will!

  14. Now it seems like she's taking credit for being involved in the meeting somehow.

  15. Larry,

    Welcome to Uptown.

    Please don't hold your breath waiting for a response from Shiller.

  16. "the meeting produced frank discussion regarding crime and the opportunities and problems presented by living in a diverse community."

    Nice way to make it appear as though crime and problems are just a part of living in a diverse neighborhood.

    Compare that to her views on other parts of the city and once again, she's caught talking out of both sides of her mouth.

    Every time she takes a step forward (showing up at the fire, last night), she immediately goes out of her way to take two steps back (ladling a creamy sauce of rhetoric over a steaming pile of bullsh*t).

  17. Holy crap! Either the Town Hall meeting really got to Shiller or they got a new intern. There are a lot of postings and updates on the Alderman's website - almost all of them dated from yesterday. It will be interesting to see if her involvement and interest in her ward continues after the media buzz dies down. I hope so...

  18. Hmmm...

    I'm thinking someone is feeling a bit of pressure from on high eh? We all know how Daley will drop his 'friends' on a dime if they all the sudden start to make him look bad. Just ask Frank Kruesi...among many others.

    Perhaps "someone" told our lovely Alderman to get off her butt and at least appear to care.

    Or she's just trying to deflect any negative press prior to the election so she can say during her campaign, 'But I DID do something!!!'

    Whatever, I'm not buying it. Until this woman actually does something besides talk out both sides of her mouth and pander to those who will give her what she wants, a few website updates and showing up to a fire doesn't count as performing the duties she was hired for.