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Added Sep 14 2011

This is my first EveryBlock posting. I will try to monitor this site as freqently as possible, but please understand the day-to-day demands of my job may prevent me from doing so on a daily basis. If you have an issue or request that requires imediate attention, please contact my ward service office at ward49@cityofchicago.org or call 773-338-5796.

I am writing to invite you to join me for an outdoor police roll call TONIGHT (Wednesday, September 14th) 6:00 p.m. at the intersection of Pratt and Ashland Boulevards. The roll call will be followed by a community walk to Morse Avenue and returning to Pratt Boulevard.

The roll call and community walk are being held in response to a shooting Monday night that left three teens injured. The teens were on the northwest corner of Pratt and Ashland at 7:30 p.m. when an unknown male fired at them and fled. A 13-year-old boy was shot in the chest and is listed in serious condition. A 19-year-old male was shot in the arm and is hospitalized in stable condition. A 15-year-old male suffered a graze wound to his arm and was treated and released.

I have been in regular contact with 24th District Commander James Roussell who reports that Area 3 detectives are following several leads. A news media report falsely stated that the nearby blue light safety camera was not operating at the time of the incident. The camera was in fact functioning and the incident was caught on tape, which is currently being examined by the detectives. The Commander has asked for and received additional tactical officers who patrolled the area last night and reported no further incidents.

The Police Department had already provided the area with heightened patrol following several recent reports of shots being fired. The heightened patrols will continue for the foreseeable future.

  • Jason 3 Year Rogers Park Resident

    Enough of Gang Violence in Rogers Park !

  • Rich RP Resident

    Joe, will we see you at the combined 2431/2432 Beat Meeting on Thursday? We could use your help addressing problematic buildings.

  • Joe Moore Alderman, 49th Ward

    Unfortunately, a long-standing commitment to my 14-year-old boy will prevent me from attending the meeting, but my staff will be there. They are experienced in addressing problem buildings and I will receive a full report from them. I also plan to mention it in an e-mail blast I will send in a few minutes. I hope you understand my family commitment. Though I don't pretend to know the personal circumstances of the perpetrator and their victims, the fact they were hanging out on a street corner on a school night indicates their parents may not have been as attentive as they should have been. I should not simply preach parental responsibility, I must practice it in my own life.

  • Lacy your friendly local artist

    Glad to see you on here, Joe. Whether through Everyblock or your newsletter, it's important to me to see your awareness of and response to this issue.

  • Inactive user

    Good post, its important for the local leadership to speak out.
    Thanks Joe! I like that the roll call is being held there at pratt and ashland. Definitely a chronic problem corner.

  • Its awesome to see you on here Mr. Moore!...

  • Jackie L Tajiri EdgeRoge Celtic Music Lover

    You are one of the few, sane members of the Council, Joe.

  • [Cross-posted from facebook.] Let's get to real solutions here that move beyond temporary cosmetic displays of police presence (e.g., Roll Calls) that wither away in a matter of minutes. One interesting idea would be to put some real pressure on the owner of that corner store (where so much of the bad behavior on this corner emanates from) to stop tolerating gang-affiliated behavior and loitering. Threaten to shut the store down if the owner doesn't start taking this issue to heart. Another interesting idea would be a flashing police camera, mounted low and right on the NW corner of Pratt and Ashland, directly outside of that gang-affiliated junkfood supply store. What do you think, Ald. Moore? This is a truly horrible corner, and has been ever since I moved to Rogers Park back in 2007. All the teen/young adult gang-bangers make their way up Ashland or Bosworth after school lets out at Sullivan (if they're even enrolled there), and then the trouble-making usually starts around that corner. When I drive down Pratt to pick up my dry cleaning, I routinely get glared at by those thugs hovering outside that store....so I glare back. They don't flash their BS gang signs at me, but they flash them at select other people driving by. Maybe that's why they got a bunch of bullets up their asses. Something really needs to be done to address this above and beyond a temporary display of police presence. I apologize for the strong language, but this has been a bad corner for YEARS, nothing has been done about it, and as a result, people have gotten shot.

