Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Share Your Aldermanic Encounters

We're looking to hear from residents who've contacted the Alderman about crime & safety issues in the past to gather and share what response, or lack thereof, you received. We all remember this infamous account.

Have you contacted the Alderman's office about a crime or safety concern in your neighborhood?
What response have you had from the Alderman and her staff after contacting them? Please post your comments and send an email to to share your contact information.


  1. "Citizens For A Better Uptown"

    If ever there was a time for Uptown Citizens to unite for change and impeach Alderman Shiller, now is the time.

    "Citizens For A Better Uptown" had always planned to be my campaign slogan, but I could not wait any longer to publish it.

    Right this moment, with the local and (growing) national spotlight on our local community, as well as the absolute disregard for it from our "Alderman" Shiller, we have the energy and the momentum to force the change WE WANT and WE NEED.

    Why should we accept a publicly-elected official who uses our hard-earned tax dollars for wasteful projects? Who ignores our concerns? Who turns a blind eye to the eye-sores in our neighborhood? And who refuses to stomp our violence? We should not.

    Let's petition. Let's peaceful protest. Let's use our voice for a better Uptown. One that reflects the diversity, the beauty, and the energy at its core.

  2. To be frank, I thought at the CAPS meeting last night, was indicative of the problem. When her spokeswoman went on the news immediately afterwards and was asked why Shiller was not present at that meeting, which well over 100 residents attended, the response was "She doesn't come to these because her political enemies make it impossible"

    1. She is a politician. I do not know of any that have 100% approval rating
    2. I was there and I am not a political enemy. I have never campaigned or written a check for her opponents. So to lump me, Joe Uptown, as a "political enemy" only because I would like to see my Alderman there for a very important meeting and share how she is going to help the situation, shows a level paranoia not seen since Nixon
    3. Um, I pay her salary. I sometimes am asked to do things by my boss that I find unpleasant but necessary. Does she think this does not apply to her?

  3. Superhero -

    Did Ms. Shiller decide not to attend, or was she out of town, or was she at a previously scheduled meeting?

    Ms. Shiller's excuses are like the weather:

    If you don't like her answer, wait a few minutes, it'll change.

    Note: I will no longer be referring to Ms. Shiller as "alderman" since that title is reserved for someone who will actually do the job they were "elected" to do.

  4. Great idea UU!!!
    I hope someone actually HAS accounts of meeting with Shiller. Sadly, it seems there may be a string of no-show reports...

  5. It shouldn't be hard for Helen or her staff and cronies to see -- if you don't want political enemies, and if you want to retain people in your ward as opposed to having them leave because of your apathy and lack of action on their behalf, it is your job to assure them and show them that their interests are important to you.

    It is within your power to, in the VERY LEAST, listen to their concerns/suggestions, as well as to make sure that they are informed IN DETAIL about what you have done, and what you PLAN to do to change the situation.

    Us, the people of your ward, pay your salary. We've done your yearly progress report (so to speak) and have found ourselves needing answers to our questions about your effectiveness in this position. At any other job, if you couldn't come up with answers for your employer, you'd likely be canned. Its really a simple concept. Don't get it twisted, Miss Shiller. We aren't racist (we're all races!) and we aren't whiney, "evil" property owners.. and we don't want to run against you next election. We are your bosses and we're demanding explanation for how you've acted in your current role. In the very least, we have a right to that.

  6. You know, even if a local resident is running against Shiller, that person is still her constituent. She does indeed work for them.

    The CPD have opponents that show up at CAPS meetings. How come they're still coming back?

    They are a part of the solution. They may even be part of the problem. They still attend in good faith to work together with local residents and merchants.

    There are no good excuses for the alderman to miss any CAPS meetings. Family emergency? Your neighbors will understand. If you only talked to them.

  7. I think we should unit under one group for a better community and raise money to further our cause.

  8. I've posted this a few times, but perhaps CNN can quote me ... at last summer's community meeting I was sitting 2 rows behind Shiller. When the question was raised as to 'why' she wasn't sitting on the dais with the others I overheard her say to Denise Davis that 'crime was not her issue'. Others heard it too.

