Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CBS 2: Uptown Residents Want Answers From Ald. Shiller

Kristyn Hartman, CBS 2 reporting:

CHICAGO (CBS) - Many residents in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood have been asking "Do you know where the alderman is?" Ald. Helen Shiller (46th) has not been seen in public since Monday night, when she faced off with angry residents who showed up at a meeting unannounced.

Those residents were fired up over a home video of a large street fight in the neighborhood and Shiller's perceived inaction on the incident. (Continue reading and watch the video here)


  1. ...doesn't live at her listed address???!!

    Just where does Alderman Shiller live? Does she live in the 46th ward? Could that be why she was "out of town?" Evanston is out of town, isn't it?

  2. Yes we want answers but try to get them. You call her office and you get, if you don`t like this ward and the way Helen runs it why don`t you move to one that will make you happy. Her snot mouthed staff has to go with her. Maybe now with all the exposure on TV with what she is not doing will force her to get off her ass and start doing something for the residents of our ward.....like making it safe and healthy.....

  3. Kudos to the reporter for noting Shiller's only supporter in the crowd was a staff member's son.

    Finally, some real reporting on Uptown. Thank You.

  4. I wish I got paid her salary to be "out of town" when ever a problem comes up. I think I will try that excuse in the office next time something gets screwed up!

  5. Barry, you are quite the optimist. You know she will just wait for things to blow over. I'm wondering how we can keep the heat on her.

  6. Where is Mayor Daley? It seems like everything is aimed at Schiller, and only her, but what about the Mayor and/or Police Superintendent?

  7. I emailed Kristyn Hartman to let her know about Derrek's status as a paid consultant after the yesterday's coverage cited him as a supporter, and I'm sure others did as well. Good for Hartman for following up on this and not letting the story die, she's found a new fan here.

    To anyone who can spare a few minutes of their day, I recommend emailing the reporters who are covering Uptown news directly -- thank them and provide them info they may not otherwise know. No one knows Uptown like its residents, and there's a lot of interest here.

    By the same token, take a minute to email editors to complain about inadequate or inaccurate coverage in (ahem, Tribune), and let them know they've done a shoddy job relative to their peers. Give them some info to help them next time around.

    You know Shiller and some of her supporting groups make the effort to make sure their side of the situation is familiar to the press. We all should as well.

    We can all find time to post a comment to UU... it doesn't take much longer to provide some encouragement, gratitude, or advice to the people who have the megaphone in-hand.

  8. Excellent point, Bruce. Where is Mayor Daley? And even more, where are the tax dollars that are supposed to be going towards things like the police department and equal schools?

  9. I think the most insulting thing, year after year, is the 46th Ward Office's stance, is that it is Rich versus Poor.

    That hollow argument is slowly crashing down. Finally.

    The issue is gang activity, and a neighborhood that for the most part, lacks any attractive or inspiring hope for new business development. And a neighborhood that just wants answers to questions.

    No thinking person who lives in Uptown, doesn't appreciate the diversity up here. No thinking person who lives here, wants crime.

    And NO thinking person up here, wants to be placed in a bogus fish bowl of the "Rich versus the
    Because as we've seen in the last 2 weeks...that argument doesn't hold any water.

  10. From Shiller's website, I encourage everyone to stop by and ask what positive steps she has taken towards the gang activity in the ward. This is in the spirit of finding ways to keep the pressure on and on a Saturday, when everyone has a bit more free time. Grab a coffee with a group and head over and sit with the Alderwoman over coffee with the TAX PAYERS:

    Ward Office Open Saturday, September 12
    Ward Services & Info
    Ald. Shiller's 46th Ward Community Service Office is open the first Saturday of every month from 9am to 11am. Due to the holiday weekend, September's Saturday hours will occur on Saturday, September 12, from 9am to 11am.

  11. "And even more, where are the tax dollars that are supposed to be going towards things like the police department and equal schools?"

    Tens of millions of those dollars are pouring into Alderman Shiller's most recent TIF project to pay for an indoor fish farm and worm farm, while police and schools suffer cutbacks.

    Police salaries? Some of those dollars are funneled into the cost of defending the Chicago police from lawsuits filed by Alderman Shiller's son Brendan.

    Follow the money, Sassy. Follow the money.

  12. maybe post some contact info of the media? then we can just click & say thanks! excellent idea.

  13. Good comment, Kenny. I e-mailed Kristyn as well to thank her for the coverage as well as pointing out that Davis guy. Definitely recommend that other UU readers do the same. I even got a nice note back from her.