  • 13, 15, and 19. School age kids. We have all these solutions and things we would like to do, but how much money and energy are we putting into things that have no long term effect? A roll call and march is great...for a start. But why not after the March we do some serious "Loitering" and sleep out on that corner. All of us; the Alderman, neighbors, Police Commanders, and school principals. And after all of this is done (tomorrow morning), lets get to work on making a real impact. This is a community problem which demands community solutions. That corner store doesn't need to be shut-down, but the owner does need to come up with some monies and give it to Kilmer and Sullivan schools so they can do some serious gang intervention programs starting as early as 3rd grade. All the shop owners on Clark street need to pitch in, local property owners need to contribute, and TIF monies need to be used on programming for kids and parents. I'm not talking about midnight basketball leagues, I'm talking about programs that show kids the results of gang-life. Programs that allow them to interact with former gang-members that have left the gangs for good reasons. Help these kids see that gang-life is not as glamorous as they think. Show them the one true way to guarantee success in life is to be successful in school.

    And then lets spend some money on helping our kids have a future. Intense educational interventions after-school to help kids learn to read. Almost all violent-criminals are below level in reading. A Harvard study showed that States use third grade reading scores to decide how many jail cells to build.

    So you want to see a change in Rogers Park, then it starts with a Roll Call and a March but it continues on for years, and schools are the avenue to end this crime in our city. Support these schools, help by finding and bringing them partnerships and resources. There is no better place to start then the neighborhood schools.

  • One more thing...I've seen what Kilmer school has and doesn't have. It honestly needs a commitment from the community of at least $300,000 per year over the next 4 years in order for those kids to get the top education they deserve. They have done some amazing things over there, but can not move to the next level without this support.

    I do not work or have kids at Kilmer, but I know that this is the best investment we can make into our community if we want to see a dramatic change that is sustainable and can happen in the scope of a few years.

    The police in this neighborhood are magnificent. I rarely see any of them sitting around. They are always on the look out for crime. But if you do ask them about the criminals they arrest, they will tell you most of them have been failed by the public school system. Imagine a community where we had educated kids and involved parents. Do you think we would be having these problems still?

    If any one wants to help me get more money and resources for the neighborhood schools please email at krish.mohip@gmail.com

  • KMQ New to the Uptown Sound

    Unfortunately, what we need are officers walking the streets. Even if we as citizens walked them, we can't do anything if we see crime in progress other than report it, and even then nothing may come of it.

  • Ben

    Thank you for joining, Ald. Moore. Does your district cover Howard St as well? A client from my agency was robbed, beaten and murdered on Howard last week (he died on Saturday from an injury sustained during the attack). Technically, Evanston Police had to handle the case, but that is Chicago across the street. Please do something more to get the Jungle addressed. It's a long-standing problem that appears to be ignored by both Evanston and Chicgao. My agency has many clients that live in that area and they and their case managers are in danger every day because of living in that area. Please do something to help get rid of the menacing people there.

  • ChicagoGirl0042 30+ Years in Logan Square/Edgewater/Andersonville

    @Ben - here is a link to what the 49th ward covers: http://www.ward49.com/maps/

  • John Warner 14 year resident - Rogers Park Positive Loitering

    Thank you Alderman Moore! I'll see you there!

  • Inactive user

    I honestly hope that this is a sincere & consistant role you plan to play in the safety of the residents in Ward 49. Clealy there is a huge problem that must be addressed now & continued within the future. I feel the residents have had enough with the thugs around Pratt/Ashland/Farwell and am very happy to see neighbors getting involved...this also means back up from your office. I personally have had several positive experiences with the police in this area...you've got great people to work together...glad to hear that you are willing to join.

