- Created on 04 April 2013
With just under a week to go before the April 9 election, 2nd Congressional District candidate Robin Kelly picked up a key endorsement out of Washington.
Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced his support for the south suburban Matteson democrat. Kelly formerly served as chief of staff to ex-Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and then ran for that office. She lost her bid for state treasurer in 2010 and went on to work in Cook County board President Toni Preckwinkle’s administration.
“In my State of the Union address, I laid out a vision to make the United States a magnet for jobs and manufacturing, equip every American with the skills they need to do those jobs, and ensure that hard work leads to a decent living. To continue moving America forward, I need partners in the House of Representatives like Robin Kelly. I have known Robin for many years and I am confident she is the perfect choice to represent the Illinois 2nd Congressional District," said Obama.
The president’s support for Kelly comes as he tries to stoke more support for national gun control legislation. She emerged from a pool of dozens of candidates in the February primary to win the Democratic nomination, but not after coming under fire for accepting campaign money from Mayor Michael Bloomberg who used his own money to back candidates nationwide who also supported strengthening gun laws.
Obama’s endorsement came a day before he spoke on gun violence in Colorado.
“Robin is a tireless champion for building small businesses, supporting middle-class families, protecting our seniors, improving transportation and expanding access to health care. I share Robin’s passionate advocacy to end gun violence with common sense solutions because like her, I believe families impacted by gun violence - especially in my home city of Chicago - deserve a vote," the president said.
- Created on 04 April 2013
Pamela Bosley will always remember the date of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. As the nation reflects on the life of the iconic civil rights leader who was felled by a sniper’s bullet in Memphis April 4, 1968, Bosley continues her own mourning – for the loss of her eldest son.
Thursday she will join other community leaders and residents for an anti-violence march on the city's West Side. Faith leaders and victims’ family members are expected to participate in the demonstration that is scheduled to kick off from the St. John Bible Church, 1256 N. Waller, and move through the Austin community to 1700 N. Luna.
The march will commemorate the 45th anniversary of King’s murder and call for an end to the current slaughter.
April 4, 2006, Terrell Bosley was in the parking lot of Lights of Zion Baptist Church on the city’s Far South Side, helping a friend carry in drums when he was fatally wounded by gunfire. To date, no one has been arrested in connection with the then-18-year-old’s murder.
The journey from that day to now has been wrenching for Pam Bosley and her family. She openly describes paralyzing days – and ones in which she wanted to take her own life.
At one point, “I tried to take my own life – twice,” Bosley said.
But the mother is now part of the Purpose Over Pain organization that helps grieving mothers cope with the devastating loss of a child to gun or other violence. The group also includes slain teen Blair Holt’s mother, Annette Nance-Holt; Anjanette Albert, mother of Derrion Albert; and one of the latest to join the fold, Hadiya Pendleton’s mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton.
Thursday’s march begins at 5 p.m.
- Created on 04 April 2013
A federal judge has sentenced a Chicago man to life in prison for fatally shooting a 23-year-old teller during a South Side bank robbery.
There was little suspense heading into David Vance's sentencing hearing Wednesday. His 2011 conviction for killing Tramaine Gibson carried a mandatory life term without parole.
But emotions still ran high.
According to media reports, Gibson's father, Verton Gibson, addressed the court. He called the 34-year-old Vance "vermin" who deserved to go away for life.
Vance robbed the Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan with two accomplices in 2007. Vance shot Gibson when the teller said he couldn't open the bank's vault. The three made off with $6,900.
Gibson's father told reporters later he's glad he'd "never have to lay ... eyes on David Vance again."
- Created on 04 April 2013
Bronzeville community leaders were joined by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual and site developers Tuesday for the groundbreaking of the community’s new $45.6 million Shops and Lofts project at 47th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue, which is part of a three-acre development that includes new homes, stores and employment opportunities.
