Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Sun-Times Takes A Look At The 46th Ward Race

Isn't it funny how, when a long-time leader, whose actions say loud and clear "Crime is not my issue," moves out the way and opens the door for new leadership, crime becomes the number one topic of conversation in the campaign?  We're sorry Uptown's state of affairs has made it necessary, but we're delighted that residents' fears are finally being given attention and consideration.  31 shootings; four murders; 32 reports of "shots fired" in 2010: That's a record of blog posts we don't ever want to equal in the years ahead.

The Sun-Times has an article about the candidates running for alderman and the main topic of conversation: Crime Takes 46th Ward Focus.  It takes a look at the ward and some of the candidates' ideas for solutions. 

We're flattered that the Sun-Times mentions Uptown Update and the sort of topics we cover on the blog.  For the record, we look forward to the day when "plugs for area restaurants, invitations to community events, and historical trivia" are primarily what we post about.  Be sure to vote wisely, and maybe that day is closer than any of us believe possible.


  1. I am a little confused. The Sun-Times also endorsed Rahm today. They expressed worry that he wanted to use TIF money to hire more cops. They said, "We have reservations about using TIF money for anything other than its original purpose, which was to redevelop blighted areas."

    However, they endorse a candidate in the 46th ward who wants to make sure that 20% of TIFS go to affordable housing? That is not the original purpose.

    If I am wrong on Emily's position, let me know.

  2. Emily did say 20% of TIFS should go to affordable housing.

  3. "Lake Shore Drive Laura" Washington sits on the Sun-Times' Editorial Board. She loves Helen. She lauds Don Nowotny for "making Uptown's streets shine." Helen's enemies are her enemies. She holds thost of us who don't love Helen in absolute contempt (yet I've only seen her walking to Whole Foods, never to Helen's office... funny, that). THAT's why the Sun-Times Editorial Board endorsed Emily, who has said she would not have run against Helen and wants to add and improve social services and affordable housing in Uptown. That's why the Sun-Times spoke highly of Don in the text of that endorsement. Lakeview Laura was just taking care of her BFF Helen one last time.

  4. So, some candidates are supportive of funding a housing ordinance from a convoluted, abused and mismanaged financing tactic that each candidate, every resident and the media admits is convoluted, abused and mismanaged?

    An ordinance that could, at least for the short term, be pulling in ~$100M/yr?

    An ordinance that will most likely come to a council vote prior to the election (February 9th, as a matter of fact) and certainly before the results of any forensic audit would be available - which will more than likely reveal how convoluted, abused and mismanaged the source for this funding truly is (not to mention any areas of improvement this audit may find within the operations of the Chicago Housing Authority which, oddly enough, already exists and has a rather similar goal).

    I'm no finance attorney or anything, so maybe I'm just wrong in thinking that (regardless of the admirable intent of this ordinance - and how many warm and fuzzies people may get when they hear a candidate offer their support) placing the faith of the needy (and the city, to an extent) on a (currently unaudited) process which is widely considered to be corrupted just ... well, it just doesn't appear that people have thought this all the way through.

    As for the article - meh. It's coverage of the area emphasizing what the residents have been wanting the city to know for the last few years: Really. Crime in Uptown is bad.

    Better late than never, I s'pose, and I appreciate the attention.

    Note: this reporter is not a member of the Editorial Board - and there's a big difference between what the staff reporters produce and the ideological fluffery puffed out by the Sun Times Editorial Board.

    Trib's ain't much better.

  5. What I thought was very telling, was that the article lead off with an Uptown Update mention...NOT our wonderful Alderman.
    UU was for me, a far mor important and reliable source this year, than my Alderman's Office.
    This is sad, and incredible at the same time.
    Kudos to UU!

  6. Ahem. Don't you know the real reason editorial boards love to endorse the likes of Emily and (formerly) Shiller?

    While these newspaper editors sit back in their comfy downtown condos or suburban lairs, they can feel safe and secure in the knowledge that they are standing up for affordable housing by these endorsing these candidates.

    The fact that they don't have to live in the middle of the crossfire does not seem to distress them.

    Makes me wonder... if it cost a mere $400,000 to build an apartment in Wilson Yard, how about putting some Gangsta D's or Vice Lords in a condo next door to a Sun-Times editorial board member so they can feel up close and personal like we do.

  7. The Sun-Times is like the original "Red-Eye". Short form journalism at its minimalist. They sure know how to save ink....

    You know I like Molly P's idea about having artists display work in our ample supply of empty (spanking-new) storefronts.

    However it is by no means a one-way donation to artists, the artists would be donating the use of their works and accepting the liability.

    Also besides individual artists a program such as like EAIM ( also be open to school groups and such, a way for students to show their stuff to the community.

