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Added Apr 09 2012

The recently published Urban Institute report on the impact of CHA relocatees on crime rates has stoked tension in communities between CHA and non-CHA residents.

The report is very nuanced. The topline summary provided by the media has served to only confirm the worst fears of middle class residents of communities with CHA relocatees.

While media attention has been focused on the impact of CHA relocatees on crime rates, some points must be made. First, crime rates dropped across Chicago in the 2000s. Second, the amount of the reduction in crime in communities with CHA relocatees is related to the concentration of CHA relocatees. Communities with low numbers of relocatees experienced a larger reduction in crime rates than communities with high numbers of CHA relocatees.

More importantly, the report demonstrates that communities that converted traditional public housing to mixed income transformation sites experienced significant reductions in crime rates. For many years the Fourth Ward has had traditional public housing projects such as Washington Park, Ida B. Wells, Madden, Darrow, and Lake Michigan Homes. The CHA transformation plan has converted traditional public housing into mixed income developments.

Mixed income housing disaggregates toxic concentrations of poverty, increases the median income of neighborhoods, grows population density, and spurs retail development.

Current and future mixed income housing developments in the Fourth Ward require drug testing for all residents, regardless of income, and prospective tenants submit to a rigorous selection process.

Finally, I have made it clear to CHA in public and private meetings that lease provisions must be enforced and that CHA residents who fail to comply with their leases must be evicted.

  • What we need now is a visionary and a mover and shaker up of things and someone with enough fight to step up and demand what we need, Ald. Burns this can be your golden hour, we are not going to be satisfied with buisness as usual and I think you are aware of this, Hyde Park and Univ. of Chicago will be okay with the rubber stamp, they are well established, but we need a fighter and you can almost concentrate your resources on this end of your ward, be bold make no little plans. This is who I want to get behind.

  • Bronzeville Curmudgeon Director, Bronzeville Visitor Information Center

    Ray, you and JRMD are the next generation of Bronzeville civic leadership that needs to step up and organize private sector resources for strategic entrepreneurial development enterprises.

    Black Metropolis Convention & Tourism Council (BMC&TC) a 501c3 not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for the historic Bronzeville community was involved significantly in assisting and supporting Berand Lloyd in acquiring the landmark Forum building.

    BMC&TC's sustainable vision for the Forum building includes a fresh flower shop on the first floor east side of the building, just off the alley at the Green line el; a roof top outdoor sitdown restaurant on the second floor and dressing rooms on the rear 3rd floor section of the building to accomodate live theater performances.

    In addition the rear first dock area should be utilized for a regular Saturday morning farmers market where neighborhood farmers can sell their fresh produce. These progressive visions for the revitalization of the Forum building and the recently demolished Pickford theater building, have been floating around among civic minded residents in the Bronzeville community for at least a decade.

    Hopefully, the new gentry including some of you younger upwardly mobile residents, will assist Bernard Lloyd in developing the Forum building into an anchor attraction on the Muddy Waters 43rd Street Blues District.

    Ray and JRMD, how strong is your indiginous vision for Bronzeville's emergence as an internationally significant heritage tourism destination?

    Bronzeville curmundeon

  • GBresident Bronzeville Community Resident

    I just want to point out to everyone concerned about our community being saturated with CHA housing, that the Bronzeville Curmudgeon is NOT on our side. When ever the post goes in the direction of people getting fired-up, and on one accord concerning the CHA issue, he tries to appease the conversation, by distracting or redirecting the conversation. Not only has BRVC done that in this post, but go back to other post and notice when it is that he/she jumps into the fray. It's when a movement is about to begin (or at least this is how it seems to me). Why not start a separate post to discuss something non-CHA related? Please I don't want this post to turn into an argument between me and BVLC, I think it's important to keep the focus on this proposed CHA expansion that could potentially lay waste to our community. If we're truly concerned about this CHA Iissue we can't afford to be side-tracked on this issue. I can't force bvlc to start another post in order to develop dialogue around his primary concerns, I can't make bvlc stop his pandering, nor can I make him stop scouring the different post searching for momentum to to suck the life out of, all I can ask is that we don't fall for the okey-doke.

