Wednesday, May 20, 2009

LEN: The Architect Of Uptown

Correspondent, Lake Effect News

I like to think of Uptown as one of Chicago’s more politically-charged neighborhoods.
Just the other day, as I walked down Beacon Avenue, I overheard a group of people discussing their alderman, as well as few choice words. It made me wonder how often others, outside of Uptown and the 46th Ward, overhear such heated deliberations of their local politicians.
And so for months, I eagerly campaign Alderman Helen Shiller’s staff for an exclusive interview, on in which, I hoped Shiller would discuss her life in politics, from her political activism in Wisconsin and grassroots organizing in 1970s Chicago, to Harold Washington’s tutelage and her membership in the independent bloc of the Chicago City Council, to her apparent truce with Mayor Richard M. Daley and the ubiquitous Wilson Yard debate.
Continue Reading @ Lake Effect News


  1. I am glad to see that Lake Effect News is up and running. I wish I had something to advertise!

    As for the story, I do appreciate the fact that Shiller was willing to sit down with the reporter. I didn't know her mother's side was from Belarus. Maybe we had some relatives in common before the devastation of WWII...

  2. If you want to know what drives Helen look no further that "Rules for Radicals"

    She goes right down Saul Alinsky's line. It is scary. This was thee book in the 70's in Chicago. They all use it.

    She has no political beliefs any longer. Her sole purpose is to stay in power, that is it.

    Alinsky's rule #11: Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.

    Sound familiar condo owners?

  3. She has the Chicago Crook speak down well.

    She sure hates people that are against her.

  4. ... meh.

    I'll give her credit for making a half-assed effort.

    There were some humanizing points made, granted; but, for me, it simply boil it down to:

    - However WY got started, however it will end, when she gets frustrated, she behaves abhorrently

    - half-assing her way through the town hall meetings

    - not showing up for the parking meter vote

    - the annoying (to her, I'm sure), yet convenient mayoral support during an inopportune time to be supporting that crazy weasel.

    Details beyond that are just noise.

    Is there some point I'm missing which gives any credence to her having another term?

    Is she doing anything that someone else couldn't do, only better?

    Add to that her closing line and, sweetie, no.

    Anyone supporting her is simply being greedy.

    Even if she were really good at one point, so was M*A*S*H.

    At least they had the courtesy to pull their own plug when they realized that they were done.

    More to the point: Helen's jumped the shark.


  6. I am really sick of how she has turned our uptown into a unsfa e and unhealthy ward over the years. We have the change for real change soon...VOTE HER OUT FOR GOOD.....

  7. Yawn....except for....

    “How can you be wrong,” asked Shiller, “if you’re preserving an integrated community?”

    Translation...whatever I do is right no matter how I do it!

    "I couldn’t help but point out, at this point, that Shiller is actively criticized for not engaging the community.She cuts in. “That’s a joke.”

    Translation: I'm delusional just like my buddy Rod.

  8. "And then she leans in and starts to rattle off names of the opposition; people, she said, who attended the “10 maybe 20 planning” groups regarding Wilson Yard....Katharine Boyda, Judy Glazebrook. Molly Phelan, Shiller said, didn’t live in the neighborhood at the time."

    OK, I don't know about the others, but Judy haven't you lived here for like 20+ years??? Plus, were there any people she can name that actually *lived* here in our ward...then or now...that supported her position? Oh wait, they came from other parts of the city, right?!?!

    And even if she were delusionally right in her then... she is representing people who lived here 20 years ago and not those who live here now??

  9. Hey, guys. I think you are misreading that one sentence. I know because I thought "huh?" at first until I took a closer look. I think the problem is that Kathy, Judy and Molly are only separated by an eensy-weensy period. However, it seems to me that how Shiller was classifying in the interview them was different.

    Kathy & Judy = faces of "the opposition" who attended the 10-20 planning groups. (i.e., they had their chance for input then)

    Molly=didn't live in the neighborhood then (ie., late to the party - too bad, so sad.)

    Does this make sense?

  10. Interesting indeed.

  11. Sassy,

    methinks you have a point and are on point.

  12. are asking me to get inside Shiller's head and that is too much to ask even of me. It's a dark and scary place. lol.

    Does she make sense? No!

    Even that argument you try to give her credit for (ie, Kathy and Judy had the opportunity to give input)....umm, let me think... the input back then was 1) a movie theater, 2) mixed housing, and 3) retail.

    Wouldn't it be great if she actually listened to the input back then...and then carried through with that so those who live here now would feel represented?!?!

  13. Oh, she listened to the community input.

    She listened and then ignored it in favor of whatever plan she already had decided to implement.

    But she heard every word.

  14. There's an inconvenient truth, and then there's a convenient lie. Sorry Helen, the ends don't justify the means.

  15. I often wonder if Helen looks at the crack dealers, the crime stats, the homeless, and the gangs, and goes "Ahhhhh. Look what I've created." How she takes pride in it is amazing.

    22 years in office and Uptown is the cesspool of the North Side. Helen, you must be so proud.

  16. Boohoo - she is proud of what she has created. The nieghborhood being anything else would be "racist or picking on the poor" in her opinion - all the while knowing that as she continues to keep people down and in fear, she will continue to get their votes.

  17. The stats are meaningless if the community cannot get the police to report events where bullets end up in someone's dining room or the back seat of their car.