We are literally six weeks away from celebrating Christmas and seven weeks from the New Year. Can you believe 2018 is right around the corner, less than two months way? Yet, Chicago is under siege. Yep. There is a heightened rate of car jacked thefts occurring throughout the city and flowing into the suburbs. People are literally being held at gunpoint while standing near their vehicles, pumping gas or unpacking groceries from their trunk. No second thought, the thieves jump in the ride, not realizing there may be children strapped in the backseat.
It is not only troubling, it is utterly frightening because it is a feeling that doesn’t allow you to let down your guard. For residents that live in rough neighborhoods or for those who grew up in one—your defense mode is always “on,” but for those who can’t imagine the cold steel of a .45 caliber touching your temple—it’s unreal. Just when you thought Halloween was over, another level of terror descends on Chicago residents.
While the City of Chicago reports a record number of building cranes in the sky to reflect how many luxury buildings being built (still can’t find any Black on-site construction workers), parking lots are disappearing and ride share prices are surging. It’s wonderful that we’ve had the highest tourism revenue ever and buildings are taking up every corner of free space, but meanwhile, low income families and seniors cringe because they know what this means for them. Rising property taxes and every other tax that both the city council or Cook County Board can create affects every solid penny from residents who can barely muster up enough to cover utilities.
In 2015, we witnessed groups of teens descending on Gold Coast shops, crashing and grabbing high-end items. “Oh no,” wealthy residents said it could “never happen in their neighborhood.” But it did and now those that “have not” are targeting those that “have plenty.” Buckle up, lock your doors and stay woke. Times are hard and it’s real out here in these streets.
Political Endorsements and Announcements
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy and running mate Ra Joy picked up a solid endorsement from chair of the Police Accountability Task Force, Lori E. Lightford, on Tuesday.
Not one to hold her tongue against police misconduct in law enforcement, Lightford released a statement outlining her choice for Illinois governor.
“I’m proud to support Chris Kennedy and Ra Joy. They have the right vision, the right voice, and I’m an enthusiastic supporter.”
Last week, 100 Women With A Purpose for Toni Preckwinkle held a fundraiser for the Cook County Board President at the Parkway Ballroom. There were an estimated 150 guests in attendance at $100 per ticket and they gathered to support her through a third term. Leading the fundraiser, Marion Batey happily introduced Preckwinkle to the room of supporters. Among them included Ald. Sophia King (4th Ward), Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd Ward), Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th Ward), Ald. David Moore (17th Ward) and various judges along with community, business and faith leaders.
Meanwhile, former Alderman Bob Fioretti announced his bid for Cook County Board President in the upcoming primary election. Making his announcement at the Lansing Airport, which he pointed out has lost money because of the County’s unjust tax system. Fioretti grew up in the once vibrant and middle-class community of Roseland on the far South Side. Once the outspoken leaders of the Progressive Aldermanic Caucus, he says, “Eight years ago, voters in Cook County, including me, voted for one thing. We got another,” Fioretti said. “Sadly, we learned that a penny earned is not a penny saved. It is a penny taxed.” Well, we all can relate to that and this last tax repeal left County residents’ “panties in a bunch.” Best believe, Fioretti will smear this poison in Preckwinkle’s pecan pie. Thanksgiving is here folks.
Places, People and Parties
Speaking of Thanksgiving, save the date for the biggest party night of the year—Black Wednesday! Nope, it’s not about the shopping—it’s about the party. Housegiving: A People’s Pier House Party is taking place November 22 at Navy Pier from 7 – 11 p.m. House Heads can jam out to an impressive lineup of artists including Chicago House Legacy Project, Gene Hunt, Julius “The Mad Thinker,” Steve “Miggedy” Maestro, and the Queens of House Solkat, DJ Alicia and my Virgo sister, First Lady. Don’t miss out on live performances by K’Mar, Curtis ‘Move Your Body’Mcclaim, Faith Howard, Billy Monroe, and the legendary Dajae.
For the South Shore community, a special pop-up experience will come to the neighborhood for three days during the Thanksgiving break. Alderman Leslie Hairston (5th), Special Service Area (SSA) #42, and the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, have partnered with Eric Williams and Rob McKay of the famed Silver Room in Hyde Park to curate, Connect South Shore. This 3-day pop-up marketplace will dwell in storefronts along 71st Street, on the weekend following Thanksgiving, November 24 – 26, 2017.
Connect South Shore will feature a tapestry of local and nationally regarded retailers, artists, musicians, and filmmakers, illustrating the richness of cultural expression, while generating small business revenue. Likewise, this enterprising marketplace is intended to stimulate visionary thinking and striking development opportunities for a community disproportionately impacted by patterns of disinvestment.
Kudos to Eric Williams who is on break from his Harvard fellowship to come home and create magic with Rob McKay and the wonderful merchants. This is an awesome way to celebrate and support Small Business Saturday around the city, which is critical to the local economy.
As we wrap up the final leg of Scorpio season, here’s our long list of birthday shout-outs. Happy belated birthday wishes to one of the most giving and gracious friends I know, President of Know1Radio.com Julia Johnson; and Chicago native and personality Demi Lobo, who celebrated on Nov.13. Mad love to WVON’s Real Talk radio host Art ‘Chat Daddy’ Sims; Chicago Hip Hop month co-founder and Columbia College instructor Amina Norman-Hawkins; along with former record executive CeCe McClendon on Nov. 16. Birthday wishes to make-up artist Ginaya Hampton; musician and hip-hop artist Julio Davis; and music producer Don Medina on Nov.18. A big hug to Flowers Communications publicist C. Nicole; music manager Shorty Capone; top-of-the-line guitarist Keith Henderson; favorite photographer-on-the-move Dot Ward and proud momma of NBA Toronto Raptors’ Patrick Patterson, Tywanna Patterson, who celebrate Nov. 19. Crazy big-ups to DJ Val and the lovable James ‘Jamie’ Teague on Nov.20.
Got a scoop? Make sure to connect with me with your special announcements, birthdays, anniversaries, promotions and just good ole’ dish.