    Can you imagine!!!

    Now she'll be sorry she was ever heard saying that ...

  9. It's nice as a Alderman she can pick and chose her issues and pick and chose who she talks to.

    What a wonderful job.

  10. If she's unwilling to speak to her constituents face to face, perhaps she's willing to answer questions in writing and post them on her own website. If citizens of her ward want true conversation, then perhaps we should invite her to lay out what her terms are for the conversation. That would be illuminating in and of itself.

    Just a thought, but maybe ask questions that need answers via written submission and then mail them to her and ask her to answer them by posting her responses on her website. Perhaps she can even point out which issues she thinks are too "political" to address in person.

    If all these questions can be collected into a document and then sent to her via registered mail, at least we'll have proof that she's received them - even if she chooses to ignore them. Think what kind of an image a stack of receipts for unanswered questions (or even better refused deliveries) would be for the media.

    This could even be set up as a series. A list of questions about crime, a list about WY, a list about other TIF issues, a list about her voting record, a list about her views about the community, a list about low-income housing issues and the lists go on...

    If this has been done before, I think this post has does invite us to share previous efforts, so I'd love to hear what kinds of things haven't worked.

  11. The one time I saw her in person was at the tax seminar last November. That was pretty peaceful and I didn't interact with her at all. My issue has never been with her, my issue is with the thugs. I'm pretty consistant with that. I want her to get the message and be a leader. If she won't, I want sombody who will. I have endosed a candidate on this site because I have talked with him and know where he stands on issues of violence in our community. I don't hate the poor, I hate thugs who want to hurt us for no reason or have no regard for human life. We do need to keep the spotlight on this issue, post the video on your Facebook page, tell friends, keep the heat on. Either force her to take action or force her out of office.

  12. Sounds like she can pick and choose what ward she lives in while being paid to represent the 46th ward.

  13. If Ms Shiller had done this, we wouldn't be having this discussion, at all.

  14. I recall a warm Saturday morning in the summer of 2008, when many of us gathered outside Shiller's office to voice our malcontent regarding recent shootings.

    As usual, she wasn't there. But her staff was - with excuses, attitude, and oh yes - baseball bats.

    Fond memories.

  15. Just got that e-mail myself yo and thought the same thing!

  16. A similar thing happened when I lived in Lakeview about 16 years ago. We had nobody responding to the problems with the gangs. The neighbors took to the streets against the gang bangers. After that, they got the message that the neighbors weren't going to stand for the bad element. Lakeview started becoming a better place to live after that.

    Get involved in a Neighborhood watch program. Maybe make a midnight basketball league to give some of these people something to do other than fight.

    You're going to have to form some groups together and put in a lot of time yourselves. It's clear that nobody else is gonna help you out.

  17. And I thought 2008 was an interesting year!

    Uptown Chicago - 2008 Year In Review

    Too bad Alderman Shiller is just as unresponsive and polarizing as she was when bystander 22 year old immigrant, Francis Oduro, was shot and killed by gang crossfire or when the young woman was shot in the back by gang crossfire on Christmas Day.

    ABC News Report about Francis Oduro

    News Star Article about Christmas Day victim

  18. While I agree that we can blame the alderman on lots of issues....but I think half the blame goes to the Politically Correct world we now live in. Sure we can have crime pushed down and out of Uptown. That is great. It will just move to a different area in the city.

    What we need is low income families taking responsability for thier kids and raise them right. By doing this....we cut the problem off at the head and not just put tape over it. Before anyone yells "Racist". I am not. I am pointing out a very visable point that no one seems to want to say.

    I was at the rally this past tuesday. I am not sure if anyone saw some of the "youth" that approached the rally. By the looks of the people who were standing by could see the hate in thier eyes. The police brushed the "youths" away. There were a few people in the crowd mumbling.

    The only true way of stopping this madness is to take care of the problem with the low income families and making them aware of what thier offspring are doing to our area. We can add all the police to the still wont stop crime. I feel we need to put our energy into educating people on this issue. We are being over run with more and more of these "youths" everyday. Today with the rain it was the first time I could actually walk down the street and not see a single dirtbag. It was very peaceful.

