Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cappleman On CLTV Tonight

From the 46th Ward alderman-elect:

"Today is a great day. I just wanted to take a second to say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

This was truly a grassroots campaign and we had an army of supporters out there yesterday, knocking on doors, calling voters and standing at the el stations. This win would not have happened if it wasn't for you.

There is a lot of work to do and in the coming weeks we will be working on the transition for Alderman of the 46th Ward. We will be updating the website ( regularly to keep you informed.

Tonight I will be on Politics Tonight on CLTV at 6pm and 9:30pm talking about the win and moving forward. Hope you can tune in.

I look forward to representing you as your next Alderman of the 46th Ward.

Thank you again.

Let's get to work."

Update:  James and other new aldermen-elect will be on Chicago Tonight on WTTW at 7pm.


  1. Come on, Cappleman. Why isn't everything fixed yet? What are you waiting for?

    Just kidding. Congrats on the great victory. You deserve it for all of the time and effort you have put into this community.

    Good luck and hope we don't drive you crazy.

  2. Congrats to James!

    (It might be a good idea to get a land-line for the next NPR call in BTW ;) )

  3. Hope this transition goes smoother than the Preckwinkle/Stoger transition!

  4. What has this guy done as alderman? Nothing. I hereby announce my candidacy for 2015! We are boldly going to take this ward where no one has gone before!!!!

    Congrats to James.

  5. Hardy Har Captain Picard :)

    We were already told he'll keep his website updated and received his e-mail. Already HUGE steps...

  6. I love it !!!!! Go uptown !!!!!!!

  7. When I try to picture Shiller's reaction to James winning I'm reminded of a quote from Archer (Which everyone should watch, great show!)

    "She literally vomited with rage"

    I can't wait to hear the stories once the Cappleman team moves in and finds a complete lack of record keeping/basic organization.

  8. Hooray for Uptown! I cannot help but to feel very enthusiastic about the change that is coming. I hope that this is something that is positive for every member of the community.

  9. @fear and loathing...

    i wonder if her staff will remove all the j's & c's from the keyboards, much like the clinton white house was rumored to have done with all the w's

  10. I look forward to hearing a detailed update about the TIF money set aside for the Wilson EL Station and what has been paid for at this time. Since the current office is unwilling to talk about it, maybe James can update us about it.

    James is a wonderful man and dedicated honest advocate for Uptown. His work ethic over the past 7 years I have lived here, has been amazing.

  11. @Andrew: You assume they had enough organization to be using a keyboard for anything

    But yes, that would be amusing.

  12. I'm wondering how visible and involved in the community Molly Phelan will be in the months and years ahead? I can say with certainty that if the election had a different outcome, we'd still see James out there working diligently to make the ward a better place. Do you think we'll see continued effort and support from Mol? Is her care and love for the ward genuine? Time will tell.

  13. Congratulations and a BIG Thank You! to Uptown Update!

    UU has proved to be an invaluable resource for binding together all political sides of our community.

    UU has kept us informed of all sides of the issues so that we, the residents here and not the outside political and financial interests, could make up our own minds on them.

    I wish I were back in my graduate school days studying public policy, because I'd like to do a thesis on how an on-line community Blog sites helped to bring democracy and a powerful voice to a people who had been previously been locked out of inside-knowledge and power circles.

    The existence of Uptown Update in this election as an easily accessible, Real-Time and unassailably open-to-all forum is a paradigm for how real people-power can overcome old-school machine methods of distortion, diversion and attempts to elevate negative personal assaults (decorative flower pots, for example) above the issues people really care about.

    It's a great feeling to realize that honesty and truth and decency can occasionally win the day in politics.

  14. I no longer live in Uptown, but my friends still work there so I am interested in the ward getting cleaned up. Let's start with something small, like the mailbox drinking parties at Lawrence/Sheridan. It makes the ward look bad to have able bodied men just standing around loafing.

  15. Buena Parker,

    I couldn't agree more. Thank you UU. I hope the wave of local news reporting/opinions turning into activism continues to grow. UU and the frequent posters on it are just another reason to LOVE Uptown.

    We may never meet one another and may even sometimes disagree but I'll be that stranger you may pass on the street one day saying hello with a smile. Damn it feels good to be an Uptowner today!

  16. I'd love to hear voters on all sides - supporters of Phelan and of Cappleman - give their opinions about why the vote in each precinct of Ward 46 went the way it did.

    I'll start by saying that in Precinct 1 - Imperial Towers - where Cappleman won by 59% - I think voters did not appreciate Molly's being the 1st, and the harshest, to go negative.

    The degree of her campaign's negativity and personal attack in its barrage of campaign mail was a huge mistake.

    I also think that Molly lost votes when, 5 days before the election, she came to the building and several residents were ejected from her supposedly open forum because they asked questions that Molly didn't want to / could not answer.

    31st Precinct - where Cappleman got 61% - Charlotte Newfeld's voice is highly respected here - don't know how that played out, but it's worth noting.

    7th Precinct - I believe this includes where Molly lives - James got 66% of the vote. This seems revealing of what Molly's immediate neighbors thought of Molly's efforts in that area.

    Likewise - 39th Precinct (Disney School area) - adjacent to Molly's place - went 57% for Cappleman.

    22nd Precinct - here the vote was an incredible outlier of 79% for Molly. This precinct is largely influenced by Marc Kaplan & Jon Trott, the percentage there was amazing, but the total vote count was relatively small and didn't make an overall difference in ward-wide results.

    32nd Precint - includes Target store and the affordable housing there - went 59% for Phelan - even after Phelan sued to keep the residents from having a home there.

