Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday Night's Town Hall Meeting

So who was there? Please use the comments to talk about the meeting. If you have photos, please send them in.


  1. Fox News was there filming and interviewing people before and during the meeting. I forgot to watch for it last night. Did anyone see it?

  2. The meeting was well done. Anyone who wanted to make comments was able to do so. There will be four community committees that anyone can sign up for. After the Q and A was completed people attending the meeting were encouraged to sign up for them. It was made clear that they did not want to duplicate what other groups in the area were trying to accomplish, but that better communication between all advocates in the neighborhood needs to take place. I believe this is close to what they are called.

    Communication in Uptown
    Policy and Advocacy
    Youth Services
    Retail and Business

    Two funniest parts of the meeting for me were when someone asked if there was a way to use the Internet to gather and present information about the area. Many in the crowd and on the stage laughed. Mr. Harris stated that he believed there were a few bogs out there that keep people up to date. He mentioned UU with a smile on his face.

    Secondly, questions about public safety were being asked and someone asked if there was ever a public safety study done about the plan for Wilson Yard. The look on Mr. Harris’ face just hearing the words “Wilson Yard” was interesting. This was towards the end of the Q and A session and the issue had not been raised. Of course no public study has been released publicly although James Cap leman discussed that the former 23rd commander may have put something together that has not been made public. Mr. Harris was going to look to see if he could get a copy. Good Luck with that request if Helen has it and it says what everyone thinks it might say.

  3. Kudos to the mom who was willing to go on camera and say what she had to say in hopes that it might help her kids.

  4. i was unable to make the meeting. did shiller have any valuable input?

  5. shiller with valuable input. thats a good one.

  6. I agree! Kudos to the mom that stood up and talked about what her and other parents were trying to do to improve their kids lives.

  7. i am sick of our elected officials that are too chickenshit to address the real problems and do everything in their power to keep us UNSAFE....we as American citizens have the RIGHT to protect ourselves but our glorious LIBERAL Illinois and Chicago politicians deny that basic right to me..

    good luck with those committees keeping you safe....will the committee be there when tyrone sticks you up for your sneakers or ipod or come bashing your door down for your stereo or jewlery??

  8. Can the Freedom Of Information law be used to get the reoport on crime impact of Wilson Yard?

  9. Was Shiller actually in attendance? If so, did she speak?

  10. buenapk -

    I'm checking our files to see if we have it already. If not, a FOIA will be filed. Thanks for bringing it up.


  11. I was there....

    Although the ideas of committees is fine, I was amazed not one of the leaders in the room wanted to talk about the "elephant in the room" Helen Shiller (even though I don't believe she was there) and the lack of leadership and accountability.

    What she should be doing and addressing. SHE'S THE ALDERMAN for God's sake.

    I'm just convinced Uptown will never really ever turn, and I mean really turn, until she's out of office.

    But thank you to the leaders who have kept their word and followed up and to all that attended....certainly wasn't a nice summer night like the first meeting...

  12. Michilla from Ald. Shiller's office was there, in the front row. Other than Sen. Steans, Rep. Harris, and Brian from Harris's office, I didn't see any other "official" representation, although they could have been there and I just didn't recognize them.

  13. Doesn't do any good to discuss (or complain) about what shiller is or isn't doing. she's going to do what she's going to do (or not) until she's voted out.

    Makes more sense to focus on what actions to take for people that want to help. If you want things to improve, best off leaving her out of the equation. just my opinion.

  14. Does Shiller ever actually go to anything community related herself?

  15. Jimo my wife said the same thing when I got home and discussed the meeting. She thought pretty much every topic being covered by a committee was something an active involved Alderman would already be doing. But since she seems to be so busy with..... well I am still waiting for a return phone call, letter or email. I am glad to know that my neighbors feel like I do, that someone needs to address issues like these. Can't wait to see how the 46th office will spin non involvement with any progress that is made. But I am sure Denise would be happy to yell at anyone who would like to call the office to ask.

  16. we as American citizens have the RIGHT to protect ourselves but our glorious LIBERAL Illinois and Chicago politicians deny that basic right to me.

    LIBERAL Illinois? LOL. What month did you move here?

  17. The funniest part of the meeting was related to the availability of online info. and Harris mentioned Uptown Update and one other website and then Schiller's lacky stood up and said Helenschiller.com and the crowd all started laughing.

    Schiller was not there because she fears for her safety from the angry public.

    They did mention that they will distribute minutes of the meeting and allow the public to sign up for the 4 committees. I would check Harris's website for more info in a few days.

  18. from what i remember, sounded like minutes and next steps (along with volunteer info) would be distributed to block clubs, email blasts, blogs such as UU, sites such as UCC, etc. etc.

    if yer on one or more distros from the neighborhood, I'm sure you'll see something ;)

    don't plan on finding it on Shiller's site...funny when Greg mentioned her website as a possible place to find info...the audience got a chuckle...well, most of the audience did....


  19. BTW ray, i hear ya loud and clear...i'm done complaining, i just really feel that we can spin our wheels all day long and until she's out, well, nothing is really gonna happen...

    she's a master of sneakiness and smoke and mirrors...she didn't get this far on integrity.

  20. I thought this meeting was a proper follow-up to the first. They needed a microphone for the audience, and some of the speakers needed to learn how to talk into a mic, but I am hopeful that we are headed in the right direction. I signed up for one of the committees, I will have to wait and see how I can do my part.

    Helen was barely discussed at the meeting. The impression I get from Harris and Steans is that Helen is not going to be part of Uptowns move towards a safer, cleaner community. I believe citizens need to chip in to help deal with the issues in their own communities, but the fact that we have to do so without our Alderman, and in some cases with opposition from our Alderman disturbs me. She has drawn a line in the sand and picked a battle, it is Wilson Yard.

    The #1 answer to several questions last night was CAPS CAPS CAPS. There is a meeting tonight at Truman for beat 2311.

    Several residents who reside in lower income housing voiced their frustration with the drug dealers and the pimps and the direction Uptown youth are taking. They want the same things the condo owners want, SAFETY for themselves and their children.

    I want to thank Harris and Steans for their determination in bringing our community together, in a time when so many people are struggling to make ends meet because of others who are greedy/corrupt/incompetent, that there are people out there who are trying to use their powers for good.

  21. Am right to assume Harris and Steans would like to see a new Alderman for Uptown?

    It's amazing they are involved but the Alderman does nothing.

  22. Greg endorsed Helen the last time around but I'm sure he's a little embarrassed by it now. Greg Harris and Heather Steans are smart enough to stay neutral there. I bet they both know that they are having to do all this work because Helen refuses and that has to be a little disturbing to them.

  23. Harris and Steans just coasted in their campaigns last Tuesday. Steans' had a green party challenger, but Harris was unopposed. Hey, who am I kidding. The real race was in the primary.

    PS: For those attending the CAPS 2311 meeting you should ask questions about the drug bust at 4500 N Magnolia on November 8th.

  24. FYI: The last comment on the drug bust post is rather telling.

    # anonymousuptown says: November 10, 2008 6:16 PM

    The people arrested were well known to the police. They went through the building with a fine tooth comb. All I have to say as a resident is the negative element will finally be removed.

    When property owners and residents of public housing work together the drug trade suffers the most damage.

  25. May I assume James Cappleman will run again for Alderman. If so, he needs strong campaign support ... and it can begin now.

    Whoever runs against Schiller needs to not worry about the "condo owner" vote. They need to present to the renters and lower income members of our community, eg site visits to the larger buildings to present. "What is not being done by Schiller? What will this representative do for them?" Helen Schiller keeps this community polarized. It is strategic. We need to igonore her as best we can, and more forward with our own agendas on safety and change, until the opportunity comes at the next election for new leadership. The state reps, the police, and the community are in agreeement as shown at this meeting. That is success. Embrace it.

    Whoever is elected next term needs to unite this community the same way Barack Obama intends to unite this country - cross politcal lines and work COLLECTIVELY towards a stronger, more vibrant, and cohesive community. If a candidate can speak to the entire population of Uptown, we can have new leadership in this community.

  26. Does anyone know of any fundraisers for James?

    He needs lots of $$$$ to get his message out.

  27. I have the day off today… so it’s nice to go to one of my favorite blogs. I noticed that it’s come up about me running again for alderman.

