Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another Non-Profit Opening In Uptown

It's amazing what you can find on Craigslist. Does anyone have an idea of where they are locating specifically? The video above is from the San Lucas Workers Center website.

"The San Lucas Workers Center, a non-profit organization traditionally based in Humboldt Park, is in search of donated/discounted office furniture to furnish our brand new office space in Uptown.

The San Lucas Workers Center’s mission is to develop people from Chicago’s day labor and temporary workforce into skilled leaders that can fight to end industry abuses. San Lucas workers lead direct action, public hearings, media work and negotiations with temporary agencies and their client companies. San Lucas has been unique among Chicago workers centers in organizing both immigrant and U.S.-born workers into a single committee."


  1. Anyone see this????

    What does this mean for Uptown?

  2. you say "non profit" like its an evil thing

  3. Hey, the economy is bad right now, and left leaning college grads want to work. Organizing downtrodden immigrants and day laborers gives somebody something to do!

    Remember (ahem!) that famous person who got his start as a community organizer?

  4. BJ,

    I don't care what anybody on this site says, your are hilarious!

  5. They will fit in with the rest of business in Uptown right now, from what I am told they all seem to be working for non er no profit as of late.

    I miss the days when America ran on Goods and Services, not just Services.

  6. Converting day laborers into "skilled leaders".

    Can we regulate our way to prosperity? It certainly has a whole new set of legs in President Obama.

    The back story for San Lucas is probably pretty interesting. It seems there would be ample points of contact between San Lucas and COURAJ through the Chicago Social Forum.

    I'll guess they're opening at 4554 N. Broadway.

  7. Could this be related to the mystery zoning change in the McJunkin?

  8. 2007 IRS data for San Lucas lists "in care of" agent as Daniel Giloth. Giloth is listed in SEIU Local 20 disclosures as a salaried employee.

    Looks like those "champions of organized labor" are once again cementing more footprints in the neighborhood.

    Giloth is listed as the founder.

  9. By the way, I would absolutely love to see the SEIU, especially SEIU-Illinois, adopt a little bit of Obama transparency. Not that Obama is all that transparent. He's just more transparent than the last guy.

    Didn't the SEIU put Obama in the White House? They did pat themselves on the back for it.

  10. Am I reading this wrong? This sounds like a good thing. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but it sounds like they want to end the practice of day laborers (which I thought was a problem in the area) by training the guys who are employed by those places into people who can be hired longterm which I assumed was a good thing.

    Or, like I said, am I missing something?

  11. Is this the SEIU that was dealing with Blago with Obama's Senate seat?

    I may be wrong, but this feels like either and endrun of Labor Ready, or a poke on the eye from our beloved alderman.

    Color me jaded, but "immirgrant labor" doesn't fill me with warm fuzzies.

    Something just aint' right here, and sucks even more that it feels like one more thing Helen is springing on the community.

  12. i'm not completely getting it either. seems like a positive effort. b.t.w. Freddie, is there a 'mental health center' in Uptown? if so, where?

  13. It would make sense for them to move into McJunkin office space because then they would be right next to Inspiration Corp.

  14. UU, you're right - I don't know where a specific mental health center is. Does anyone know if all of the SRO that house the mentally disturbed in the area qualify as treatment centers? I also know that on the blog here that several "Social" service organizations exist - are all shelters/drug/alcohol treatment programs? Given the number of the disturbed that I go past daily, I made the assumption that they were patients as well, but I could be wrong.

  15. yo: Yes. That would be the same SEIU that Blago was looking to extort into a controlled fall from grace.

    Remember the "blog" that got the Wilson Yard details wrong. Progress Illinois? It's fully financed by the SEIU-Illinois chapter.

    I'm not the best source for details on the SEIU, but thus far in many areas of Uptown where you find shady practices springing developments on the people and the explicit rigging of a ballot for a predetermined outcome I also find the SEIU.

    I'd like to pretend they're the ambulance responding to the emergency, but increasingly they look like person(s) holding the gun.

  16. There's pressure to disband the machine of City workers doing election work.

    Is the Daley machine now trying to use day laborers to do what used to be done by Streets & San workers, etc.?