    Again, this probably demonstrates a small sphere where Kaplan's, et al, endorsement and fear-based appeals may have helped Phelan, but not enough.

    I think there are precincts where Emily Stewart's voice supporting Cappleman had a big impact, but I haven't had time to analyze those yet.

    I'd love to hear the assessments of others - particularly Phelan backers - of why they believe that each precinct went for or against either candidate.

  17. I still believe in Molly Phelan.

    I was outside the 46 and 16th prcnts. poll till 3:30 ate quick lunch then went out knocking doors for Molly until 6:45.

    It was slow of course, I set-up my granny-cart like an easle to draw between pedestrians passes. It is a nice drawing, not finished. Emily Stewart stopped by, we talked about Uptown, we love it.

    "Beyond that I love to talk inside baseball on the 16/46th prcnts.
    Is it fair and humble enough to wait until this wish from an earlier post as follows:
    I still believe in Molly. We still have so many artists here doing nothing in the community when they could be attracting business and helping to unify us, like I see one of the Littleton brothers in a previous comment on this thread.
    Will the arts be a part of this moving forward, I hope so but have some doubts.

    Congratulations to James.

    And a big cheers for Molly Phelan...she did inspire a lot of people it may be hard to agree for some but she did.
    My wish is that James will reach out to her and by extension Molly's supporters, our neighbors.
    I takes character to do that."

    After that happens I bet not just me but many other neighbors for Molly will freely and openly.

  18. I agree that Molly really had some great ideas and a great heart. I'm thrilled that we had two fabulous choices and I have nothing but hope for Uptown moving into the future.

    What an exciting time to live here!

  19. CP - totally agree with you on the drinking parties at Lawrence & Sheridan. Call 911 every time you or your friends see it please.

  20. Uptown Arts, would you consider sharing your drawing with UU when it is finished?

    Also, regarding Molly...she worked very hard on this campaign. She has gumption to spare. I am sure this is a very hard day for her but I hope she finds comfort in the fact that she gave it her all. Uptown is all the better for people like her. I hope she takes a well deserved rest and continues to work for the betterment of this community. Who doesn't need people who can be counted on to stand up and take action?

  21. Sassy,

    The fb side doesn't allow me to post photos or its me.

    I would like Molly to have it. Promoting the arts and culture to enhance our community, our well-being, that was part of what she stood for. It wasn't respected.

    Its a Conte pencil drawing, similar to a Chinese landscape, mountains, temple complex of sorts in the background. A large scholar rock, the edge of a sea and driftwood.
    It just needs to be tightened up a bit and its good.

    I don't see anything really happening for the arts in Uptown, or the artists. It is a big disappointment for me. The arts are a solution yet its like they need to beg for a favor, to be taken seriously.

    Molly takes the arts seriously, I am sure of this.
    We live in a large city, there is much to do artistically Chicago, however I have nothing to do here.

    Uptown is still home.

  22. Uptown Arts: Have you presented your ideas to James? Just because Molly supported something doesn't mean James is against it.

  23. Uptown Arts -- I believe that James tried to push to reserve some of the Wilson Yard for artists housing back in the day?

  24. Jeffrey - I am not sure why you don't think that James supports the arts. From my conversations with James, I believe he is a big supporter of the arts. In terms of the campaign, I don't think he agreed with her rationale for pop-up art galleries being a catalyst for economic development, but i know he would love to see artists flourish in Uptown. I encourage you to reach out to him and share your ideas.

  25. @Uptown Arts:

    From what I understood, Molly was promoting a concept of convincing landlords to provide artists free rent to show their wares, but the artists would need to come up with appropriate cash for insurance, security, etc.

    Not that I don't very much appreciate the vision, but I never found this to be realistic given that a) you need to convince landlords this is a good idea, b) the artist needs to fork over cash and hang out all day in the gallery and c) Uptown doesn't have enough of the kind of people that would purchase art from a gallery to make it worthwhile for the artist. On the other hand, I can totally see an "art in windows" concept, where "b" and "c" don't come into play.

    From an artist's perspective, assuming someone can strong arm the landlords to go along with the original idea, are "b" and "c" legitimate hurdles... or am I just being overly pessimistic? Thank you for the dialog.

  26. @Buena Parker --

    Data I used here (copy and paste it out to excel if you wish):

    Quick analysis on a gross vote total basis:

    -- Phelan held her own (clearly) against Cappleman in the primary, but was not able to convince Carroll/Nowotny/Stewart voters in the run-off.

    -- Kaplan votes influenced multiple precincts for Phelan (12, 22, 26, 33, 38, 42), but not across the board. Despite a late endorsement, maybe Kaplan voters were not excited enough to come out a second time in force.

    -- Stewart voters appeared to have gone pretty heavily in favor of Cappleman (obviously a big endorsement for him). The exception to this rule was 22, where effectively every Stewart voter went for Phelan.

    -- Interesting to see Phelan actually lose votes during the runoff in 6 cases; it'd be interesting to survey those precincts to find out why that was the case.

  27. @ El

    Your welcome for the dialog.

    However your thumbnail a,b,c, sketch is missing letters. And then I would divide this into two columns of challenges and benefits. This would be closer to a thumbnail sketchy.

    In fact Molly Phelan's plan was far more sophisticated then I saw covered, here or in the forums with everybody talking for 60 seconds and all.

    She has the perfect skill-set honesty, communication skills style... she could have pulled it off. What can I say. I believe artists would respond to her.

    Where is the creativity El? Molly's plan was more sophisticated and flexible, coordinate marketing/PR for the openings. Good media buzz about Uptown...artists making money, self-sustiaing revenue from sales. I guess the thumbnail a,b,c may not be the best format. It sounds like dudes and dudettes sitting around with their stuff on the wall.

