4 days ago

Updated 32 hours ago

Presidential Library

I would have to call today’s townhall a success. But it is just the first step in a long and difficult journey that you are being challenged to take. This is a journey that can lead to a cleaner, safer and more prosperous community.
Our Library bid opens doors to opportunities that were unthinkable before. And those doors have to be identified and opened by you. There’s nothing free here. Everything we’ve gotten to this point in the process has...

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I would have to call today’s townhall a success. But it is just the first step in a long and difficult journey that you are being challenged to take. This is a journey that can lead to a cleaner, safer and more prosperous community.
Our Library bid opens doors to opportunities that were unthinkable before. And those doors have to be identified and opened by you. There’s nothing free here. Everything we’ve gotten to this point in the process has been earned with hard work. That won’t change going forward.
What about jobs? Another question is, “what jobs are we preparing ourselves for?” One group is starting a student enrollment drive for technical training so that our youth will have the skills for the coming economic boom. Even if we don’t get the Library (we will), won’t our community be better off with a skilled work force?
With the increased attention on us because of this national story, what opportunities do you see? How do we use that opportunity?

https://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Lawndale-Presidential-Library/366984393416815?ref=hl

  • Valerie F. Leonard Lawndale Community Builder and Policy Analyst

    I love it!

  • SIR SEL OF NORTH LAWNDALE AND BEYOND I'm a community filth and fear fighter

    What is it that you love about it, dear sister. Is it the best thing since hot, buttered corn bread. Expand on "I love it." That could mean anything. Do you believe in it? Would you promote it, buy it, give it to others, force feed it to others? Do you like the color of it. Does the Ebony hue go with the hue inside of you?

44 hours ago

Presidential Library

North Lawndale has made it into the Library finals. Unfortunately, we are up against some pretty stiff competition, including Mayor Emanuel, who appears to want it on the Southside. Fortunately, this crossroads in our community is happening right in the middle of an aldermanic campaign. And we have 14 candidates, all with armies of volunteers.
The Library is not a political issue. It’s an issue that affects the very nature of our community. In the last campaign, crazy things were...

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North Lawndale has made it into the Library finals. Unfortunately, we are up against some pretty stiff competition, including Mayor Emanuel, who appears to want it on the Southside. Fortunately, this crossroads in our community is happening right in the middle of an aldermanic campaign. And we have 14 candidates, all with armies of volunteers.
The Library is not a political issue. It’s an issue that affects the very nature of our community. In the last campaign, crazy things were said and done in political races all over the country; but not in the 24th Ward. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Sun Times, commending the mutual respect that our candidates showed each other and the voters. That small letter was printed. Imagine the press North Lawndale could get if all of our candidates publicly declared their unified support for our Library bid.
If not unified, then individual public declarations of support will do.
North Lawndale is not afraid to stand up against the Mayor's wishes. I'm sure our candidates aren't either.
Here is the list of the current candidates for Alderman, as listed by the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners:
24th Ward Candidates 2015
MICHAEL D. CHANDLER
FRANK M. BASS
REGINA D. LEWIS
WALLACE E. "MICKEY" JOHNSON
SHERITA ANN HARRIS
ROGER L. WASHINGTON
VERNELL L. HOLLIS-SWANIGAN
VETRESS BOYCE
DENARVIS MENDENHALL
LADARIUS R. CURTIS
MARCUS D. THORNE
MICHAEL SCOTT, JR.
LARRY G. NELSON
DARREN TILLIS

6 days ago

Updated 45 hours ago

Presidential Library

While I have no direct involvement with this weekend’s Townhall meeting or its planning, I fully support this opportunity for the Westside community to become fully involved in our bid for the Presidential Library.

So many times in our past, it seems that changes are made to our neighborhood, without a chance for community input. This is our chance to help make decisions about the impact of possibly the most significant, single change to North Lawndale since its beginning in...

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While I have no direct involvement with this weekend’s Townhall meeting or its planning, I fully support this opportunity for the Westside community to become fully involved in our bid for the Presidential Library.

So many times in our past, it seems that changes are made to our neighborhood, without a chance for community input. This is our chance to help make decisions about the impact of possibly the most significant, single change to North Lawndale since its beginning in 1869.

How can this effect unemployment, education and crime? What about property values and land use? How will this affect you?

The correct address is 1616 S. Avers Ave, Chicago 60623. Tomorrow! Saturday! November 22nd. 12 noon

Think Big! Get involved.

  • SIR SEL OF NORTH LAWNDALE AND BEYOND I'm a community filth and fear fighter

    I'm not a legal resident of Lawndale, but my spirit and concern and efforts for the over-due attention due North Lawndale is second to non. I respect and support us where ever we are showing respect for us and trying to represent us. I am so much a proponent of positive causes in our community that I'm willing to get the Sel out of the way, if that will encourage constructive and culturally specific development.

  • Sir Sel, don’t get out of the way. You are exactly who this bid was designed to help. I’ve used you and your cause so many times as an example of the type of community efforts that can be enhanced by the Library push.
    No Sir Sel, the Library needs you.

2 days ago

My favorite anti-snoring devices

I am making this post with the onest hope someone can benefit from my experience.I started snoring at an earley age and it only got worse from that point.U could say that i have been looking for a working anti-snoring device most of my adult life .
I finily found a couple of good choices and decided to share them with all of you!
So please find out more on : http://antisnoringsolutions.weebly.com/
Enjoy!

