Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mo' Money

We're all cordially invited to "honor" Helen Shiller and give her more of our money (71% of property taxes apparently ain't enough). The only thing is, we won't know how much to write a check for, because the link to the "invitation" is dead, and that presumably is where it says how much it'll cost to lay eyes on the alderman in person.

(We're sure the link'll be live momentarily, since Ald. Shiller's office monitors this site like a hawk. They may not respond to the silly concerns of the people who Shiller "represents," but they sure do like to read and comment.)

From aldermanshiller.com:

Citizens for Helen Shiller cordially invite you to a reception honoring the new Chairman of the Chicago City Council's Committee on Human Relations, 46th Ward Alderman Helen Shiller.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 6:00pm to 8:00pm, El Mariachi Restaurant, 3906 North Broadway. Valet Parking Available

Paid for by Citizens for Shiller. A copy of our report is or will be available for purchase from the Cook County Clerk.
Download the invitation (.pdf)

Update: Link is now fixed (good girl, Maggie!)

From it, we learn that suggested price to actually speak to the alderman is between $150 and $1000.


  1. What a joke! Alderman Shiller knows very little about human relations. Once appointed, she probably had to go to Border's and by "Human Relations for Dummies" to figure out what it means (she has yet to read it I am sure).

    This celebration would be an excellent opportuntiy for us as a community to put her Human Relations skills to a test by protesting outside the event. Protest the fact that she is wasting out tax dollars, that she is not responding to the increase in violence in Uptown, etc. Let's see how well her human relations skills kick in to address the protesters (I imagine she will sneak out the back door). Just a thought, look forward to hearing other concerned Uptown citizens opinions and take on this.

  2. I think sandwich boards displaying the amount of reported shooting and the amount of "kids playing with golf clubs, bats and throwin glass bottle" might be in order on the public sidewalk outside her fundraiser. More importantly her doners should know how many times she has attended CAPS meetings or met with those actually concerned about safety.

    Remember, there is no loitering law as the city states. 1st amendment speech is protected. as we see outside S & L Pantry on Lawrence and Sheridan.

    I really think she is going to have a tough tough time. Right before she was reelected, her ward was pushed south of Irving Park and I guaranty those evil property tax paying condo owners are not going to put up with her domestic terrorist supporting, TIF funneling, fish farm ideas if given the hard facts. Anyone against her doesn't even have to give red herrings to the voters. The stuff Shiller does can't even be made up. If it wasn't real, it would be surreal.

  3. Funny how Alderman Shiller had to go south of Irving Park to hold her event. Perhaps she doesn't want her donors to see the realities of the ward she represents.

  4. She can have it where ever she wants but you would think that concidering what has been going on , she would pick a place like Cafe Too. Maybe not very safe area i guess.

  5. If it is paid for by "Citizens For Shiller" doesn't that make it free? Just wondering.....

  6. I think sandwich boards displaying the amount of reported shooting

    I love this idea! How about a sandwich board that says: "20* people shot in the last year. What has your Alderman done to keep you safe"

    * not actual figure... someone who knows more than me would have to come up with a total.

    What other sandwich board ideas can we come up with?

  7. How about one the says, "Fish Sandwich Special - $54 million"

    haha...at least I think I am funny....

  8. how about asking if only deaths are considered violence for the 46 Ward Office stats?

  9. Thought fodder:

    "The March on the El Mariachi"

    Or ..., in the spirit of August, if she won't go to the positive loitering, we take the positive loitering to her.

    Now ... discuss ;)

  10. anyone else find it interesting that she chose a place far away from the violence?

  11. Yo,

    I like "The March on El Marachi" idea.

    It sounds like a movie.

    In 3D. With lotsa pork flying out of the windows............

  12. Is this considered a fundraiser for Shiller?

  13. If people we do "positive loiter" during her fund raiser, at least the violence free portion of her ward will be enlighted by her lack of action on the crime in the "old skool" portion of her ward.

    The people who live in the newly annexed portion should be aware that the same lack of caring will foster crime, more low income housing, more TIF expansions into the "rich" section of her ward.

    I'm starting to think her goal is to take the entire ward down to low income section 8 status. You can see it in the streets and lack of repair of the infrastructure in north lakeview. Patching street instead of resurfacing (Mary Ann Smith ward isn't a pot hole haven). Smith isn't much better than Shiller but at least her sidestreets are being totally resurfaced.

  14. anyone else find it interesting that she chose a place far away from the violence

    Irving Park is like the area where the grass and corn meet in Field of Dreams.

    Once she crosses over onto the south end, she's a totally different person.

