Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And The Ripple Effect Keeps Spreading

Nearly a year ago, UU reported on the "Ripple Effect" from the 46th Ward, causing the residents of the adjoining wards to go to their own aldermen to keep the 46th's problems from spilling over into their areas. Now another example, from a gay blog in Boston, of all places:

Gerald Farinas, a frequent poster on the Facebook page, is particularly troubled by the recent violence. In addition to the attacks in Lake View, he points to recent rioting and shootings in nearby Uptown as a sign of what he feels is to come should the current situation not improve. [...]

He also expressed frustration with the current leadership in the area - particularly Alderman Helen Shiller in the 46th Ward [Uptown and north Lake View,] whom he noted has not been present at any CAPS meeting. And she has avoided publicly discussing the crime trend. [...] "[Shiller’s] inaction and policies that breed poverty and crime in her ward is going to affect all of us in Lake View, too. And I think it already is."


  1. Maybe our friends at COPWATCH can start a HELENWATCH and follow her around all day and see where she is and report on it... I would dontate to their camera fund for that!

  2. I think spreading the word to other wards is vital to getting her out of office. There are a lot of clueless people that are in our area and educating them is very important.

    Does anyone know how to reach out?

    Are there blogs for Lakeview, Edgewater, etc that anyone knows about that we can blog on???

  3. Maybe Helen will be banned in Boston.

  4. While I don't discount the ripple effect, I think the attacks in Lakeview are part of something else, a new bolder criminal who is operating all over the city, not just stemming from Uptown out. In fact, one of the people the cought in one of the attacks there was a girl/woman from Rogers Park, not Uptown. Criminals are just getting bolder here in Chicago because they know the mayor and police chief have taken the "teeth" away from the cops, not backing them up with manpower, against brutality complaints, etc. The incidents in Lakeview, I feel, are just thugs who see new, fresh and unsuspecting territoriy; lots of transplants to Chicago and others lulled into a false sense of security by their surroundings. The attacks there are taking advantage of that. The situation in Uptown, Edgewater, RP, however, are a different matter. That's gangs actually taking a foothold in those neighborhoods. The gangs haven't taken a foothold in Lakeview...yet.


  5. To quote one of the adjacent alderpersons "Helen doesn't do a god damn thing over there, so the best we can do is to work hard to keep it from coming over here"

  6. Are there blogs for Lakeview, Edgewater, etc that anyone knows about that we can blog on???

    Edgewater Community Blotter

    Trust me, the people in Edgewater and RP are aware. We have our share of problems too. And they're all linked.

  7. I am sure there are lots of blogs out there. But I believe the reason UU is so popular is that before it existed, there was a black hole in the 46th where no information could escape the ward office. Now with so many people meeting in one place to share info and piece things together, we all are much better informed. I am not sure the surrounding wards suffer from the same problem. I mean when their Alderman meet with neighbors several times a month at community meetings people can just ask them in person when they have a question. I am not saying the surrounding wards are perfect but at least an attempt is made to share info. We get to chase our Alderman to her car as she leaves the ward to go home.

  8. Gang tactics 101: Create a skirmish in an area you aren't really interested in to divert the attention of police, politicians, and media.

    Keep an eye on the Lincoln Park and Lakeview incidents.

    Even the South Siders are screaming at the Mayor about the lack of a police presence. Review the broadcast and radio media from the Mayor's so called "I'm Sorry" tour last night.


  10. to Nash

    I don't think whoever controls UU would have a problem finding someone to take it over and have Helen know who it is.

    I am not scared of her nor should anyone else be.

    She works and answers to all us residents.

  11. Nash,

    I think most people who are around UU events have a pretty damn good guess who runs the blog. If Helen really wanted to go after that person, she could.

    Of course, that would take her doing something which didn't involve collecting campaign donations and handing out taxpayer cash, so its not really her thing.

  12. I think 'Toxic' Ripple Effect is more to the point?

    As I scurry to get home by dusk, I can't help but think of that idyllic street in Andersonville I've walked on.

    This has been a banner half-a-year as far as putting a focus on the craziness, blind eyes, and neglect.

  13. I think the more important, underreported aspect of lawsuits that seek to pierce the shield of online anonymity is this: false light/defamation is not a charge one can avoid by posting under a pseudonym. Regrettably, as evidence on most blogs, including this one, people who post anonymously are apt to go further than they might if they were posting under their own name. When that line that gets crossed, it can be actionable. And rightly so.

