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Added Nov 22 2011

With Crazy Howard McGee's Harold Chicken moving to the 8800 block, Checkers reopening at 87th, and the existing 24-hour Walgreens and CVS, I surely hope there's an increased police presence. I can already picture the patrons of The Dating Game & Family Den getting their late night grub on.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    That was for you CCC. The thanks is for a good friend Joe Lake.

  • Joe Lake, Chicagoland Joe Lake, Chicagoland

    "Just the facts, ma'am." Joe Friday

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    Bracchus how long have you been living in this ward and how many times have you addressed the aldermans office in any way?? I wish the people who have would get on this venue and tell you what happened, and how they feel about their treatment. Not her friends, but citizens of the community who have tried time and again and failed to get her attention. Your evaluation of the office, ideally is correct, what we have though is not even close. We really do need to think about change in this ward from top to bottom. John Stroger was a great man, but the leadership that he left us is really pitiful and does him no honor.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    So CCC you know something about me do ya.

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  • Can we just get alone. We all face the same problems sooner or later. Divided we fall, together we stand and stand tall!!!

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  • Thanks for following me Joe Lake.

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  • Joe Lake, Chicagoland Joe Lake, Chicagoland

    Thank God.

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  • I have lived in the community for 45 years having inherited my parents home. I have addressed various aldermen over the years, not this one, to no avail. I frankly lost confidence in the system .

    Recently, I have recognized that there is power in numbers. Without group pressure that is highly publicized, little will happen. These career, machine politicians, like the US Congress, have little interest in challenging the status quo.

    After living here for42 years my home was broken into for the first time. Steel security door was literally taken out with part of the wall and no one saw or heard anything. People are home on both sides of me day and night. The police came out and took fingerprints but did not offer much for the capture of the culprits. This exercise seemed only valuable in terms of my insurance claim. Now, it looks like break-ins are occurring all over the place. My neighbors grandson was shot dead right in front of my house. There is a drug house in the next block with constant visible activity. My niece witnessed a young man being dragged off an 87th street bus and beaten by about 20 people. I have one older neighbor who doesn't go out at night and basically locks her door and turns on the security system at 5 .

    Bottom line-this is no way to live and the residents are sick of it. Charismaticpoliticians won't get, effective ones will.

    I am fast becoming of the opinion that it would be a lot easier to move and forget about all of this nonproductive nonsense.

    I am torn, but leaning.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    Bracchus, these problems exist all over not just here. Unfortunately many people choose to move out and that's their choice. But there are those that choose to fight. One thing about this is, it touches us now, but it touches the other side tomorrow. Just like all of the other blighted hoods that are now growing into pristine neighborhoods, people chose to stay and fight and they reap the benefits while the violence continues to the other side of the fence.

  • Well, I didn't say which way I was leaning. But, living under siege is getting a bit old. You are correct in that it seems to have permeated the entire city. That makes me wonder if it can be corrected and , if so, how long will it take. I guess it is sadder for me knowing what this neighborhood used to be.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    Bracchus, I have been in this neighborhood and community since I was 13 years old. I remember too, that is why I won't give up, and I also know that restoration is coming to this side of town pretty soon and I want to be here when that happens.

  • Joe Lake, Chicagoland Joe Lake, Chicagoland

    Last year, Denise Denson announced on Facebook she would run for alderman from the 8th Ward in the Feb. 2011 election. The Facebook announcement was made on a Tuesday. On Wednesday, a family member received a threat that if Denise Denson ran for alderman, she would lose her job with Cook County. Denise Denson then put her campaign on hold for a few days. I filed a complaint with the President of the Cook County Board, a Cook County Board member and the Cook County Shakman Compliance Officer on behalf of Denise Denson. Denise Denson then reactivated her campaign on July 4, 2010. Residents of the 8th Ward cannot back down to tyranny or internet bullies. The 8th Ward residents must stick together to bring back the community to what it was once was in the past. I believe it can be done.

  • Denise-I hope you are right. I love the area, but it is trying at times. Bill Cosby tried to outline the problem and was vilified in some quarters because of it. But, he was right. Some of our young men have developed predator instincts with no conscience. These young people have usually been raised in a single parent home or by a relative or no one. How do we change that? This stuff has permeated the college scene with a recent shooting a NIU. How do we stop it. Our young men have to have families other than gangs. They need more exposure to show them there is a different way. But, some are lost and need to be dealt with.

