Memorial Day

As we celebrate the courage and sacrifices of the men and women of the United States military, I will be remembering my father and his brother, both World War II Army veterans, and my cousin, who served in the Coast Guard. Uncle Bud fought in the China-India-Burma theater, was wounded, and received the Purple Heart. I’ll also be thinking of my Uncle Frank, my mother’s sister’s husband, who died at the Battle of the Bulge. Even though I never knew him, I am grateful for his service and his sacrifice.

I will also be thinking of my brother, who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War era, and my Uncle Johnny, our family’s last link to those who served in World War II.

I wish you and yours a blessed and peaceful Memorial Day.

Aldermanic Election Deadlines

If you’re thinking about running for alderman, it’s time to get organized. The election will be held on February 26, 2019.

You’ll need a total of 473 valid signatures from registered voters to get on the ballot. You can begin acquiring those signatures on August 28, 2018.

Notarized nominating petitions are due at the Chicago Board of Elections the week of November 19-26, 2018.

You’ll want to get copies of nominating petitions filed by the other candidates so you can begin to file objections to their petitions. It’s an interesting process, though more complicated than it needs to be, and you’ll need a team of sharp-eyed campaign workers to help you spot things like multiple signatures written in the same hand, or signatures and addresses written in different hands, or signatures using addresses of vacant lots and abandoned buildings. You can object to illegible signatures and also petitions without circulator signatures or with invalid notarizations.

The last day to file objections to petitions is December 3, 2018.

You’ll need a lawyer to help you defend yourself should your petitions be challenged. That lawyer will attend  a session at CBOE  with you  where CBOE employees will rule  on the validity of  the signatures  in question. Should challenges remain after this session,  you  will be required to obtain a signed and notarized affidavit from each person whose signature is challenged; the sworn affidavit affirms that the signature is valid. There isn’t a lot of time to get this accomplished because the candidate lists must be finalized and ballots printed in January 2019. You will need to organize and train teams of volunteers to get those affidavits.

Don’t be surprised or intimidated if another candidate files a thousand or more signatures. This is a tactic used by experienced politicians to frighten neophytes. Make your challenges anyway.

In the meantime, you’ll need to be raising lots of money. Former Alderman Dick Simpson notes in his campaign handbook that a candidate for alderman should have at least $250,000 in the bank. This is important if you are seeking endorsements, since established politicians will not support a candidate without enough money already banked to win the election. The press, too, is not inclined to cover candidates who lack money for publicity.

Ald. Silverstein has already raised more than $93,000 for the race.

At this writing there are no declared candidates in the 50th Ward. But if you’re thinking about running for alderman, now is the time to start recruiting and training petition circulators, volunteers, and paid campaign staff.

Go to the CBOE website for a helpful guide that goes into great detail about what to do and how to do it.








Water Fountains Turned Off in Local Parks

The Chicago Park District has begun turning off water fountains in local parks because of lead contamination. According to information released by the Park District, two of our local parks are affected.

Indian Boundary — Three fountains have been turned off:

#1 — north of the spray pool

#2 — east of the tennis courts

#3 — west of the Fieldhouse, on the path.

Warren Park — Eight water fountains off: #1 — northwest corner of the park, north of the play lot

#2 — near the golf course bathroom

#3 — northeast corner of the park, near the play lot

#4 — on the path, east of the baseball diamond and west of the golf course

#5 — north of the tennis courts

#6 — southwest play lot

#7 — Cricket field

#8 — horseshoe pit, east of cricket field.

Please be sure to alert teenagers and young children. For the time being, it’s best to bring your own water.





Economic Development Community Meeting at Northtown Library

Every year the Chicago Community Trust invites City residents to participate in discussions of topics of public interest and public policy. The program, known as “Open Table,”  organizes these citywide discuussions neighborhood by neighborhood.

This year, the West Ridge Community Organization and the West Ridge Chamber of Commerce are co – sponsoring the OpenTable program that will take place on Thursday, May 10th, at the Northtown Library, 6435 North California, from 6 to 8 p.m.  The selected topic is economic planning and development in West Ridge.

Discussions will begin with a presentation by Abraham Lentner, city planning instructor att the University of Illinois at Chicago. After his presentation, the audience will break into small discussion groups to share ideas about potential eonomic dvelopment improvements for our neighborhood. The audience will then reconvene to share each group’s ideas, concerns, and recommendations.

The event is free. If you have any questions please contact the West Ridge Community Organization or the West Ridge Chamber of Commerce.