  14. Kristyn Hartman can be reached on the cbs 2 web site: http://cbs2chicago.com/bios/kristyn.hartman.wbbm.9.291735.html

    Click on the blue contact link under her name to get the form. Select her name in the 'Message Category' drop down box.

  15. Message sent!

    Dear Kristyn,
    A huge "thank you" for covering such an important issue in Uptown. As a 9-year resident (renter) I am one of many who has been incredibly frustrated by the uptick in gang violence both last summer and this summer and the lack of response by alderman Shiller. I live at the corner of Malden and Leland. The alley where 3 men were shot this past Sunday is literally yards away from my bedroom window. Last summer, I came home from work at 5:30 pm to have my entire street (Leland) roped off by police tape because someone was shot in broad daylight directly in front of the entrance to my building. I had to have a policeman escort me into my building to get to my dogs. I have witnessed gang fights at 6 pm --in broad daylight--while walking my dogs, as residents scrambled to run and call 911. And repeated calls to the alderman's office are unreturned or rude staff tell us to "move if we don't like it". Don't let her office spin low crime statistics. We have learned at CAPS meetings (that she never attends) that unless someone is arrested and paperwork is filed, the crime "does not exist" in the reports for the beat....so nightly gun shots fired, etc. are not reported as crimes.

    Again....thank you...it is a story that has too long been neglected!

  16. wishinevercamehere,

    Succinctly: screw 'er.

    She doesn't want us, and we don't need her.

    We've survived this long w/o her, so what's another year and a half until we can escort her into a long-overdue retirement (which we'll be paying for)?

    And yes, drop Kristyn a line to thank her for doing such a kick ass job.

    We all know there's more to the story of Helen Shiller, and I hope we hear from Kristyn and CBS2 in the not too distant future.

  17. I'm going to post this here since Shller's name is in this topic heading.

    "They're coming for you, Helen".

    I had dinner, actually it was mostly drinks, earlier tonight with a long time friend of mine. We went to Catholic High school together on da sout side. The only way for this guy to be more connected to the Mayor's political operation would be to be named "Daley" or one of the mayoral sisters progeny.

    For purposes of this comment I shall call him "deep sausage". Actually, where we're from it's pronounced "polish" as in the SAZ ege.

    Deep Sausage told me in 2003 that Daley and Shiller were working out an endorsement deal weeks before it became public. I was even told who made the overtures on the mayoral behalf. Since DS tends to be a bit of a blowhard I thought he was full of poo poo at the time.

    Little did I know.

    Well Deep Sausage told me tonight that Mayoral advisors are worried about Shiller losing in 2011 and an independent Alderman, like a Waguspeck(sp), getting elected.

    Apparently, they are trying to find another candidate to run and have been in discussions with other Uptown/Lakeview area officials to try to find a candidate.

    He speculated that Shiller might be offered a nice cushy job in one of the City 'arts' related departments if she were to "retire" prior to the next election. That portion of the conversation was entirely speculation on his part based on his deep Sausage like knowledge of how the Mayor's people work.

    We had an amusing time guessing who might deliver the message to Shiller.

    Would it be Tom Tunney bringing some danish over from his restaurant?

    Would Ed Burke, unlikely, make Shiller an offer she couldn't refuse?

    Would Bernie Stone be delegated to tell Shiller only to find out the Mayor is planning on forcing him out too?

    Would Jerry Joyce send his son "Pickle" Joyce to deliver the message?

    My money would be on Tunney delivering any such message. If, and it's a BIG if, it gets delivered.

    Personally I prefer Shiller stay in office and run so I can watch her defeated in 18 months.

    Deep Sausage also speculated that the Mayor is likely LIVID over the coverage of Uptown in the last week. DS claims that the ONLY thing the Mayor is concerned about at the moment is getting the Olympics. Any negative publicity drives the old man crazier than a Bridgeport sewer rat that's been drinking from Bubbly Creek.

    I speculated that the Mayor might be worried about the Feds, but Deep Sausage gets a worried look on his face whenever that subject comes up.

    Time will tell.

  18. IP - who knew a little ol' rally like the one on Monday could have such far reaching effect?

    I do wonder if Helen is in a cold sweat, staring at the little blinking light on her voicemail, and Daley's office number on the callerID.

    The witch isn't dead ... yet.

