2015 Year in Review

While reading the alderman’s 2015 year-end review as well as her recent newsletter recap, I noticed that a few items were left out. I thought I’d add them here.

Aldermanic Campaign

  • Ballot finally decided in late January: Three candidates on ballot; two write-in candidates
  • Alderman refuses to appear at candidate forums that include write-in candidates
  • Tiny fraction of ward’s voters attend debates
  • Alderman wages campaign via mailing pieces; spends more money on glossy mailers than her four opponents put together have raised
  • Zehra Quadri’s workers told her campaign literature may not be left at the mailboxes in Winston Towers, although such literature for all other candidates, including  alderman, permitted
  • Alderman and her husband (ward committeeman responsible for enforcing election rules) visit early voting site at Warren Park in clear violation of election laws, greeting and being seen by voters and chatting with field house employees; no election judge asks them to leave

The Election

  • Alderman appears (against only one opponent, write-in candidates not being invited) at debate before business community that is closed to general public (unless they want to spend $40 on ticket)
  • Voters in some precincts told there are no write-in candidates; election judges seem confused about the proper procedure for write-in votes
  • Alderman re-elected by 20% of ward’s registered voters (or 9% of ward residents); promises four more years of same dreariness and inaction that marked her first term

Lincoln-McCormick Redevelopment

  • Owners of Cineplex Theater at Lincoln & McCormick begin campaign to sell site; call for community meeting to discuss fate of “eyesore” they deem a magnet for criminals; alderman says she will go along with what community decides
  • At community meeting strong case made for unnamed business that community  assured is only possible business for site; alternative suggestion of cultural center not deemed acceptable by current owners
  • Emerges late in meeting that only acceptable business is storage facility, that approach to/from such business already made/accepted; suspicion arises that this is done deal no matter what community wants
  • Water Reclamation District to rip out parking lot and create green space for community if storage space approved; not clear who will be responsible for maintenance of green space
  • Alderman continues to claim neutrality
  • Residents to meet again for vote; matter so urgent no time for community to discuss other options

Mayoral Election

  • Voters in some precincts urged to vote for Rahm Emmanuel rather than Chuy Garcia.
  • Alderman, her husband (ward committeeman responsible for enforcing election rules) , and their daughter visit precincts throughout the ward to “check” on voter turnout, a clear violation of election laws
  • Alderman sworn in for her second term

50thWard Test Kitchen

  • In one of first official actions of her new term, alderman refuses to grant zoning change to allow Zehra Quadri to open taxpayer-funded test kitchen that would permit local entrepreneurs to develop recipes and start small food industry businesses in the 50th Ward
  • Funding for test kitchen secured under former Ald. Bernie Stone; not clear if alderman’s action is payback for election challenge by Quadri or final insult to Stone (who died in December 2014)
  • Commercial kitchen paid for by taxpayers unused to this day, a lasting reminder of alderman’s pettiness and indifference to both wasting taxypayer money and denying opportunities for business development and job creation in  50th Ward

In Re Estate of McDonald

  • Alderman votes to pay family of Laquan McDonald five million dollars in hush money to prevent release of video of McDonald’s 2014 shooting by Chicago police officer
  • No doubt as to what vote’s all about, as matter clearly presented to City Council before vote called

Lincol-McCormick Redevelopment

  • Community meets to vote on proposed sale to storage facility
  • Meeting packed with residents who will benefit directly from sale
  • Lopsided vote guarantees another storage facility for West Ridge

Medical Marijuana Dispensary

  • Application to open medical marijuana dispensary on Western Avenue announced
  • Owner would invest nearly $500,000 in site improvements and hire residents, especially U.S. Armed Forces veterans and the disabled
  • Zoning change needed
  • Alderman announces her opposition; no reason given 
  • Alderman announces her opposition based on fears MMD would become magnet for crime

Medical Marijuana Dispensary

  • Alderman announces opposition to MMD really based on belief that state law prohibiting MMDs from being located near schools should also apply to parks “…where hundreds of children play;” ignores fact that illegal drugs including pot currently available in parks where children play throughout 50th Ward
  • Online petition created in support of MMD
  • Zoning Board of Appeals hearing scheduled for August

2906-10 West Devon Lawsuit

  • Alderman asks City to sue owner of commercial building at 2906-10 West Devon, calling building “an eyesore” (there’s that word again!) and demanding that owner rent storefronts or sell building
  • Lawsuit is duly filed; attempts to serve owner begin

[July through December to appear tomorrow)




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