Is Harris the Best Person to Represent the 8th Ward Community? There Are Many Who Think Not!
By Pamela Bratcher-McMillan
While allowing strangers to come into the 8th ward and build a low-income housing project in a mid to upper middle class neighborhood near the affluent Black community known as Pill Hill, Harris consistently interrupts the progress of a young black entrepreneur and investor that grew up in the community. What is her angle? Who is she trying to help take over or take down the Avalon Regal Theater where great notable icons like Aretha Franklin once performed and was crowned the “Queen of Soul” there? Could it be that she does not support any business she cannot benefit from as she did with the Montclare low-income housing project whose developers don’t live in the community but donated at least $25,000 to her campaign?
What is the agenda with black alderman on the South side that they allow outsiders to steamroll or buy them out so they can define and develop a community that doesn’t belong to them? They didn’t come running until the Obama library construction was announced. Black aldermen are allowing prime real estate to go down in value so it can be purchased at a low cost or grabbed by parasites buying and flipping property.
Alderman Michelle Harris’ office had the Chicago Police Department storm troopers raid the front and back entrances with 20-30 officers according to an affidavit submitted by a producer during the filming of a gospel teen music video with “nine teen dancers, three parent chaperones and a video crew of seven people…19 in the audience chairs” there at the Avalon Regal Theater. Imagine the trauma the kids suffered, being inundated daily by media depictions of police violence against black youth. Amidst the chaos, over a half dozen police vehicles raced to the theater where potential visitors had gathered for an annual Chicago architectural tour. They stood in amazement to see signs stating that they were not permitted to enter. The annual Avalon Regal tour had been a part of the popular Architectural Open House Walk for the past three years without incident. The long anticipated event was seen as a beacon of hope to raise awareness and possible contributions, for the minor repairs needed to allow the theater to be self-generating monetarily. During the encounter, witnesses say officers threatened to arrest everyone, including Ms. Peggy Sutton from Mayfair Dance Academy. Mr. Gary was taken into police custody and later released. No charges were filed.
Unwarranted Raid: Mr. Jerald Gary‘s Avalon Regal raided by CPD. He Was Arrested!
Reportedly someone said Harris’ office had called police on the owner of the Avalon Regal Theater. Kids were reported frightened “and it will probably have a mental affect on them for a long time.” What was she thinking!? If she was truly concerned as reported, was she not smart enough to consider the affect this scenario might have on the young people? However, she told CopyLine Magazine that she tried to help and work with him. She said it was a court order issued by the city. Although, Mr. Gary didn’t agree with her statement.
Don’t let Alderman Harris’ personal agenda get in the way of a legacy that belongs to the whole community. Help Support the Avalon Regal Theatre and Mr. Jerald Gary’s efforts to revitalize the community starting with reopening the venue with concerts and plays that will also include a innovative cutting edge hologram technology of the greats performing. Imagine sitting back watching a Billie Holiday concert or Curtis Mayfield as others watched when they were in their prime. Nowhere else in the city, county or state is anything on this level being done. The Avalon Regal Theater is “uniquely positioned to serve Chicago’s South Side and Northwest Indiana.
According to Mr. Gary, “It’s not just about entertainment, but education and community empowerment and development as well.” Avalon Regal is the largest venue in the region. Beautiful videos have been shot there with companies like Nike, Glade and others taking advantage of the opulent surroundings.
UPDATE: Michelle Harris office is back paddling in Facebook wars after seeing the Sun-Times report that Super Star Kanye West is interested in helping the Avalon Regal Theater open back up. Kanye tweeted many of his followers about his support. Again, an opportunist like Harris has no interest in anything that helps the community unless it helps her. She obviously doesn’t care what it looks like unless she is shamed on social media as she has been intensively for the past several months with photos of blight and hopelessness in the 8th ward. Only then she jumps to some action. Everything that her opponent calls her out on, she is trying to fix only now, a couple of months before the election. She even went as far as to take photo opportunities with Kanye West and Jerald Gary and have them posted on Facebook. Could it be there was a spark when the Harris team saw one of her opponents, Linda Hudson in a photo visiting Mr. Gary and the Avalon Theater for the purpose of offering her support by taking a look around and posting his fundraising campaign link to encourage others to help out as well? Missing from the photo-captions lauded by the Harris team on the incumbent’s Facebook campaign site, was that it was a standing (regular) meeting prior to her 8th Ward challenger Linda Hudson’s visit. Furthermore, “the meeting was with the City” to discuss the Landmark Commission’s involvement in the minor work to be done on the Avalon Regal Theater to open it up for public use. Kanye West was there with Jerald Gary because he will be playing a big part in helping to reopen the theater. This regularly scheduled meeting with the City was not a Michelle Harris meeting. Funny how it wasn’t mentioned in the photo credits that it was a Landmark Commission & City of Chicago meeting with the theater owner and his investor. Was it an oversight? I think not. Just another effort to fool the public into believing she was there to give her support to Mr. Gary. It’s said a picture speaks a thousand words. Gauging the expressions on the faces and the body language in the photos posted by Harris office definitely seem to tell a story all their own, and it’s not the one they are spinning.
Photo from that day at the Avalon Regal Theater just before Chicago Police raided the place on false rumors that 400 people would be sneaked in the back door to raise money for the restoration of the place. Where is the water claimed to be pouring in on this rainy day as reported by Harris office? It doesn’t look like they are in dark rains here. According to this photo taken then, there are obviously lights on in the place too.
Up next: How an alderman can “ghettofy” a middle class community with a mural and a low income housing project.