Smart people always know how to take the high road, not the low road. This is why it is important to not fight about things we don’t want, but focus on what we need. Many complain and voice their complaints with anger when the energy should be focused on strategy and solutions. Many lose their patience at forums that are not focused on strategy and resolution. It’s too much wasted energy being angry. Like the saying goes, “Don’t get mad. Get smart.”
I’m not going to dwell on the past when the current 8th Ward alderman tried to get a Marijuana Medical Clinic in the community stealth mode, until a woman with much more interest in the community and its preservation and revitalization was monitoring City Hall and the Zoning Department updates for the community.
I won’t talk about how the same 8th Ward alderman is now up to the same old tricks by trying to sneak another project into the community – a one and two bedroom low income housing project aligned with Pill Hill homes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many of those homes were built by families that still occupy them.
There were conversations detailing what could be built in the area and zoning changes put in place to maintain its environment of single family homes and businesses. However, now the 8th Ward wants to rezone property meant for single family homes and businesses to accommodate a behemoth of a building
While I support looking out for the welfare of our seniors, taking away valuable property meant for businesses to populate Stony Island Avenue and keep it vital is deplorable. Certainly, there are other areas, especially along east 95th that are long overdue for improvement, and there are strip malls, a pharmacy and restaurants in walking distance on the business side of the street. Further, if that office is supposed to be proud of this project as stated by the 8th Ward Alderman during last week’s community meeting, I find it interesting that this is not featured on the home page of the Alderman’s website, but others are. They want to turn a quiet family friendly area into a transient community.
Perhaps, it was a convenient oversight. Hmm, your most proud accomplishment you worked really hard on after 12 years of sitting in a seat unopposed, and feel people should have “a little more faith” in you with a history of lacking transparency, being deceptive and obviously some personal agendas.
While the community sleeps, deals are being made on their behalf. Hey Pill Hill, did you know there is a 200 person waiting list already for a project in your area in phase 2 for a 134 unit with 1 and 2 bedroom apartments in a 7 story building for ages 62 (site currently states 55 and up) and up “but they are allowed to have guests”? This building will be located at 94th and Stony Island, prime business real estate. Some apartments (PRA) will be paying as low as 30% of their income. “A portion of this project is subsidized by CHA to assist independent seniors through the Property Rental Assistance.”
“All residents must pass a criminal background check,” but not their visitors and potential sublets don’t. The features and amenities in the building are for the residents, not the community. Phase one must have slipped under the radar. Phase 2 would have also slipped under the radar, too, if not for a very active community activist named Linda Hudson.
Wake up people! We can’t continue to let things go business as usual. If you don’t believe the community is rotting, take a look at the businesses along a once vibrant and booming avenue. Stony Island Avenue leads into Bishop Ford Highway on the South end and Lake Shore Drive on the North. What other streets in the city can claim that!? The Alderman moves under the radar unopposed making light of peoples’ fears with jokes and sarcasm, is not the answer Alderman, especially when you have a history of this. It’s like trolling the community, and it further shows the lack of recognizing valid concerns, fears and input from the community.
Is a candidate that runs unopposed necessarily best for the community, especially if they feel grandmothered into a position? Is business as usual the best for a once booming community that flourished and now appears run down with uncared for structures, many terrible pothole streets and a neglected business area. Why would a Dunkin’ Donut be allowed to build at the edge of a parking lot with traffic obstructed and backed up daily off Stony Island when it could have taken advantage of some of the vacant property on the avenue with room for expansion? The right businesses increase property value.
Perhaps, businesses should have been pursued to take on the so called “swamp lands.” There were businesses there before that included restaurants and a motel. Another concern is the public verbal spanking of black contractors the Alderman gave and why they aren’t included on jobs, and how training courses had to be given to them to teach them things they did not know. Really, Alderman? You are going to single out Black contractors as a whole, and talk about them not being suitable? I find it hard to believe there are no qualified Black people available to take on those projects professionally.
Does that mean I should avoid giving work to any Black contractor I come in contact with in Chicago?
At your so-called informational meeting, all of this was done in front of the non-black developers and police officers in the room. Lazy, uneducated black stereotypes were being perpetuated in front of guests, the very people involved with the development of the 7 story monstrosity with a price tag of $38.6 million dollars that will be looking over Pill Hill backyards and homes.
When a concerned resident said she lived on the property line where the building was being built and that she was concerned about her privacy. I heard someone shout. “They won’t see much.” Guess they never heard of a telescopes and binoculars. I would be very concerned if I had children living on property where people can watch them from their windows. At that height lives can be easily monitored.
Press the play button below for a sound bite from the last 8th Ward alderman meeting to hear what the current alderman had to say about “black people.”
It was also mentioned that a certain ward didn’t want the Kroc (McDonald’s!) center, and they found an alternative space in another ward. I could not help but wonder why efforts weren’t focused on pursuing that center by the 8th Ward alderman for education and business empowerment of the community to serve many, instead of a few. Why didn’t the 8th Ward fight to get the Kroc community center? The area has needed a community center for decades. Why aren’t the young people, especially teens being provided safe places to go hangout after school and during the weekends to learn things like economic empowerment, crafts, physical fitness, sports, business, etc.? They are the future of the community.
If you are a citizen concerned about an area once zoned for single family homes and businesses being changed to include this building, show up at the next zoning meeting scheduled for April.
“Energy flows where attention goes.” So I will not focus all of my energy on what people in the community do or do not want. I’d rather focus on what the community needs, and that is an 8th Ward alderman that understands the importance of transparency, honesty and really assessing what the community wants and needs without focusing on gossip and rumors, jokingly wasting time instead of easing trouble minds that have good reason to be troubled. That’s what secrecy and lack of communications brings about. We need a person that won’t make fun of their community, but inform them.
Our youth, especially the overlooked teenagers, are very important to this community. Many of them vote too. Give our young people a place to socialize and learn things about business startups, incubators, activities that include recreation, fitness, education outside of school like other neighborhoods and stores and restaurants like the ones they frequent outside of the community so they can buy and put money back into the community. They shouldn’t have to go downtown, south suburbs, north or Hyde Park to find mentors, coaches, prospective project team members, business partners, etc. and to have a good time. What can the 8th Ward provide for these young people to learn how to hold on to the homes in their community, maintain the ones handed down by their parents and provide for their future?
We need someone that knows joking sarcastically about gossip and making fun of people as a platform to stay in office is not good strategy. It makes them look petty and unprofessional to entertain rumors and have an easily bent ear. We need someone that knows that behavior and the aforementioned are unacceptable, and that is why we need Linda Hudson for 8th Ward Alderman. “It’s Time for Change that benefits the community as a whole, and not a few!