    While the alderman is definetly an issue...but just changing to a new person isnt going to solve anything. Sure it is a start...but we all know the real reasons. Agree or not...things are never going to change till the low income families wake up and realize they are bringing everything down around them. this is what spawns the hate and anger which causes racism. We need to educate.

  19. You folks are just being mean to Helen.

    Besides the Olympics likely coming to Chicago in 2016 there will be an earlier Senior Olympics.

    By running away from taxpayers Shiller is training for the running events and the proposed "fish farm" is actually going to be used as an aquatic training center for north side seniors.

    It constantly amazes me that YOU PEOPLE don't appreciate all that Helen and the Mayor are doing for us.

    I picture Richard M Daley leading off the Senior Olympiad standing on a diving board while wearing a Speedo. Mayoral "operatives" will then toss quarters into the pool and Richrd M Daley will then display his amazing ability to hold his breath while fetching thousands of quarters to the surface.

  20. "things are never going to change till the low income families wake up and realize they are bringing everything down around them."

    With all due respect, Frank by your comments I please hope you are not assuming all low income families raise thugs like these in the videos and those doing the crimes in Lakeview. Not every family that is poor raises criminals. The majority are good peaceful citizens that care about this neighborhood just as much as you or anyone else. The poor are often the targets of these parasites.

    I volunteer coaching basketball
    and tutor and the kids I mentor all come from low income backgrounds. They are all good well rounded kids trying not to fall prey to the violence that is tearing apart our community. A lot of my friends, White, Latin and Black come from families with meager means and they either worked to clean up their lives or are in college.

    This shouldn't be a class issue people. Its a matter of decency and filth. Helen's army versus the good people of this neighborhood. The Us vs Them mentality will eat Uptown up if we don't stop this now. The comments by some on the Tribune page sickened me beyond belief. Helen and the thugs that terrorize Uptown are counting on us to internally destroy each other so she can swoop in and get reelected.

    We have to fight this war together.

    Parents: Take responsibility! Lay down the law and know who your kids are hanging around with and put your foot down and say no you can't go out at 10:30 at night and walk the streets etc. Get to your kids now before the streets get to them.

    Residents: Volunteer, talk to the community. Get to know your neighbors. Instead of spending your time doing nothing, hang with the kids at say the B&G club. Yes many of you will say "well these aren't my kids so why should I care?" Wrong this is all our problem. I lost too many friends to the streets. I won't watch more kids lose their lives.

    Its time to unite.

    We could lose this war if we don't start working together.

  21. Frank, I don't know what those kids were up to at the meeting because I didn't see them. Maybe they needed to be "shooed" away. However, I do think that any truly workable crime prevention plan for this community should involve the young people living here. They know a lot about how and why things happen.

  22. If you haven't already, please check out:, an always informative blog written for Police by Police. You may not always agree with what is written, but this very significant site is a must read for tax paying citizens of the entire city who are now being held hostage in their own homes by gang-banging thugs assisted by a mayor whose only concern is securing the Olympics and a superintendent who does not know the meaning of how 'Real Police' need the support of their leaders to fight this crime wave that is just in it's infancy. Keep fighting the good fight. You have the media's attention, something our mayor cannot and will not tolerate.

  23. Well said, "Legendnthamaking". It doesn't matter what income bracket these kids causing problems are raised in. It really stems from lack of good parenting. There are plenty of kids that are raised in well-to-do families financially that turn out to be thugs and low lifes too. So Frank, please don't turn this into a class issue. It's not. If you really feel that way, I highly suggest volunteering in your community and getting to know the low income families. I can guarantee you that the majority are good and doing the best with what they have. You'll walk away with a different view.

  24. When I bought my condo 10 years ago, I got to know more than a dozen people on my street. We shoveled sidewalks together in the winter, mowed lawns together in the summer, we went to dinners together, hung out, and I had a huge list of phone numbers of my neighbors on the street.

    I barely know anyone on my street now, but not for trying - it seems people are just too busy.

    My best advice to everyone: get to know your neighbors. the ones next door and the ones across the street. It's COMMUNITY that will get us through this, not blaming the king.