    Its an excellent, inexpensive and good-to-go idea. The hope is in the future we would run out of storefronts to display in, in fact I have to move my art out of a storefront on Granville at Broadway in the spring because it looks like they have a tenant.

    I can't say for certain if the artwork of myself and a dozen others helped lease the space, but it could not have hurt.

    This is a proven, action-able idea, if Uptown wants it can happen by next summer.......I guarantee!

    And to reiterate an earlier comment I made in a previous post

    "...endorsements are for sheep!".


    Jeffrey Littleton

  8. "endorsements are for sheep."

    Good one. I like it.

    However, Rahm was my candidate for Mayor. SInce the Sun-Times endorsed him, I am second guessing myself.

  9. Something about Emily Stewart's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" story appealed to me when she first announced.

    I like earnest, young upstarts.

    But if Stewart is a political novice, from what I hear she's learning politics pretty fast.

    My understanding is that Stewart is on record at earlier forums opposing more low-income housing in the neighborhood.

    I can only guess she figured that wasn't going to earn her any points with The Deciders, and now she's gone 180 degrees in the opposite direction.

    Most people have the decency to wait until AFTER the election to flip-flop.

  10. Molly is merely co-opting an idea that has been used in other cities around the country since the real estate collapse in using Artist works in vacant storefronts.. NYC and Miami both use this to great affect.. I think it is a great idea.. just want to put it out there that it is far from an original one and thus, should not be offered up as a new idea..

  11. IMHO, what counts most is what the candidates do when they're NOT running for office. Most of the current candidates for the 46th appeared out of nowhere, or were propped up by Helen.
    James Cappleman has been involved in the community long before most of the candidates were on the scene. Most will go to any social event for visibility.
    James' involvement in the community shows long-term commitment! Take a look at all candidates closely before you decide! We DON"T want another 20 years like the past!!!!!!!

  12. @ Jason (tfo). Its not sheepish if you made up your mind without the sage advice of the Sun-Times. By da way... I endorse Del Valle!

    @Rob. I don't see it as co-opting at all. A good idea is a good idea. At no time has Molly P claimed it was her brainstorm or came in a dream etc. I believe James C would call it "evidence based best practices".

    I participate in the Edgewater program which has filled stores as far south as 5107 Broadway until recently, and the Berwyn stop, the former is actually in Uptown!

    James has told me he is in favor of the idea and Michael Carroll is definately on board with the idea, he has some of my art on display at 4700 Sheridan, his campaign headquarters. He has great taste in art I say without a hint of modesty.

    Nobody needs to re-invent the wheel to fix our Uptown's moribound retail scene. in fact its much better to "co-op" what works and run with it. In my humbliest opinion.

    I will say that Molly's idea for pop-up galleries based on the program in the Loop is an awesome idea, especially for Wilson Yards which needs good news. It would generate some powerful buzz in the media for sure, imagine the New York Times doing a positive article on the culture of Uptown Chicago. Imagine a potential investor reading that article. That is a benefit.

    The benefits are manifold, artists like it, so do landlords...neighbors love it!

    So why not? Even the Sun-Times might see fit to endorse this most modest of proposals...

    Cheers and G' Day,

    Jeffrey Littleton

  13. Stewart's public comments at recent forums regarding low income housing in the Ward scare me, and clearly indicate she is not the candidate for me (which is OK, as we all have a choice to make here). I am ok with (and actually in favor of) preserving balance in the community and taking care of the mess that has already been created here, but let's not make it worse by overburdening this community at a time when we cannot even manage what we have here. Uptown is at a major crossroads here...

    I listened to a recent candidate forum posted on here, and Emily seemed to be telling that particular audience what they want to hear. In my opinion, she was pretty actively advocating more low-income housing in 46. I would like to speak to Emily personally and get some clarity.

    Having said all of this, I am very interested in working with the next Alderman, who I sincerely hope will reach out to the ENTIRE community.

  14. Jeffrey, get a dictionary and look up "co-opt".. then sit back, reread what I wrote including that I thought it a good idea,,,,and relax.. cheers!

  15. The Molly pop up galleries first came from james cappleman early on in the campaign. I was at his kick off speech and talked to him afterwards about the idea. he said he's served on a committee that is doing it in edgewater and is also on a committee that is bringing in temporary art into Uptown. I think he said his group is responsible for the tree in buttercup park.

    the difference here is, Molly likes to use a bullhorn and take credit for something. James seems to be a guy who does the work.

    I've made up my mind on who I'm voting for.

  16. @ Rob. I am relaxed and meant no offense.

    I will indeed look up co-opt in my dog-eared old dictionary.

    Will you please in return look up the word "merely".

