Thursday, November 18, 2010

College Journalist Reports On Aldermanic Forum

A student journalist from Columbia College was at the latest UNC Candidate Forum; this is how it went.
Byline:  Ali Balgooyen

Three 46th Ward Alderman hopefuls gathered in an open forum to convince residents they are the best candidates for the job.

Emily Stewart, Andy Lam, and Berekadu Retta meet at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night at Nick's Uptown to discuss how they would unite the 46th Ward to get rid of gang violence, create real budget reform, and fix transportation within the ward.

"I think it’s time for someone to stand up and get something fixed," said Lam. "I consider myself a fixer. I am not a politician, I am not lawyer, I’m not a worker in government, I am just an everyday guy like you."

Lam talked about fixing gang violence by installing more cameras around the ward, especially in high crime areas.

"Some might worry that big brother is watching us all the time," said Lam. "The idea is not to steal anybody's identity or stalk people, the idea is when we have more cameras crime tends just to go down."

One way Stewart plans to reduce gang violence and crime is by creating a new budget for the 46th Ward.  It's real budget reform that is going to bring additional police to our streets in the future," Stewart said.

Stewart said one thing that was absolutely necessary for the city of Chicago is to restructure pension funds for current employees of the city.

"That is not a popular decision, but I am not about popularity," Stewart said. "I think if we restructure pension funds for current employees we are going to protect ourselves from insolvency."

Retta said if he was elected he would concentrate his efforts to improve transportation, especially the Wilson Red Line stop.

"Every public facility should be accessible but Wilson is not," said Retta. "That is something we are going to have to work with right away."

One way he would make the Wilson stop more accessible is by having the Purple Line stop there. "It happened there many years ago, we need to get those things back," Retta said.

Retta has already turned in his petitions to the Board of Elections. Stewart and Lam said they plan to file their petitions before the November 22nd deadline.

The last day to register to vote is Monday, January 24. Voting will begin Tuesday, February 22nd in 2011. 


  1. Is retta going to resign at his job the cook county board of elections?

    Is Lam aware that one murder happened at Wilson and Magnolia in plain view of a camera, much violence happens everyday at Lawrence and Sheridan in plain view of a camera, much violence also occurs everyday at Wilson and Sheridan in plain view of a camera.

    Stewart good job talking about the pension funding problem.

  2. Year's ago, a Captain I worked for used to park several of the marked police cars that were not used on the midnight shift, around various locations in Lincoln Park where crime was rising. For a time, the street trolls and thieves avoided the blocks where they saw the cars. It didn't take them long, however, to realize that there were no police officers in those cars or anywhere around them.

    This is essentially same scenario that exists with the much touted crime cameras. They are unmanned indicators that the police MAY BE watching. After spending untold million$ on these things, undoubtedly to a friend of the Daley Crime Family, the administration would be hard pressed to prove that they were able to cite a single successful prosecution based on footage from one of these "eyes in the sky".

  3. "I consider myself a fixer. I am not a politician, I am not lawyer, I’m not a worker in government, I am just an everyday guy like you."

    So, someone is running for a political job responsible for legislating LAWS and managing government but knows nothing about politics, law or government.


  4. Just to follow up.... but I like to give readers credit.

    So this fixer has no idea how to fix it.

  5. @ jason (tfo) ~ I'd say Mr. Lam's thinking is probably par for the course in Chicago's city council...
    I believe I have one particularly smart rock in my yard that would make a better alderman than at least half of the current august body.

    That, however, would not include the "noted budget expert" of the 46th Ward. Helen would be no match for MOST of the rocks in my yard!

  6. What's happened to Lake Effect News? It looks like their website is down. No knock on the Columbia College student, whose article I really appreciate, but I greatly miss Lorraine Swanson's reporting, and this election season needs as much quality take-no-bullshit coverage as possible.

  7. I noticed Lorraine's name in a Chicago Reader story the other day.

    She now works for AOL "Patch" in Oak Lawn.

    I wish her the best.

  8. Damn, that's a huge loss for Uptown. Lorraine Swanson did so much good reporting and often times was the only journalist in town to take this neighborhood seriously.

  9. Thanks for the tip, IrishPirate.

    I will try to contact her & see if she can at least post the old articles.

    i know this summer she was busy working with the Census.

    i agree that she was great, and will be missed.

  10. PB, cook county deals with the suburbs...while they work WITH the Chicago Board on many things, they are separate, certainly as far as counting ballots for 2011.

    i can see why you would think ther'es a conflict of interest, but i think it's less so than Katharine Harris, who was sec. of state in FL and in charge of elections there...while at the same time, that state's chair for the Bush campaign. Now THAT was a conflict of interest!