Nov 18

Meeting tonight about Austin High School Campus

Austin Community Action Council Meeting

Attend the Chicago Public Schools' Austin Community Action Council to learn and provide input regarding plans for the Austin High School Campus. Tuesday November 18, 5:30pm at Michele Clark High School (5101 W. Harrison).

Nov 10

Start your own Business!

No Cost, No Fee! Business Development Services. A great opportunity to fulfill you dream. Move from visualizing your idea to becoming an established business owner! Call Dorine at New Covenant CDC, SBDC, 773-826-1356. Located 1111 so Homan Ave Ste.201, inside the Liberty Bank Building.

Nov 03

Updated Nov 04

Presidential Library Recognition

I was recently honored by Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (NHS) as one of this year’s, “Neighborhood Heroes”, for work being done in North Lawndale.
NHS promotes community empowerment through its annual awards. There were 9 recipients from communities across Chicagoland and I’m proud to stand for North Lawndale with our brother/sister communities. Take a look at their video profiles to see what can be done in a community.
The “Power of Community”
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9ITy1ChYg8wOKovNDozsx1INRYwsQAV3

Oct 29

Video from City Club of Chicago Panel on School Closings in Chicago

The City Club of Chicago hosted a panel discussion on school closings in Chicago on October 23, 2014. The panel included Tom Tyrell, Chief Operating Officer of Chicago Public Schools; Carlos Azcoitia, a member of the Chicago Board of Education; Andrea Zopp, a member of the Chicago Board of Education; Carol Caref, PhD, Research Director for the Chicago Teachers Union and myself. I spoke from my experiences as the co-founder of the Lawndale Alliance. My speaking points are outlined below....

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The City Club of Chicago hosted a panel discussion on school closings in Chicago on October 23, 2014. The panel included Tom Tyrell, Chief Operating Officer of Chicago Public Schools; Carlos Azcoitia, a member of the Chicago Board of Education; Andrea Zopp, a member of the Chicago Board of Education; Carol Caref, PhD, Research Director for the Chicago Teachers Union and myself. I spoke from my experiences as the co-founder of the Lawndale Alliance. My speaking points are outlined below.

We have found the CPS bureaucracy to be unwilling to work with the community. A broad base of North Lawndale stakeholders, including the CAC and elected officials put together an alternative plan for school closures that included plans for school improvement and a comprehensive array of community resources to provide support. We sent the plan to CPS and they ignored it. We invited them to a press conference to review the plan and they refused to come out. After schools were closed we sent emails asking for assistance in understanding the budget, and never got an answer. They refused to answer a FOIA request for information regarding the impact of school closures on budgets and programs. We invited them to participate in town hall meetings and they refused.

Finish reading the speaking points and view the video at http://www.valeriefleonard.com/2014/10/29/video-from-city-club-of-chicago-panel-on-school-closures/

Oct 15

Fall Festival

Rep. Turner is hosting his First Annual Fall Festival…

DATE:                    Thursday, October 30

TIME:                    6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE:                Douglas Park; 1401 S Sacramento Dr; Ball Room

Resources to help with college preparedness and scholarship information, educational service providers to help with credit recovery for high school students and re-enrolling high school students, and job training and employment information will also be available. Illinois Kid Safety (KISS) program will provide services to children age 3 and older

Oct 08

Updated Oct 08

GuideStar User Advisory Panel

I am deeply honored to have been invited to be a member of the GuideStar User Advisory Panel. GuideStar's mission is to revolutionize philanthropy by providing information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving. (www.guidestar.org)

GuideStar gathers and disseminates information about every single IRS-registered nonprofit organization. They provide as much information as possible about each nonprofit's mission, legitimacy, impact, reputation, finances, programs, transparency, governance, and so much more. The goal is to arm end users with the information they need to make the best decisions possible.

Oct 06

West Side Nonprofits Rise to the Challenge

A cohort of nonprofit organizations on Chicago’s West Side have recently signed on to take the 30-Day Compliance Challenge. The program was developed by Valerie F. Leonard to help nonprofits increase their fundraising capacity by ensuring that they are current with all the necessary filings at the state and federal levels within 30 days. This will remove one of the many barriers to fundraising, freeing organizations to focus more on the day-to-day activities of running programs and services.

Leonard, an...

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A cohort of nonprofit organizations on Chicago’s West Side have recently signed on to take the 30-Day Compliance Challenge. The program was developed by Valerie F. Leonard to help nonprofits increase their fundraising capacity by ensuring that they are current with all the necessary filings at the state and federal levels within 30 days. This will remove one of the many barriers to fundraising, freeing organizations to focus more on the day-to-day activities of running programs and services.

Leonard, an expert in community and organizational development, cited the need for organizations to step back and review their nonprofit filings. “I work with organizations on a number of issues, including strategic planning, financial management and board development”, she said. “What I found, is, no matter what issue I’m hired to address, all roads lead to compliance. Organizations-- large and small-- have challenges navigating the requirements of state and federal reporting for nonprofits.”

To read the rest of the article, visit http://www.valeriefleonard.com/2014/10/03/west-side-nonprofits-rise-to-the-challenge/

Sep 29

Presidential Library

Now that our jewel of Black history and culture, Bronzeville has been eliminated from consideration for the Presidential Library, of the four remaining contenders, North Lawndale is the only one born and developed by the community.
North Lawndale, as a community, developed its own bid and then established a partnership with the world renowned University of Illinois.
There are “North Lawndales” across this country, from Hawaii to New York. In this contest, we represent them all.
What can you do to spread the word?
https://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Lawndale-Presidential-Library/366984393416815?ref=hl

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