    Public figures such as celebrities, elected officials, even candidates are exposed to greater scrutiny and commentary however they are not categorically exempt from protection of libel laws. They are not fish in anyone's barrel.

    All of us are entitled to be critical and express ourselves online and in person but none of us are entitled to say or imply false things that cause harm to another, no matter how much we may dislike them.

  14. I won't say anything on this blog I won't say to her face.

    I think it will be interested the next 24 months to sit back and see what happens in Chicago politics.

    Scott Falwell was on Chicago Tonight and said more indictments are coming on politicians and that they all have been taped recorded.

    And all of them are running scared.

    You can bet GRod will start talking sooner than later.

  15. Thanks for the analysis Suzanne. It should also be noted that truth is an absolute defense to defamation.

    Yes, it may be hard to believe that she will not speak to her constituents regarding crime or that her staff threatens and belittles residents. It is also unfathomable that her staff would help picket new businesses in Uptown. Yet, these things are true.

    Sadly, the facts regarding Shiller's actions, or failures to act, cast her in a negative light. Falsehoods are unnecessary.

  16. I rally doubt if Helen is a criminal.

    Criminal? Meh.

    In severe violation of the comprehensive duties of her office?


  17. jason,

    I don't understand your comment. Nobody has called Helen a criminal. You're setting up a defense of an argument that was never made, almost in an attempt to imply that argument had happened.

    I really doubt Helen is an alien.

    I really doubt Helen is a man.

    I really doubt Helen cares. Oh wait, we have argued that she doesn't care. Strike that one.

  18. Who said she was a criminal on this post.

    Unethical yes.

    But there is a fine line between being unethical and a criminal.

    Some horsetrading is fine in politics but it becomes criminal when it involves campaign contributions or pay to play.

    Even Scott Falwell still doesn't see himself as a criminal. It's politics was his basic reasoning/explanation.

    Is it criminal to buy liquor and pizza for the homeless to vote?

    I don't know. It isn't right.

  19. An odd, random thought:

    Helen touts her love of education, and desire to get kids into college (which is laudable, no doubt).

    She also states to work hard to give people in need a helping hand (again, laudable).

    However, what will end up happening is that those who do break from the need for subsidies from the government, and do garner even the most limited aspect of success, will get ignored by Helen and attacked by her supporters if they wanted to come back into Uptown.

    I love how the (il)logical circle spins around here.

  20. My comment was not limited to postings about Helen. It applies more broadly and is just something to keep in mind. Egregious posting is like drunk dialing: don't do it.

    As for Yo’s theory, that may be borne of your experience but supporters and critics both have had more nuanced experiences with Helen and her staff and do not see such a bright line.

    For what it's worth, if someone-- anyone-- lobbed at me the sort of attacks that have been shoved up Helen's nose recently, I'd leave too. I'm not saying Helen is right or good at her job or even competent. I'm saying that those who oppose her with such vitriol are not. And to call a protest on the front porch of another meeting, a ward forum about the Olympics, a venture that will have a far greater impact on Uptown than even Wilson Yards, well, I can't begin to describe my dismay.

    There are a million more productive things to do than focus on one woman and yell expletives and accusations. At end of that road is a big “Who cares?” There are dozens of better, more effective organizing techniques, certainly better than sandbagging another event, that connect people to the bigger picture and engender more lasting connections within the community.

  21. Suzanne, it sounds like you know something about effective organizing. Please share your ideas. I am not sure if you are aware, however, people have taken many avenues to seek solutions to the problems in Uptown. We have also attempted to get an audience with Shiller by phoning, visiting her office, requesting meetings (public and private), and writing letters (and e-mails).

  22. Well Suzanne, the protest at the Olympics meeting made the media big time (a 1st for Uptown) and has kept the heat on Shiller (the CBS reporter is still contacting ward residents). Granted, it didn't end on the most peaceful note, but Shiller keeps ignoring her constituents, so she reaps what she sews. People are pissed.

    I think it worked out well.

    If you have better and more effective ideas, we're all listening.

  23. Suzanne,

    per the rally - had Helen done what every other surrounding aldermen had done (ie - her job), there'd have been no reason to call the rally.

