Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Watch For This On Your Election Ballot

Our thanks to "t5208" at BPN for coming across this referendum on the upcoming election ballot. You can view the other referenda here.

Update: The bright yellow areas highlighted in the Ward map below are the ones that will have the Affordable Housing TIF referendum on the ballot. (click for a larger version)



    One more reason to make sure you're registered!

    I also hope Uptown Update gives this continued publicity so people in the neighborhood know what kind of ballot initiatives are being snuck in.

  2. WOW good eye and thank you for posting. Unbelievable...I will make sure everyone I know looks for this CRAP when they vote.

    Thank you!

  3. It wouldn't be such a bad thing if the 40% didn't actually mean 120% placed entirely in Uptown.

  4. The Fix Wilson Yard folks should mobilize a campaign against this. I know it doesn't immediately impact their project, but it coudl be a nice showing of muscle. (This referendum will happen far before any lawsuit of theirs gets to a meaningful stage.)

    And by a meaningful campaign, I mean advertising. Raise some money for posters or radio ads.

    Question: Is this just on the ballot in the 46th ward?

  5. The scary thing is that, to the average voter, this seems like such a great thing. I mean, who doesn't want "affordable housing" for everyone?

    Honestly, had I been asked to vote for this 3 years ago (before the WY debacle) I would have said "yes" too...

  6. Jack - we are on it. Readers, if you have not done so, please register to vote as well as registering with www.fixwilsonyard.org. We will have an update soon in regards to this effort. My initial review looks like this only for the 46th Ward. Will do more investigation.


  7. this proposal shows a profound misunderstanding of TIF

  8. If this passes, this will be Shiller's argument against FixWilsonYard. "But the majority voted yes for using TIF funds for affordable housing."

    We need to stop this.

  9. These days persons at or below the median community income in the 46th ward are sadly in general ineligible for home ownership in Uptown on their own. Even if they were, thru subsidies, the property taxes would be an insurmountable problem. So a proposal to earmark 40% of TIF resources for projects that have little hope of generating future property taxes which not only pay back the original expenditures, let alone eventually providing an enhanced property tax revenue stream to the community above and beyond the initial TIF investment, seems like an obvious non-starter if you understand TIF. Using 40% of a TIF stream on projects without the possibility of a lucrative future property tax stream would all but guarantee the failure of a TIF district. This proposal is flawed policy at an arithmetic level, regardless of what you think about housing affordability, gentrification, etc.

  10. miss kitty is exactly right....all part of her plan b, c, d, e, and so on....

  11. Besides, this issue has been argued and settled already, and not at 40% more like 10%. Chicago already has a law on the books that sez that any residential project that receives TIF support set aside 10% of units for affordable home ownership. The affordable housing community in Chicago declared victory at its passage, despite its flaws. The authors of this referendum are some kind of fringe.

  12. The other comment i'd like to make is the "affordable housing" aspect. Of course we support affordable housing but what we do not support are areas saturated with extreme and low-income housing.

    I'm constantly frustrated about the misuse of the term "affordable housing" and how are ward manipulates the term or should i say how the elected officials in the 46th ward manipulate the term.

  13. Just an aside, ballot referenda in Illinois are, at present, only advisory measures. They are not binding like they are in other states.

  14. Oh great, as if the TIFs aren't bad enough. This idea would do nothing more than give 40% of TIF taxes to the likes of Helen Shiller. Let's face it, the proposal will get votes, it mentions "affordable housing."

  15. Is there any way to get this off the ballot on the basis that it does not follow the guidelines of TIF law?

  16. The problem with any referendum in Uptown is that Helen slants it to support her agenda. Helen pulled this same stunt with another housing referendum years ago, again in select precincts. She used the winning results to explain to the press and City Council that the low income housing is "what the community wants" for WY.

    This is another strong hint that Target is now definitely taking a hands off approach with WY. This is a desperate act by a desperate alderman with a TIF that is quickly disintegrating to nothing.

  17. The scary thing is that, to the average voter, this seems like such a great thing. I mean, who doesn't want "affordable housing" for everyone?

    exactly. Very clever wording. But we are talking politics, so...

  18. Would the Wilson Yard group hold a series of Town Halls regarding the proposal, at least attempt to educate the uptown voters. Maybe enough to swing the votes against it?