  • Helen NoH North of Howard for 55 + years

    Ben, the suspect who has been charged with the murder of your client is from south suburban Hazel Crest. Please do not again refer to my neighborhood as "the Jungle." It's been my home for decades.

  • Scott Chasen from Ocean Beach, San Diego, now in Edgewater

    please tell the Alderman in the 48th ward, we need his participation badly, thank you!

  • any mos a here

    Joe, thanks for being actively involved in your community!

  • Ben

    Helen - he may be from Hazel Crest, but the crime took place on Howard. It's not an uncommon situation for that street. Howard has been a problem area for decades. It's called the Jungle for a reason - people have to always be careful and on the lookout for trouble whenever using Howard. It's nothing new.

  • Helen NoH North of Howard for 55 + years

    Ben, I've lived here for 5 decades. I'm more than a little tired of folks running down my neighborhood. I come and go--on foot--as I please, on Howard and on the surrounding streets.

  • ChicagoGirl0042 30+ Years in Logan Square/Edgewater/Andersonville

    Helen, I have seen a lot of people on here call that area the Jungle. Someone even once gave the historical reason why it was called that (although I don't remember which thread it was in). For better or worse, the name sticks to the area no matter how much you dislike it. People know it as that.

    Your entitled to your views that it is a nice enough area just as others are entitled to their views on the area. I see that you are new to this site, I would highly suggest that picking a fight is not the best way to introduce yourself. Especially in a thread about such a serious situation.

  • ChicagoGirl0042 30+ Years in Logan Square/Edgewater/Andersonville

    Found the thread, the term the Jungle is actually not offensive to those who know the history:

    The term 'the jungle' originally goes back to the days when this area was know as "Germania" and was a 'high end' area populated primarily by wealthy 'German Jewish' residents. Because all the 'sunrooms' were filled with ferns and plants of all kinds, people who went down the street marveled that, "it looks like a jungle." This was told to me in the 70's by an 82 year old woman who had lived in the neighborhood since the 1920's. -- Michael Luckenbach

    (http://chicago.everyblock.com/announcements/jul11-w-juneway-terrace-4097046/)

  • Inactive user

    Your entitled to your views that it is a nice enough area just as others are entitled to their views on the area. I see that you are new to this site, I would highly suggest that picking a fight is not the best way to introduce yourself. Especially in a thread about such a serious situation.

    Was this posted from a cross? get over yourself.

    The way that Ben uses the word "Jungle" implies something totally different from your found thread.

    Welcome Helen.

  • Inactive user

    Hi Gregory, Thank you for your response.

    ChicagoGirl (what's your name, btw?), I, too, live in the neighborhood north of Howard Street notoriously known as the Jungle and object to outsiders using such a tired, old euphemism. Personally, I don't see Helen as having done anything wrong for defending our neighborhood. As a person who has lived in Rogers Park/ West Ridge for most of the past 21 years, and north of Howard for a little over a year now, I think this neighborhood gets a bad rap from outsiders. Instead of attacking Helen, why don't you try showing some compassion and welcome her to the EB community? It's OUR neighborhood, after all, and if we object to it being called outside of its name, then you, who DON'T live in our community, should respect that.

    *****

    I hope to see you all at the Rogers Park Community Peace Walk at 6 pm next Wednesday, Sept. 21, on the UN International Day of Peace. We will meet at the Peace Pole at 1545 W. Morse, outside of the United Church of Rogers Park and walk to the newly installed Peace Pole in Triangle Park, where a dedication ceremony will be held. Our guest speaker will be Tio Hardiman, director of CeaseFire Illinois and a prominent figure in one of the most riveting documentaries of our time: "The Interrupters."

  • Nolan - RP 2+ Year RP resident

    People living in the Rogers Park neighborhood are asking for help in finding the person who shot and wounded three teenagers Monday night.

    Marc Barkdale joined community organizers as they passed out flyers in the 1600-block of West Pratt. His son Javanis was shot in the chest.

