Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ben Joravsky's Guide To The Aldermanic Runoffs

The Reader's Ben Joravsky focuses on some of the runoff elections, including the 46th Ward:

A race to replace the former reformer. For as long as just about anyone can remember, Helen Shiller's been the alderman of the 46th Ward, fighting for political control of Uptown against a strong faction of residents who hate her guts. But this time around, Shiller's not on the ballot; she decided not to run for reelection, which means many of her longtime haters are seething because she deprived them of the satisfaction of running her out of office. I feel your pain, Helen haters — Mayor Daley did the same thing to me.

Read the rest of the article here.


  1. Interesting article, ripe with interesting observations:

    "Plus, trust me—she can be really stubborn and quick to interrupt people she's arguing with.

    So for lots of reasons she could drive her opponents batty."

    Opponents? Not to mention residents of the ward.

  2. Wow, that was poorly written. Did he need to spend 75% of the 46th Ward section opinion about lame-duck Shiller? Did he really say anything about either candidate? Did he even mention anything about how Phelan's allied herself with old-guard alderman? Gah. Talk about missing the point, and missing an opportunity to educate and inform.

  3. I really resent when people from outside the ward voice their opinions of who should lead the ward. Joravsky has been a sane voice over the years, and an influential voice. For him to promote one candidate over the other without being in the middle of the fight is irresponsible!

  4. For those of you familiar with Ben Joravsky, he is one of the leading voices for TIF reform in Chicago. I find that he doesn't even give Molly a solid endorsement but merely "probably go" to Phelan is more telling of his luke-warm support of her efforts. If she was truly dedicated to TIF reform and not just grabbing on to a popular issue, I think Ben would have been more certain in his potential vote.

    And, before anyone gets any ideas, Ben is just one of many columnists and writers for the Chicago Reader. This is NOT an endorsement by the Reader.

    I do appreciate other media outlets devoting space to the issues facing our fine ward.

  5. Joravsky has every right to. It's a city issue as well as a ward one. I'm just surprised that he apparently didnt' dig any deeper or address the issues that people in the ward are having with the Phelan campaign, notably where she's raised most of her money and what that may or may not mean.

  6. Honestly, I think he is just so happy that Helen did not run again that like many of us it is a relief that someone else will be alderman in the 46th come May. Unlike most other people who write about the 46th, he has regularly made a point to talk a bit more honestly about Helen's behavior. He also has in the past gone into more detail about why so many people disagree with her choices and that it is much more complex than demographic issues.

  7. I love me some Ben Joravsky.

    The thing is...he really understood the Uptown of "old." He knew its dynamics well. He wrote so much about Helen Shiller in his entry because he hasn't formed a useful picture of the "new" Uptown yet. He hasn't pounded the pavement on it and it shows. And, I am sure a certain amount of what he sees bores him. However, I would say that is because he hasn't pounded the pavement enough.

    Yet in his excellent Joravskian wisdom, he figured out a way to say something interesting without saying much. Well played, my dear Ben.

    But now is the time for him to get his tuchus up here and figure out how to tell this story!! Bring your old roadmap if you like, Ben. It will help somewhat. Just don't forget your pad & pencil and your walking shoes.

  8. Thank you others for clarifying my point. Ben's TIF articles were fabulous, but this latest article displays a decidedly "Shiller Era" view. To accurately write about Uptown's future, you need meet the people and the candidates. Not merely judge what you have read about them in various papers or on websites.