    Regardless of whether DS is accurate or not, we've dealt her a stumbling blow, and she may very well not have the political capitol to recover.

    I'm sure Helen remembers her Shelley, and what happens when you lose control of the monster you have created.

  19. Oooh, this is juicy IP!!

    And, it would explain why Daley hasn't chimed in defending Shiller.

    If Chicago doesn't get the bid for the Olympics, I'd sure hate to be Shiller, who will likely take some of the blame

  20. I've known Deep Sausage for a long time. I dated his sister in high school. Actually more than "dated", but he's forgiven me.

    I don't know if the scenario he projected will come to pass. I do believe that he is not BS'ing about some of Daley's advisers wanting Shiller out. He's right about 80 percent of the time on this kind of inside political stuff.

    That doesn't mean Daley is on board with a plan or has even discussed it. Even if Daley were to "endorse" such a plan, Shiller might not go along.

    There are many variables here.

    The Mayor's overriding concern is keeping a compliant city council. If that compliant Alderperson is Shiller he will be happy. If it's not Shiller he will be happy. Submitting to his "rule" is his only concern.

    I could see Daley working very hard for Shiller if she refuses to go. I could also see them being stuck with Shiller as there may be no other good candidates to take on.

    There are many ways to view this.

    Again with or without Shiller the only concern of the Mayoral advisers is keeping an alderman who will sit and fetch when told to.

    There are about 40 some examples in the City Council of those type of aldercritters.

    Sit back and see what happens.

  21. Don't be surprised if Daley comes out in support of Helen in the next day or two.

    Don't listen to what he says, but how he says it. I would expect his tiny fists to be balled up into a teeny sweating paroxysm of anger.

    This whole olympics thang and the negative publicity regarding Chicago in general can't be making his reptilian brain happy.

    The man is all about POWER and at least at the moment he is losing some of it. In essence he is a 67 year old spoiled brat who has been called "Mayor" since his days at DeLasalle high school.

    His loss of "control" about the narrative he is trying to sell the Olympic committee may just make his head explode.

  22. This is a crippling blow, but the heat needs to stay on. People outside our neighborhood will forget this story if we don't find a way to keep the publics' attention on this issue. It's not about the condo owners against Shiller, it's about Uptown residents against violence in our streets. What will she do to lead us?

  23. The Olympics? How in the hell does that help Uptown?
    Screw the Olympics- I want the residents of MY WARD to feel safe at night, to be able to walk their dogs without getting shot at, or to be able to enjoy their own living rooms without bullets flying through their front windows.
    Sure Daley is pissed- but so are we! Who cares about the damn Olympics!>

  24. Shiller stepping down before her term is up and getting a machine-friendly person in her place has been discussed on this blog before.

    Whether Deep Sausage is right or not, that is what I would do if I were da Mare. What Greg Hinz got really, really right in his last Crain's piece is that Uptown has been in a war for 30 years. Uptown has long been prime land for development and the main reason why Shiller joined Slim Coleman here is to prevent the then poor neighborhood from being "urban removal-ed." She put up a good fight for a long time. Those of us yuppie scum of modest means owe the purchase price of our large lakefront properties in part to the push of surrounding lakefront development but the pull of Shiller's early and late supporters. I'm definitely not saying it was all pretty what happened here. It was and is pretty ugly. What I mostly mean to say is that we are all in this together. Our histories are as linked as our future should be.

    I would wager .06 of my kids' college savings (again that part about being a yuppie of modest means!) that the last thing Helen wants is to have fought all of these years to have Uptown finally co-opted by the Machine. Herself being co-opted she might not care as much because it has already happened. But it won't be good for Uptown. Connected developers will end up tearing down even more of the vitality of this place under a new powerful alderman's thumb (she knows first-hand how powerful it is) and nothing substantial will be done by the state & local machine to address the need of the homeless, mentally ill and very poor people who live here. Initially some people might love it and be taken in by the "progress." My personal opinion, though, is that chances are high that what attracted many of us to this place will change forever too.

    In that scenario I am sure that the Shilleristas will blame the yuppies (or increasingly as I am seeing on some of the comment boards, the guppies). "Gentrification finally killed Uptown!!" However, that wouldn't be fair. Helen's tactics brought about much of this. Instead of working with this part of the community, she kicked them in the teeth enough times so they had no other choice but to round up their friends and try to kick back. Shiller and many of her supporters read this group of people all wrong. In my view, people here don't want a standard machine candidate. People more like Waguespak intrigue them. Clean government, transparency, socially liberal, but commonsense law n' order too.