    And, you may have lost site of the fact that every other single, proper process to get her attention has been attempted and has failed.

    She has sworn to look after the best interests of everyone in her ward and consistently dismisses that part of her job description; and does so in a less than polite manner.

    Any blame, or fault, from this situation rests solely on her shoulders.

    I know you don't put much stock in karma, but I'm wondering, at this particular juncture, if Helen does.

  24. Suzanne:

    If Shiller working for any major company in Chicago and did the same job she has down being Alderman she would be fired.

    From the I can't get along with everybody aspect alone.

    She is not a team player and doesn't get who she really works for.

    That is all of us no matter what socioeconomic background we are from.

  25. A: Clearly, you haven't had the displeasure of working with senior staff in management consulting ;-)

  26. Suzanne,

    I'll let me inner primate speak for me.

    I generally think people should be civil in public meetings.

    As for your comment that it was inappropriate to confront Shiller at an Olympics meeting I'd only ask rhetorically if not there then where?

    Shiller has very few public appearances.

    As for your suggestion that the Olympics are somehow more important to the long term future of Uptown than Wilson Yard..........please.

    That's just daft. Kwazy. Futz even.

    Shiller was confronted there because that was the only opportunity people had to be heard.

    If you are going to avoid public meetings then people are going to confront you where and when they get the chance.

    If you don't like the heat then get out of the kitchen. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Subpoena the pirate and stand back for the can of cosmic "Streisand Effect" whoopass he will unleash.

    Don't give up the ship. Need I go on.

    Shiller brings the worst out of people because of her ignoring people. Now I don't have much use for Tom Tunney, but if there is a crime issue in his ward he is out in front about it.

    Shiller seemingly can't do that. She sees everything as being some big conspiracy against her. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy at some level.

    In all seriousness she doesn't have the right personality for elective politics. There's no shame in that. I'm not exactly Mr Sunshine myself.

    The difference is I didn't get myself elected to office and then hide out. I didn't ignore a murder nearly directly in front of my office door. I don't downplay crime. She does.

    And for that she must go.........

  27. I cannot speak for the abilities of that event’s organizers but it’s just not that hard to smoke out candidates and elected officials. Not even Helen. So no, I don’t believe this was the only way. It was just a readily available opportunity.

    As for the Olympics, oh, dear Pirate, the only thing kwazy futz is your apparent lack of history. To wit:

    The 1976 Olympics came in at ten times the initial estimate, and it took the city of Montreal twenty years to pay off the debt. Too far back to be relevant? Ok. How about in this decade?

    The 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens games cost twice their original bids. The Bejing bid for the 2008 games was astronomically higher than anything that had been spent on recent games, and still, it too came in at twice the original bid. The 2012 games are still 3 years away, yet costs are already more than twice the bid and London expects that in the end it will cost 3-4 times the original budget.

    Even successful Olympics run into problems. Just months before the 1996 games in Atlanta, revenue was running so far behind projections that the local committee had to aggressively increase its private sponsorship program, resulting in international rebuke for over-commercialization of the Olympics, and the IOC’s implementing a new rule that requiring host cities to bear the financial responsibility for the games.

    When I questioned the Olympics committee chair, the man could not call a tax dollar a tax dollar. The $86 million in TIF dollars used to buy the land for the Olympic Village? That was “an investment in Chicago’s future.” The $500 million contingency fund? He called those dollars a “pledge,” but unless the Mayor has taken up minting money in his basement, those are tax dollars.

    Take those experiences and plug it into a Chicago context: Millenium Park cost 3 times its original budget. The Block 37 superstation cost one and a half times its estimate and it remains unfinished. The City of Chicago can’t manage the mundane, routine aspects of urban life like collecting the garbage without corruption, stupidity and cost overruns.

    So yeah, an event likely to cripple our city for decades absolutely dwarfs whatever real and anticipated deficits there may be attendant to Wilson Yards.

  28. Suzzzzzzzzzzannnnnnnnne,

    absent Daley I would actually be pro Chicago 2016. Particularly if he had the vision back in the 90's to have a domed Soldier Field.

    Given Chicago's position in the middle of the continent a games here would likely be a fiscally sound event for Chicago.

    Even SOME of the critics admit that.