  • GBresident Bronzeville Community Resident

    Our community is saturated with CHA housing, while our schools are being closed down, and turned-around; not mention there are no jobs, we live in a food desert. There is no place within reasonable distance of these home to acquire personal, and home keep products, the streets are in disrepair, there is no place for low income residents to aquifer various levels of medical attention. In other words this community does not have the infrastructure to support the low income housing that already exist, but our Alderpeople want to bring more CHA housing to this community. Does that make sense?

  • grandma 13-year Douglas resident

    James I thought I was the only one who noticed this observation. There is an organization in Bronzeville that wants this area 100% African American and I wish I had bookmarked the site, because I am unable to remember the name of their alliance. They want; all businesses black owned, the community all black by any means necessary and I got the impression that they would be happy with CHA saturation as long as the community was black.

    A few months a go I saw a comment on the now closed "Chicago News Cooperative" by Harold Lucas at BVIC his comments were very abrasive to the extent that a white family in Douglas became very upset and mentioned that there are also white families that live in our community as well. He noted to Harold Lucas that our area was white before it became black and that his ancestors lived in our community as well. He went on to say that he still lives in Douglas because he likes it here. We all know that Douglas is diverse and some of the owners probably are here because Frankk Lloyd Wright designed some of the homes or because the creator of our community , Senator Stephan A Douglas who debated President Lincoln, has his tomb and the school that was built in the 1800's at 3200 S. Calumet still standing...... My point is, they are proud of their history as well and they they feel that it should not be ignored. I value diversity as my ancestors are from Ghana and we also have Japanese in our family, so I am sensitive to all races who would like to preserve their history.

    However, I also believe that all the homeowners are all on board with the CHA issue. In October, 2010 I reported to our state representative Taskforce how the City of Chicago uses CHA saturation to destroyvibrant black communities and then sell the land for $1 to developers. Our investments are not valued and it is sad how certain black politician ignore our concerns. They know that they are helping developers when they destroy our communities.

  • grandma 13-year Douglas resident

    James you are right about our schools being closed. I mentioned to State Representatives on the Chicago Educational Faciliies taskforve that transferring CHA families to Bronzeville is also a transfer in low academic performance from one community to another because they also enroll in our schools and the majority of them are failing students. Schools are the backbone of the community. If the school is stellar, it will attract homeowners and if it is failing, it is a drawback to many homeowners who have a vested interest in their children education.

  • grandma 13-year Douglas resident

    I believe the Donors Forum of Chicago is the place to go in order to receive guidnace on how to find out how an organization get's there funding. This place is a research library for organization that need grant funding. However when I was there about ten years ago, and someone there an application on there computer system that showed how to pull up tax returns, and on them it showed the grant information. My point is; some organizations may push for CHA because they run off of grants related to underserved communities. Therefore they fight to keep blight in the community for there own self-serving reasons to the detriment of our quality of life.

  • grandma 13-year Douglas resident

    Thanks James!! I started work late to make my comments!! Have to go now!!

  • GBresident Bronzeville Community Resident

    grandma you hit the nail on the head. There is no way the destruction of a growing community couldn’t be deliberate. The points you hit on, I’ve saying for the longest, so have others. It’s great when others recognize what you realize. It let’s me know that my perspective isn’t foreign.

  • Nikon shooter Bronzeville Resident

    James, you and Grandma have peeled back the Onion totally. All these events are coodinated and planned to hold back Bronzeville until other interests can take over. It is clear that when the usual suspects start trying to steer the conversation they want us to stay away from this conclusion.

    Clearly, it seems there is a plan to thwart us from living as carefree and productively the South Loop or Prairie District residents do. Never more clearly was this demonstrated after I saw the news clip of the Prairie District neighbors at the Second Presbyterian Church the other night.

