Several readers report receiving mailings from former COURAJ leader and aldermanic candidate Marc Kaplan in which he endorses Molly Phelan. The letter reads as follows:
Dear Uptown Friends and Neighbors,
Many of you have been asking me and people who worked on my campaign about whom to support in the upcoming run-off election. It's not an easy question because neither candidate has a history of supporting the principles our campaign was founded on, so either way we will have to fight hard to maintain an affordable Uptown in which we have a voice. But after much discussion, Neighbors United for Marc Kaplan is supporting Molly Phelan in the upcoming elections. We urge you to cast your vote for Molly as well.
Our main issue for years in Uptown has been affordable housing. Molly has pledged to us that she will work to preserve all existing affordable housing; if Mayor-elect Emmanuel's plan for affordable housing citywide has not gotten off the ground in 6 months, she will work with us to develop a plan for increasing affordable housing in the 46th ward. Is it everything we want? No, but it's movement in the direction of supporting the needs of people who live in Uptown now.
We are also supporting Molly Phelan because we have experienced for 10 years what James Cappleman stands for. In the 10 years he has lived here, Cappleman has become the leader of movement to push low income people out of Uptown, and it is imperative that this movement be defeated. The list is exhaustive, be here are a few examples of things he has done:
- With his confederates, Cappleman used CAPS Beat 2311 meeting to target 4707 N. Beacon, alleging "criminal activity," and got the Nuisance Abatement Task Force involved, bringing in building inspectors who wrote up so many building violations that the resident owners has to sell the building. It was developed as condos which sat vacant for years. It turned out that the criminal activity they had alleged did not exist.
- With Uptown Chicago Commission, Cappleman opposed the use of IHDA funds for the mixed income housing at 4700 Beacon, which was nonetheless built and is a successful development with large, family-friendly apartments.
- When Beat 2311 began a holiday program. Cappleman opposed the program to give holiday gifts to children in Cornerstone shelter. saying receiving gifts "encourages homelessness." Despite his opposition, the highly successful program continues to this day.
- Cappleman was part of a group that supported legal action against Cornerstone shelter, again based on generating so many building violations that the hope was it would have to close. Many Uptown residents rallied to save the shelter, which had already laid out a schedule for fixing the violations.
- Cappleman helped institute a policy at 920 W. Lakeside that separates families., banning family members from even visiting the building who are identified as "load elements" for what are often minor scrapes with the law. Cappleman's policy even bans family members from visiting building residents who have serious diseases like cancer. This is the "best practices" that James Cappleman brags about.
Neighbors United for Marc Kaplan urges you to cast your vote for Molly Phelan. Yes, we will have to work harder than we've had to work in the last 24 years to keep our community affordable. But there is a real difference between the candidates. We've worked too hard to get where we are today to see Cappleman dismantle our community. Every vote will count in this election. Our votes will make the real difference. We are urging every person who voted for Marc Kaplan, or any other candidate because you thought that they would promote an affordable, sage and diverse community, to vote for Molly Phelan on Tuesday, April 5th.
Molly is clearly the best choice and our best hope to continue the progress in the 46th Ward. We need to vote smart for ourselves, our families and our community. Once again, we are urging everyone to vote for Molly Phelan.
With much respect,