  15. $150-1000 smackeroos?


    I'm tempted to go just to annoy her.

    Maybe she could have her baseball bat wielding aide threaten me. That would be fun.

  16. I am all for a peaceful but visual/vocal protest outside of this hilarious event.

    The signs for Helen the Human Relations specialist basically write themselves.

    I think it would make a nice story on the 10:00 news.

  17. When her staff reads this thread, they'll probably move the event, but a positive loitering evening could be effective!

  18. Wouldn't it have been cheaper to pitch a party tent at Wilson Yard? But south of Irving, is certainly safer.

  19. Shouldn't someone contact Kristyn Hartman from Fox?

  20. Does anyone else find it funny that she posts campaign events on her ward information site but responses to high profile crimes or anti-violence messages are nowhere to be found?

    I get that the site is paid for by People for Shiller or whatever, but it still strikes me as being a tad inappropriate.

  21. it still strikes me as being a tad inappropriate.

    It is more than a tad inappropriate.

    It's a way to keep a campaign running, indefinitely - and only serves to strengthen incumbency (kinda' like holding primaries and municipal elections in the dead of winter).

    Each ward should have a dedicated website which is non-political in nature, and is then handed over to subsequent office holders so that the URL is consistent.

    These sites should be funded by tax dollars, and used as a tool for the citizens, not for the politicians.

    If Aldermen want their own website, that's fine. But the twain should never meet - and should they, election laws should kick in and punishment doled out.

    Too bad we live in Illinois where election laws are more like unenforced guidelines/suggestions (Greg, Heather .. thoughts?).

    For someone who made their name railing against the "machine", I'm surprised that Helen has adopted the same tactics should once attacked.

    Wait a minute.

    No I'm not.

    Using her site to promote a fundraiser only goes to further prove that Helen puts the "Shill" in Shiller.

  22. From it, we learn that suggested price to actually speak to the alderman is between $150 and $1000.

    I'm liking the positive loitering idea the more I think about it.

    Not to challenge Shiller - I could care less, actually (we've made our point - dead horse and all).

    I'm more interested to see who is willing to pay to speak to the alderman.

    Kinda' like the police focusing on johns.

  23. Shiller would have to pay me much more than $1000 to stand in my prescence for more than a few minutes.

  24. With all due respect, I am not sure if standing outside of Shiller's fundraiser should be thought of as "positive loitering."

    The positive loitering movement is intended to visibly put "eyes and ears" on the street in order to say "We're here and we care about the safety of our neighborhood." That's a positive statement and a non-violent gesture in reaction to violence.

    Standing outside of a fundraiser is a political statement. I am supportive of people making both kinds of statements but I really do think that participants should recognize (and own up to the fact) that they're different.

    The election is coming up but Shiller is not changing. People who have had only negative interactions with her are not going to change their stance either. So be it. I'm not sure what is to be gained by dwelling on it? The point is to dislodge the situation so that the ward can proceed in a new (and hopefully more sustainable) direction.

    People should be forthright about their political speech. You know the Shilleristas are going to conflate everything anyway. Why give them more opportunity?

    I hear it now...

    "Look out the window, my dear supporters---those are the faces of my political enemies. They follow me everywhere but its not just me anymore. They are out to get all of us...all of us who support fairness and justice and equality. They gather on the street corners in attempt to make their poor neighbors uncomfortable. They are after you too. They are the faces of selfish America who have gotten us into this big mess in the first place! I have had many successes in my many years as alderman, but the work is not finished. Let's not turn this place we love, this place we have fought for, over to this bunch of closed-minded people whose intent is only to keep it for themselves and more closed-minded people like themselves..."

    Being honest with yourself about what your actions are intended to say. It is the only way to defend what is truly in your heart when you are wrongfully attacked.

  25. In case anyone forgot:

    El Mariachi Inc
    3420 N Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60657
    Individual Contribution
    Citizens for Shiller

  26. Thanks Yo, I had forgotten. Guess I'll have to stop going there too. Damn, I like their food...

  27. I don't think there's anything dishonest about positive loitering outside the fundraiser. We can inform neighbors without being disruptive to her little party...

  28. Sassy,

    Doing nothing and letting Shiller spew her BS is not an option anymore. A political statement with hard cold facts like she refuses to attend CAPS meetings will tell people attending or people passing by of the reality.

    You need to give people reality based facts so people can make an informed decision. Not standing and providing the truth is just sticking your head in the sand. The election is a year away. You are making it sound that we are at the 11th hour on election day and everyone has made their mind up.