    I knew the meeting only was held for the community there because the politicians recognize them as a threat if not treated with respect. Guys, where the hell is our meeting for Bronzeville residents within three to four blocks of this deal? A hastily pushed e-blast or minimalist flyer to be distributed at zero hour is what it appears we are going to get!


  • GCF Resident in the Kenwood area since 2006

    A big shout out to Grandma and James! Thanks for addressing the racial tone that some were taking making those of us who were non African American wonder if we dont belong here.

    We all need to be proud of where we came from and focus on the bigger picture of where we are going from here. To like an individual because he’s black is just as insulting as to dislike him because he isn’t white.

    Just remember racism is when you have laws set up, systematically put in a way to keep people from advancing, to stop the advancement of a people and thats what we are fighting! FOCUS!!!


    Thank you GCF. We moved here because we wanted to be in a more diverse area. While looking at our place, we observed people of various races, and thought, this looks good. Then after being on this board a bit, I did retreat and began to wonder if we belonged here.

    I've always felt a wide range of people in a community makes it vibrant, interesting, and economically viable. We have friends from all over. However, I get the impression that BC would help me pack my bags.

  • Nikon shooter Bronzeville Resident

    GCF, GRD everyone else in the comunity is glad to have you and we want to show ourselves welcoming to anyone who wants to live in or even visit Bronzeville. Kinda crazy to try and attract tourists with such non-inclusive rhetoric.

    I have lived in many places in the city and they ALL welcomed me as a neighbor and friend.


    Wendell, thank you! I know I must not let one overly active voice speak for others.

  • Mike in Bronzeville Concerned Home Owner

    GRD you are more than welcome and I have to chime in on the shout out to Grandma and James well said both of you.

  • Sheila A. Donovan Have been an owner at the Stratford since 2001.

    I, too feel tension on this board. I live in the Stratford where everybody gets along and are friends with each other. Our building has people from around the world, all colors and nationalities. All ages are represented in this building, too. We like it and would have it no other way. (I cringed at the person who wrote some anti-white-Irish-American-Catholic comments.) We are all people and should work together to improve our neighborhood. That's the common goal.


    Thanks, Mike and Shelia and too the others that expressed thanks by clicking that button, it means a lot to me.

    It also give me hope that more people are of the opinion that united we stand, divided we fall.

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  • Bronzeville Curmudgeon Director, Bronzeville Visitor Information Center

    So Grandma, are white folks now coming back to Bronzeville to reclaim the land after discriminating against black in Bronzeville for the past 100 years. We can prove bronzeville began in 1916 as a predominantly Black community when white people moved out of the community to get away from black people.

    Yesterday a group of white students from Notre Dame University and I were blessed to take a tour of Blues Heaven Foundation. Willie Dixon's grandson was our tour guide for this great landmark facility on the history of Chicago blues. He was authentic in his presentation and spoke indepth about how his grandfather's legacy will be preserved in the old Chess records building as the city plans a blues district for the south loop.

    The whiter students on the tour of Bronzeville from Notre Dame University did not preceive me to be racist!

    Geographically, part of the south loop is in Bronzeville. Let's not forget the record row history including Vee Jay records is part of Motor Row.

    White people are always trying to rewrite the historical contributions of Black people in Chicago.

    Do you know who Richard Wright was?

    On this coming Friday, PBS is coming to the Bronzeville Visitor information Center to interview Prof. timuel Black and myself about the literary works of Richard Wright and his contribution to Bronzeville between 1927 and 1937.

    Yes I am going to dialogue on the international record about how white people systematically discriminated against black people in Chicago for the past 100 years.

    Here is a quote from Richard Wright in the forward to the book Black Metropolis. 'Will the negro find a meaning in his humiliation, turn his slums and sweat shops into modern cathedrals out of which will be born a new spirit that will guide him towards freedom

    Again in 2012, with a Black President in the White House from Chicago, this city is still the most segregated big city in America.