    Two other teenagers were also wounded but were not seriously hurt.
    While some passed out flyers, others marched through the neighborhood.

    Alderman Joe Moore told residents there would be a CAPS meeting Thursday night.

    Barksdale's mother says her son has been released from the hospital.

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?id=8354894&rss=rss-wls-article-8354894&section=news/local

  • Debating over a phrase or word used is not productive especially on a blog where people reading the comment are left up to the way they want to interprete it rather then talking face to face so we can see expressions. The terminology is not the issue here...the violence and how to stop it is. I have said this before, you can bet the thugs/bangers read these blogs and love seeing the bickering. What they don't like seeing is unity and solutions from a community. I believe all opinions are merited and should be respected whether we like them or not.
    Let's just work together to make each of our communities better places to live. IMHO:)

  • sben Peterson Woods home owner

    Programs the keep youth out of gangs are definitely going to help. I know of something you can do to help a child in need. Why not become a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sister of Chicago??? I am a Big Sister myself to a teenage girl in Edgewater. I love it!

    GENTLEMEN: BBBS needs you. They are always short on volunteer men who can mentor boys - boys from single parent homes, who are more likely to get involved in drugs or gangs. I'm urging to contact BBBS to see what you can do. They try as hard as they can to match you up with a child in your neighborhood. You can also volunteer in a site based program where you visit the child in their school or some other specific location.

    If anyone has any questions about being Big, please feel free to message me. Or you can go to the website http://www.bbbschgo.org.

  • Michael Luckenbach 36 year resident of Rogers Park-North of Howard

    FYI All,

    There are a number of 'organizations' in the NoH neighborhood that offer very excellent youth programing...for those who want to get involved, either as participants or volunteers, such as:
    http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/parks.results.cfm

    http://www.howardarea.org/

    http://familymatterschicago.org/

  • Michael Luckenbach 36 year resident of Rogers Park-North of Howard

    Search 'Willy White Park' at the above Chicago Park District link.

  • I am truly amazed that so many people think we need to have yet another social service program to prevent gang-banging. There are programs galore! The great majority of these amoral kids aren't interested in going to school and playing in a parks program. It doesn't make them feel "big" like a gun does. It doesn't feel as good as owning a block and scaring its residents. Anyone convicted of a crime who has a gang affiliation should get an extra 10 years tacked on to his sentance.
    Additionally, any family member who opens his/her door to a gang-banging relative should be on the fast-track to eviction proceedings. When there are real consequences to living the gang-banger life, there will be change.

  • I agree with this wholeheartedly. Programs can only do so much, and when our legislators turn down ideas for curtailing criminal activity of recipients of such programs ( such as CHAC turning down the amendment to holding a lease holder responsible for damage or activity committed by a visitor), that's criminal in its own right.

  • Suzanne D, more punitive prison sentences would do nothing to deter gang violence. Death is as real a threat to them as prison and many of them do not fear dying. Gang-bangers have shorter life spans and they know that going into it. They have accepted that. They live for the moment without a concern for tomorrow. Many of the kids are amoral and not interested in going to school, just like you said. Their thinking is illogical and counterproductive to themselves and everyone else. But that is precisely the reason why we need more outreach. It's not impossible to change the mindset of youths; it's just very difficult. But it's too early to give up on them. I have seen so many youths and have friends who were once hard-core gang bangers, many who even served prison time, eventually change their life, and earn a respectable living and start a family, becoming positive contributors to their communities. All the punitive measures taken in prison, 23 hour lock-down, solitary confinement, etc. did not change them. They changed because of outreach programs and because someone did not write them off. Someone was always there to patiently help remold their way of thinking into a way that benefitted themselves and their communities. That is what we need more of.

  • Jesse...

    I disagree. More punitive jail sentences will make THAT individual less likely to victimize a productive member of society for a longer time.

    I agree it should be a layered approach, however. But we need it to start earlier. The guys out on the street have made their choices. We need to get to the parents earlier.... and the kids earlier. But when these attempts fail, lock them up and get them away from those of us who actually contribute to the society that we live in in a good way.