    It sounds to me like the "day laborers" are being trained for election work or as a Political Action Committee or something.

  17. Here's an interesting connection:

    Details of the from the "Chicago Republic Windows & Doors 3-Day sit-in" article in the Loyola Examiner

    "Northside Action for Justice (a merger of Rogers Park Community Action Network and COURAJ - Community of Uptown Residents for Affordability and Justice) was one of the groups mobilizing for rallies and bring food for the strikers. They plan to help coordinate transportation to the rally from the North Side.
    Among the other groups mobilized were Roger's Park Food Not Bombs and Loyola's chapter of Students Against Sweatshops"

    ...and from the "What's New" section of the San Lucas Workers web site:

    "San Lucas Workers Center member leaders supported the Republic Windows and Doors workers in their recent action."


  18. Next time you're at Dib or the dry cleaners next to it, look east. You'll see the Uptown Mental Health Center there.

  19. "Transparency"

    President Obama's word of the day.

    How 'bout some here too, Helen?

  20. What's funny is that Helen campaigned hard for Obama and went to Washington for his inauguration.

    Too bad she doesn't practice what she preaches. Or even what she admires.

  21. Cooincidence?

    Not so much.

    As for Obama, he's certainly not a socialist, and his IL contingent is going to be rather unhappy once they figure out that he gamed them to get ahead.

    On that level, I have to give the man some serious props.

    And, Helen worked so hard for Obama because, y'know ... his coat-tails aren't going to ride themselves (not that it'll do her a darned bit of good).

  22. Makes me ill to see 'Shiller' and 'Obama' in the same sentence.
    That said, 'Shiller' and 'Rod B' seem just fine in the same sentence.

  23. Just curious if you deleted my question about voting republican...I can see it.

  24. another fine member for the "chamber of commerce"

  25. Slim Coleman is in Humbolt Park these days. I am not against the San Lucas Worker's Center but I do wonder if TIF funds are being used to facilitate this move and whether this is an additional office or if they are moving altogether.

  26. The whole purpose of the TIF is to stimulate retail in order to increase the tax base which pays for all of this. If the primary purpose of this TIF is to help out not-for-profits and 100% low income housing, that's fine, but Helen shouldn't call it a TIF. This new not-for-profit may not be using TIF funds and I hope they don't. I want the TIF funds to encourage retail. What a concept here, using TIF dollars to do what it's meant to do.

    Helen can set up her anarchist utopia, but she will get the same treatment Bush got when he left office if she keeps pulling these little games of ignoring the need for better retail in Uptown.

  27. A little off topic but in my opinion Obama may not be Daley's and Shiller friend quit as much as they think.

    He sure talks a different game than them in terms of transparency and working for all the people.

  28. What's the tipping point for Uptown on # of Social Service agencies? Shelters? Subsidized housing? How does this concentration effect all residents?

    ~ #1 community for Social Service agencies, more than 80
    ~ #1 community for Shelters, 11%
    of all Chicago Shelters in Uptown
    ~ #1 northside community for subsidized housing, almost 6,000 units located between Montrose & Foster

  29. Obama's transparency pledges won't help the people dig into the City of Chicago's archives, nor in Cook County's archives.

    Stimulus with some strings attached to open these archives might do it.

  30. I thought you would find this quote I pulled off of another blog intersting, especially 'what it took' to clean up Lakeview. It relates to the south loop but its relevance to Uptown is pretty clear:

    "I grew up in Lincoln Park during the late 70’s to early 90’s, right at Sheridan and Briar. While I never-ever-ever felt unsafe as a child, the area has VASTLY improved from the condition it was in at the time.

    I remember the lakefront was not safe after dark. I recall (albieit minor) gangfights on the playground of my grammar school Nettelhorst (Broadway & Melrose). I know none of my friends ever ventured west of Sheffield to play or visit anyone. I recall foolish people committing hate crimes against the growing LBGT community at night along Broadway. I recall the area north of Addison was “shaky groung” and, past Irving Park, none I knew cared to be our groups Magellan.

    That was less than 30 years ago, not during the times of Jane Addams, Anton Cermack and Al Capone.

