Thursday, August 27, 2009
Nothing like good old community development to get the blood stirrin. Woke up at 7:30, solicited commitments from key players on Karlov to watch over their new sidewalks so that no one steps on or scribbles their names on the wet cement. Got the graffiti busters to bust the right graffiti on the street. Went with Liam to the alderman's office, got our donations for the block party, gossiped with the chief of staff about city politics, went to neighborhood businesses and got more donations. Went to Katie's grandma's house. Came back home, got a call from the alderman's office confirming that the CAPS meeting with the police was going to happen in the Jimenez Grocery parking lot and if it rained that it would happen at the Defenders of Christ Church on Wabansia and Tripp instead. Got a call from Angel, he moaned and groaned about some random guy trying to befriend him and embezzle $70 from him. Tried to empower Angel to speak up for himself and come and report the guy at the CAPS meeting. Told him to meet me at 6:40 to leave. Went back and forth, guess the Sox game was more important than his safety. Hung out with Eric and Emily. Our kids trashed their apartment. Went downstairs, called Ramon, asked if he wanted to come to the CAPS meeting, he say OK, ate, kissed Katie and kids goodbye. Go to Jimenez, no meeting, go to DOC Church, cops cant get in, meeting is outside, people talk about all the shootings near Nixon school, flashers on the Fullerton Metra tracks, a crazy kid on Kedvale threatening old people with a gun and intentionally shooting at ladies to strike fear in their hearts. Asked questions about local gang territory and graffiti, reported drug dealers on our block. Dave asks about the boy who was trying to steal his kids' bike, that he caught and detained, and why the cops never followed up with him about whether they caught the other accomplices. The cops say after they took the boy away, the officers' SUV lost it's brakes and smashed into a car of an uninsured woman, on Cicero. No one was hurt, but the boys face was smashed into the window that separates those in custody and the officers, that is why they didn't get back to Dave. Dave is satisfied with their answer.
Leave the CAPS meeting with Ramon, drive him home, decide to stop in the 2010 Budget Meeting at Falconer Elementary to hear other community activists praise, argue, petition, berate, and vision cast. See more city workers, politicians, and their cronys than actualer concerned city residents. Talk to my alderman and the police district commander about the CAPS meeting they are pleased at the turnout. Watch a man go off about the Jefferson Park TIF district, its misuse, and how one developer has created blight along Milwaukee and Lawrence, see Mayor Daley rub his eyes, get up and leave to take a pee break while people rant, don't think they know he left. I leave myself, to take a pee break, Daley is out there schmoosing, taking pictures, joking with city workers. Watch from the side, love the theater of the whole thing. Sit down, talk to a Streets and Sans woman. Give a play by play of Daley's actions. Laugh. Sneak into some photo ops. Write down our neighborhood budget requests, grab some swag, leave. On the way out meet guys from Six Corners/ Portage Park working to get a Metra Station near Cicero and Irving, make some connections, get a card, leave, satisfied with my day.
Posted by Bill at 11:53 PM