  19. Can someone possibly make this into a printable flier? I would love to share this with all my neighbors.. thanks!

  20. Desperate folks practice devious methods. For those of us who've lived in Uptown a few years, this is a typical Shiller tactic.

    This group did the same thing a few years back to by putting another warm & fuzzy "support affordable housing" referendum on the ballot. It got about 257 yes and 175 no votes.

    What the alderman refuses to do is a full housing stock inventory in the 46 ward. It should be done block by block and catagorize the housing by:
    - Type of housing: single family, condominiums, rental
    - Number of units in multi-units buildings
    - Market rate housing
    - Affordable housing:affordable home ownership, Section-8 housing,
    Government subsidized housing: IHDA, CHA, DOH, HUD

    Why hasn't this housing stock study been done? Because Shiller couldn't hide behind her warm and fuzzy "we need more affordable housing". Uptown has 6000 units of government subsidized housing, almost twice the number in Cabrini Green. We're the subsidized housing capital on the north side.

    That's why so many citizens are finally standing up to politics as usual and if you don't like it move.

    How sad that we can't just acknowlege the hopelessness created by this community model and fix it.

  21. Will this only show up on ballots for the affected precincts or on all of the 46th Ward ballots?

  22. I just had a Helen Shiller sighting along with her baseball bat body guard boy.

    She was patroling Montrose only minutes after one of our fine friends overdosed in the Dearborn Parking lot. 3pm.

  23. Seriously? Someone OD'd in the parking lot at Dearborn Foods?


  24. "Seriously? Someone OD'd in the parking lot at Dearborn Foods?"

    One of the usual suspects that linger on the metal rail by the sidewalk. 4 police cars, 1 ambulance, one guy laid out in the parking lot.

    Helen walked by after the fact, or she may have been watching, im not sure. Nice to see her out enjoying the nice day. Not a cloud in the sky, children playing, & junkies od'n.

  25. Only in the noted precincts. Most of which have high concentrations of subsidized housing.

    Very carefully orchestrated.

  26. Ugh. I posted that in comments a few days ago (no respect, I tells ya' ;)

    Anyway - here's another bit regarding TIF usage that Helen can use to help reconstruct her argument. I mean, if you overlook the fact that most of this has already been enacted into different legislation and that whole "Bill of Rights" thing - though, this one has an interesting socialistic bend to it (then again, what legislation that Helen supports doesn't sound like some sort of manifesto pre-amble?):

    Public Subsides (TIF) - Ward 46, Precincts 8, 12, 20, 22, 23, 26, 32, 38, 41, 42, and 47

    Should the City of Chicago adopt a policy whereby beneficiaries of public subsidies (including TIF) with more than 15 employees must give local residents first chance to apply for jobs, certify that all employees and contractors' employees receive a living wage and pledge to honor worker rights, including safety standards and the right to organize without interference?

    Yes _____
    No _____

  27. Yo,

    I'm not sure the last thing you posted from the vote is a bad thing.

    Basically it's saying that if any sort of company is persuaded to open shop in Uptown with the supplemental use of our TIF dollars, then they must give the locals(assumption of "locals" being mostly low-income residents) first crack at these jobs. Isn't that a good thing???

    If Helen was smart, she would only want this proposal on there, and not the other, to get the current low income residents that don't have jobs good employment(again I assume there are quite a few jobless in the area considering I see the same people sittin "chillin" outside when I go to and from work).

    I mean, if we're gonna have this much low income housing, we should atleast make it easier for those low income residents to get good jobs and better their situation. Don't you think???

    And theoretically, which isnt always how it works, in the long term these now low income residents with their newly found jobs will bring themselves out of government assistance and hopefully/eventually be able to buy property therefore contributing back to the TIF fund. In turn, the businesses will prosper with more wealth in the area to be spent at their stores. Full circle.

    If I'm wrong let me know, but I think that would be a good thing to vote yes on.

    If any low income people are out there reading(North Magnolia, not to call you out, but you have stated this), do you really want Helen to saturate the 46th with more low income housing making it even more difficult for you to find a good job close to home??? Don't you want her to help better your situation before she starts throwing more people that need government assistance into the 46th? What makes the current low income people think more low income housing is the answer??? Don't you want to rise up and prove to the government you don't need their stinkin' help???

    Furthermore. If there were enough jobs going around and the success rate for getting out of "the system" was higher because of more jobs, we would not need more low income housing because people would be moving up in class. So, people eventually move out and find better jobs, and then more come in to receive the help in ALREADY EXISTING low income units.

    So good for Shiller on proposing help by use of TIF funds to those people that need jobs, shame on Shiller for wanting to over saturate the low income housing in an area with few available jobs to begin with.

    Don't expand a system of low income housing that obviously isn't working. Help the ones already in need and make the system work how it is supposed to, then think about expanding. Shiller needs to learn how to walk before she runs. You'd think after 20 plus years she woulds figured this one out.

  28. "So good for Shiller ... "

    Shiller is behind these referenda?

  29. "then they must give the locals(assumption of "locals" being mostly low-income residents) first crack at these jobs. Isn't that a good thing???"

    A. This is America. No one should make anyone give anyone else a job. We should all gain employment on our own merits.

    B. Last I checked Chicago's unemployment wasn't really an issue. There are jobs in this city. So is a job at Target really going to better someone's life who falls in to that low income bracket? Or will it guarantee there spot in such bracket?

    Shiller want's housing for one reason and one reason only..TO CREATE A VOTER BASE TO ENSURE SHE GETS REELCTED.

  30. "Shiller is behind these referenda?"

    I would bet the answer is yes. She most likely lobbied for them and City Council approved. As I understand it, thats how it works. Furthermore, if private citizens can get enough signatures within their precinct they are allowed to enact their own laws to be voted on which eventually will be molded by the legislatures. Which I'm pretty sure I've heard of happening on numerous occasions.

    "A. This is America. No one should make anyone give anyone else a job. We should all gain employment on our own merits."

    I dont think "making" is the right word. Should someone meet the requirements for the job and live in the area, then yes give them the job over someone down on 95th St. Are you an advocate of companies hiring overseas or in the states??? Well, same concept on a smaller scale. Encourage giving jobs to locals who need it by use of the TIF funds which create local jobs for those who are poor and cant travel long distances to work. Personally, I'm all for tax breaks to big companies that keep the jobs in America as opposed to sending Americas wealth to some other country. People that have already established themselves have the means to find jobs else where. Those that are unestablished may not and need those opportunities in their back yard.

    "B. Last I checked Chicago's unemployment wasn't really an issue. There are jobs in this city. So is a job at Target really going to better someone's life who falls in to that low income bracket? Or will it guarantee there spot in such bracket?"

    That's a good question. No one has all the answers, unless you have fallen into Obama's propaganda. That's the precise reason why we need less government and more self responsibility. But it is what it is. If people would take the 8 dollars an hour, bust their ass for a few years working 2 jobs 60-70 hours a week, then yes, they would be out of that bracket.

    Anyway Chip, I know doubt see Shiller's reasoning about wanting both proposals on the ticket and agree with you about Shiller. But like I said, the second proposal is reasonable for helping cure the debacle she created in Uptown. The first proposal is just reckless and asinine. She obviously likes to see the poor in their current state and not improve upon their quality of life. Keep that in mind low income residents. Sure, Shiller helped put a roof over your head, but she isn't helping you better your situation, otherwise she'd be busting her ass to get the less fortunate already in the area the tools needed to become a proud homeowner. She is using you for the votes. Take a stand already.

  31. "A. This is America. No one should make anyone give anyone else a job. We should all gain employment on our own merits."

    Meritocracy is a myth.

    "B. Last I checked Chicago's unemployment wasn't really an issue. There are jobs in this city. So is a job at Target really going to better someone's life who falls in to that low income bracket? Or will it guarantee there spot in such bracket?"

    Forbes just named Chicago the "most stressful city the U.S." mentioning its 7.3% unemployment rate.

    The rest of your B. comment was addressed quite well by craindre aucun in his response to your A. comment.

  32. "No one has all the answers, unless you have fallen into Obama's propaganda.'

    Feel free to browse some of my past post. Me and BO don't see eye to eye. Im all for hard work, if Target was coming I would put more thought in to this, but the arent, so the point is moot.