    Bronzeville Curmudgeon


    "I think it is disingenuous and insidious for white people on this thread to portray themselves as Africans Americans."

    Wow...I don't think anyone is doing that, what proof of it do you have?

    The point is, racism does exist, true. It exists in both camps. The other problem, in my opinion is to fight what you call white racism the same way, by exclusion of people. Racism is evil. Making people choose sides perpetuates the problem. Working together and moving forward ends it.

    You say Chicago in 2012 still remains the most corrupt and segregated, sure it is, because we keep doing the same thing.

    Yeah, don't don't get it twisted, don't get bambloozled! Sure let's get everyone all riled up. This reminds me of all the alerts at the airport RED, ORANGE... etc., hmm as long as we keep people afraid, we'll get reelected. More of the same.

    BC, sounds like you don't like change. As I said, we moved here because it was diverse, and I've also said on other threads that you've been on that I'm White, I haven't hidden that fact. I moved here thinking it's close to the lake, close to transportation, and I love the housing stock, it's beautiful. I was well aware that I was going to be in the minority here, that doesn't bother me at all.

    The only change I want to see here is more businesses, so we can have a fully functioning neighborhood. For most of us having these discussions, that's what they want too. In the end it comes down to income, and CHA residents aren't top income earners. I'm not for getting rid of what we have, I'm for a distribution throughout the city.

    Racist regentrification??? I don't know why gentrification has to be a bad thing. I have Black friends, and they all seem to like the same stuff that I do. So pardon me for not accepting this as a concept.

    Some of my friends have been called elitist Blacks, they just shake their heads about that one.


    And, for what it's worth, we bought here after 2008, so I'm not angry about the market, and we plan for this to be our home for many years, not a quick sale.

    So stop stereotyping.

  • grandma 13-year Douglas resident

    BVIC the reason we purchased a row house in Douglas was because it was near a beach, close to a major hospitals, right by major exressways, near a major university, near a grocery store and a few steps away from downtown! An although I treasure the history of the community in which I live, it is certainly not I why I took out a 30-year mortgage for a rowhouse. I also do not need a history lesson as I am familiar with both the black & white history of Douglas/Bronzeville. You ask me do I know who Richard Wright was and my answer is yes. However I marvel the Creator of the Heavens and Earth, the sea and all that dwell there in. The one who made us in his image and likeness. The one who told us to love our neighbor as thyself. For God so loved the world that he gave.....and there is no ther that is greater!

  • grandma 13-year Douglas resident

    "There is no other that is greater"

  • grandma 13-year Douglas resident

    Did you know that God also has standards. He does not want evil doers in his Kingdom, so why should we let anyone into our community even is they are drug dealers, robbers and perpetuators of blight??

  • This will be my first and possibly last comment about this....I now see that this has denigrated to race. I am not surprised, this thread initially got mean spirited talking about those who are not economically as well off as others, so the tone had already gotten ugly. I wonder if anybody took notice when the 15 year old young lady from public housing mentioned how bad she felt reading these post?
    Now are we going to start looking at everybody based on how much they earn, what color they are or how long they have been living here? I thank God that I have grown to look at each person as a creation of God, even those who struggle financially. This community still has great potential and there are a LOT of bright spots within it, if only we could began to highlight and appreciate them and work on the things that are wrong. I enjoy living, working and worshipping in THIS community.

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  • GBresident Bronzeville Community Resident

    grandma, GRD, GCF, Wendell, Ray, JRMD, Tammi B., Catherine537, CCofC, tina dawson, thatblows1, Transplant, Concerned Mom, majurej. If we allow Bronzeville Curmudgeon to redirect our attention with nonsense, then we will really be fighting an uphill battle attempting to drive home our position home to those that actually matter. Let’s ignore his post they’re baseless and pointless, and discredit our intellect and resolve.