    Unfortunately the biggest hurdle is the dismissive reactions do the attention it needs to actually happen properly. Other issues always hog the stage. Its not going to happen by chance or with a few street fairs and window displays.

    Molly got it! Uptown didn't..........I will know it when I see it, art is honest.

    Are you being overly-pessimistic El? Probably not now, where's the plan?

  28. @ EL -

    Thank you so much for your link - - your analysis is highly useful and conscientious. You have also succeeded in working with the Board of Elections spreadsheet far better than I have been able to!

    I don't want to dwell on past slights or disagreements with any candidate.

    However, as a historian, I firmly believe that those who care about the present and the future are willing to look at the facts, including the vote results, of what has occurred in the past.

    Analyzing election results is an important part of learning from political mistakes and tactical and strategic political master-strokes so that we can find common agreement and common ground for our future.

  29. I also added a column for Percentage Turnout decrease. There seems to be a correlation between the precincts with the greatest drop off in turnout and the precincts where Phelan either lost votes on April 5 over over Feb 22 (in 5 precincts) or gained just a few votes on April 5 over Feb 22.

    One possible conclusion is that there was an enthusiasm gap - i.e., Phelan-leaning Feb 22 voters were less motivated or enthusiastic about returning to the polls to vote for her again on April 5, compared to Cappleman-leaning voters.

  30. Here's a quick general breakdown of the election results.

    1. Cappleman won.

    2. Cappleman won every precinct in the Buena Park area of the ward.

    3. Of the five precincts Cappleman lost 3 were heavily influenced by JPUSA and Marc Kaplan. Those precincts are centered around:

    JPUSA world HQ on Wilson,

    Sheridan and Wilson

    Clifton to Broadway from Montrose to Lawrence.

    The other two were in Lakeview and were centered on the Lakefront and Grace and the Lakefront and Addison. I'm guessing Phelan had some strong volunteers in some of those highrises.

    The two precincts at Magnolia and Wilson and Broadway and Waveland were tied.

    With the exception of the Team Jesus precinct Cappleman did extremely well where Emily Stewart had a strong following. For example precinct 2 around Lawrence and Magnolia went 67% for Cappleman.

    Cappleman also generally did exceptionally well away from the lakefront in the precincts without large amounts of Kaplan influenced low income housing.

    He did less well in the lakefront highrise precincts, but still carried everyone north of Grace.

    Overall, it's a strong victory among virtually all groups and areas of the ward.

    To the Molly supporters I say

    "All we are saying is give James a chance."

  31. Uptown Arts/Jeffrey--I have several thoughts running through my mind from reading your posts. I'll start by saying that MANY of my friends are artists, working in various media, so I'm not indifferent about art and artists.

    I'm always troubled by the idea of people putting all their eggs in one basket--practicality and creativity must go hand-in-hand, and those who succeed always have contingency plans ready, in case Plan A goes up on the rocks. People who have lived in Uptown for more than 4 or 6 years are experts at that, having to go to Plan B (and frequently Plans C, D, and E) because of an unresponsive alderman or unresponsive city department or nasty neighbors or lack of resources. Uptown as a whole has always "gotten it" on that count. But Uptown has never been an art destination like, say, Bucktown or River North, either. It isn't easy to create a new business sector for a neighborhood out of thin air, particularly when it demands a share of already-stretched-and-meager resources that existing residents have slugged it out over for years. I think that the elections have said two things--February emphatically rejected Shiller's priorities (and way of conducting business); this April election demanded a focus on the common denominators of community needs, like clean and safe neighborhoods, responsive city services, reasonable economic development that is done with real citizen input, wise and transparent use of taxpayer dollars in a way that benefits all of us instead of a selected few, etc. Free land, free rent, free marketing, free city services--none of that is very appetizing to a community that has spent 20 years helplessly watching its financial and tangible resources being thrown away by a passive-aggressive alderman to her cronies, whether they be demonstrably incompetent and corrupt "housing corporations", or super-wealthy suburban developers, or divisive "social service" organizations that don't appreciate what they got and act dismissively toward the very people who actually pay for the largesse. It's always great to get something for nothing...but it is hell getting nothing after sacrificing so much for *something*, as most of the formerly-detested "condo people" in Uptown will tell you.

    That all being said, I hope you planned for contingencies. It doesn't matter that you think Molly "got it"...what matters is that you talk with James Cappleman about your needs now. But it needs to be more than just you--bring along several of your Uptown art colleagues so you will have critical mass. If private storefront owners don't want to simply hand you a door key out of the goodness of their hearts, then maybe you DO need to organize an Uptown Art Festival with a place like Truman College to show that there IS a viable business for art right here...or work with James and the CTA to secure free space for a gallery in the otherwise-empty Wilson Red Line Station (a publically-owned building--with a lot of traffic!). My message to you is to do what so many of us in Uptown have done for so long: Work with what you have instead of with what you want to have. Think creatively outside of the box, and have several options for reaching your goals. Build friendships and alliances with people in your boat...and with people who may not be in your boat but are willing to get in and row with you. Communicate with people you need to have working with you...or find ways to work around them if they won't communicate and cooperate. And make this a community effort that the broader community can and will buy into, so that we will ALL benefit from success. A lot of people wanted to see artist lofts and galleries included in Wilson I think that you will find more support for art in Uptown than the casual observer may think is there.

    All the best to you, and good luck!

