Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Fresh And New And Different Opportunities"

Chicago Ald. Helen Shiller stoops in front of
Ald. Ariel Reboyras (left) to have a chat
with Ald. Joe Moreno (right) at a council meeting.
(José M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune photo / January 29, 2011)
The Tribune has an article today about the sweeping changes that will be coming to the City Council after the February elections. It mentions that it's possible that half of the next Council will be rookies, and that the 11 alderman who are retiring represent over 248 years of "time served."

Uptown representation has been locked into place since the 1980s. Gene Schulter has served since 1975, Helen Shiller since 1987, and Mary Ann Smith since 1989. And yet, they'll all replaced by new blood, come May. It's up to you to decide who replaces them and we strongly urge you to get to the polls and make your voice heard.  Voting begins on Monday.

The article includes a fun quote from Ald. Shiller: "A majority of people expect from their aldermen things that have nothing to do with the (council) ... They do expect us to be the local mini-city halls .... We are the face of local government."

It's like shooting [farmed] fish in a barrel, but here goes:
  • "The face of local government" hasn't had a community meeting since July 2009 -- and that was when UU found out there was a Wilson Yard TIF Amendment meeting that was closed to the public.  At first Ald. Shiller tried keep people away, but later relented and "allowed" residents to attend a meeting about how their money would be spent.  She promised complete TIF transparency from that point on.  Yeah, that sure worked out.  Just ask Wilson Yard TIF Amendment No. 2, which was passed without a public meeting or public notice.
  • "The face of local government" tried to hide from residents who were protesting her ward's violent crime in August 2009, spoke briefly to the press, and ran to her car when residents tried to speak with her.  Perhaps "the backside of local government as she sprinted for her car to escape those she's paid to represent" might be a more apt description in this case.
  • "The face of local government" has a staff who deals with pleas for help by residents like this:  They mocked a young mother to her face, called her a racist, threatened to have her arrested, and threw her out of the office when she went there to ask for help with the crime and litter on her block.
  • "The face of local government" hasn't made a single public comment about the murders and shootings steps from her office.  Shame on you, Helen Shiller.
  • "The face of local government" doesn't understand why people are frightened of violent crime and feels that anyone who is, is simply motivated by her "political enemies."
  • "The face of local government" hasn't attended a CAPS meeting since the one she invented a month prior to the previous election:  one where Mayor Daley was in attendance, and where none of the regular CAPS facilitators were notified of its existence.
  • "The face of local government" hasn't sent out an email newsletter in nearly a year or hasn't updated her website in nearly three weeks.
We look forward to new faces on the Council, but most of all, we look forward to real representation.  Get out and vote and decide who'll provide it for you, Uptown.


  1. Funny that not one aldermanic candidate wants her endorsement. Labeling her as "toxic".

    Hmmmm. Maybe retiring is just the best way to not face the embarrassment of losing an election.

  2. You would have thought she would have lost one of those elections long ago, when you look at Helen's legacy as laid out by UU. But lets not dwell on the past. The future is bright and holds much promise, (at least for now).

  3. BCP, as long as business owners and managers of large high rises fear retaliation for supporting other candidates or allowing other candidates to promote themselves on their property, it will always be difficult to beat an incumbent. Can you say building inspector?

    As brazen as she was with pulling off her campaign stunts & lies, I think even she knew she couldn't win this round. That won't stop her from playing victim for the rest of her days.

  4. It's easy to bash Ms. Shiller. Her actions and omissions speaks for themselves. I personally would like her to be held accountable for the most egregious conduct that we've read about on here. Some of it sounds illegal.

    It is also fair question why Chicago tends to re-elect incumbents for years across the board no matter how self-serving, incompetent, undemocratic etc the officeholders tend to be.

    Here are a few reasons (other than voter complacency):

    1) The Democratic machine that's acted like a mafia in Chicago for nearly 60 years.

    2) Elections in February? Why not have them in May or June or November when it isn't 5F outside?

    3) Very liberal residency requirements for voters.

    4) Extremely partisan Election judges and a Board of Elections which doesn't care. I tried to report some misconduct from the last elections. It was like complaining to a Soviet bureaucrat.

    Those are a few that quickly crossed my mind. I'm sure there are at least 4 or 5 more. Perhaps the new incumbents won't just assimilate and exploit the system for their own needs, but rather reform it.

  5. Helen Shiller is a shining example of old good intentions gone bad, communism turned to capitalistic greed, and a totally out-of-control ego that makes her think that she knows better than the sum total of all the voters in the 46th Ward combined. Her biggest joke is her belief that she's "of the people"--my wise old grandmother, who was up hours before dawn to milk the cows, feed the chickens, and cook breakfast for three boys on a woodstove before spending 10 hours butchering turkeys at a Swift plant...then came home to cook dinner on that woodstove after tending to the fields...would have said there is nothing wrong with Helen that a good butt-paddling couldn't fix. I'd say that Helen needed more than one butt-paddling, and she should have been sent to bed without dinner. I'm settling for the satisfaction of pouring salt over Helen the Leech and crushing it under foot while it's writhing on the floor. Soon.

  6. Eye, you're absolutely right--she knew the handwriting was on the wall (probably one of her proud "grafitti walls") when she fled the community meetings, and she knew there was no way she'd ever get re-elected. Add to that, she's looted the neighborhood to her satisfaction and knows that she can't get blood out of turnips--time for new money-making opportunities. Here's to hoping that all the voters she bussed into the ward to register at the Wilson-Broadway Currency Exchange manage to find all the bronze plaques memorializing her "contributions" to schools, parks, and playgrounds across the ward--and that they cash them in as scrap metal. The faster that Helen is erased from the Ward's collective memory, the better.