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Friday, September 25, 2015

Future project

I've been very keen on doing photo essays taking aim at the 9th ward. Alas I'm only armed with a camera phone at this point, but it's something worth doing.

Perhaps select photos could be posted to Sixth Ward blog's instagram in addition to being posted here. The goal is to document those areas that could use some investment on that part of town. The vacant lots and storefronts for example.

What is shown is largely the community as it appears now. Now what the viewing audience is invited to do is consider what can we bring to those vacant storefronts or lots. Could we beautify the vacant lots or find ways to bring reputable businesses to those vacant storefronts. Think outside of the box to make this a desirable community not just for the residents who live here, but for the rest of the city.

I had hoped to do this while the weather was still warm or before school started back, however, I can still plan ahead for this project. I can do this while the young folks are in school and we still have a few more weeks of warm weather. So hopefully this project can be a go in the near future.

I hope to cross post these essays to the Sixth Ward blog as well.

Monday, September 21, 2015

9th Ward Community Meeting

Via an e-mail blast from Ald. Anthony Beale:
  • Please Join Us!

    9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale and City Department Representatives
    present a 9th Ward Community Meeting

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015
    6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

    Pullman Presbyterian Church
    550 East 103rd Street
    Chicago, Illinois 60628

    9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale
    34 East 112th Place
    Chicago, Illinois 60628

Friday, September 18, 2015

Another iteration of the Clout Wiki

Sometime before the 2011 municipal elections an earlier iteration of the Clout Wiki was shared on the 1n73rw3bs to the delight of Chicago political geeks such as myself and was at one point linked to The Sixth Ward blog. For many years, it was online with no updates other than the current officer holders when it was first published then eventually went offline.

Our friends at Aldertrack has unveiled a new version with the current players of Chicago politics especially those elected this year. Here's hoping they will continue to update for years go come.

In addition they have some changes to make such as 21st ward Ald. Howard Brookins is no longer chairman of the City Council Black Caucus. That distinction now goes to 6th ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer. Just one example among many to be sure.

Mike Fourcher was the mastermind behind the original CloutWiki and is now bringing it back to cover the current players in Chicago politics. He is also involved with the Aldertrack website.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Open House & Shred Day

Via the office of State Representative Elgie Sims on Sept. 19, 2015.
  • Join State Representative Elgie R. Sims, Jr. along with State Senator Donne E. Trotter and Cook County Stanley Moore for the annual Community Shred Day and Open House!

    Saturday, September 19, 2015
    9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    8658 S. Cottage Grove, Suite 404
    Chicago, IL 60619.

    Help protect yourself from identity theft by safely disposing of documents. Flu shots available. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at our office at (773) 783-8800.
Don't forget about the Purnell Silas College Expo that is also being held next Saturday. Flyer for the district shred day and open house is below.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Senior Resource Fair this Thursday!

 Via the office of Alderman Anthony Beale
  • 9th Ward Senior Resource Fair
    Thursday, September 17, 2015
    10:00 am - 1:00 pm
    Victory Center of Roseland
    10450 S Michigan Ave.

    9th Ward Anthony A. Beale
    34 East 112th Place
    Chicago, Illinois 60628
Refer to flyer below for more information as to who the service providers are.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

DNA Info: Pullman's Comeback Putting Homes in Higher Demand

This is something I could only hope for interest from both potential residents and realtors in a very historic and architecturally significant neighborhood. It probably helps that select lots in this area is now a US National Monument.
Some residents hope Pullman could be the next hot neighborhood on the South Side if things continue to look up.

President Barack Obama's designation of Pullman as a national monument earlier this year, along with the new Method Soap Factory has helped put Pullman back on the map, residents and Realtors said. A new Wal-Mart and other retail stores have provided more shopping options to the neighborhood.

“I think it’s going to be the next big thing outside of Hyde Park,” said Aundrea English, 36, who has lived on the 10700 block of South Champlain for the last three years.