  32. I'm not sure why everyone's focused on Phelan's marvelous, innovative arts plan. It's not that great, for two reasons:
    1) it's been done before--actually, being done right now, in several other wards. Get off the Red Line at Berwyn and you'll pass right by an empty storefront full of artists' works. Which brings me to point two:
    2) The plan doesn't bring business in; it's a way to fill empty storefronts and make their vacancy look less striking.

    If Phelan was really interested in helping events, she'd offer up an art fair that actually attracted foot traffic and buyers, and enabled the artists to meet the public, rather than something so static.

  33. FYI, the art fair on Glenwood is awesome.. and still very local.. and the idea of using the area on Truman is a great idea... I sure hope someone with the time and passion follows through on this...we buy and support from local artists and would love the chance to do so with Uptown artists too.. much better than just looking at it through glass...

  34. "Work with what you have instead of with what you want to have."


    I would like to submit this post as "Exhibit A" for why Uptown is already awesome and for why it will only get better and better. There are some amazing people who call this place home. So many of us in Uptown have struggled. To the extent that the struggle (whatever it was and however unwanted it was) has made us better human beings, there will always be something for us to share with others.

    Thanks for the impressive post, bear60640. There's a lot of wisdom in it for Uptown and about life in general. What a nice way to start my day!

  35. @ Bear and others,

    I have a personal plan B, I am going to participate artistically in another neighborhood. Uptown needs a plan B now I would guess.

    I am very likely not the ideal artist to approach James, I live in Mercy Housing and I am active in Tenant Leadership. I live in "government subsidized housing" To so many that puts me in a proverbial box, and not a very nice box, y'all know what I am talking about. There have been many barbed comments directed to me personally and my fellow residents in general on this webpage and the campaign.
    As you said Bear there are plenty of other artists, friends of yours, James as well. Perhaps one or a number of them should step-up and make that Plan B happen. The greatest resource required of them will be time.
    A major hurdle will be the coordination of combining different programs into a cohesive strategy to "move the needle" on business development. It is about much more then artists getting "free" space. I spend my hard earned money on art, people buy art, that is revenue.
    Please stop saying it was just about window dressing, nothing wrong with it per se, my art is still window dressing on Granville. It is what it is.
    Once again I say this below because it got lost in the campaign bullet points.

    Molly's proposal was very vigorous and sophisticated. It had vision and the promise of support and leadership at the top. It inspired me and I was ready to put my heart into it.
    It took a little while but Molly Phelan reached out to me in a very genuine way to articulate her proposals for the arts. Maybe I am loyal or just stubborn.
    Its not about me,this is perhaps a job for others to spearhead and cheer-lead as they see fit, I am just one "broke-ass" artist in Uptown.

    An honest and genuine reconciliation between my friends Molly and James would go a very long way.

    It is the right thing to do.

  36. Uptown Arts, we need your "broke ass" in Uptown.

    No Uptown arts initiative would be worthwhile unless it comes from, and expresses, the true diversity of all people. Obviously, "diversity" includes economic diversity. Sometimes arts initiatives can get too fancy pants. Sometimes people with money need to be reminded what it is like to not have much. When this happens the variety of human experience gets lost. Especially when we are talking about human artistic expression, this is a very bad thing.

    Its great to be loyal and I am glad that you found inspiration in Molly's ideas. I think there is still much to be learned from her example. If you believe in a greater arts influence in Uptown, stand up for it. Build a coalition. Work tenaciously. Don't step into boxes that don't fit you. Paint-carve- weave-sculpt-or otherwise build your own! If you approach the endeavor with true respect for others, I doubt you would be rebuked for standing up for "broke ass" artists in Uptown. The only problem I see is the timeline under which something acceptable might happen. There are a lot of issues on the table for Uptown and the City right now.

  37. Jeffrey (Uptown Arts) - you are acting like a martyr. So Molly didn't win. Too bad, sorry your candidate lost but its time to get over it.

    Acting as if James would not work with you because you live in subsidized housing is down right ridiculous! I wonder who filled you head with that BS?

    You had no problem showing up to his election party after it was clear that Molly had lost. Did anyone shun you? No.

    I am sure James would be all ears if you have ideas that you would like to share, but acting like a victim though isn't going to get you anywhere.

  38. Jeffrey -

    All of us have a fantastic opportunity to help shape the future of our neighbhorhood. I know James Cappleman very well, and trust, me wants the best for you and all of your neighbors in Mercy Housing, and he would be delighted to see an artist community develop in the ward.

    Do not be discouraged. Even if the outcome of the election was different, the pop-up art galleries would have taken lots of work to create, even if Molly had well though-out ideas.

    I hope that we can start to drop the silos of econommic and cultural diversity that have divided our community for so many years. We are all neighbors, and we all want to live in a safe and prosperous neighborhood.

  39. I am sure people here have walked Wicker Park and Bucktown during "Around the Coyote". In the early years, people would host artists in their yards along the neighborhood and then it morphed into what it is today. Not that we want to become a Bucktown, but that neighborhood 15 years ago was no picnic and still they were able to pull off an art show. When we start getting out as a community in positive ways, the bad guys won't want any part of it.

