The idea behind a referendum is to give voters a direct voice in making their community better. These ballot questions can cover anything from stem-cell research to the fate of an empty lot. They may be binding or just advisory. Last month, referenda were on ballots in nine Chicago precincts.
Besides being a two-time Grammy Award winning artist (for work on Kanye West's records) and a brilliant rapper/MC from Chicago, GLC is a restless force trying to inspire and teach young people positive values and morals, speaking in high schools and youth organizations.
Chicagoans who punch cards for their favorite aldermanic candidates might have the issue of crime on their minds. But depending on where they live, they will have heard more—or less—about crime from their candidates.
In the 1960s the Blackstone Rangers—later known as the Almighty Black P Stone Nation—dominated Chicago’s South Side. The street gang was something of a paradox - a mix of both legal and illegal activity.
A Chicago-based group called CeaseFire works in the city’s toughest neighborhoods. It trains former gang members to mediate conflicts that could turn violent. Those conflicts might be over turf or money, a pecking order or a personality clash.
Even though the frigid cold has driven drug dealers and gangs indoors for the next few months, many Chicago neighborhoods can expect those problems to return once temperatures rise again. But this past summer and fall, two communities on Chicago’s far North Side took measures they hope wi