What attracted her to her home was simple, she said. The neighbors were friendly, and she fell in love with the make of the historic rowhomes. The solid foundation, the bricks, the “east coast feel,” all had her sold after touring her house for the first time.

“I wanted to be in something trendy, but it had to be affordable,” English said. “I can’t afford Hyde Park, I can’t afford Bronzeville. ... so this was perfect.”

The neighborhood is improving, she said. When she first moved in, there were a lot of renters, but now just about everyone owns their home. She said it makes a difference.
And with the Walmart and Methods factory mentions Ms. English is looking for something else to round things up here:
"I can’t wait to see what’s next," English said. "All we need are some live music places, and a couple of places to stay, some sit-down restaurants. Those things are coming."
Perhaps they can finally come up with a plan for the Hotel Florence. In the meanwhile what are the realtors saying:
Mike Wolski, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker, has been selling homes in Pullman for 10 years. He said that he has seen more people taking an interest in the area's rowhouses.

“The neighborhood is one of a kind,” Wolski said, “It was built as a company town in the 1880s, and virtually almost all the original houses made in the 1880s period are still standing. Most of the houses are in good shape and people want to be a part of that. The architecture is really and truly one of a kind. There’s nothing else like it in Chicago.”

He said homes have been selling at prices between $75,000 to $140,000, depending on the condition.

On Aug. 29, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI) and Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Chicago partnered together to host an open house and block party for some newly renovated homes. Three such homes were for sale on Bolton’s block, and now only one is left.

Sale prices have gone up in North Pullman, said Brian Caron, a managing broker with AMS Realty because “newly rehabbed homes are in demand in Pullman.” Between 2011-2014, the average prices on their renovated homes has gone up, from under $70,000 to now $95,000, Caron said.

Wolski said increased list prices of these homes are a huge improvement over the foreclosure sales that the block saw in previous years.
The excessive amount of vacant homes have attracted developers, said Conrade Carpenter, of City & Suburbs Realty, who know the homes will be in demand once they are rehabbed. That is showing up in the higher prices being paid for those properties, which are some cases as high as they were in the 1960s, said Carpenter, who grew up in the area. He said the resurgence is happening even with the stigma that the area sometimes gets because of crime.

“I have seen the changes of the neighborhood over the years, [especially] with the new development things going on and Pullman being historic," he said. "It's coming back."
Here's hoping the future of Pullman can only serve to change the future of Roseland that is to the east of Cottage Grove.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Tribune: Chicago to sell 306 more lots for $1

I first caught wind of this program when it was first unveiled in the Englewood neighborhood. Now finally this program has expanded to the Roseland & Pullman communities.
Chicago's Large Lots program, in which city residents can apply to buy designated vacant lots in their neighborhoods for $1, is expanding to the Roseland and Pullman neighborhoods, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Friday.

Applications for 286 lots in Roseland and 20 lots in Pullman will be accepted, beginning Tuesday through Oct. 31.

The Large Lots Program is open to individuals and nonprofits (like block clubs) that own property on the same block as city-owned vacant residential lots. The city determines which lots to put up for sale after seeking input from neighbors and aldermen.

Buyers must agree to maintain the lot and pay property taxes, which typically run a few hundred dollars a year. If the lot is not adjacent to the buyer's property, it must be fenced, which helps deter criminals. Buyers must hold the land for at least five years before they can sell it.
If you want more information on this program visit

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Community shred day and open house

Via the office of State Representative Elgie Sims on Sept. 19, 2015.
  • Join State Representative Elgie R. Sims, Jr. along with State Senator Donne E. Trotter and Cook County Stanley Moore for the annual Community Shred Day and Open House!

    Saturday, September 19, 2015
    9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    8658 S. Cottage Grove, Suite 404
    Chicago, IL 60619.