  40. an unsustainable business model for artists cannot be a good business model/solution for a neighborhood. artist-manned store fronts -galley/studio space - with no guarantees of keeping the space at a defined length of time is victimizing artist as a business person. why do we artist have to be the ones who has to substitute business while given no assurances?! when a business rents a place they have a lease, that is a guarantee. the correct business model for artist (who would have "benefited" from utilizing empty store fronts) is an arts fair.

    if store fronts must be utilized the correct business model is to have a professional arts marketing company handle and manage the process. expecting artist to manage such a process is a clear sign of lack of working-knowledge of art practice as a business.

    as for arts, James and Mercy Housing, i would like to point out all 3 elements were in the same room last summer at the temporary public art workshops (publicly announced event) and to my knowledge are still working on it. not only was it a discussion on art and how art can be helpful to shape a better future for an area, it was art making where community members, James Cappleman and representatives from Mercy Housing included, sat around tables and developed art projects that will be installed late this summer! the project has the blessing of the current 46th & 48th ward offices, they were both heavily involved.

    i am certain, if there is a plan/idea/concept and it is put together with necessary documents, (project description, project proposal, time line, project budget, etc) and it will be heard. it helps to get community members to back your plan and then request a meeting! i am certain a solution can be found!

  41. I love the idea of an Uptown art walk, that would be fantastic. Local restaurants and cafe's could get involved, there could be arts activities for kids at the parks, artists could show their work in galleries set up for the weekend, in their yards, etc. It would bring a ton of people into the community - perhaps the Borders could be used for a temporary gallery. Perhaps the local bars could have daytime music programming.

    Love it. Let's get this going!

  42. Jeffrey (Uptown Arts) if you could get up and off your butt to work for and with Molly, then you can certainly do so for a project you are passionate about.

    There is a real opportunity for a new feeling of community.. for the first time in over two decades... so quit, please, playing the victim. It is annoying and helps no one, particularly yourself and your fellow artists. Quit waiting for "someone else" to take an idea and make it happen.

    You were able to arrange for 8 different candidates for the Aldermanic race to do a sit-down with you at Mercy Housing... so you are obviously quite capable of getting good things done. Reach out to James when he takes office in May.. in the mean time, talk to your fellow artists on what you would like to see.... I think an art fair is a great idea, maybe you want to do the storefront idea too.. don't limit yourself.. you have a valuable place in Uptown.. please contribute instead of just complaining.. we need your voice hear, but more importantly, we need you to step up and take some responsibility for what your dreams are too...

    Wouldn't it be something Jeffrey, if you reached out to Molly as well and asked her to help you make this happen, working with James? Give it a shot!

  43. Trash Update 4/7/11
    for yesterday for Winthrop between Lawrence and Leland.

    Not bad. Just two trips to trash cans, one trip to the can at Leland by the school playground and one trip to the chase can.

    The shoe box on the ground helped me out quite a bit. and plastic bags usually are quite abundant.

    Chase sign is still graffiti free.

  44. Art, art, art. Can we deal with the gangs and violence first? Who wants an art fair or store front art displays when we have shootings and stabbings every week? When the only businesses that can move in here are the nation wides and big boxes, how are artists going to thrive? We need residents who can afford the art and aren't afraid to walk the streets. The community has to be safe before it can be attractive.

  45. Jeffrey, I'm going to have to agree with Miss Kitty. You are just acting like a Martyr at this point. Come back after you've actually spoken with James.

    He's an intelligent person and if you make a logical argument for your plan, he will be receptive. After all this is the candidate who wanted decorator pots :) according to some.

    Just like what was said during the election: It's one thing to post on a blog, it's another to go out there and do something. Why not approach James about an art fair or your original idea, then come back to us with the specific response you received. Keep in mind, this is the candidate who wants participatory budgeting and community input. If anyone was well equipped to listen to your plan, it's him!

  46. The good news is...we can have safer streets, fewer gangs, AND art.

    Hell UptownArts - If you are most passionate about art in our community, make it happen!

    As my neighbor, you have my support.

  47. We can't just focus on safety as a solitary component of our community. Our neighborhood will get safer when we do our part to take back Uptown through positive events. Yeah, art fair isn't more police on these streets, but it is more community on the streets. Let's face it, the bad elements here aren't going to like large community events and will leave when they realize things are changing. Rib fest worked without gang fights and violence. Our new alderman is receptive to ideas. With H., it was like walking a badly trained dog, the harder you pulled in one direction the harder she pulled in the other. Cleaning up Broadway is going to talk a lot of initiative and hard work as well as ideas.

  48. Thank you everyone for your kind words and suggestions.
    I am at work so will keep it short.
    I appreciate the advice to talk to Molly Phelan about organizing much of what has been mentioned here. It takes leadership with skills...and she has the spark it takes.
    Acknowleding once again I am only a single artist who lives here, I would sign up my free time in an instant.
    Many things were said during the closing weeks that were too personal and wholly untrue about Molly, her character, and why she was running.
    The flower pot comment as homophobic being only one. She was roasted unfairly, it went too far.
    This is between James and Molly to reconcile or not.
    It is my wish that one the other or both will call each other, sit down and figure out once again we are all decent people and neighbors.

    "Blessed are the peacemakers"

  49. Jeffrey -

    Political campaigns are tough. I admire anyone who wants to put themselves out there, and I am proud to say we had eleven brave people who ran for office. James and Molly are both great people, but some very negative things were said about both of them in the the run-off.

    While it is easy to take them personally, I think it takes a thick skin to be a successful elected public official. Given Molly's great efforts in this campaign, I would hope she (and her supporters) can move on from the defeat and work with the community to make positive change.

    Four years ago, James did not receive the endorsement of any elected officials in the area, despite working closely with them on various initiatives. Through his hard work, he was able to not only obtain their endorsement, but have them actively support his campaign. Elections are draining, both emotionally and physically, and we all can use some time away from the excitement and controvery of the election to focus on what really matters - building a stronger and safer community.

    If Molly is committed to improving in the 46th ward as she promised in her campaign, I believe Alderman Cappleman would be more than receptive to working with her.

