Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Time Out Chicago - Uptown Edition

Time Out Chicago is giving Uptown lots of love on newsstands and the website today. A large focus is on Helen Shiller's retirement and legacy, with some other local reporting and demographics.

You can check out several stories online, including:
Thanks to Time Out Chicago for all of their in-depth reporting. Why not drop them an e-mail to say thanks? Or, better yet, go buy a copy to really show your appreciation!


  1. It is hilarious, and pathetic, that she bandies-about numbers about how the economics of Uptown have improved in the last 20 years. In a vacuum this is great, but when you look at the fact that the entire economy also grew during this time, it isn't very impressive at all.

    She counts on people to be too uninformed, or disinterested, to care that she is using numbers without context.

    Almost all politicians do this at some levels, but I just wish she would try a little harder to use statistics that have an iota of real meaning.

    Thankfully, in 2011, politics in Chicago will become more intelligent by simple omission.

  2. Surprisingly balanced article from Time Out Chicago. They clearly spend time in the neighborhood, and pointed out what us Uptowners have known for years.

    Most telling quote of the article:

    “I’m not really excited by the breadth of candidates,” she admits. “No one who’s running for alderman has a clue what the job is.”

    Sorry Don and Emily - Helen won't be supporting your campaign. It is rather surprising that an entrenched politician like Helen Shiller doesn't have an obvious successor. I think that's a clear sign that the neighborhood is in need of new leadership.

  3. I never knew Helen Shiller drove a cab up in Racine!

    Just goes to show that you can learn something new every day...

  4. I disagree that not having a replacement is a sign of no leadership. I think it is just the opposite. In the 48th ward and 47th ward they had their replacements lined up. That is normal Chicago politics. That Shiller announced her retirement early, and then said that she would not endorse anyone, and did not have anyone installed in her place was refreshing, and I think a sign of leadership because it did not follow the routine in city politics.

  5. Interesting point, Brendan. At the moment, I am undecided as to how much Shiller is either playing things close-to-the-vest or really didn't have a "succession plan." I think everyone can agree that if she endorsed a candidate that person would be mercilessly villified and might not be able to get across who they are apart from Shiller. It would be unfair to the candidate, and if they won, it would begin their career in a counterproductive way.

    I guess we will see how things shake out. I am looking forward to seeing how Shiller decides to participate in Uptown's civic life as a private citizen.

  6. No one who’s running for alderman has a clue what the job is

    Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back just yet, Ms. Shiller.

    Granted, Helen has accomplished quite a few things during her tenure. I may not agree with everything that she's done (or, more specifically: how she's done it); but, that doesn't diminish the fact that she did set and achieve some rather complicated goals.

    Having said that, I moved into the 46th in 1998 and the Wilson stop was crap, as were the viaducts beneath LSD.

    As I drove around today (13 years later - for those who don't like to do math), I see the Wilson stop is still crap, as are the viaducts.

    And, as far as I can tell, there are no solid or immediate plans to correct either of those things (despite a long history of promises), since the longer things deteriorate, the more expensive they get to correct - and the city's plumb run out of money as it could never sustain the budgets which Helen voted to accept.

    So, while Helen does her best to polish up the more admirable aspects of her legacy, she might want to step down from her pedestal long enough to take a moment to recognize that her legacy also includes glaring and painful examples of unfathomable failure resulting from abject neglect and a quality of foresight matched only by Mr. Magoo.

    Hopefully, whomever rises from within this breadth of candidates will have enough of a clue to avoid making the same mistakes, and enough of a comprehensive commitment to the ward to realize that there are things which must be done that our soon to be former alderman spent more than 20 years either not doing, or simply not doing well.