    Honestly, The people who really need to be informed are those people annexed into Shillers ward. The 901 unit Park Place "evil high rise" condo owners. The percentage of condo owners south of Irving Park is higher than those north of Irving Park. I lived in Lakeview for over 10 years and have seen the gentrification that Shiller fights tooth and nail against by seeking and encouraging more Section 8 housing. The real loosers in the war on property values are those that live south of Irving in the high rent and middle and upper class condos that were converted and built in the past 8 years.

    If the people in the newly annexed area are informed that Shiller refuses to attend CAPS meetings or even with concerned citizens, you better believe they will vote for someone that cares about safety and their property values. Shiller is the polar opposite where she is concerned about building more Section 8 housing and if you don't like it you can move mentality. Well the condo owners south of Irving invested WAY more money into their units and will not tolerate section 8 housing being rammed down their throats financed with addition TIF funds.

    If you think its a lost cause then you should just throw up your arms and say game over. This is just the 2nd inning toward re-election but I am going to fight for safer neighborhoods and will go out of my way to remove leaders that go against the public interest and their money. The time for toleration of crap is over.

  29. jms60613,

    I'm just saying people should call such a protest/action what it is. Its not "positive loitering," its freedom of speech. Its political action. And good! I wholeheartedly support people standing up and taking action.

    My point is that not being honest with yourself about what you are up to (i.e., Shiller's "development without displacement" instead of redistributive justice or whatever you might call it) makes it so that you can't defend yourself well when wrongly accused. It also makes it harder to accept constructive criticism. Well-meaning people make bad choices and well-meaning people hurt others sometimes. A little bit of self-reflection can go a long way.

  30. So I guess it is safe to say she WILL be running again. Well, I guess watching her go down in a ball of flames will be much more enjoyable than if she were to retire and just fade away. This one has Karma written all over it.

    Good luck Helen.

  31. Please don't hold it against El Mariachi Inc they are a business trying to make a living. If someone wants to have a private party there why should they decline and give the business to someone else. Not the best idea for a business to tick of the alderman if you want to stay open. That is just the power they have, plain and simple. They are great neighbors I love having them there.

    I would come just to voice my opinion that I should not have to pay 250 bucks to talk to my Alderman. Call it whatever you want. How many have heard anything from her since the event outside of Truman in Aug? Maybe you ran in to her on the street, "I am not hiding" she said. Violence has continued but no ongoing comments from the 46th office. I mean if they spend time working on "Public Safety more than anything else" what have they put together.

  32. There has also been a huge increase of crime in the south part of her ward. Although not as violent as up north. People are mad as hell about it and might be ready to see that what happens "Up North" does effect them.

  33. Not the best idea for a business to tick of the alderman if you want to stay open. That is just the power they have, plain and simple. They are great neighbors I love having them there.

    Excellent points; but, there is something terribly wrong with this city if businesses are forced to bend to the will of the alderman.

    I'm not saying that is what is going on in this situation; but, it does happen.

    Excusing it as a condition of the status quo sets a bad precedent, and only serves to reward poor government.

    The results of poor government are painfully apparent in our ward, city, county and state - and is in no small part a contributing factor to the horrendous conditions we're seeing throughout.

    El Mariachi is a wonderful establishment, and a wonderful neighbor, generally speaking.

    But supporting a polarizing political figure, who does little if anything to mend a chasm which is recognized by all as being troublesome, and has a track record of less than decent governance leads to further deterioration of everyones' quality of life.

    Additionally, that the alderman decided on this location to hold her fundraiser should generate questions.

    I'm no fan of boycotting businesses, but as the old saying goes, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

    I guess those who stand to gain from being politically connected don't see conditions north of Irving as being problematic.

  34. "So I guess it is safe to say she WILL be running again."

    Not necessarily. In Chicago, a candidate can keep and pocket his or her "war chest" in the even he or she doesn't run for office.

    So even if Ald. Shiller doesn't run, she can keep any funds raised.

    OTOH, I hear she still has a large outstanding debt from her last run against James. Those 690 winning votes didn't come cheap, apparently.

  35. How much debt could she have run up..other than the cost of busing her "constituents" in from the west side...and a few cases of Colt 45....

  36. Two things.

    First her personal debt to her campaign fund seems to have been paid off. Although, as of the last filing the fund did owe approximately $11,000 to various individuals. Some of those debts go back to 1988 or so.

    Follow the link at this post and enjoy.


    Second, the busing and Colt 45 comment is uncalled for. God, help me, I think I'm becoming Suzanne Elder.

  37. I wonder what's up with all of her consulting fees? She sure does have a lot of consultants.