  50. Jeffrey, glad to hear you are open to it.. and if you do not feel you are the one to lead this project, that is why I suggest you start talking to other artists... maybe one of them would like to step up.. at least get your ideas organized...and then you can approach James with a plan.. it might not happen immediately, but I bet you it will happen!

  51. Let's quit it with the morale boosting here. ;) We all love each other and art, but really - I love Jeffo. Thanks for always pitching a hand. Neighbors - save the date. Spring Clean & Green
    Astor Playlot (4639 N Kenmore)
    April 16th, 10:30 AM - 12 PM

  52. I agree we can't focus solely on safety. I wasn't advocating that. What I meant was STARTing with safety leads to all the other wonderful initiatives. People have a choice as to where they move, shop, and dine. Would you rather see art,move into, or eat in a safer neighborhood or one that has constant violence?

    How many people are more upside down in their places because of the negative perception of Uptown's safety? I am. When we were selling to move to a bigger place, three shootings in two weeks scared away two serious buyers.

    So, again, I say let's START with addressing the fact that people live here and I want to myself and my wife to be able to walk in safety to see the wonderful places in the neighborhood

  53. Uptown Artist/Jeffrey: I believe the part you are missing from your last comment was "I will talk to JAMES about these issues".

    The fact that you just had so many people chime in to say you should talk to James should say something to you and our commitment to seeing your ideas actually implemented vs. lamenting over a loss you don't know exists.

  54. ^ should be "about our..." not "and our...". Sorry grammar went out the window with that one.

  55. I last note I reckon.

    I did not SAY I would talk to James because it seems self-evident. We live down the street from each other, and I participate in Mercy Housing Tenant Leadership, ONE and EZRA from time to time. I am not the cold shoulder type, we can talk about anything, he has my email, facebook it easy.

    My candidate and importantly my friend Molly Phelan was "thrown under the bus", not the least of which were the bogus homophobic charges, any and all regarding her family. It got too personal and outside politics. It went too far...bad is good karma...I put my art where my heart is so it matters to me.

    If James thinks Molly is homophobic then hey...its a free country. But why would he...the flower pot thing? But it was thrown out there.

    If he does not think such thoughts maybe it is a good idea to give her a call, have a cup of coffee, whatever and heal the wound.

    It is the right thing to do.

    I appreciate the encouragement by several posters here, more art in Uptown is probably the least controversial subject we have together.

    What am I going to next I don't know, I will talk to James anytime anyplace though. I am very easy to contact and not fussy about times.

    I will still be around and we have other artists here in Uptown, if there are any on UU they should speak up. The great majority of artists I know personally live outside Uptown and scratch their heads when I say I live here.

    I hope somebody steps up, the only other artist I have seen here on UU is the one that puts the knitting work on sign posts which I admire.

    She seems bright and a James supporter to boot. Her name eludes me at the moment, I nominate her for the job why not?

    Take care now.

  56. My candidate and importantly my friend Molly Phelan was "thrown under the bus", not the least of which were the bogus homophobic charges, any and all regarding her family. It got too personal and outside politics. It went too far...bad is good karma...I put my art where my heart is so it matters to me. Uptown Arts

    Jeffrey, I'm hoping Cappleman appoints you to be in charge of the decorative flower pots committee. Ironic, isn't it? You defend Phelan's comment that has her claiming that Cappleman is too focused on art in the community.

  57. Jeff

    Relax it was an election and there are going to be more. Give your friend Molly a call and set up a date to go see a good movie together, or bowling, or maybe a nice trip to the Art Institute.

    Good friends are hard to find these days and rather than being bitter about the results the two of you should move on with your lives together.

    Give her a call as I am sure she couldnuse your friendship right now.

  58. Naive question -- Will Cappleman have volunteer (or paid) positions for various commitees? So for example I'd be interested in providing my input on the city budget/finances.

  59. Ok Holey Moly...that is cute. I don't get it but is cute.

    For full-disclosure I don't do good with plants, my aloe plant is doing OK, jade plant slowly dying.

    I guess flower pots CAN be works of art, functional art. Downtown they had the fiberglass cows, those were a hit.

    What animal or thing/object would work in Uptown? Cow has already been taken.

    That is a tough one. Cats and dogs perhaps. funny.

  60. Jeffrey - again with playing the martyr? Its getting really old. Put up or shut up.

    As others suggested, talk to James if this art thing is something you want to see. Or better yet, ask your friend Molly for advice. She'd probably tell you to talk to him, if she really cares about continuing the effort that SHE supposedly dreamed up all on her own.

    Frankly, safer street and getting the gangs to hit te road are top on most peoples priority, but I am sure some sort of art program can be worked out.

    As for the Molly being "thrown under the bus" comment - that's not even worth a comment from anyone because that's just assinine.

  61. Jeffrey,

    the election is over. I prefer not to rehash it as the wounds are still fresh at the moment. I've written a "crit eek" of the campaign that I will publish later. Both sides get criticized. One more than the other.

    Cappleman won. Phelan lost.

    There is more to be learned in loss than there is in winning. There are much worse things than losing an election.

    Now I will leave it at that for the moment. If you want to continue this line of "being tossed under the bus" argument why don't you take a few days off and get a little more perspective on this election. Otherwise I will have to open a can of internet whoopass on you and you'll be complaining that I tossed you metaphorically off an EL platform onto the third rail.

  62. Move on Jeffrey. Our new alderman being on TV has turned into a "everyone sympathize with Jeffrey" to a Jeffrey's still unhappy wah wah post. Let's move on.