    Suzanne... you can't add 10 years because of 'gang' membership. Otherwise you'd have to lock up frat boys who commit a drug or alcohol offense under the same guidelines. Differentiate the two for me in a legal way. I wish they'd use RICO acts against them like they do the mafia though. Not sure why they don't do that.

  • Scott, that approach has been attempted already. But prisons now are breeding grounds for hate, violence, and even terrorism. Furthermore, they are criminal training centers. Unless you want to lock them up for life, these individuals eventually get out and are far worse than before. The odds are even more stacked against them. Prisons are so overcrowded that they aren't able to separate the violent offenders from the nonviolent ones any longer. This ultimately leads to a lot of victimization in prison that is not seen with outside eyes--rapes, forced prostitution, stabbings, murders. Maybe that doesn't matter to some, but a person sentenced to prison for 2 years for his 3rd DUI shouldn't have to worry about getting stabbed to death in prison like what happened a few years ago in another state. Such violence is not uncommon in there.

    In short, the approach of locking people up for longer periods of time to protect society only shifts the violence to prison where it is out of sight and out of mind. But eventually, we have to deal with it. And if you look at the prison systems today they are filled with 18 to 20 year olds, many serving 10 to 20 years before they will be released and many of them did not commit murder.

  • Jesse -- We have good law abiding citizens scared to walk home from work, young families leaving (or wanting to leave) because they don't feel it's an environment in which they can raise their children. I simply don't have patience with the idea that we should all sit by and hope that gang-bangers may some day turn their lives around after going through a "To Sir Love Love" outreach experience! The few exceptions prove the rule.

    And Scott, it's easy enough to define a law that won't include frat boys busted for DUI. While never participating in Greek life myself, I don't think that anyone could say they are associations that exist for the express purpose of pursuing criminal activities (unlike the Gangster Disciples and Latin Kings.)

    If we want to pursue early intervention, we need to make sure the parents of kids who are at risk for gang activity are actively partnering with schools and teachers to make sure they are prepared to succeed. I'd like to see anyone who receives any form of public assistance and has a child be required to volunteer at that child's school for at least 3 hours each month. Any parent who receives public aid would also have to sign off on completed homework every day. Lack of required volunteer hours and missing homework would result in a decuction from the public aid that parent receives. We need to foster a sense of responsibility in people, not inter-generational government dependency and life-long subsistence living.

  • Suzanne D,
    I agree with you 100%. It's time the parents of these children start participating in their upbringing and not expecting society to "turn them around". I've raised my children and do not care to raise someone else's. Why is it our responsibility to reach out to these kids? Where are their parents/parent? I think your idea of making those who get social services volunteer a couple hours a week is a brilliant idea! When people get something for nothing, where is the incentive to improve their life? I think it's great that there are so many organizations out there to try and help the less fortunate, but I would like to see the statistics that these actually work on a long term basis. I would like to see more then a few kids get their lives together because of these program and I think that happens when the parent/parents are required to participate. Holding parent/parents responsible for their children's actions in the form of a reduction of welfare/food stamps/public housing unless they participate/volunteer is one of the best ideas I've heard in a long time. In Albuquerque, NM, IF an underage kid is caught tagging, the parent/parents get the fine and have to clean it up. I'm not sure how affective it is but it's a start and sends a message. Why are we not expecting more from these parent/parents? Why is society their parent/parents?

  • Inactive user

    On the downside, please keep in mind that many of these thugs are born into the gang...with one or both parents belonging. They grow up knowing nothing different than the gang lifestyle. I remember hearing a conversation a few years ago where three young people were marveling at the fact that they were still alive...one thought he would only make it to age 18 & had made it to the ripe old age of 23. When putting one thug in jail opens a spot for another on the street I think the answer is other than jail or help type programs. Do I know the answer....no...wish I did.

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