  25. "...asked why Shiller was not present at that meeting, which well over 100 residents attended, the response was "She doesn't come to these because her political enemies make it impossible"..."

    She makes her sound like a third-world dictator holed up in her mansion trying to ride out a coup. Political enemies? Really?

  26. To Frank Castle:

    While I don't disagree with all you say, what have you done to make the "low income" families you talk about feel included in the whole situation, to show they that they have a vested interest in keeping the community crime free. Not all of them are gangbanging or are the ones causing the trouble believe it or not (though your post seems to indict all low-income families). You mention the youth that approached the rally and that you could see "the hate in their eyes". What do you think the reason for this "hate" is? Did you make an effort to let them know that they should be a part of this too, this effort to stop the violence? If there is indeed a "hate" there, it might do well to find out why it exists, explain why it's misplaced and enlist them in the fight to help the community. Sure, not all of them will get on board, but some will and a united front, with many differnt facts, different incomes, etc., will go a long way in diffusing any diversionary tactics that the alderman and her cronies may throw up there. Your insistance into dividing this fight in to "low income" vs...well, the opposite I guess, is playing right into Shiller's hands.

    P.S.: I just noticed that "legend" had addressed this as well. Good job.

  27. to man on the street...."the hate in thier eyes" comment was aimed at the people at the rally who also saw some of the "youths" come by. Asking these types to be a part of the community is not going to change them. They have zero lack of respect for anything other than themselves. Tehy have not ben bought up with proper values, ethics, or any interest other than hanging out, making a quick buck on theft or drug dealing and only feel strong when rolling with freinds on our streets. Sorry to sound like a hater but it is the truth....while maybe some are stuck in that system...but most do it by choice. It is a sad sight when you see the sign at Borders saying "no under age people allowed in without an adult" on the door. What if some kid really wanted to buy a book but is now turned away because of these scum bags. This is not a positive thing to help bring more businesses into our area.

    Another issue no one discusses is the filth that hangs out in front of that halfway house in Leland across from Soggy Paws or directly diagonal from it. I know they are trying to change and better themselves but making comments as people walk by and giving them the "stink eye" as they walk by. On one occasion I have been called racial slang. I wanted to turn around and make a comment back but I knew so by doing that would end up for me having to watch my back for the next few weeks.

    We need to let these families know that they need to start watching thier kids and what they are doing. Without this...nothing is going to change.

  28. Here is a letter I sent via e-mail to her office yesterday. Since she only seems to be communicating with the media, I'm forwarding this on to the Trib, Sun-Times, WGN, CBS2, ABC7, NBC5, etc. to see if I can get a response through the media.

    Dear Alderman Shiller and her staff,

    I have lived in Uptown for a little over 2 years now. Like you, Alderman Shiller, I have concern about the recent rash of crime in our community. Although statistics may show that there has been less crime in the entire district, there has definitely been more crime within a few blocks of my home (Leland and Winthrop). I have been attending CAPS meetings for about a year now and I know for a fact that there has been an increase in gang activity, drugs and prostitution in beat 2312. Just because the crimes aren't reported or recorded doesn't mean they are not happening.

    I'm not writing to argue with you over the statistics or question your concern. I am writing you to find out what action you will be taking to help prevent crime in our neighborhood. You can state your concern to the media, however, that does not fix the problem. You have resources at your disposal that are not available to me as a resident.

    Here are my concerns and suggestions:

    1) Have you been communicating with the police regarding the recent rash of crimes? Kathleen Boehmer stated at the CAPS meeting last night that the police have been in contact with your office. What suggestions have the police made and what actionable items are you taking based on their suggestions?

    2) Will you be communicating with your constituents regarding the recent rash of crime in the area? All the communication I have seen to date has been with the media. As a resident of your ward, I would appreciate any form of communication (an e-mail, a statement on your website, etc.) with us directly.

    3) What is being done about the potential for crime in the 180 of low incoming housing that will be placed in Wilson Yard? History has shown that such a high concentration of low incoming housing leads to an increase in crime (i.e. Cabrini Green). Will residents be required to complete a background check, drug test, etc. prior to receiving the benefits of low income housing? What other proactive steps are being taken to prevent crime at WY? Will there be a meeting to discuss these concerns and suggestions of the current residents in the ward?