    Help protect yourself from identity theft by safely disposing of documents. Flu shots available. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at our office at (773) 783-8800.
Don't forget about the Purnell Silas College Expo that is also being held next Saturday. Flyer for the district shred day and open house is below.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Silas Purnell College Expo

Coming on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at Tuley Park at 90th & King Drive. One place where our young people can decide where they may choose to further their education. This is an annual event hosted by the Chesterfield Community Council which is another community organization also located in the new 9th Ward of Chicago.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A necessary conversation regarding development

Recently at The Sixth Ward Worlee Glover had posted about high rises in Chatham. For his revitalizing Chatham means that we will have to construct housing that is desired by younger residents or younger professionals between 21-40. There is a notion in that area that per zoning high rises aren't allowed although Worlee makes clear some areas in that community has high-rise restrictions.

Then he notes:
The conversation is necessary because current trends indicate that young professionals are not as interested in single family homes as they were in the 70-90s. Today young professionals 21-40 place a higher value on "walkable communities" with amenties such as parks, shopping, restaurants, etc. They are less likely to own vehicles but rather use ride sharing, car sharing, taxi and public transportation. They also are attracted to "on demand" services such as food delivery, dry cleaning/laundry, maid service, etc.

While we do not have the desired amenities at this point but we can make the community more attractive to some of these businesses by increasing the target demographic and if you want to take it there YES , gentrifying the community. A recent review of high rise buildings revealed that businesses are aggressively marketing to these buildings and residents by offering onsite free classes, cocktail parties, BBQ's, etc.

While there are many positives there are some negatives. Primarily they are developers and density. In the past there were questions concerning the developers and in other cases the project would have been too dense for the area in which it was proposed. Finding the right developer who is interested in developing a MARKET RATE project that will fit the landscape of the community will be a challenge but not an impossibility.
Often over at The Sixth Ward, we've noted the conversations regarding what the community wants. Just as easily we've noted what the community doesn't want.

Chatham is a predominantly Black middle-class community that has been taking a beating in recent years. Issues of crime and violence has spurred the claim from one blogger that Chatham is turning into Detroit. Although on the flip-side there are dedicated community organizations that are fighting for Chatham.

I would like to see 79th Street, Cottage Grove or even 75th Street become much more vibrant commercial thoroughfares than they currently are now. And that certainly means attracting those business that hopefully will attract these young professionals. Hopefully it also means attracting people from all over the city, and yes that means entrepreneurship.

So let's have this conversation over how we shall further develop our communities. This also means we may need more creative ideas on how to redevelop our communities so that they may thrive or prosper.

Have a great first day at school

Today, our young people return to their CPS schools. We of course all wish them the best as they continue their studies once again during the course of the 2015-16 school year. Here's some more info courtesy of CPS:
To help students fully prepare for the new school year, CPS has also created a comprehensive Back-to-School website. By visiting, families can find the answers to questions like these:
• What is the dress code at my school?
• Who do I contact if my child needs transportation services?
• How do I have my child evaluated for diverse learning needs?
Families will also find medical forms and the minimum health requirements to enroll in District schools. Here are some additional tips for getting the school year off to a healthy start:
• Make a summer appointment with your medical provider for all Back-to-School examinations and immunizations.
• Inform schools of any chronic conditions your child may have (allergies, asthma, diabetes, etc.)
• Sign your child up for school-based vision and dental examination programs.
The Back-to-School website also contains a calendar of community events, as well as information on critical resources like Parent Portal, which allows parents to track the grades and attendance of their children throughout the school year. Families can also explore CTE, dual enrollment, and other CPS programs that may help students align their interests with their academic experience.
Hopefully parents have already done most of these things before the first day. And again here's to a great start to the school year.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

#mbmhmc: "RFK" Wicker Park

Jahmal Cole as part of his efforts with My Block My Hood My City takes a group of teenagers to Wicker Park. These teens came from Roseland and North Lawndale and even experience a donation of shoes from the owner of Wicker Park's Bucketfeet.

The activities of Cole's My Block My Hood My City is supported by the purchase of merchandise such as t-shirts and hoodie sweatshirts. It not only includes the webseries where Cole visits different neighborhoods and parks, but also sending teens to different parts of the city where they've never been.

Time to buy some of their merchandise to support this mission.

ALSO, check out this previous post of one such young man Cole took to different parts of the city.