    The real current problem would be Daley and his family and cronies trying to turn the games into a vast money making operation for themselves. As opposed to letting me make the cash.

    Millennium Park is not the greatest example because between the initial proposal and what it actually become is a wide difference in scope and Greatness.

    Now I fully expect Chicago to get the Olympics. The world loves ze Prez and it looks like he is going to push for it.

    Time will tell.

    Of course once I'm elected Mayor in 2011 things will look better. Bluebirds will sing and the skies will always be bright.

  29. I don’t believe this was the only way. It was just a readily available opportunity.

    Feel free to kick in any suitable alternatives, kiddo.


    At all.

    I'll wait.

    T'is easy to say there are better ways to do things.

    T'is difficult to actually list what those things might be.

  30. Pirate, is that your way of conceding the point or apologizing? :-)))

    Ok, Yo, here's a 101 idea: Don’t rely on others to hand you a menu of alternatives. Nobody hands out political power or influence because you ask for it; you've got to make it. It's not that hard but it takes time and a lot of work.

    So yeah, organize your base and your own event. With some forward effort and creativity (UU readers are amply blessed in this regard), you could produce better events with much higher residual benefits.

    Off for awhile to get Sophie back in school and situated. Maybe UU would consider opening a new thread to cull thoughts and exchange ideas from readers on this subject. Heck, it could also be the start of TeamYo and their first community event.

  31. Suzannnnnnnnnnnne,

    you seem to be running for something.

    That's ok.

    Just remember da Mayor's office is MINE!

    I'm fully qualified. I speak broken English. I was born at St. Bernard's Hospital a few miles south of Bridgeport and I have no recent felony convictions.

  32. "Maybe UU would consider opening a new thread to cull thoughts and exchange ideas from readers on this subject."

    The UU Forum (under "Useful Links") is a fine place for user-started conversations, as is UU Facebook.

  33. Oh, come now, Suzanne.

    The rally may not have been to your liking, but you simply cannot deny the results.

    Furthermore, you can't deny the bits and pieces of positive residual effects that have resulted from it.

    For the first time, good numbers in this community feel empowered.

    Did the march on Shiller's office last year do that?

    Nope. She just ignored everyone.

    Like she does with everything else.

    Or, better yet - name 1 event in the past five years that has given even a modicum of control back to the residents of Uptown as was realized as a result of this rally.

    Just 1.

    And, should you be able to name 1, did that event have the same city-wide ripple effect?

    The media coverage of that rally shook the boots of surrounding ward aldermen and made it to the Mayor's office.

    Seems to me that only folks who were concerned with the tactics of this rally have been those who are concerned about protecting the inefficiencies of the status quo.

    But, I digress ... I can wait until you can provide such an example.

    As for alternatives, the only reason I'd asked you for any was due to the fact that I knew you wouldn't provide any. Many people have displayed dismay at the rally and have stated there are better ways to go about things - yet, oddly enough, not a one have yet to provide a straight response.

    There's been plenty of conceptual jibberish in response to that question; but nothing of notable substance.

    If there's one thing the people of this community needed, it was substance.

    And they got it - again, as a result of this rally.

    As for creativity and the rest of your bit, you cannot deny that pegging Helen and the media in one location wasn't simply ingenious strategy.

    You may not appreciate the tactic, but the message was sent, loud and clear.

    Further to that, it wasn't like Helen was broadsided. It wasn't as though she wasn't aware. It wasn't like the media weren't hammering her voice mail looking for a response.

    It wasn't as though the entire thing were planned and organized in front of everyone.

    She had the power to stop the entire thing, but she choose to .. oh yeah, ignore that, too.

    Sorry hun. I hear what you're trying to sell, but I certainly ain't buying.

    Also - after reading some of your comments on Steans during that particular campaign, I must admit that I'm more than a shade curious as what I see as an interesting change of heart.

    But, that's just the curiosity of the political scientist in me thinking out loud.

    As for TeamYo - ain't no such thing. Won't be no such thing.

    I could have easily attached my name to that rally - as there were multiple options for me to do so (as my twitter feeds will defend); but, that's not my gig.

    I'm here for the "us" not the "me" (a wonderful lesson which many of the rag tag group of lackluster politicians would be well served to take to heart).

    If I were here to make a name for myself, I'd certainly use the one my folks gave me.