Monday, November 29, 2010

How Sad Is This?

In reading the Trib story about yesterday's shooting, one line jumped out at us:
"Pamela Norwood, a clerk at a nearby Payless shoe store ... has worked at the shoe store for about a year and said violence has always been customary."
Right across from the alderman's office.  A block from a brand new project that cost tens of millions of dollars and was touted as the salvation of Uptown.

For this woman who's worked there for the past year, "Violence has always been customary."

Let's add this truism to Helen Shiller's legacy of failed social innovations:  Ignoring violence doesn't stop it; it makes it worse. 

The person who is supposed to be leading this ward:
  • won't acknowledge the violence, even when murders and shootings happen right across the street from her office
  • won't admit that the residents she's supposed to represent are right to be scared ("What is it about this particular video that caused such great fear in so many people?")
  • won't meet with the concerned community (remember "Run, Helen, Run"? remember "This isn't your college campus, sweetie"?)
  • won't admit that street rioters carrying bricks and clubs are guilty of anything more than "attempted fisticuffs"
  • won't attend CAPS meetings or send representatives ... unless the mayor's around for a "very special" joint CAPS meeting that none of the regular CAPS facilitators are notified about, right before a close election
  • has a son who makes his living by suing police officers, including those working in her own ward
Please, guys, make a commitment to vote in February for the candidate of your choice, and make it someone who has the experience and knowledge to start reversing the trends that Helen "Violence Is Not My Issue" Shiller has ignored for far too long. 

You know that old saying about "lead, follow or get out of the way"?  After 24 years of putting a check in the box that reads "none of the above," she's finally getting out of the way.  No matter what the weather or your schedule is like in February, make yourself a promise - right now - that you'll vote and elect a leader for the 46th Ward.  Someone who won't accept that "Violence has always been customary."  Someone who cares enough, and knows enough, to start reversing the terrible pattern of nightly drive-bys and mid-afternoon gunfire at Wilson and Broadway.  Someone who's willing and able to lead.


  1. Amen!

    I want to print off this post and just plaster it all over the ward since I'm sure there are plenty out there who don't know that they live in the 46th ward or that UU even exists. I stumbled upon UU by chance and am glad I did.

  2. I agree with FLIS. UU needs to spread its presence within the community. Facebook is great, but there are a lot of people in this ward that have no clue why the area is still sh*t after all these years. Half of them don't even know who is responsible for it.

  3. Guys lets take a poll to see how the update update followers would vote for aldermen.

    That old old lady wanted to vote for nowotny right?

    So is cappelman the best choice?

    Personally I dont know that stuff about politics, but it seems that we should be clear on here WHO is definitely the WRONG choice,
    and WHO is the best person that has a chance of really being elected.

  4. What about urging a debate or at least e-mail interview with candidates with questions from Uptown Update readers?

    I'm sure some of the low-key candidates would agree which could then pressure the more prominent ones to join in. We all sound like active members of the community who could ask them to do so.

  5. @ MicroFiber,

    Its very highly unlikely a serious candidate would take any questions in an anonymous format.

    The fact is Uptown is an interesting enough place that we have attracted a lot of people from elsewhere, like moths to a flame.

    Every blog has the anonymous thing going so I am not judging here, it is what it is. And it is highly unlikely.

    Uptown is not that big, over the next few months there will be ample opportunities to ask these questions.

    Just a suggestion...shoot them an email or a phone call. Most of them are very responsive, at the least the ones with a chance. In the case of 5 snail mail is your only option.

    With approx. 10 up to 14 thousand voters likely marking a ballot in feb. I think they would prefer to keep it simple and direct.

    Its just my take, but give it a and dial. Or, send them a snail mail with your address so they know your a voter.

    Uptown my have its share of dodgy characters but the candidates are a harmless bunch, good people.

    If you live in the area of Racine to Beacon, Wilson to Lawrence shoot me an email for details and dates,as I will be hosting the candidates in weekly forums. I would like to divulge more but that is well and good for now.

    The area I specified isn't carved in stone, we are still neighbors and your welcome, space permitting. There is one catch....bring your voter registration card (46th Ward ONLY) to enter. We have limited space and little time or inclination for games.

    This is about Uptown first and last.

    There are I might add a great series of interviews on the Chicagoist, I got the link on UU actually but which post it was eludes me, but UU readers are helpful and may chime in.

    Cheers, JL

  6. Also @ Micro Fiber

    So your the one doing those "pole socks" as I've been calling them!

    I love those, its awesome and I salute you!!

    Very cool.