    What it took was enough tax-paying property owners to say ENOUGH! Lincoln park had the advantage of having stable property ownership. South Loop’s residents all seem to be there for the moment. The neighborhood seems planned as a kind of jumping off point to owning a home in the city. For, as so many people has elucidated, why else would you live there when you can find equal value (if not better) elsewhere in this fantastic city.

    I just don’t see any outrage from the residents. Discomfort, yes. Unease, yes. but OUTRAGE, the kind that propelled the city to act, the kind that encouraged the electorate to put Bernie Stone in Aldermanic office, the kind that made clear to the gangs that they needed to find a new place to play other than Lincoln park, I do not see."

    We need more outrage!

  31. Actually Jason - I couldn't agree more.

  32. I just watched a little bit of the video I think this is Helen's way of crapping on us more since we shot down her Labor Ready.

    I will show them she says.

    Got to love the way she operates.

  33. R, they will probably work with Inspiration Corp.

    It is too bad that "the powers" don't share information in this community because the absense of transparency breeds suspicion and does nothing to foster goodwill. Seems to me that Uptowners have become practised skeptics as a defense mechanism.

    Perhaps if "the powers" started including everyone and treating all people with respect as equal citizens then their plans would be met with more openmindedness and caring consideration. I'm guilty of jumping to conclusions too. I hate it but I hate being proven a fool for trusting. What is a reasonable person to do under these circumstances?

  34. San Lucas Workers Center (SLWC) seems to good work on behalf of working people. However, a disturbing aspect is their eagerness to assist with illegal immigration. They have a history of supporting boycotts against states such as Arizona. It must be pointed out that SLWC may do good work for their constituents, but at the cost of Americans of all races losing work to those who are in this country to poach jobs.

  35. San Lucas is exactly what we don't need.

    This country is becoming the country of handouts and entitlement.

    If you want a better full time job go get one. That is what I did and a lot of people have to do.

    The reason people are stuck in day labor is because they are not qualified to do anything else.

    When you fall down you have to pick yourself up and and make it happen on your own.

    Lot's of jobs in this country still just a lot of people think they are too good to do them.

    No one looks down on someone taking a lower job just to have work.

  36. I've been wondering as I've been wondering around the neighborhood; do these day laborors pay taxes? Are they legal to work? If the answer is yes to both of these, why do they not seek put permanent positions? Why do they not file complaints with the Board of Labor and the BBB? Is all of the assistance they are getting from this "non-profit" under the radar so these laborors don't have to pay taxes or go back to their home country? Maybe my east coast suburban all white upbringing is the reason for my ignorance, but I don't understand this concept these laborors are laboring for. This whole day labor thing smells of illegitimacy to me. Are we knowingly overlooking illegal employment but finding justification in only faulting one guilty party? Lucy, please 'splain.

  37. They don't file complaints because they don't know they can. They are uneducated.

  38. "This whole day labor thing smells of illegitimacy to me."

    Chuck, I think your nose has a keener sense of smelling foul political stenches than you think. This group really does appear to be doing one thing but secretly accomplishing something quite different.

    I'd bet dollars to donuts that this is a low cost way to employ people to do electioneering and threaten public protests in order to get shakedown/extortion/silencing money. (aka campaign contributions)

    Our taxes, if you "follow the money" are probably paying for all of this day labor "justice."

    I'd love to be proven wrong, but living in the 46th ward has wised me up to a lot of political corruption tactics that I never dreamed someone in their right mind would consider in a million years.

  39. Did Uptown suddenly become a perfect, quiet leafy suburb? Where everyone is the same? UU hasn't posted anything in almost 2 days!!

  40. Day labor organization (with close ties to a known conspirator with our impeached Gov) comes to the same building as the office of an alderman who's city has sanctuary status for illegal immigrants.

    Zoning changes filed by the son of the alderman.

    On the same block, a city funded college is "granted" $10M in possibly improperly diverted tax money to build something that the tax payers would be charged to use.

    Wilson Yard is planned to accept several hundred no-to low-low income residents a block down, paid for by possibly illegally diverted tax funding.

    You guys are all nuts.

    How could there possibly be any politically motivated shenanigans going on, here?