    Then we can put our two definitions together and come to a consensus on the contextual definition of "merely co-opt" as used in your post.

    Than we will have a genuine english composition lesson to expand on your vocabulary lesson......brilliant!!!


    Jeffrey Littleton

  17. Hey JL.. mere·ly   /ˈmɪərli/ Show Spelled
    [meer-lee] Show IPA

    –adverb ..
    1. only as specified and nothing more; simply: merely a matter of form.
    2. Obsolete .
    a. without admixture; purely.
    b. altogether; entirely.

    I used it correctly. Now let me get back to work so I can earn an income where I can pay my property taxes where idiot alderman steal it for TIFS...

  18. @ Jane. 3 points

    1. The idea for pop-up galleries came from way outside Uptown, or Chicago for that matter. Google it.

    2. At the Borders forum last saturday James told me he was in favor of artists displaying their work but not the pop-up galleries. If I mis-heard him fine, anyone from his campaign is welcome to contact me directly to clarify. If he did speak in favor of the pop-ups could you please provide a link or something for clarification.

    3. I am not aware of his role in EAIM in Edgewater. I am only a participating artist so could you please expand on that assertion, again for clarification. I can call the Director Rae Ann but that won't help the UU readership.

    I am aware of the program on Sheridan Rd. Its a great program.

    I know you've alredy made up your mind, however can you please clarify for the rest of us.

    Thank you,

    Jeffrey Littleton

  19. @Jane -

    For the record, who cares who's idea it was "first," as long as its implemented?

    This election is about what's best for the residents of the 46th Ward, not what's best for James Cappleman or who gets credit.

    But if Cappleman is running as the smartest guy with all of the best ideas, he might want to change his campaign talking points.

    On most of the major issues, Cappleman seems to have no ideas of his own and says he'll leave the deciding up to an as-yet-to-be-named committee.

    I was very disappointed that he said on Saturday's forum that if I don't like a development in my neighborhood, i need to lobby the unelected person who serves on one of his 101 advisory committees.

    I think we all expect our next alderman to take our call.

  20. Mister Dog, it is too bad you did not run.

    You seem to have all the answers.

    I am thinking that you are like one of those yappy little poodles that barks constantly and feels superior to other dogs.

    It seems to me your view is the election is about what you think and only what you think.

    You are the Rod Blago of Uptown Update. Woof.

  21. YDD, I think you're getting candidates confused. Cappleman stated he was having only 1 committee. There were a few other candidates that spoke of having several committees.

    As far as Cappleman wanting to involve this planning committee on a final decision of a $50,000,000 TIF, perhaps it's not a bad idea to go beyond the local block club to make this decision, ya think? The surrounding aldermen seem to agree because they're already doing it.

    I wonder where you got this idea that he wouldn't take your calls? I like the idea of using a process to make community decisions that other aldermen are already using, and no one said you couldn't add your 2 cents. You're just not guaranteed to get your way, no matter how much money you donate. ;)

  22. @Yellow Dog Democrat - Are you kidding that Cappleman has no original ideas? Molly and Don's entire platform is a essentially a carbon copy of what James's 2007 campaign platform. The main difference between the candidates is that James has actually worked and accomplish positive change in our neighborhood? Don was paid by the city to work in the ward, and Molly spearheaded one failed community group (Fix Wilson Yard) that frankly had no chance of ever stopping the development. Clearly, you support another candidate than Cappleman, but please get your facts straight before you degrade another candidate.

    While James may have asked for advisory committee input on projects, as someone who knows James personally through his voluneteer work in the community, I know that he will talk to any community member about concerns.

  23. Yellow Dog has made a number of not so nice remarks on this site all of the sudden about just about everyone except.... ready... Molly Phelan!

    Just observing, just saying... it is ok if you like Molly Phelan, Yellow Dog.. I am sure she is a fine person... just dont hide your affiliation with her. And quit making up bu??crap statements about other candidates that are not true. I would hope Ms. Phelan would not appreciate your actions.. =)

  24. Yellow Dog.. BUSTED..LOL You are a consultant based in Springfield!

    Hmmm... I smell a smoking gun.. lol

  25. Rob,

    I noticed da same ting about YDD the other day. In another thread I asked whose payroll he was on.

    "The 46th Ward Great Debate Recap" is the thread. YDD says he's lived in Uptown for six years. About time to update his blogger page I guess.

    Now YDD may just be a political junkie as he posts in various forums. Or he may be a "consultant".

    In any case he is clearly supporting Phelan. He claims not to have been paid by any candidate.

    Which I will assume is true until proven otherwise. Just chalk him up as a Phelan supporter who feels the need to attack the other candidates. The other candidates have supporters who do the same thing.