    Kenny, our unemployment comes more from people not wanting to work than lack of jobs. Im pretty sure I can see 7.3% of Uptown dicking around and using drugs & drinking on any given day. Some Chicagoins lack..what is it...effort.

    I can't complain with the Forbes stress comment. Hell with the crime, taxes, & politics in this town Im stressed.

  33. chipdouglas said...
    Kenny, our unemployment comes more from people not wanting to work than lack of jobs.

    You know, sometimes I can't help but wonder what you're smoking.

  34. Chip,

    I've read your other posts, and thats why I mentioned the Obama factor. The reason I made that point was so I could get you to level with me. Not to turn this political, but for me this election is picking the lesser of two evils. I'll end it at that.

    I agree with 90% of what you say on here whole heartedly. I think some may believe you come across too harsh and/or judgemental. Maybe its your pic of Chip Douglas from The Cable Guy..... how about a picture of Chip that squirrel cartoon thingie..... a rescue ranger???? Good thoughts about what's going on in Uptown and why, but how about what can we do to fix this neighborhood and make it better for EVERYONE. That's the goal here. Of course we can't fix the problems until we realize what the problems are, and a majority of that problem is Shiller. Cheers Chip.

  35. Thanks craindre aucun. That was very nice. "Chip" is my harsh persona. My Jekyl if you may.

    Kenny, as someone who has hired people in numerous states i stand my my assesment of some Chicago workers. Being from Michigan and seeing real economic crisis, seeing friends loose jobs, homes, & spouses all with a positive attitude has given me a different perspective.

    This phantom unemployment in Chicago is just another lure to guilt us in to your socialist agenda.

    Im not buying it.

  36. Uptown Superhero! has a great point. I'm would love to creat a flyer and plaster the neighborhood with them. People need to know exactly what this means and not to mark "yes" just because the words "affordable housing" appear as the first words.

  37. I live 12 feet from the 46th ward, so i assume that I cannot vote on this referendum. is that true?

  38. Posting flyers all over the neighborhood is a great idea. If several people do this, we can probably blanket most of the 46th Ward.

  39. If someone will send the proposed wording for a poster or flyer to uptownupdate@hotmail.com, we'll be happy to come up with a flyer to print off and distribute.

  40. I would be happy to write something out for you. However, Microsoft Word informed me the other day that I was only at a 5th grade writing level, and computers are smart, they know all.

    But BEFORE this is printed out etc, have a couple watchful eyes look over it. Keep in mind, from what I gather, a majority of people in the area do not know what the TIF fund is/and supposed to be used for. So a brief explanation of that would be good.

    Also, another thing to keep in mind. Many of these people currently in low income houses(A LOT OF VOTERS, assuming they vote) would probably want this just because it says more low income housing. You need a clever way of laying out the truth to them without saying too much because you dont want an essay written on the flyer. Maybe something like stating that a better use of the TIF funds would be to help get current residents the job training they want to do what they want to do so they can rise up, instead of just housing more poor in the area. Sorry, I'm not very clever, Microsoft Word has established that for me, and I dont know how to briefly explain why this proposal sucks a**.

    Anyway, if you plan on distributing these flyers, I recommend posting a PDF on the site so people that are not in your organized group can post them around town too.

  41. this makes me so mad. a quintessential example of our elected officials bamboozling the people by appealing to their good nature; hiding great social and community ramifications with smoke and mirrors. all so they (she) can justify a quasi-personal agenda with the words: 'the people wanted this'. lets bring back the gallows; or better yet, the guillotine...

    check that, i don't want to see such violence, how about the 'pear'? morbid? yes. justified? maybe.

  42. Whats with the precincts too? I assume Helen is just dividing up the Ward event further to skew the numbers? Not that I have the time, but it would be really interesting to see, on a map, what ares she's got doing the voting.

  43. "I assume Helen is just dividing up the Ward ... "

    under IL law a Chicago alderman can push a resolution thru City Council to get a question on the ballot ward-wide, she don't need no stinkin petitions, so that fact that this is not ward-wide makes me doubt Shiller is directly responsible for this effort

  44. Flyering is not what you want to do. That more than likely will bring favorable votes. It needs to be more targeted.

  45. hugh,

    id be willing to bet without looking at this precinct map that a majority of the precincts are areas with a lot of low income residents???