    We need leadership and a plan.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    You have got to find out what can and cannot be done first. Can't just lash out. Research is needed into what officials handle what sort of issues. We have to find the right people in government and then press on one issue at a time. Tackling more than one will only be frustrating. I can tell you there is a lot of redtape and missed appointments, but if persistant breakthrough can be had. Just like in Nehemiah when he rebuilt the temple walls of Jeruselum. It was a monumental task, BUT THE PEOPLE HAD A MIND TO WORK!

  • tammytamm Proud South-Sider

    I subscribe to the "each one, reach one, teach one" methodology. I have been attending services at Southlawn United Methodist Church where they teach us that "you can't do everything, just do something". So many residents have concerns but don't know how to go about making their voices heard. I suppose it starts within one house/building, spreads to the neighbors on your block,then your ward. I can sit here on this laptop and gripe all day, but "faith without works is dead". Looks like I found a resolution that I will cultivate over the next month to bring to action for the new year. Thanks Neighbors and Active Neighbors for the motivation.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    TammTamm you surely have the right idea, attitude and spirit.

  • The police presence as Tammy Tamm stated cannot be reevaluated proactively as more changes will be coming with CPD. The former brother who was Commander for this district(4) was transferred to another district around August or September. With so many issues a on the far east side of the district, manpower is stretched.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    This is the time to address the issues on the far east side and start a disucssion regarding what avenues to take, what issues to address first.

  • ONWARD!FORWARD! Empowered 1

    It's all about what values you want to to be projected from the community. 50 years ago liquor stores were not revered as leaders in the community. Whereas today they seem to have more value to some than the Christian values that were the foundation on 6th and 8th wards residents. The bottom line is if you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas. These types of businesses attract troublemakers (liquor stores, hip hop clothing stores, greasy spoon restaurants,etc) is all part of a subculture that was not ever present in our neighborhoods. They don't serve the residents who purchased homes in the area. It only causes the neighborhood to get a bad reputation and its bringing the property value down. Remember what happened in the story of Sodom & Gommorah? One of the reasons God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was because he did not want the Jews to be influenced by this evil. As the Creator of all things, God has the divine right to destroy evil as he sees fit. Evil is all around us in today's society, from lying and stealing to pornography, drugs, illicit sex, and violence. God calls us to be holy people set apart, not influenced by our wicked culture. Sin always has consequences. Do you take sin and God's wrath seriously? We as a society must stand up to the deprivation that is infiltrating our communities. We as a community need to decide what we stand for and what we will not tolerate in our communities like our forefathers did. I personally am tired of reading these debates that support liquor stores when our people are dying from poor health,drugs and alcohol abuse but it is OK if the businesses are earning a profit and throwing back some crumbs. Where are our priorities?!

  • The bottom line here is Choice. That business(Kenwood) was there long before African Americans moved into that area. African Americans made a CHOICE to live there. An African American celebrity (Howard McGee)buys a failing business and turns it around and also encourages other African Americans with means (Art Norman) to invest and you become the pirranhea of the community? A business (Checkers) rips off African American seniors from the community and they are welcomed with open arms? Doesn't make sense to me. I can respect you may not like those type of businesses but when you border on slandering peoples name and their business for no reason but to make yourself sound important it blows me away.

    If I do a 1 mile radius search on mapquest from either 79th King Drive or 87th Stony Island. I come up with 50+ church's for either search so I think there needs to be some questions as to what these churchs are doing and why do we only see them when the cameras are on?

  • ONWARD!FORWARD! Empowered 1

    Me thinks thou do protest to much as well as calling out the ministers too ! BTW what are you being paid for your PR services? You surely don't seem to be too concerned about the citizens who actually have to live in the midst of all the drama. If one were to read all the blog posts you have on these burning issues, they would find that you are quick to drop names to try to bolster your comments when you don't have a leg to stand on. To try to make yourself seem important. I'm just sayin'...

    I've lived in the 6th ward for 50 years and I have observed the impact of certain business choices on the beautiful south side communities over the years as the early forefathers have moved off the scene. So I speak up for the legacy that my parents and many of the residents struggled for and maintained for many years. After all,I pay property taxes and I want to live in a safe, peaceful,socially healthy and thriving community .

  • I pay property taxes as well and I live in the the 6th ward and plan to be there. This is America where there is free speech. BTW, thanks for following my blog as I tell you on my blog I'm an opinionated loud mouth, like it or loathe it. I don't drop names never had to and never will.

    Yes I get paid in many ways for my "PR" services.

  • Happy making better choices

    You can debate the business all you want to but I see no problem with a store like Kenwood but I do see an issue with stores like that 24hr drive thru on 79th, I see a problem with the community not calling 911 for anything, and the main problem is these so called parents and grandparents letting these kids and young adults hang out with no discipline or consequences for bad behavior. 50yrs ago you could live across the street from the liq store but the kids had more sense and discretion bc the community was watching and they feared authority. Now as long as the kids stay out of the way, somehow tv's and computers show up, and the parents or grandparents find cash appearing...this community will never get better. Change begins at home or all the police and policies won't work. It needs to be an effort from multiple sides. Kenwood and Checkers is the least of out worries. Checkers is a good Jon for kids to start out. There are plenty of those types of spots and liq stores up North and they make it work. I lived there and no it well

  • Legitimate businesses are free to open in any neighborhood that they choose assuming that they meet zoning requirements. So, the issue is not legitimacy.

    The issue is the general perception of the community. The sight of an endless stream of vehicles piling into Kenwood is not a positive for any community. That cannot be blamed on Kenwood, that is the patrons.

    the other issue is the fact that the community is viewed in a negative light because of crime etc. The presence of a major liquor store does not combat that image, it enhances it.

    Liquor is a drug, a legal one witrhout doubt. But, the idea that many of our reesidents are obsessed with the purchase of even a legal drug is not a good one. These are repeat customers buying gallons of liquor at a time.

    Now, adults have the right to do whatever they want as long as they don't break the law. Fine. All I am saying is that the perception of Kenwood liquors is not a good one. I contrast it with Heinemans which was north of the loop for years. Discount prices and all kinds of exotic liquors, but never the maases of people descending on the store.

    If we are to elevate our communities, we need to be known for something other than our conspicuous consumption of alcohol.

  • Someone asked what do we need to do first. Without question the first thing that we need to do is declare a war on crime. This cannot be done ward by ward. The Mayor has to take the lead on this with the Superintendent of Police.

    First, announce the War and tell all criminals, drug dealers, and gang members that they have 24 hours to get out of Chicago or stop thier criminal activity.

    Second, Chicago Police with the assistance of the State Police start an aggressive police action in which drug dealers and gang members are arrested. RICO laws shouodl be utilized to prosecute many of these gang members. Residents should be encouraged to report anonymously any suspicious activity in the neighborhood. Police manpower should be increased to guarnatee response within minutes.

    Third, individuals who are released from prision on parole should be required to meet more stringent requirements with regard to thier actions and activities. If they are found to be in the presence of other known felons they should be immediately remanded to prison to finish the full term of thier sentence.

    Fourth, all convicted crimninals under the age of 18 should be required by lae to finish high school or obtain a GED.

    Fifth, parents of minors should be fined and forced to do community service if their minor children are out after a determined hour, or they are not participating in school conferences.

    Folks, these times call for draconian measures. We can no longer allow ourselves to be controlled by knaves, villains and fools. We must reject ignorance wherever it exists.

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  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    SUSU you are right. Where ever Gods laws are violated, destruction follows. It is a clear principal and promise of the Lord. The Word says "without me you can do nothing." You cannot raise your children, keep your jobs, work with those that I have put in charge over you, make up your own mind, NOTHING, and as we look around us and in this venue, that is so very evident!!

  • As long as we believe nothing can be done, nothing will be done. And, if that is true, the only thing that peace loving citizens can do is to move somewhere else.

    But, if you do decide to move, make sure you do your due diligence . I know some people who moved to a southern suburb and built a new house. They paid a premium rate and are paying exhorbitant taxes. Although their area is upscale, some depressed and crime ridden suburbs are nearby. Some want to move but can only get about half of what they paid for the house. So be careful.

  • ONWARD!FORWARD! Empowered 1

    We also need to join the precincts together to declare that we only want businesses that promote positive values and therefore are not attractive to criminal element. Then maybe they will stroll on to the next watering hole,etc. Businesses that support healthy family values where you can sit down and have bra meal together in the community and it has healthy cuisine. Places where you can enjoy a movie together without worrying about how you will get to your car. Businesses that provide goods and services that reflect the desires of those who live there. As it is now we are not included in the discussion about what businesses come into the community but we hear time and again about other communities who are aware of the process and able to hold hearings to voice their feelings. When are blinded sided time and time again. And let's not talk about old and new aldermen who have connections to some of these undesirable businesses and therefore try to block with what the people want. The must be held accountable or voted out simple as that. We want more than business as usual because we see our communities suffering and our way of life being disrupted by the influx of the negative element. It is time to SHOUT "NOT ON OUR BLOCKS!"

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    The CPD has a program, EAVI, it is comprised of community and the CPD are the overseers. The community basically identifies the issue that it wants addressed, the CPD let's us know what we can and cannot do, they sort of guide us so that we take the correct avenues and supply the help that is needed to irridicate that particular issue. It is a realtively new program but I understand that it has done well in other wards. If any of you would like to make this a starting point, I will be motivated to get further information and relate it to you. If you would be interested in this first inititative, to move toward community wholeness in a positive and structured manner, please do not hesitate to contact me at,

  • Speak Up Stand Up you have expressed my thoughts most eloquently.

    A return to family values is the key instead of a celebration of ignorance

    We have been tolerant of so much negative activity in our communities that it will be difficult to right the ship quickly, but something must be done. This erosion has occurred over time. Years ago I used to go to the Leon's on 83rd and Cottage. They had 2 shotguns in the window , as well as the bullet proof glass to deter criminals. Do you think that white folks would patronize a store like that? Sure, they were doing what they felt they needed to do to survive, but community perception was damaged.

    Clearly, it is not businesses that create crime. But, their reaction to crime is the lasting image that can damage a community.

    We have got to raise and train our children to be productive citizens if any of this is to change long term. I can tell you, I am second generation in 60617. My parents generation has died off for the most part and those in mine have long since moved elsewhere. Hopefully, this community will not go the way of Englewood and Lawndale.

    I believe in God and I believe in the power of God, but I believe that the message was clear in the parable of the Talents. We have got to Do Something with what we have got. God has given us what we need. It is up to us to use it. As someone pointed out, there is no shortage of churches in our community. But, to what avail. Often, the members do not even live in the community and some of the ministers seem to be more concerned with receiving as opposed to giving. Why aren't these ministers out there working with our young black men instead of worrying about how soon they can become a bishop and be less useful than the already are? What is the ministry about? Preaching to the faithful or saving the lost. Simply put, blacks spend collectively enormous amounts of money on religion with little return on investment.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

  • How is Checker's ripping off the seniors in the community? It just opened today and it's bringing jobs.Those employees stayed late last night to get training. Maybe I'm biased because I know someone that was pushing to get that business open on that corner. My goodness, can we be happy about something? DAG!!!

  • As far as EAVI is concerned, it's been in the 4th district for almost two years. EAVI is an extension of CAPS. I hear they can't get people to come to the meetings and become involved here in 4th District. The person that created the EAVI program started it in the Englewood community and it's been so successful. Community residents are involved, those part of block club organizations are involved, CPS personnel are involved, clergy are involved as well as one of the aldermen in Englewood. Since it was so successful, it was created in a district on the West Side. These two EAVI's have been successul in getting businesses shut down that have been a sore thumb since as stores selling expired food and liquor stores that are selling to minors. There is also an EAVI in the district that covers Back Of The Yards and the District that covers Woodlawn and the other part of South Shore was just formed in January.

    However, there is a chance that EAVI may be discontinued, as the person that created the EAVI program retired and accepted an offer to become a police chief in a suburb.

  • @K -Checkers and Chicago Double Drive Thru LP approached African American investors over ten years ago to invest in the original Checkers that were on 87th stony(now CVS) and 71st Stony(Now Starbucks). African American seniors recruited by Mr Towns invested their retirement funds in the venture. An audit discovered that the managing partner of Chicago Double Drive Thru embezzled money from the stores. Checkers stated they were not involved or responsible when the money came up missing and washed their hands. They eventually got sued and turned over those two stores to Coke and the produce companies and the other investors got nothing.

    Now, after merging with Rally's they come back into the community and everyone is suppose to be happy.

  • Part 1

    Denise-I looked at the site for the Outreach Ministries that you posted.

    We have countless churches in our communities now and there is basically no correlation between their presence and a reduction in crime. We need ministers, like the disciples, who will go out into the community and meet the enemy of ignorance where it is. Gang leaders and gang members are not going to suddenly show up at a church and join the choir and become liturgical dancers.

    Until we love one another enough to help and challenge one another to be better, are we really answering the call of God?

    Worshipping God is not enough. He gave us this world to live in and his lessons focused on how we should live here on earth with each other. He even asked how you could love him who you do not know and not love your neighbor who you do know. He even said render to Caesar what is Caesars and to the Lord what is the Lords.

    As black people our faith has been important to us as we went from one tribulation to the next. We prayed and we suffered as we hoped for a better life in the hereafter. I don't belire that God ever intended that for us. Our plight has been the result of the evil men both within and without our communities.

    The life of Christ is replete with examples of his preference for action. He healed the sick, fed the multitudes, embraced Mary Magdalene, and drove the money changers out of the temple. He was out and among the propel taking action to change lives.

    Most preachers don't preach that precisely that way because they are content with sedentary congregations who in their vulnerability can find solace only in their ministries. The congregation then becomes worshipers of ministers contrary to God's word. Unfortunately, in many cases that worship has been turned into an economic enterprise that has helped to crippled the economic development of our communities.

  • Part2

    My point in all of this is that the various ministries should be out in the community and addressing the problems where they exist. This isn't about Pastor's, first ladies, bishops, and the latest luxury automobiles parked in front of the church. It isn't about birthday celebration and annual anniversary dinners for the pastor. It is about the least of my brethren .

    Until we have that, the largest churches and so called outreach ministries will be to little avail.

  • Okay, thanks for the history lesson. I'm sorry that incident happened and people were bilked. However, this is not the same company. It's another brother. One who grew up not far from the community. I urge you to go up there and talk to him as opening a business in this economic environment is a challenge and there are about 100 people that now have a job.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    Thanks for the info. K. But it would be a good place to start since no one seems to know where to start. I will call today.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    I am one of those that you speak about and this particular outreach has community meetings every month. I know about go ye into all the world cause that's what I do. Like I said before, too many of the churche's clergy live outside of Chicago.

  • CC

    Hey everyone I am new to the Pill Hill neighborhood I bought a home and have invested quite a lot of money into as of right now I am going to be remodeling my bathrooms. When I bought my home two years ago I said to myself ' not far from the lake easy access to major byways etc etc' when I look at the corners of Stoney Island I can think of a few businesses that can go up like a L. A. fitness a UPS store so on and so on.I have just looked at different post here and just from what I gathered it seems like if we vote the neighborhood dry then how much crime will be lowered?From what I am reading I hope that me replacing my roof with lifetime shingles at 10,000 and installing new Pella windows at 17,000 and remodeling my bathrooms at 25,000 pray that this does not become an bad investment.I bought over this way because for what I paid I have a very large home and I said nice area for the ones that have been homeowners in this neighborhood I commend you because of how you have championed to keep it together. Thank you and if there is anyway I can be of help by all means keep me posted.

  • The investments that you make in your home will be priceless to you. With the economy in the state that it is frankly all neighborhoods have taken a bit of a hit including the most affluent of neighborhoods.
    When everyone does their part our community shines and your home becomes your castle. Nothing is easy anymore, you have to work and work hard for the best results.
    So roll up your sleeves , get to work and welcome to the hood!
    The only bad investment is the one you don't make!
    Together we will stand and our community will continue to shine!!!
    You can take that to the bank!!!

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    I also wanted to say that this particular outreach ministry has only been there for a year and the pastor and family live not far from the church. That is why I mention it. I worked as secretary for the 7th Ward Ministerial Alliance for 3 years, so I know the concerns regarding clergy and the community. I would not have posted the link of that particular church is I did not believe that they are making a difference.

  • ONWARD!FORWARD! Empowered 1

    Heads up:latest post from Concerned Citizens of Chatham blogger site "The building was sold and the new owner is reopening with the support of CAPCC and CCC. The new owner is the former wife of former Bull Horace Grant. "

    Was there a CAPCC and CCC meeting with the community to find out if they wanted to replace the closed Shelter with Licorice? Presumably another bar. And the beat goes on .. PRECINCTS NEED TO SOUND THE DRUMS NOT IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD NOT ON OUR BLOCK!

  • CAPCC meets every second Monday at Northern Trust Bank and Chesterfield Community Council meets every third Tuesday at Tuley Park.

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