“Neighborhoods are the fabric of Chicago. Communities need anchors, and these ‘Shops and Lofts’ will create an important foundation for more jobs, more housing and more goods and services along 47th Street and beyond,” said Emanuel. “I will continue to work with community and private partners in Bronzeville and throughout the city’s neighborhoods as we are all invested together in these projects that will allow a better quality of life for Chicagoans and their families.”
The project includes a new five-story, 72-unit building with 55,000 square feet of retail space; two new six-flats; a new nine-flat; and a rehabilitated three-flat along with parking for residents and visitors. A Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market will occupy most of the retail space, which is being developed by Skilken and TROY Enterprises. The Community Builders Inc. will develop the residential component, comprised of 44 affordable, 28 public housing and 24 market-rate apartments. The development is projected to create 100 permanent jobs and 144 temporary jobs. The Quad Communities Development Corporation is the community organization that first called for the redevelopment of the corner over a decade ago and worked hand in hand with the City and developers to achieve the revitalization.
“For those of us in Bronzeville, the Shops and Lofts at 47 are of immense importance. With this development comes access to fresh food, opportunities for employment and the first new mixed apartment and retail development on Cottage Grove in decades,” said Alderman Will Burns (4th). “Equally important, it signals an important success for those who have toiled for decades to recreate Bronzeville as the great commercial and cultural hub of Chicago’s South Side that it was—and can be again.”
City investment in the 47th Street project alone includes nearly $13 million in Tax Increment Financing assistance for site preparation costs. Assistance for the residential component includes a $550,000 HOME loan, a $7.8 million loan from the Chicago Housing Authority, $663,000 in donations tax credit equity, $8.4 million in low-income housing tax credit equity and up to $20 million in tax-exempt bonds. Assistance for the commercial component includes $3.3 million in New Markets Tax Credit equity.
Bronzeville is one of seven neighborhoods in the mayor’s Chicago Neighborhoods Now plan identified by the City last month for coordinated public and private investment initiatives. The Bronzeville projects have received nearly $1 billion in public funds and private investments with public funds totaling more than $153 million.
The other six areas in the Chicago Neighborhoods Now plan include Englewood, Rogers Park, Uptown, Little Village, Pullman, and the Eisenhower Corridor.
In addition to the Shops and Lofts project, the nearly $1 billion in goals for Bronzeville include the entertainment-oriented revitalization of the Motor Row Historic District along South Michigan Avenue; and continued support for mixed-use redevelopment projects on 47th Street, such as the pending rehabilitation of Rosenwald Apartments and Bronzeville Artists’ Lofts.
- Created on 02 April 2013
Chicago Public Schools opened the doors of Willa Cather Elementary School on the West Side to media as its example of the underutilization “crisis.”
Now the Chicago Teachers Union is set to counter the school district with a tour of its own. Thursday the CTU will host a bus tour for media and elected officials to areas where the union says school closures have led to destabilization.
March 21 CPS announced that 54 public schools would close due to being underused and will fold into other nearby school buildings. The move has ignited a fury of opposition from the union, community leaders and supporters, parents, students and others.
CTU led a rally in downtown Chicago March 27 and was joined by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-1st, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Tavis Grant and others. The union has called for a moratorium on any school closures, an idea CPS apparently sees as not an option, based on its proposal to close, turnaround and co-locate dozens of elementary schools.
CPS calls the actions long-term cost savings for the district.
CTU rejects that.
“These actions will leave 61 buildings empty and add to the portfolio of empty school buildings collected by the district over the last 12 years. In addition, mass closings will cost Chicago Public Schools nearly $1 billion. To be clear, this is the largest school closing operation undertaken by any city in our nation's history. This year's round of school closings will have a significant impact on students' educations, their safety, and the economic life and vitality of the neighborhoods where these school closings will take place,” CTU officials said as Thursday’s bus tour was announced.
In a school district that is majority minority, CTU calls the school district’s actions “racist.”
“This action will have a significant impact on African American and Latino students,” according to CTU.
The union did not release details of the bus tour and explained that no itinerary will be given in advance of the event.