Friday, August 8, 2008

More Info From 'Fix Wilson Yard'

The folks at "Fix Wilson Yard" just sent us this email, which sheds some light on their goals and course of action:

"In response to questions posed by some concerned Uptown citizens, Fix Wilson Yard wanted to provide some background and insight into our organization and mission.
The Fix Wilson Yard organization evolved as a grass-roots effort by dedicated volunteers in the Uptown community. For years, many of us have been diligently tracking the direction of the Wilson Yard redevelopment, and involved in actions focused on creating a project that was desired by the entire community.
Recent developments have made it clear that the most viable way to stop the current Wilson Yard Redevelopment Project is through legal action. Despite years of trying to work with the public officials to develop a responsible use of taxpayer dollars, they were not willing to listen. This summer, without announcement, they began pre-construction preparation, leaving us no choice but to start the legal battle.
After a lengthy and diligent search for appropriate counsel, Fix Wilson Yard chose two different law firms: one which specializes in fighting municipalities on Land Use issues, the other in Tax Increment Finance (TIF) issues. Both firms are leading attorneys in their respective fields. Rather than choosing one attorney who is an expert on one issue and would have to spend endless hours of research (and the FWY’s legal fund money) to properly educate themselves on the other laws, we chose the best in both fields. They have the utmost confidence in our case and have offered their services at greatly reduced hourly rates.
There is some confusion regarding the organization which is leading this cause. The founding members of Fix Wilson Yard are involved in several organizations throughout Uptown, but we have come together to take on this important challenge. Since the organization itself was formed quickly, we have not yet finalized its not-for-profit status. Graceland-Wilson Neighbors Association (GWNA), which has not-for-profit status, has offered itself to collect donations for the legal fund until Fix Wilson Yard’s paper work is finally approved.
Within the last 45 days, Fix Wilson Yard has conducted three neighborhood presentations regarding Wilson Yard. Despite limited advertisement, these meetings were all standing-room-only and raised a significant amount of money. However, Fix Wilson Yard is still far from the estimated six figure invoice it will have to pay to see this suit through trial.
As with any large endeavor, this is a process which will evolve as it moves forward. We anticipate being able to offer more specific information on our legal grounds soon. However, information regarding the law suit must be tempered with strategy as well as concern for the attorney-client privilege.
We are concerned community members, just like you. We understand your concern and caution regarding this endeavor. Still, the time is now. The flawed Wilson Yard Redevelopment Plan was not going to wait for the people of Uptown to raise all the money required to pursue this greatly needed law suit. Wilson Yard was not going to wait for more legal decisions to come out which highlight TIF abuse by municipalities. Wilson Yard was not going to wait. We couldn’t either. Can you?"


  1. Thank you for the great summary!

  2. Thanks for the information and I hope you will continue to post here with more info on how neighbors can get involved with this process.

  3. I still need more information.

  4. Thanks "Publius" that's great.

    From the look of the blog you created today I'm guessing you are actually named "Shiller" and are fishing for information.

    Click on "Publius"'s name and make your own judgement.

    Perhaps you are an attorney for Holsten? Perhaps you are a real anti Shiller person. Perhaps you are actually me and I should be renamed "Sybil".

    I need my anti troll spray. Do they sell that at CVS? I need to take my afternoon stroll and could pick some up.

  5. good stuff. We appreciate the additional info and look forward to hearing more. now for that donation thing...

  6. In light of all the shootings and criminal activity we have had lately, I'm glad someone is running with the torch here. Concentrated low income housing is a proven failure. The only residents I know who are for this project are in belief that it is something entirely different.....They believe it because Shiller told them so. I hope more eyes are opened with this site. Keep spreading the word.

  7. Where can I find a mission statement and plan for the Fix Wilson Yard group? I'm sure I have a lot of the same concerns as the group. If the goal is to stop the development, what happens after that, who is supporting Fix Wilson Yard, and how will the resulting development--if we are successful--improve on the current Wilson Yard? That last bit doesn't seem like it is setting the bar very high :) but I just want to make sure there is a well thought out long-term goal. Thanks. if you want to email something re the organization. Also, accusing people of asking for more information of being trolls is a Schiller move if I have ever heard of one.

  8. Ahh, found the website for the group. Bet it will answer most of my questions.

  9. Nickname unavailable,

    did you look at Publius' anti Shiller website? Which he created today.

    The pirate might be on to something or he may not be.

    Publius might just be trying to embarrass the anti Shiller people by being over the top and he might be looking for confidential information. Those are both methods of operating that are as old as Greek literature and as new as anti-union corporate groups or political action committees.

    The gun lobby was recently outed as having a "mole" deep within the anti-gun movement. This stuff happens.