    4) Last night at the CAPS meeting we talked about positive loitering as an option for residents to try to help reduce crime in the area. Will your office participate or help coordinate this type of activity? Do you have other suggestions for us, as residents, to help try to prevent crime in the area?

    5) I really appreciate you sending representatives to last night's CAPS meeting for beat 2312. Will representatives from your office be participating in these meetings or other beat's CAPS meetings in the future? Will you be attending any CAPS meetings?

  29. (Here's the rest of the letter-can you tell I was an English major? :)

    Your representatives did not make any statements during the actual CAPS meeting last night. They did speak to the media and stated something about you not attending because you would be shouted over (I'm paraphrasing here). I know that someone very rudely shouted over you during the press conference at Truman College the other night. That's why I am writing to you via e-mail today. You can communicate via e-mail with me or in writing on your website to address the concerns I have outlined. You can not be shouted over in writing!

    Also, I know it can be tough dealing with some folks when they are emotional and yelling, but we really would appreciate a meeting regarding public safety. I think people get so emotional because it's a very personal issue - we're talking about our safety, health and well being. Not only our own, but our family, neighbors, friends and loved ones. If you hold a meeting, I know it could get emotional for a few people, but it could really benefit us all as a community. Are you willing to confront that emotion head on and help us try to build a stronger community? If you would rather not hold a meeting, I ask that you try to attend a CAPS meeting in order to hear the concerns of the residents in your ward and offer your suggestions and assistance.

    I did not live here during the last election, but you still are my elected representative in city government. I know there some people out there that would like to see you fail or leave office. That's not what I am trying to accomplish here. I genuinely would like to see you succeed and help all the residents in your ward. I am begging you to step up and try to help a serious problem that's plaguing your ward, even if you don't think that's a part of your job.

    Even if we don't see eye to eye on any of these issues or concerns, I am simply asking you to address them and not ignore them. If you can give me a reason as to why you should not address these concerns and clearly communicate it, even if it's not the answer that I want to hear, I would appreciate you taking the time to address it. That's something I would remember during the election in 2011.

    Feel free to contact me any time.


    Great video of Shiller talking out of her ass and running and hiding. It's a bit long but worth watching. Make sure you watch the whole thing.

    Kudos Uptonians


    I think this video needs to be revisited. HA

  32. awesome letter marathon. who knows if shiller will even run again. she may honestly not care anymore.

  33. Kudos to marathonman on a well stated email.

    I think you've hit upon every issue and did so politely and respectfully.

    Thank you for speaking so eloquently and effectively for the rest of us.

  34. Positive loitering works. Organize an event that is more than just standing on the streets. Check out the Neighborhood Nights program on Monday's in Edgewater. It's had a very positive effect so far:

  35. I found a video which is almost EXACTLY like Shiller running from her constituents the other day.

    Playing the role of the Imperial Storm Troopers are the citizens of Uptown with their nasty demands for accountability and less crime.

    Playing the role of the heroic resistance are Helen and her merry band of security people.

    Yes, I know this seems screwed up.

    But we live in a bizzaro alternative universe here in Uptown.

    Crime is good.

    Meetings are bad.

    Accountability is non existent.

    I swear at the end of the video I almost think I heard Princess Shiller yelling

    "Vive La Resistance".

    I need some more alcohol.

  36. I wonder many things.

    First, who wrote the book of love?

    Second, why did Angelina leave me for Brad Pitt?

    Third, did Bonaparte realize Waterloo was his Waterloo?

    Fourth, do I have attention deficit diso

    Sixth, was the meeting the other day Shiller's Waterloo?

    Seventh, do any of you fine people know how to take the video of Shiller running from her constituents the other day and add the Benny Hill theme?

    Eighth, oh Angelina come back.....

    Ninth, do Shiller and Daley have any idea the significance of the phrase "Wound my heart with a monotonous langour" and what is about to be unleashed on Montrose Beach?

    Tenth, should I take my meds or self medicate?