  63. And yes I will call James. Is there a way forward, can we reconcile? Maybe I am too touchy, not a thick-skinned politician, just your neighbor.
    Your favorite "broke-ass" artist neighbor who stands up for his friends.
    I've been roasted here worse for less, maybe y'all are in a good mood or something.
    I confess there are some good ideas in the comments above, wheat among the chaff so to speak.
    I am disappointed indeed. - also love our Uptown, its my home.
    So here is the dealio.
    I am sure he is busy, I will send a message that I would like to talk about raising the profile of the arts in Uptown, will meet at his convienence.
    And see what happens.
    I'm cool, we are all cool.
    Just please stop it with the martyr references....its way too creepy hahahahahahh.

    Blessed are the peacemakers.

  64. The big outlier, precinct 22, was the Jesus People USA vote. I had heard that they could get 800 people to vote, in the end it was a quarter of that.

  65. Bialynia..even if they had 800 votes to give, Cappleman still would have won convincingly... that hippy ship, thank God, has sailed... time for those that suckle at the teat of the taxpayer to start becoming productive members of society. JPUSA, Kaplan, ONE, etc has a choice to make at this time, step up and become responsible landlords and caregivers.. and understand they are no longer the nexus of Uptown.. or wither on the vine... choice really is theirs to make, not ours.. and FYI, for the LSD precinct that went for Molly, I would be very interested to know if that is where Lakeshore Laura resides... anyway, new day, new dawn...the Era of Responsibility begins in Uptown in 5 weeks...

  66. One more observation - Cappleman made big gains over his 2007 performance in several of the Lake View precints where Helen beat him badly in 2007.

    Cappleman basically flipped the results in four of these precints (Precints 13, 31, 42, and to a lesser extent 36 around Temple Sholom, etc.) by winning there onApril 5, 2011 by about the same percentage that Helen had beaten him there in 2007. In fact 3 of these 4 precints were among Cappleman's 12 top precints.

    In 2007, I observed that Helen's little-discussed secret to victory was her margin in these Lake View precincts - among voters that I always felt may not have fully appreciated the crime issues and business blight issues of the Uptown portions of the 46th Ward. These are traditional Helen precincts where Kaplan and Jon Trott, etc. do not have any clout.

    It will be interesting to see how redistricting plays out - as Cappleman's support was across the ward - strongest in areas around his home base in the North End of Uptown (precincts 4, 41, 8), around the SE and NW sections of Buena Park (precints 7, 9, 25) and in the gerrymandered NW portions of the ward around St. Boniface (precincts 14, 2 and 21).

    Although Cappleman won or tied in all Sheridan Park precincts, these were not his strongest showings.

    Just a note about the data used in the spreadsheet posted by EL - it does not contain the final vote totals in the Feb 22, 2011 election - but an early counting. Cappleman improved his results over Phelan somewhat in the final count.

  67. @ Buena Parker

    You are correct. I just built that analysis off the original spreadsheet I created the day after the first round, so the numbers are slightly off based on the official totals that came out couple weeks later (including 10 Sandra Reed write-in votes). I couldn't be bothered going back and getting the updated data as it seemed immaterial (and, well, it was getting late).

    That said, I should have noted this in my post.

  68. To Jeffrey, et al:

    Molly threw herself and her campaign under the bus.

    Although the media did not pick up on her, at minimum, poor choice of words in dismissing Cappleman's years of real work against crime with the police, positive loitering and long history of insistence that buildings generating disproportionate criminal activity shape up, Phelan's supporters objected to her approaches weeks before the election, brought the matter directly to Molly's attention, and begged her to use less loaded language.

    Phelan refused, and further refused to acknowledge that anyone could reasonably be offended by these tactics, and went into an attack on anyone who was "overly sensitive" to these tactics. In fact, her campaign then went into overdrive fanning these same negative and bogus slurs against her opponent.

    For much of her losing strategy, I blame Molly's handlers more than I blame Molly, because her handlers should have known (and did know even if Molly did not) the political gains (or in this case, losses) that they were risking with her subtle homophobia. Some of Phelan's managers had years of experience in fomenting negative and false campaign issues.

    Also, Molly's campaign refused to disavow, or even to publicly criticize, the explicit homophobia in the push poll FOP calls. Whether or not her campaign was behind these calls or approved them, a smart candidate would have disassociated herself from these and condemned them.

    Again, voters who received these calls brought them immediately and directly to the campaign's attention long before the election, and did not publicize them until Molly acknowledged the calls, but refused to disavow them. When this did not work out, the Phelan campaign's response was, again, to go on the attack, demanding that Cappleman apologize for unrelated baloney such as the bake sale at Kinetic Playground for after-school programs.

    It was Molly's campaign that refused for over a week to address their campaign workers suspicious behavior at the home of a Cappleman supporter. It was Molly's campaign that tried to intimidate a Cappleman campaign worker, and then lied about it until having to fess-up when the police intervened,.

    As for unfairness to Molly's family, Molly was the one who constantly interjected her family's history and achievements as a substitute for her own - I heard none of this juvenile crap about family's pedigree and entitlement, etc. from the Cappleman camp.

    I learned more about Phelan's family - her dad's financial pals, her parents' donations to Catholic Charities, her mother's long-ago social work and even the support of her cousin Chris in Connecticut, than I ever wanted to know.

    No one asked Molly to have her mother make last minute calls to voters touting how well Molly was raised and implying that Molly's negative hit mail pieces were somehow following the Golden Rule.

    This "Golden Rule" stuff was particularly grating in light of Molly's being the first, and by far the nastiest, to go negative against her opponent with lies about shutting down all homeless shelters across the city, "Republican King-Maker" supporters, etc.