    I don't know if Publius fits that description or not. It just seems convenient that he would start a website TODAY.

  10. Ya Wombat & pirate I was curious of that as well...."grubby food stamps", "poor people to stay in the ghetto"????? It reads like a shiller supporters idea of how anti-shiller people would think. She's got a lot of people thinking anyone against her is anti-poor, anti-social programs, anti minority and just want Uptown to be another Lincoln Park. What a load of CRAP.

  11. Methinks Publius is a troll. His page is way over the top.

    I took a screen shot of one of his pages earlier today:


    * Industry: Law
    * Occupation: Sort of a lawyer
    * Location: Chicago : Illinois

    Now it shows as


    * Industry: Investment Banking
    * Occupation: Banker
    * Location: Chicago : Illinois

    Being a lawyer wasn't quite "yuppie" or offensive enough?

    What's next? WalMart executive? Union buster? Real estate developer?

    There are legitimate questions regarding SaveWilsonYard. Don't expect to see any from this bozo.

    I donated $300 yankee dollars. Perhaps more later as I see how things progress. I have no real idea of whether the rebellion will defeat the forces of the Empire. I'm more Wookie than Jedi. Perhaps the eventual outcome of Wilson Yard can be changed. Perhaps not.

    To me it is worth the risk and the relatively few bucks I tossed in. Just picturing Richard M Daley fuming over a lawsuit and screaming "my toys,my toys" brings joy to my heart. Adding Shiller to the mix is just like frosting on the cake.

    They need to realize that political offices don't exist for them to gain status, money or influence. Those offices exist for them to help us make our communities and lives slightly better.

    "I believe that a man should be proud of the city in which he lives, and that he should so live that his city will be proud that he lives in it."

    Abraham Lincoln

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  13. The Wilson Yard TIF is a saga as long as Gone With the Wind. If you want the nitty-gritty details, pour a cup of coffee and visit:

    Click on the Wilson Yard link and scroll to the bottom, read up since this is blog format.

    UNC was formed as a 501 (c)4 organization in 2003. Our mission is: Revitalize the Uptown community through balanced economic development, the arts and cultural enrichment and SENSIBLE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT.

    Wilson Yard has enormous consequences on Uptown's future. This is the largest plot of undeveloped land on the north-side of Chicago.

    It's the heart of what should be a dynamic, bustling retail corridor. Wilson Yard should and will be home for a variety of great shops on the boulavard sidewalks, out door cafes, restaurants and clubs.

    This is not about stopping Wilson Yard, this is about making Wilson Yard the retail mecca we deserve.

  14. are these attorneys going to try to get an preliminary injunction pending litigation?

  15. I donated $175 to start and got a friend to do the same. I think it's a better proposition to take my chances with than with WilsonYard Projects. I'm planning to donate more later.

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"

    ~Edmond Burke, not to be mistaken with Edward Burke !

  16. Please sign up for updates on Wilson Yard by visiting and subscribe to the e-newsletter.

    If you receive UNC e-news, you will receive Wilson Yard breaking news.

    There are more and more Fix-Wilson-Yard meetings coming up. They will be posted on UU, Fix-Wilson-Yard and notices sent out via email.

    I've spoken with many of my friends and neighbors who've asked,
    "Is it too late to stop this nightmare?" And I tell them, "It's exactly the right time."

    What do you want in the Wilson Yard? What's it worth to you?

    Make your donation today at

  17. "grubby food stamps", "poor people to stay in the ghetto"????? It reads like a shiller supporters idea of how anti-shiller people would think." --UP

    "What's next? WalMart executive? [not an option: see Big Box ordinance] Union buster [not an option: see Labor Ready]? Real estate developer [not an option: see Shiller's campaign disclosures]?
    " --IP

    Investment banker it is.

    The whole thing is sooo meta. I love it. But why no new posts, publius?

  18. saskia: sorry no more posts for now. I am too busy working to earn a paycheck so i can donate to organization that i know very little about, whether they filed a lawsuit, what the legal basis for the lawsuit even is, or who their lawyers are. I don't think it is unreasonable for people who have their hands out looking for money to divulge that information. At least the crack addicts in Uptown tell you they want your money to buy food.

  19. Publius has once again changed occupations:


    * Industry: Chemicals
    * Occupation: truck driver
    * Location: Chicago : Illinois

    At least he is getting more creative.

  20. The trouble is when you lie, you have to have a good memory. Ask UG.

  21. now publius has addressed his love for irish pirate publicly. (look at profile)

  22. Your bravado doesn't seem to be ill-placed, IrishPirate. People all over do want to service you in the manner to which you have become accustomed. :)