    The dots are WAY too far apart to be connected.

  41. Don't criminal organizations normally plan to execute their crimes to at least appear as random, unrelated as to confuse the authorities??? I guess only on the TV machine....

  42. Did Uptown suddenly become a perfect, quiet leafy suburb? Where everyone is the same? UU hasn't posted anything in almost 2 days!!

    Although there are several people who contribute to UU, real-life events - family emergencies, burst water pipes, lack of internet connections, vacation, work, Presidential inaugurations - mean that there are times when nothing new will be posted for "almost 2 days!!"

    We try not to let it happen often, but we appreciate everyone's understanding that - on rare occasions - Uptown Update can't be the only priority in our lives.

  43. Hello all:

    I've followed the conversation thus far with interest.

    I'm the development coordinator for the San Lucas Workers Center and have a few things to comment on.

    First, I'd prefer all of you to direct any questions you have about our center to

    I think that would end a lot of the speculation that occurred on the comments section, including who we are associated with and who is currently directing things.

    If you want to know what we're about, here's a few things. One, we don't accept government money (TIF included). We work to create jobs that are temp to perm, hence we want our members to be able to pay their bills, taxes, and most importantly feed their families.

    Two, we receive no money from unions, PACs, political parties, or alderman. I have never met Helen and since I track our money pretty well, have no contact with her. And we have no connection with Inspiration Inc.

    Three, our members would love to get jobs that create opportunities for their families. They want to stop being abused at work. They want to stop getting denied work because of their skin color, gender, or accent in their voice.

    They want to come to our office, which you can find at our website once the space is fully operationally, and feel safe. They want to know that they can make real change in their jobs and organize themselves for the rights that anyone in this country deserves.

    In short, what we do is give day laborers the opportunity to make their own destiny. Not elect a politician. Not get union dues.

    The day laborers at the San Lucas Workers Center work their butts off to feed their families, get jobs that create security, and give back to their community.

    So stop speculating how they will hurt the Uptown community. As a proud neighbor of yours for several years, I'm thrilled that our office moved into our neighborhood. As many people said on this comment section, good for us.

  44. Ivyleaguedeadbeat,

    I guess you've gotten your first taste of what years dirty tricks, pay-to-play and lack of transparency does to a neighborhood! Obviously, people here are suspicious after the Labor Ready fiasco with Helen. And, as I mentioned, Slim Coleman is in Humbolt Park active on undocumented peoples' issues. So, sometimes folks here see connections where there are none.

    But you say that no TIF money is facilitating the move and you've never met Helen. You say your organization chose to move here (away from Humbolt Park?) because you felt that it would be good for your organization. So, I say: Welcome to the neighborhood, friend.

    I also have a bit of advice, (if I may be so bold.) Why don't you have an open house when you finally move in? It could be a potluck or perhaps local businesses would be willing to donate something. And, don't be bashful about asking local people for volunteer time and/or donations. Begin to talk openly and widely about the good work that you do. Become involved in other aspects of the community and do what you can to increase transparency in the neighborhood and share what you know. Never participate in local decisions in which some of the stakeholders don't get a fair voice. Finally, don't get dragged down into Uptown's class warfare abyss. Sharing and being honest is the best way to get the hardcore skeptics to come around and to avoid compromising your own principles. Doing this will take some work but the only way to stop the polarization in Uptown is to have hands extending from many corners.

    Once again, welcome to the neighborhood friends.

  45. Sassy:

    Thank you for your kind reply! The advice you gave our organization is absolutely appreciated and well taken.

    Once we're settled in, having some sort of event to introduce ourselves would be a brilliant idea.

    Also, we plan on updating any interested persons through a monthly newsletter and our website. You can join the newsletter by going to or just tell me and I'll add your email to the listserv.

    Transparency, openness, and community decision making are things we strive for. We aim to give day laborers a direct say in their own lives and extending that line of thinking to the community we have our office will be no different.

    Many thanks!

    - Tim Sarrantonio
    Development Coordinator
    San Lucas Workers Center

  46. This dumbass feels just fine. Thanks for asking, David. How considerate of you to look out for the welfare of Uptown's feeble-minded. You're what makes this place great.