    I was outspent 3 to 4 times over and started the active campaigning just 5 months before the election. With that, I still received 47% of the vote. So the answer is yes, I do plan to run again in 2011 and build on what the campaign has already accomplished.

    Last July, I was reelected as board president of the Uptown Chicago Commission, so any consideration of raising campaign funds right now would be done in the most ethical way possible so as to not jeopardize UCC's not-for-profit status. There are 3 necessary ingredients for a good campaign: people, time, and money. A plan is already in place to make the best use of all 3 resources.

    But back to the subject at hand . . . it's important that we make these committees work and we now have the support of State Rep. Greg Harris and State Sen. Heather Steans.

    If you are going to serve on a committee, I urge you to seek 4 things:
    1. Insist that your committee meet during early evening hours in order to encourage more resident participation.
    2. Find a consistent time to meet (please avoid having it conflict with CAPS meetings). This way, people can make easier arrangements to attend.
    3. Your interventions should be grounded in the use of best practices that have been used successfully elsewhere. This also includes a way to objectively measure the successes of the interventions.
    4. Keep the activities of the meeting open for public review. There are tons of experts out there who can't come to the meeting but they have wonderful ideas. Also, keeping it open makes the process transparent, which is sorely needed in this ward and the city.

    These days, many of us are busier than ever so we simply cannot afford to waste our times on projects that will get us nowhere. That's why it's vital that we ensure these committees make the best use of our time. Many of you care deeply about this community and that’s why you read this blog. Please consider joining one of these committees.

  28. More than anything, voter apathy won Helen reelection last time.

    We really need to get EVERYONE to the polls in February 2011. So many people assumed the results of the last election and didn't bother to vote.

    You know that Helen's Divide-And-Conquer Machinery will be in full force (even if she doesn't run again) by the next election. We need to show strength in numbers and get ourselves, and everyone we know, out to vote for James.

  29. I wasn't in Chicago for the last election, so don't know what kind of GOTV efforts James and his campaign staff employed. Whatever they did, I hope next time around they focus on innovative ways to ratchet up the intensity and effectiveness.

  30. A quick question if anyone is still reading this thread - is there any kind of breakdown (stats) on who voted for who is the ward, by district? I am guessing it would have to have been an independent study, but in response to the voter apathy post - turnout is likely key. I've also read here that the Alderman's staff is consistently turning in voter registrations. Given that J. may be restricted in his efforts to start a campaign earlier this time because of his other duties to the NFP, has anyone thought about starting a new political organization, representing the concerns of those who post here?

  31. The way people voted in each precinct is available and that information is already being put to good use. It's all about getting the word out.

    What might be helpful is a website that educates the public about where all 50 aldermen and their challengers stand on certain issues, such as . . .
    1. Should the City Inspector General be allowed to investigate aldermen and their staff for allegations of fraud, corruption, and misuse of funds.
    2. Where do they stand on publicizing the way ward menu money is spent and how are such decision made?
    3. Where do they stand on making decisions such as zoning in their ward? Is there a zoning committee that is allowed to vote and does the alderman stand behind that vote? Does the committee meet during early evening hours to encourage resident participation? Are the minutes made public?
    4. Where do they stand on the use of best practices for housing, urban planning, education, and health? What evidence can they show to support this? What has the incumbent done to do this? How would the challenger go about using best practices for making decisions?
    5. Where do they stand on the use of TIFs? Do they have any trepidation about their overuse?
    6. What specific plans have they put in place to remain ethical in their collection of campaign contributions?
    7. Does the alderman send a representative to each beat meeting? (such information will need to be verified)

    Wouldn't it be refreshing that rather than a politician, newspaper, or an organization endorse someone, that this kind of information is given out instead so that the public can really make an informed decision based on their values? I realize the questions I raise just scratch the surface, but I think in time, this kind of information will become more readily available because voters will demand it. I certainly wished these kinds of questions had been asked at the aldermanic debate.

    When it comes down to it.... it's all about transparency... transparency with the Public Safety Committees that are being formed right now, and transparency with the way aldermen run their wards. The notion of transparency will not go away, much to the dismay of many but to the delight of more.

    Maybe we'll have a better process in place for transparency in the 2011 election?