    It is apparent that BC has gone off the rails, now it's White supremacy? Again, wow! BC, you're the only one that has gone this thread and inquired about what race someone was. No one here has asked for that information for anyone else.

    James, you are absolutely correct about moving on. I'd like to see us concentrate on business development and lowering crime.

  • GBresident Bronzeville Community Resident

    Absolutely, GRD. And I firmly believe we have the minds and resources to within our community to bring the businesses in. We must figure out how to get our elected officials on board with the socioeconomic development of Bronzeville and Chatham. And I’m sure will. I just want say that I am excited to see folks doing why they can and uniting. We all realize that the CHA issue is not separate of business development nor lowering crime. We all realize that the issues we must address to make our community stronger inter-related. There are those of fight the fight on the blogs, keeping our issues in the forefront, and there are those of who take it to the streets (so to speak), what ever it is that we do how ever we do it, we do it because we believe there can be a greater community. that’s why it bothers me when people attempt to sabotage progress, whether it be progressive dialogue, or progressive action. Those of us that want our community to progress do something. I enjoy talking with everyone on the blogs, and I enjoy meeting with those that come out at various meetings. We all want a better community. I believe we’re going to become larger, more organized, more focused, stronger, and we will get what we want. ( a thriving community). not to sound to corner, but I am proud of all of you that engage in sharing your ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. That lets me know that there are still people in this community that haven’t been ground to dust by the machine.

  • GBresident Bronzeville Community Resident

    Please excuse my earlier typos.


    James, looks like I have my share of them also.

    Above should be: *that has gone on the thread... I missed the "on".

  • S,A,D@Stratford, please have management check the integrity of the 26th Street wrought iron fence, the western most section seemed to be leaning north toward the sidewalk when I walked past on a windy day. Thanks.

  • Sheila A. Donovan Have been an owner at the Stratford since 2001.

    Lesss, we don't have a fence on the west side of our building. (The front of our building.) Do you mean the fence on the north side of the Stratford?

  • Sheila A. Donovan Have been an owner at the Stratford since 2001.

    BC, I am not a racist and I am not a sneak, hiding the fact that I am Caucasian. You can see it in my photograph. You seem to be the person who wants to keep blacks segregated. If I was racist, I would not be living in the Stratford. I would not be tutoring black and Hispanic kids (on a volunteer basis) for 25 years.

    I think you need to do some soul searching and mind broadening and stop putting hateful comments on this thread.

  • Sheila A. Donovan Have been an owner at the Stratford since 2001.

    The above post should go to GRD, not BC, sorry. GRD I am not a racist. Read the post I addressed to BC in error.


    Should go to me? Why? I never inquired about your race or called you a racist. BC is the only one that asked someone their race, and also accused people of hiding it.

    The beginning of one of my posts was quoting BC.

    "I think it is disingenuous and insidious for white people on this thread to portray themselves as Africans Americans."

    Then I asked the below.

    Wow...I don't think anyone is doing that, what proof of it do you have?

    Really now!


    For the record, I never asked anyone, because it's not a concern of mine.


    Shelia, I'm still waiting for you to get back to this, as your post was pretty upsetting to me. BC was the one, I don't get why you'd retract that to him, that is where it belonged.

  • S,A,D@Stratford,Sorry I wasn't more specific- please have management check the integrity of the 26th Street wrought iron fence, the western most section seemed to be leaning north toward the sidewalk when I walked past on a windy day. Thanks. The 26th Street fence is on the north side of the building, it is the section of fence closest to Indiana Ave that seems to be unstable as I walk past almost daily, Again Thanks.

  • Sheila A. Donovan Have been an owner at the Stratford since 2001.