    I really do think it is time to forget about Helen Shiller. She may have done you dirty but you don't need her to do what you want to do. Look at how many of us are willing to stand up and fight for what we want? Nothing is stopping this community from getting new blood into the block clubs, forming neighborhood watch nights and brainstorming big and small things to do with trouble spots.

    After years of neglect, I fear people being taken-in by finally being showed some attention. In my opinion, the best candidate for Uptown will be the person that can rally the most homegrown support. Everyone here has something to lose if Uptown is co-opted by the democratic machine.

  25. Everyone here has something to lose if Uptown is co-opted by the democratic machine.

    It's already happened. Shiller was drafted and accepted.

    Waguespack defeated the machine candidate in Ted Matlak. Matlak was developer friendly which was exactly what the machine was engaged in. You're seeing the pins start to fall. Actual Alderman and the developers are getting tagged by the Feds. No surprise there.

  26. I think Shiller has been co-opted by the machine but that is different from Uptown being co-opted by the machine. For example, Truman College got $10 million in TIF funds for their garage. The Cubs got parking in Challenger Park. Few, if any, people in Uptown of any stripe were calling for those things to happen. Yet they happened because Shiller had to play nice and cut some deals in order to get what she wanted. That is Shiller being co-opted. But when Uptown gets co-opted, it will look a bit different. Some substantial % of the voting base will be getting something they want and there will be little voter base opposition to stop it. Eventually, this voter base will be beholden to the entity that gives them the things they want and then the machine will increase its local power and be able to do stuff it couldn't do before because the voter base is complacent.

    Uptowners' needs and wants and what Shiller does have misaligned in some areas for a long time. To me, that shows that only Shiller has been co-opted but the larger community---i.e., "Uptown" has not yet been co-opted.

  27. Sassy: Thanks. I see what you mean now.

    I do think the Truman College Student Center and the Challenger Park issue are both Uptown grants to the Mayor on behalf of residents by Alderman Shiller. The Mayor is the top of the machine. There's no way out of that.

    She's benefiting from both deals.

    If you add in Wilson Yard she's getting a HUGE grant on behalf of the Mayor.

    Back to Zesty Marinara's question, if Shiller doesn't live at her Carmen address that should be investigated immediately. "Out of town" cannot be Evanston. If the press is buying that they are just plain stupid.

  28. Back to Zesty Marinara's question, if Shiller doesn't live at her Carmen address that should be investigated immediately.

    Well, there's one way residents could find out if she lives there or not.

  29. "Any negative publicity drives the old man crazier than a Bridgeport sewer rat that's been drinking from Bubbly Creek."


  30. Jason,

    have you ever drunk from Bubbly Creek?

    Trust me it's nasty.

    As I drink my evening quart of whiskey, a thought occurred to me.

    One of Shiller's political operatives is getting blue in the face calling me a "political operative" on the Sun Times website and thinking about that atheist Christopher Hitchens. I guess it drives a good Christian like him nutz.

    So since he's outed me as an "operative" I'm going to operate. Let me take out my mental scalpel.

    I was thinking of what "deep sausage" said to me yesterday. By the way DS and I attended the wake of a childhood friends dad earlier. Then we went into "operative" mode. God knows I'm the only person of Irish descent who grew up on the south side who knows any political types. You can't walk down Western Avenue at 103rd Street without running into a dozen such people any night. I guess that means I'm Boris from Rocky and Bullwinkle. Hell, at the wake we attended I counted at least 5 former or current elected officials not including the "operatives".

    One way to tell if the idea that Daley allies want to dump Shiller is true will be to watch the Campaign Finance disclosures next time they are released.

    Now it's been clear for a long time that Shiller's campaign fund has been used partially for the benefit of her son and allies. There is a lot of consulting going on for that campaign. I guess that makes them "operatives".

    One reason for Shiller to run again would to be able to keep collecting money for her campaign fund. The moment she says she isn't running the moola will largely dry up. My guess is that if you see a large number of relatively fat donations from Daley allies on the next disclosure that Shiller will have agreed to retire.

    The fund could be "fattened" to help carry her family and friends through the initial lean years of her retirement.

    That's entirely speculation on my part. Call it an "operative working" if you will.

    Now if you will excuse me I need to attend my right wing meeting tonight followed up by an operative meeting and then a clandestine rendezvous with Natasha. DEATH TO ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE.