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Added Sep 21 2011

Although officers of the Archer Heights Civic Association and a good representation of the neighbors along S. Komensky Avenue put up a valiant fight against the proposed pawn shop for the 4300 South Pulaski Rd. block strip mall, the Zoning Board of Appeals, in their lack of good judgment for what is appropriate for the Archer Heights community, granted the Special Use to allow the pawn shop to proceed. The fact that this case along with two others for the N-side of Chicago were held on the same day worked against AHCA. The hearing case was scheduled for 2:00 PM but the Archer Heights location was not called until 6:05 PM. By the time the community representatives finished their testimony it was nearly 7:00 PM and the neighbors had been there for five hours. Many thanks to those that took the time to attend the hearing and I’m still proud of the excellent testimony provided by the civic officers and two neighbors

  • South Sider is actually correct about Ed Burke running. One of his ward lackeys came to my door for me to sign petitions for Ed Burke to run as ward committeeman and for Daniel Burke for State Representative. So Ed Burke is running in this election, but not for Alderman.

    I never ever see this so called “Precinct Captain” and they never return my phone calls when I need them. Now they think I’m going to sign a petition for them? Not only did I refuse to sign, I told them what they could do with their pies.

  • Ha there, Life in 14th ward. I'm on the edge with U.Stay on point. The main issue is how do we develop a (2) two neighborhood coalition to inform the new administration about ongoing neighborhood issues. (old baggage)****** Now there will be (6) six upscale/ cash 4 gold stores and or like or similar businesses on Pulaski from 43rd. to 51st. There is more to a business community than C4G stores. Welcome to Archer Hts. "We buy gold" shop around 10 cents more on the dollar on the next block is a sad welcome to our great neighborhood. It is a zoning issue that needs to be changed. Write the new administration address previously posted. ALLELUIA.

  • Do precinct captains get paid? How about posting contact information so that we know who they are and put them to work.

  • Ken – you say “stay on point’ and talk about a “two neighborhood coalition to inform the new administration about ongoing neighborhood issues.” What in plain English does that mean? If you think Emmanuel is going to come to the aide of the 14th ward people for anything, you are sadly mistaken. How many times did you see him in 14 during his campaign, and how many times afterward? Nada, zip, zilch! And the “alleluea” sounds a little fanatical. For all anybody knows you could be a Burke shill posting for him.

  • Bob Citizen Do we have a say in what happens to our community?

    Once these knot heads are in office all of their promises go out the window. Politicians are for big business and themselves. If not for blogs like this what voice do we have? How would we know what the average person feels about issues? We wouldn't, and the politicians know it. We need someone in the aldermens office who is the average person, struggling to make ends meet, whos only agenda is to better their neighborhood who is not afraid to make ordenances to forbid Cash for gold, pawn shops, pay day loan, and title loan stores that pray on peoples misfortunes. I would say lets all email Emmanuel and demand that he meet with us, say at Curie High school, yes the school in back of Burkes house and discuss without any politicians the REAL issues plagueing this 14th ward community. Any suggestions on how to procede?

  • Debbie W. Live in West Elsdon

    Garden49 i know Ken and NO he doesn't work for me Burke knows that he is fighting for us in the 14th ward and it is falling on deaf ears. Somehow someway we have to do something. Burke doesn't care about the community.As you can see he lives right by Curie H.S. and you have illegal vendors out there,gang bangers hanging round and he does nothing. Maybe because the rumors are true that he really lives in the suburbs. Why doesn't his security detail keep the area clean and safe? Time to get together and write our Mayor a letter and have him come and meet with us about our concerns.

  • Debbie W. You raised a good point about Burke’s security detail and I always wondered why he moved from that big house on Campbell Ave. But never heard of a rumor that he lives in the burbs and the press would have a field day with that. What suburb is he rumored to live in? I would never discourage anyone from writing Mayor but you are fooling yourself if you think he will come to Archer Heights. Look at the transit stations that he always goes to. Did you ever see him in the news at the Pulaski Orange line station? And talking about Emmanuel is shifting this conversation from the Burke boys.

    I like Archer Heights too and that is one of the reasons I’m a member of the Archer Heights Civic Association and go to their meetings and drive some of my neighbors. Before all the elections they hold a Candidates Night meeting where they invite the people running for the major offices, and community people are encouraged to ask the candidates questions. I’m sure they will have one of those meetings before the March primary and that will be your chance and other posters to this site to pepper the Burke boys with questions.

  • Debbie W. Live in West Elsdon

    Well we know Burke won't show up at the meetings,he will send a representative because he doesn't want to answer the questions. Trust me on this one because i have personally confronted him quite a few times and he will ignore me or just listen and tell me to call his office..all the while his "police security" stands there and laughs. Emmanuel might just help us. Like i said i spoke to him right before the elections and he was like "wow" when i told him of our concerns. I was even nice and let him show my house for free on his commercials. Very nice man and seemed to be concerned about the 14th ward. This might be the push he needs to help us hold Burke accountable for the 14th ward. And if it's possible can someone please post when the next meeting will be. I couldn't attend them before due to family commitments but i can now attend them.

  • WOW! Check out the pawn shop article in today’s Southwest Newshearld. Alderman Burke has angered members of the largest and most active civic group on the entire SW side.

    Scuttlebutt has it that voters are refusing to sign the nominating petitions being circulated by the precinct captains for Ed Burke for ward committeeman and Daniel Burke for State Representative.

    Have today also received an advance copy of the Archer Heights Civic Association monthly newsletter and will provide the meeting date in a new post as this one is getting lengthy.

  • Burke ward hack came to my house with petitions and is only time they ever show up. Been calling for months to get burnt out street light fixed, so none of my family signed – 3 votes. Talk to neighbors on both sides and none of them signed – 5 more votes. Burnt out street lights, advertising slips on my and the neighbor garages, and now a pawn shop and they think we will sign petitions.

  • MidhurstOne Chicagoan

    Perhaps the Archer Heights Civic Association could invite Mayor Emanuel to the next meeting so residents might appeal to him to help rescind the approval of the Pawn Shop. Mayor Emanuel constantly states that we, the taxpaying citizens in Chicago, are the most important people and that people in public service are our employees. Well, if he's really willing to serve the people of Chicago why not at least try to work with him to block the pawn shop.

    It seems it's long overdue to go around Burke in any way possible to address issues in this community.

  • MidhurstOne Chicagoan

    Another idea - maybe it's time to contact other representatives in the Democratic party and ask that pressure be applied to Burke to rescind any approval in the opening of the Pawn Shop on Pulaski. Senator Durbin is contstantly crusading against predatory businesses so maybe he needs to be alerted to the fact that members of his own party, Ed Burke, are supporting such an industry. The phone number for Senator Durbin's Chicago office is: 312-353-4952.
    It's probably time that someone contacted the media on this issue as well. Wouldn't it be a terrific story for John Kass or one of the political analysts on one of the major networks? Burke banks on doing this type of business in the shadows. Maybe things will have to change when this issue is put out in the light of day or under the exposure of camera lights.

  • Bob Citizen Do we have a say in what happens to our community?

    They problem is the Political parties! Midhurst. They dont work and they will side with the people of their parties! Durbin, another dope, created the Dream Act to pay for Illegals childrens collage while Legal Americans have to struggle to pay a huge education bill like mine. The media? They are all in the politicians pocket. What does it take to allow the legal American to vote on the issues that these corrupt politicians do now? We are on our own people! When Politicians make laws like the Illinois Toll system that was suppose to be abolished more than30 years ago after the roads were paid for and it is still going strong and now want to raise the tolls, What say did we have for that? You had your say with the Pawn shop mess and the Politicians did what they wanted and not what the people wanted. Dont forget Politicians make all kinds of promises while campaigning and rely on people forgetting about them once they are elected. People tell me that If you dont like the system vote the people out, but it doesnt make any differance. Politics IS inherently corrupt. The power to make laws and change should never be given to one person. The vote of the people to set in place laws made up by a city council is the only true and honest way of running this city.

  • Bob Citizen is correct regarding the political parties siding with their own and a MAJOR problem in Chicago is that we do not have two-party representation in the City Council or with the Mayor. So any individual or group disagreeing with an incumbent alderman is forced to fight on their own. Senator Durbin has been invited to the Archer Heights Civic Association in the past and has never accepted. And if anyone seriously believes that Mayor Emmauel will get involved in a fight with an alderman over a pawn shop, they are deluding themselves.

  • Hellllloooo people!
    Apparently we have moved from democracy to the autocracy of the corporate world.
    If the politicians do not come to us we go to them as in the current demonstration in New York Wall Street.This activism should be a wake up call to all who have been sleeping since the "70's?
    How about a demonstration on the site with placards exposing the fate of the average American in the hands of our politicians who are in the pockets of the corporate world !

  • Should we not have a referendum on the ballot that requires the limiting of such decisions by politicians unless they have at least 75% of the community residents vote in favor of such decisions.
    Rahm consistently says that the public employees are working for the people put your money where your mouth is and hold those city council guys accountable too!

  • The political process as it stands today is rigged-with lobbyists,PACS, and the like it's no wonder that most don't vote-I hate to say it but anything short of a fully vested attempt at change will not make a difference. Just what that fully vested is however I do not know-we are still a very young country...sigh :-/

  • Arab Spring maybe?
    Ha our country has soldiers being killed to bring democracy to the rest of the world let us practice what we preach!

  • Another day in the 14th ward. This is the required thought process to a solution. Stay on point. We all got ZONNEED. (6) six upscale pawn shops / cash 4 gold stores & or like or similar businesses on Pulaski. In one mile. (43rd to 51st.) The zoning ordinance needs to be changed. The distance to notify surrounding properties needs to be changed. (currently 250 feet) Our issue: in 250 feet it is the mall owner & maybe a block of residents. Write the letters to the new administration expressing this concern. I did but it takes a collective effort. (address previously posted)

  • I never imagined that posting the decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals to this site would have generated so much discourse on the pawn shop itself and ward/city politics in general (49 total posts). But I can sincerely say that I am proud to live in a community where such free reflective thinking continues and voters do not act like a mass of cattle. Whether such conversation translates into a difference at the polls remains to be seen. But I hope, at minimum, all of this chat turns into some bona fide community activism. Whether or not they acknowledge, our elected and appointed officials work for us, and not the other way around.

  • Ken, Agree that the legal zoning notification distance should be changed and should be a minimum of 500 feet, but realistically should be 1,000 feet as zoning affects the entire surrounding community. Many times properties within the current legal 250 ft. notification area are vacant buildings, parking lots, etc. Who owning a parking lot is going to oppose anything? This change MUST be voted on by the City Council and you will not get any alderman to support this change as that would mean they would be forced into listening to community input.

    The only recourse is to bombard the Mayor’s Office with such a request as he can introduce legislation into City Council. Whether he has the courage to even introduce such legislation, let alone push it through, is another whole different issue. But this is a step in the correct direction. Address of the Office of Mayor is: 121 N. LaSalle St., Rm 507
    Chicago, IL 60602

  • This is progress. Letters to the new administration. WRONG address. Mail to: Mayor Rahem Emanuel c/o correspondence unit 121 N LaSalle St rm 409 Chic IL 60602-1239 (312) 744-9991

  • Could some savvy person craft a letter specifically stating our view/request/demand and distribute it to the members of Archer Heights Civic Association so they can make copies for their friends and neighbors to sign and with a ripple effect bombard the Mayor with mail.

  • Some good advice from this website:

  • The 121 N. LaSalle St, Rm 507 is the address of the Executive Office of the Mayor if you want your letter to go directly to his City Hall office. Mail probably will be forwarded to the Correspondence Unit for reply. And correct spelling of the Mayor's name is Rahm Emanuel. As with any correspondence to an elected official, courtesy should prevail.

  • Exactly & the correspondence room number is 406 (I posted the wrong room # yesterday)

  • Work it. This mailing will be our attempt to get the new administration to address the zoning loop holes. Moving forward: (re: rescind) Everyone who signed in will receive a resolution in 30 - 60 days. We will have 45 days (from the date stamp on the res.) to review and decide if this issue has merit to file a civil suit. Status of a resolution can be checked by calling the zoning clerk Victor @ (312) 744 - 7091

  • MidhurstOne Chicagoan

    I would suggest that the idea of a letter writing campaign suggested here appear in a separate posting. The issue should have its own headline where people can readily notice the issue and help out. I'm just afraid that this idea will be missed being buried in all these posts.

  • I agree letter content needs to be reviewed. A form letter is Ok and suggests that there is a concern. It's better than petitions, but requires a street call out for support to have a neighbor sign a form letter..Thanx

  • See new posting: Letter to the Mayor

  • ON Oct 3 Bob Citizen made a comment that Politics is inherently corrupt. I say that this is not true. Some people in politics may use politics to further their personal agenda without regards to the repercussions to the community but that is the person not the office. We have become lacks in our oversight of our representatives. Bob is correct on the point that politicians appear to serve their party before their constituents. This attitude has to be corrected. It is time the voters wield the power that is their right. Fast talk and broken promises should be a joke about the 50’s not an outline for a current political campaign. A report card on Burke should grade the subject of “”Listening to Constituents” as needing significant improvement.

  • Bob Citizen Do we have a say in what happens to our community?

    South Sider Unless we have a voice in the system, and that doesnt mean voting for any one person or party because it has been shown it doenst work. Wouldnt you rather have had a vote in the Pawn shop issue rather than letting someone else? Im sure if the neighborhood had voted on the pawn shop issue you wouldnt see it now. My attitude will not change until we have the vote instead of People like Burke and the other aldermen. We have voted for hundrands of people all to be let down by them the politicians worried to make a decision because they may loose votes. We dont rely on votes that is why we must be able to vote for issues like these and not the Politician

  • Hey, Bob citizen we appreciate your comments, but stay on point. As Archer Hts Guy stated previously that our energy should be directed to develop a mailing under a separate posting. I posted an issue called Welcome Letter to the Mayor. We need your help to draft this letters. THANX

  • Do the letters to the new administration. There is hope. See updated address to direct any mail. to the Mayor under separate posting. Welcome letter to the Mayor

  • Hey, Life in the 14th Ward. Archer Hts Guy's separate post re: cash for gold vs: pawn shop in Oaklawn is much needed info. if we decide to take our issue to civil court, after reviewing the written resolution. Form letter needs to be developed under separate post: see Welcome letter to the Mayor.

  • This issue is our lump of coal in our Christmas stocking. This issue requires your letters to show support, because the zoning ordinance requires a change to address this business activity & only the Mayor can develop this initiative.

  • I update this issue in an attempt to can support for neighbors to write letters to the new administration

  • Ken, with the recently approved “new administration” Ward remap, pushed through the City Council over 23rd Ward Alderman Michael Zalewski’s objections, that literally shreds and gerrymanders the 23rd Ward, and the “new administration” approval and granting of a permit for a South Side Irish parade over the objections of 19th Ward Alderman Matt O’Shea, do you really believe the new Mayor is going to stick his neck out over a pawn shop in the 14th Ward?

    Stay tuned for more “new administration” high jinks on the South and Southwest sides. This is only the beginning.

  • Bob Citizen Do we have a say in what happens to our community?

    If the area residents were given the Vote to approve or disapprove the pawn shop and other community concerns. It would not be there now. PERIOD. We have all of these Millionaire politicians and they ALL are millionaires making decisions that affects US when they cant even know what us middle class people go through. This is not only on the local level but especially now with the goofy presidential candiatates. The richest politician WINS and screw the little people. If the alderman didnt want the pawn show It wouldnt be there but he plays the political game and now you have it.

  • There are vague descriptions in the zoning ordinance about distances between classes of businesses that need to be changed. Cash 4 Gold, Pawn Shops, & Retail Combos (stores that apply for a retail license & cash 4 gold store) Show your support to this issue & write a letter to the new administration. ref. file no. 11-03910150

  • This detailed post may also be helpful in developing your letter.

  • Write a letter to support this issue.

  • The current issue. Support letters required.

  • Debbie W. Live in West Elsdon

    We do not have to stop all these "gold" stores.(Thank you Ken for all your hard work). I know pawn shops can be a good/bad thing. Are we going to get more police protection in the area? I know from talking to many Policeman they are told our area "is safer than most!" So just ride through occasionally. I'm sorry but crime has gone up in our neighborhood. Alot of the stores on Pulaski are getting robbed, people leaving these stores and walking home are getting mugged. And we're safe? Are they stealing their gold so they can sell it in one of our many shops? More people need to get involved. I know i have called the police and aldermans office many times about illegal activities or just suspicious people. I will help anyone that i possibly can to keep our neighborhood and children and elderly safe. The elderly in our neighborhood need somewhere to go and relax, get together. Just like our children need to have somewhere safe to go. We need to fill the empty store fronts with something positive and helpful to our community.

  • Debbie – If you genuinely want to help anyone in the AH neighborhood then stop exaggerating about stores on Pulaski being robbed and people getting mugged and instead get involved and go to CAPS or AHCA meetings and get the facts. For both Beat 815 & 821, which cover AH, the crime statistics for the period of 1/1/12 to 2/1/12 as compared to one year ago are down for several categories. Yes some are up, but the police continue to work with the community to give us protection and solve issues. Plus there are police, detectives, paramedics and firemen living in AH and they press their concerns for the neighborhood they live in.

    You’re doing the right thing in calling the police about suspicious activity, but embellishing stories about any crime will bring down a neighborhood. The police do take note when large groups of people go to CAPS and civic meetings and will give the neighborhood more service if people show their concern.

    See also another post about the next AHCA meeting on March 14th where they are hosting a presentation about the 8th District Court Advocacy program.

  • Debbie W. Live in West Elsdon

    Archer Heights Guy (sorry i don't know your name),
    I work and live in our community and yes alot of people have gotten robbed/mugged they are just too scared to report it. I have told them many times that they have to report it to the police when their houses,garages and themselves are being endangered. This way the police will know what and possibly who to look for by a description and maybe we'll get some added protection.
    Like i said i would love to go to the meetings but my work hours will not permit me too.
    So does that mean that i will stop trying to protect my neighbors or my community no!
    Some people also do not go because they cannot get there and are afraid to walk (especially during the winter) in the dark. Are the meetings held on ground level or are there stairs to climb?
    This is what people need to know. What about meetings on a Saturday morning? Or at the library then on a Saturday?
    This is what i am trying to say,people want to go but because of work,their health or just being scared to walk at night they cannot attend. Let them know that they can still join to get the news letter and to call if not the police then someone and then they can call the police,aldermans office etc....

  • Debbie W (pt 1) – I post as AHGuy on behalf of info received from AHCA officers since some do not believe in social media, and report back what is posted on EveryBlock. If people are not reporting thefts or muggings, that, in reality, increases crime in the neighborhood as the perpetrators know they can get away and will come back for a soft hit. Why do you think the AHCA organized and fully funds a Night Watch Group and Daytime Graffiti Patrol? No other civic group on the SW side does that.

    Concerning work schedules, I understand as I can't make every AHCA or CAPS meeting, but stay involved. People don’t necessarily have to go to meetings, but they are encouraged to join to receive the AHCA newsletter to be informed about what is going on in the neighborhood and perhaps attend a meeting if the speaker subject matter interests them. I know the entire length of your block from 43rd to 47th Street was targeted several times last year with hand distributed AHCA newsletters havinig an attached invite asking people to join to at least receive their newsletter. Yet when I asked their Membership Chair if there was a Debbie W member from your street, the answer was no.

    Nobody is forced to come to meetings or join committees. But the size of AHCA membership, as an independent non-political community group concerns the politicians and gets their attention to get things done for the community. They are a very well respected civic group evidenced by the last mayoral primary where three of the four major candidates spoke at their Candidates Night. No other SW side civic group can make such claim. Do they win every battle? No. But this pawn shop issue was a major fight garnering the attention of politicians who ordinarily do not have to deal with such a group. No such large group exists east of AH nor on the entire SW side.

  • Debbie W. (pt 2) - As far as attending meetings, for those that do not work, the more people that join, the more drivers there are and neighbors can ask a driver to go to a meeting and bring them back. Plus the AHCA stated in their newsletter they do not expect people to walk the streets at night and if a person gets a one-way ride to the meeting, they will make sure somebody drops them back home.

    Long ago they experimented with meeting dates and times and 7:30 PM the second Wednesday of each month works best. That hour allows working folks enough time to get home, grab a bite and go to a meeting.

    Now, what’s holding you back from joining and getting your neighbor(s) to sign up? You said you want to help. Here is a perfect chance to have a positive impact on our neighborhood.

  • Well said Debbie
    I would go if I did not have to work on Wednesday nights. When I could.( since my work hours change) I took the bus because I do not have a car.
    When it is cold and it snows I hate to have to stand at the bus stop on a dark night on 47th street.
    When I did go it seemed that there were many retired seniors probably long-time residents.I am sure younger families are supervising their children's homework on weeknights.
    I am sure back in the day neighbors knew neighbors unfortunately,now the fear factor and busy,hectic lifestyle and in-home entertainment has limited social contact in neighborhoods.
    This site is a great avenue for communication so those of you who attend please keep sharing.

  • Cherpin – Even though some AHCA Officers/Board Members (BOD) do not believe in social media, there are other Officers and BOD that do use and post to EveryBlock to help keep tabs on the pulse of the neighborhood. EveryBlock is a viable venue to not only reach out to those that cannot attend AHCA meetings, but also to invite newcomers and keep the neighborhood apprised of issues/events. Since this conversation is getting way off target from the original post, I would direct all responses and comments to my most recent post about their March 14th meeting.

    One thing in your last post, you hit the nail right on the head about “in home entertainment” causing the demise of social interaction in AH and other communities. But I beg to differ on the “hectic lifestyle” and some other points you raised. The fact that you attended AHCA meetings when you could is commendable, and I’m sure AHCA would welcome you back anytime you can attend a meeting.

Hello, neighbor. This thread was closed due to violations of the EveryBlock community guidelines, which intend to keep discussions informative, friendly and respectful.

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