    GRD, I apolgize for addressing that to you in error. Scrolling up and down, created the confusion. I wish this site had a system that you could reply directly, within the space of the original comment. Again, I apologize

  • Let's stay focused and on topic friends!:) There is much work that needs to be done. Have a wonderful(yet chilly) weekend!:)

  • Man I have been away for a bit, what has happened to our discussion, let me try to be the voice of reason here. We here on this blog have way more in common than we know, We all live in and want what is best for Bronzeville, to reduce this to a discussion based on race is playing the silly game, let us be bigger than that. Trust me the Alderman is studying this conversation so let's get back on point. We have all invested here and have great insight to the needs of this community, getting caught up in racial qualifications is getting us away from what is important. I drove the area on sunday with my wife from 26th all the way to 57th from state all the way to the Lake, and was impressed with the number of mixed income projects already in place and the ones that are under construction, when you factor in the ones on the drawing board, well I think we have enough.What I also noticed was how beautiful this area truly is and the raw potential it has. When I think of a well developed community, it is like North ave., Lincoln ave., Old Town(Wells st.), Clybourne corridor, 53rd, 57th, so on and so on, what these areas have that we have do not have we have all expressed in great details on this blog, every voice is important and every voice should be heard and we should welcome the good and throw out the bad.


    Shelia, thank you for addressing the error.

    JRMD, and Ray, while I understand it's important to stay on topic, I couldn't just leave the post go unanswered. I'm sure you'd speak up if you were in my place.

    Ray, I do think we've been the voices of reason, however a few of us did see a person on the board that tried to stir things up in a bad way. When someone does that, it's important to lay it at their feet and call them on it.

  • when we are individuals we are weakend, when we come together is when we become strong. I have read a lot on here I don't agree with but the Big picture is our "community" that we live in and how to make it better, and I feel good about the People who have spoken here, they can be from wherever, what does that have to do with anything, I truly don't care, who says "I want to live in a bad neighborhood", right nobody. Ideas and visions have no color and are not about any race, once we get past this and we will, we are going to get back to the task at hand.

  • when a neighborhood is bad it's bad for everybody, same as when it is good, I cannot be true to myself and be content with my neighborhood as it is without doing anything about it, I don't care who is talking about making it better, just as long as they are talking.

  • Very interesting report on retail for area need pdf reader:​TheMetropolis_MarketStudy.pdf

  • Sheila A. Donovan Have been an owner at the Stratford since 2001.

    Lesss, I talked to the management office. They are aware that the fence leans slightly. They had examined it and determined that it doesn't present a danger, so currently will leave it as it. They will bring up this issue with the board.

  • Nikon shooter Bronzeville Resident

    Interesting reading in today's Chicago SunTimes:

    Some of these developments are right here in Bronzeville...

  • Bronzeville Curmudgeon Bronzeville Conservator

    May day, May day!!!

    May 1st, 2012

    Wendell in Bronzeville: You might have opened Pandora's box by drawing attention to a Monday April 30, 2012 Chicago Sun-times THE WATCHDOGS story.

    This under exposed feature story, is about a clout connected real estate development corporation, that has traditionally over billed city, state and the federal government for multiple millions of tax payer dollars.

    These funds were extorted by the developer while building so-called affordable mixed income housing development projects in Bronzeville, like Lake Park Crescent apartments, at 1061 E. 41st Street, South Park Plaza apartments, at 26th and King Drive. Park Boulevard, 3506 South State Street, Pershing Courts apartments, 39th and State and Chicago View Terrace apartments, 4801 S. Cottage Grove.

    This story reflects the inherent culture of corruption that has historically abused the tax payers of Chicago, for the benefit of a clouted and selected group of individuals who traditionally have controlled this city.

    Selected people in Chicago, have gotten wealthy from the failed and delinquent Chicago Housing Authority "Plan for Transformation".

    Stop blaming lower income public housing residents for the inflated real estate market that has effectively exploited and disenfranchised the so-called Black middles class in Bronzeville, and every body else who pays taxes in this corrupt city.

    Bronzeville Curmudgeon


  • Major question......How do you get around this ol boy network? Do we really have a say in this, or our we wasting time thinking that everything is on the up and up.

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