    The main personal and political lesson I hope Phelan learns from her experience was not to let political manipulators push her into negative and fabricated campaign tactics and losing strategies. When Molly's advisers put her in a hole with ill-advised tactics and advice, it was Molly who insisted on digging herself in deeper.

    Under the bus, indeed!

  69. If I am allowed to respond to this I gladly will BP.

    My lasyt comment was not published so I am not sure.

    So if CN or UU agree no problem. There is another side to the story.

    I have better things to do then type into thin air. My last comment was quite nice and I thought reconciliatory, its not my call, not my site.

  70. Jeffrey,

    if you want to comment or repost your comment then use your own site and suggest people look at it.

    I agree with the general outlines of what Buena Parker just said; although, I might change the emphasis of a few points.

    In a few days or maybe a week I'll post my take on the campaign.

    I want to give some of the bad feelings time to dissipate. Seemingly, Jeffrey, just wants to rehash it immediately.

    There's plenty o time for dat.

  71. Thanks for the advice Pirate....does it really bother you?

  72. I don't know about Pirate, but it certainly bothers me! LET! IT! GO!

  73. First time commenter and long time follower of UU. I am also a proud supporter of our new Alderman James Cappleman.
    Can I please make a request that everybody stop drilling into Jeffrey Littleton.
    In the past when he posted here I disagreed with much of his "views", ok most of them. But he is no Mark Kaplan. My partner went to the forum he hosted for Mercy and was impressed with his fairness, she said James was treated with respect.
    Why not reach out and even embrace him, we need to build bridges in this ward and Mr. Littleton is respected by many in the "affordable housing" community.
    I looked at the art on his site and he is extremely talented.
    I saw him last tuesday at the celebration...and he is beautiful I might add.
    Obviously he is open to working with our Alderman Cappleman (just love saying that).
    Molly and Jeffrey are friends so of course he isn't happy.
    So please everybody lets let bygones be bygones, this is a new day and I have never thought I would say we live in the best ward in Chicago.

  74. When my name comes up I respond, it was BuenaParkr that made a rather lengthy comment that appeared to be directed to me.
    If it was another Jeffrey I apologize...but kinda doubt it.
    Reasonable people can disagree reasonably. I think BP laid out his argument agreeably, I beg to differ on the narrative but it was civil.

    @ IPirate,
    My site is for my artwork, not politics and opinion. It would just confuse people from outside of Uptown and they might think I am a whack-job.
    I did leave one comment from that Capplethis and Capplethat guy just because it was silly and makes no sense.

    @ others,

    Don't think little 'ol me is the only resident of Uptown that feels slighted. The homophobia/bigotry charges are an assault on common sense. Molly is NO BIGOT!

    It is just not a good idea to leave that one hanging out there, and VERY unfair to her.

  75. Two things bother me Jeffrey.

    1. Just because you say something and perhaps even believe it DOES NOT make it true. Your view of the election has little basis in fact--Just like the Phelan flyers that said Cappleman wanted to close shelters citywide. No basis in fact. A complete and vile piece of political BULLSHIT.

    After that Phelan was surprised that the Karma Train pulled in to Station Molly and Cappleman and his supporters went negative. She shouldn't have been. Her problem is she believed her campaign BS about him being "meek" and not tough enough to handle the job. Bad mistake to believe your own propaganda.

    2. You seem to be a bit obsessed with it. Give it time and look at it then. I'm assuming that during the election you went into some similar phase and that's why the moderators asked you not to post for awhile.

    3. There is no problem looking at the election and what happened, but give it some time to perhaps gain a bit of perspective.

  76. Jeffrey - I look forward to seeing and maybe even buying your art. I did not mean to direct my comments exclusively at you, or even primarily at Molly, but more at her campaign which seemed to veer quickly away from her control.

    I do not believe Molly is at her core homophobic. This is why I personally spent much effort early on to try to convince Molly to stay away from language and tactics that did not sit well with many of us who, perhaps because of our age, have seen these methods employed destructively in the past.

    Unfortunately, the campaign was unreceptive to attempts by Molly's friends and supporters to educate the campaign about issues, words and stereotypes that have been historically misused to politically divide and conquer.

    Just because you think the complaints about homophobia employed by Phelan campaigners are an assault on your "common sense" does not make them an assault on the common sense of others with different life experiences than you. As someone who received one of these push-poll calls, I didn't have to imagine any homophobia in it - it was explicitly stated.

    Regardless of the campaign's initial motives in choosing its tactics, the Phelan campaign's refusal to reconsider, qualify or redirect those tactics and language when people objected and were offended made an impact on some voters when they cast their votes at the polls.

    I started out supporting Molly, but I became disappointed when her campaign became a vehicle for others outside of our ward (Burke, Berrios, Chamber of Commerce, the Realty Board...) to inject their interests, messages, money, agendas and city council voting bloc politics.

    I was disappointed that Molly did not stand up to these outside interests to run on her own merits and to rely on her own Ward 46 supporters and donors. The other 10 initial candidates, in my opinion, did run pretty much on what they perceived as their own achievements in our community and their own support from a base in our community.

    I look forward to moving forward in a positive direction, but no one here has unfair to Phelan's campaign. Perhaps we will disagree about the history of this campaign, but someday soon these disagreements will probably not seem overwhelmingly important.

    I hope we can all learn from our experiences and this discussion, but I also hope that it can soon end.

  77. Reading these threads. Interesting! Molly has a facebook page that is no longer open to everyone. Homophobic or not, Anti Fur or not, pick your opposite. Where is our neighbor Molly? Seriously, I hope on holiday.

  78. @ Jeffrey-

    You sure got around this election.