    Either that or the precincts involved with this vote are the areas where she plans to use tiff funds for more low income housing.

    Shiller had everything to do with this, I can gaurantee you that.

  46. or those precincts are areas with a lot of condos unsold that she will be able to buy up with the TIF dollars and possibly turn half of the building you currently live in into very low income residents, reducing your property value. Wouldnt you love a gangbanger living next door to you just after you thought you were living the good life being a condo owner? I would.

    no matter how you look at this it blows.

  47. So the author has attached a map of the 46th wards with the precincts on it, but in classic government fashion, the map is a cluster f*** and doesn't list the precinct numbers for about half the precincts. Does anyone have a map designed by a non-government entity?

  48. The precincts are basically those in the TIF district. Look on UNC's website to see the TIF map. All the precincts on the referendum are located between Dover and Clarendon, and Montrose and Leland.

  49. craindre (real quick, since I don't want to distract from the on-going discussion),

    I'm all for giving preference to local workers, if local workers are willing, capable and qualified to do the work.

    That wasn't my issue.

    My issue is the effort to insist companies "pledge" to protect workers rights, safety and freedom of assembly/protest while such protections are already a part of other legislation.

    She's using smoke screen ballot tactics to set up a defense (either an ethical one, or a legal one) to protect her real initiative.

  50. Target allows its workers to unionize now? I didn't know that.

  51. Yo,

    gotchya. you are totally correct on everything you just said, and I agree with ya. sorry I ranted so long about nothing, i completely did not catch that this was the issue you were referring to.

    I like that you added "willing". because for all we know only 50% of the low income residents are actually "willing" to work. this just adds to my view on how the system is f-ed up. they arent willing because they get free money for nothing. Give them(maybe eventually me) 5 years of government assitance with housing, college, technical job training, etc. then send them off to the real world. but that will never happen. if an adult can't be self supportive after five years of assistance, i dunno the answer to that.
    i'm done.

  52. LOOKING at this map, it includes at least SIX CTA highrises as well as the JESUS PEOPLE building friends..this was set up to win....

  53. Of course it's a setup to win. Why else would she orchestrate this? Let's also watch this soar over the heads of the press who will remain clueless, except for the News Star of course.

  54. craindre,

    no worries, t'all. It's a sticky wicket that Helen wants us to pitch to ... very confusing.

    Regardless ... in my mind (and not to diminish the immediate ballot issues), let's all take a long, hard look at voting "yes" with regard to the recall question (AND the constitutional convention).

    Uptown refugee posted a HuffPo link (blirf) which sites the follow quote:

    "The House voted in April for an amendment that would let voters recall the governor and other top officials. Governor Blagojevich's allies in the Senate then blocked it."

    I'm not going to finish the equation for everyone, but ... the most influential ally of Blago is: Emil Jones.

    Emil Jones .. .who wants to nepotism his son into the Senate on his retirement (ala Todd Stroger).

    If you want to see a shift in how politics are run in Illinois, ask yourself one question when going to the polls on Nov 4:

    Who is connected to both Emil Jones and Todd Stroger?

  55. I suppose we didn't need a map to see that no ballot measures, and presumably no more "affordable housing," are sullying the neighborhood around Helen's home "in the heart of Andersonville" and the Lakeview portion of the 46th Ward.

    But Helen's (and Brendan's) lily-white home precinct has the no-kill animal shelter rather than human shelters. I guess that's fair. [sarcasm off]

  56. I find it hilarious that she omitted the building right across from the CHA homes on Magnolia and Sunnyside. Its pretty clear they'd vote no!

  57. She also left out all of the following neighborhoods.. Buena Park, Sheridan Park, Truman Square and Andersonville...literally slicing and dicing her way through the ward..

    .. how do WE get a ballot measure like this up for OUR neighborhoods too...seriously... ?

  58. Well, half of Truman Square is there. The half that's south of Leland. The half I live in.

    Helen's Scorched Earth Policy In Action.

  59. The southern half of Sheridan Park - Wilson south to Montrose - is included. Of course this is the section with a large number of scattered site Hull House buildings. Helen knew exactly what areas to choose.