WBEZ | University of Illinois at Chicago http://www.wbez.org/tags/university-illinois-chicago Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Swept from their homes, Chicago's Latinos built new community http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="300" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/45010154&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Chicago is famous for its ethnic neighborhoods. And there&rsquo;s a funny thing about them. A neighborhood&rsquo;s identity can seem like it has been in place <em>forever</em>, even when big ethnic shifts took place just one or two generations ago. This is how many Chicagoans see Pilsen and Little Village, a corridor with the biggest concentration of Latinos in the Midwest. These neighborhoods have so much vitality &mdash; dense housing, bustling commercial strips, packed playgrounds &mdash; that it seems like Latinos must have been there for ages. A curious citizen named <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#CM">CM! Winters-Palacio</a> was wondering how long, so she asked us:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>Why are Latinos concentrated in the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods? When did it happen?</em></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/LUCY%20FINAL.jpg" style="float: right; height: 328px; width: 400px;" title="Near West Side resident Rosie Valtierra holds her goddaughter there on the day of her baptism in the mid-1950s. City Hall has embarked on massive construction projects that will raze much of the area. Valtierra and many other displaced Latinos will end up in Pilsen. (Photo courtesy of Rosemarie Sierra)" />We answered the <em>when</em> part of the question just by looking at census numbers: Pilsen did not become mostly Latino until the 1960s; Little Village didn&rsquo;t until the 1970s. Answering <em>why</em> those changes happened took a little more work. We interviewed experts, searched newspaper archives, pounded Pilsen&rsquo;s pavement and tracked down some of the neighborhood&rsquo;s first Latino residents. In our audio story (above), Lucy Gutiérrez, 87, tells us about bringing her family to Pilsen when the place was still populated mainly by Central and Eastern European descendants &mdash; including the Bohemians whose forebears named it after Plzeň, a city in what is now the Czech Republic. Our research also led to some text snapshots from the history. The snapshots begin on Chicago&rsquo;s Near West Side, which included the city&rsquo;s largest Latino enclave just a few decades ago.</p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">In old neighborhood, the beginning of the end</span></strong></p><p><strong>FEBRUARY 15, 1949</strong>: A Chicago housing official complains about residents refusing to leave a 14-block stretch from Desplaines to Paulina streets to make way for a new superhighway along Chicago&rsquo;s Congress Street. The official, Detlef E. Mackelmann, says some would not go &ldquo;until the buildings next door were being torn down.&rdquo; The highway&rsquo;s first section, completed in 1955, will displace thousands of people. It will be among several massive construction projects that will raze much of the Near West Side, including a Mexican neighborhood that dates back to the 1920s. The projects will include three expressways, a university campus and public-housing developments. Some of those Mexicans will move to Pilsen, a neighborhood just south. They will form the nucleus of what will become a much bigger Latino community. The Congress highway, for its part, will eventually be named the Eisenhower Expressway.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">1</a></strong></span></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1%20TAYLOR%20STREET%20FINAL.jpg" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1%20TAYLOR%20STREET%20PIES%20FINAL.jpg" style="margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px;" title="(WBEZ illustrations by Erik Nelson Rodriguez)" /></div></div><p><br /><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">White exodus from Pilsen makes room for newcomers</span></strong></p><p><strong>OCTOBER 18, 1953</strong>: St. Procopius, a 72-year-old Czech parish in Pilsen, rededicates its school with a Sunday dinner. The meal includes turkey, dumplings, sauerkraut, rye bread and kolacky. The music includes the Czech anthem &quot;Kde domov můj?&quot; and an Antonín Dvořák composition. Although the school has begun to enroll some of Pilsen&rsquo;s first Latino children, today&rsquo;s program includes no hint of their cultures. And Rev. Peter Mizera, the St. Procopius priest, has been complaining to the archdiocese about &ldquo;the recent infiltration of the Mexicans.&rdquo; But Pilsen&rsquo;s white population is declining and growing older as young families head to suburbs. St. Procopius and other parishes will have to open their doors to Latinos. By 1955, six Pilsen parochial schools will be enrolling Mexican children. Over the next two decades, several Pilsen parishes will retool themselves, sending priests to learn Spanish in Mexico, building altars and shrines to the Virgin of Guadalupe, even bringing mariachi music into masses. Some other parishes, slow to adapt, will close.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">2</a></strong></span></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">Campus construction pushes more Latinos into Pilsen</span></strong></p><p><strong>MARCH 19, 1961</strong>: Led by a mariachi band, hundreds of Mexican protesters march from St. Francis of Assisi Church and tie up Near West Side traffic. The protesters slam a City Hall plan to replace their neighborhood with a University of Illinois campus. They blame Mayor Richard J. Daley and shout, &ldquo;Down with Daley,&rdquo; &ldquo;Daley sold us out&rdquo; and &ldquo;Respeten nuestros hogares&rdquo; (Respect our homes). The protest is part of a much larger effort to derail the university plan. Italians, the area&rsquo;s biggest ethnic group, are leading the resistance but Mexicans are also visible. Roughly 4,800 of them live in the census tracts the city wants the university to take over. The resistance will fail. On May 10, the City Council will designate 106 acres for the campus. Some of the Mexicans will move a few blocks west, but campus expansions will displace them again. Many will end up in Pilsen. The University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus, meanwhile, will open in 1965.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">3</a></strong></span></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">Chicano movement builds neighborhood&rsquo;s new identity</span></strong></p><p><strong>APRIL 24, 1969</strong>: More than 100 residents of Chicago&rsquo;s Pilsen neighborhood gather for a public meeting of the Latin American Alliance for Social Advancement, known by its Spanish acronym, ALAS. The meeting occurs at Howell House, a community center focused for decades on Czech immigrants. At the meeting, ALAS endorses Arthur Vázquez to lead Howell House; he will be its first Mexican-American director. The meeting also develops strategies to improve Pilsen schools, expose police brutality and publicize a national grape boycott. The organizing reflects two major changes in Pilsen. First, Mexicans have been pouring into the neighborhood for two decades. Along with the arrivals from the Near West Side, many have come from South Texas or various parts of Mexico. A smaller Latino group in Pilsen has roots in Puerto Rico. The 1970 census will record the neighborhood&rsquo;s first Latino majority. The other big change is the rise of the Chicano civil-rights movement. Reflecting that change, Howell House will get a new name: Casa Aztlán. <span style="font-size: 11px;"><b><u>4</u></b></span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2%20MEETING%20TONIGHT%20FINAL.jpg" title="" /></p><p><strong style="font-size: 22px;">Latino community expands west to Little Village</strong></p><p><strong>OCTOBER 30, 1979</strong>: At the urging of Latinos and veterans, the Chicago Park District board agrees to a proposed memorial plaza honoring Manuel Pérez Jr., a World War II hero killed by enemy fire at age 22 and posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Pérez grew up on the city&rsquo;s Near West Side long before his neighborhood was razed and before many of its Mexican residents moved to Pilsen. The city will build the plaza in 1980 in Little Village, a Southwest Side neighborhood known as the &ldquo;Mexican suburb&rdquo; because of its proximity to Pilsen, its larger homes, and its fast-growing Latino population. Next year&rsquo;s census will show that Latinos constitute the majority of Little Village residents. The Pilsen and Little Village corridor now has the largest concentration of Latinos in the Midwest.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 11px;"><b><u>5</u></b></span><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3%20PLAZA%20FINAL.jpg" title="" /></p><p><span style="font-size:22px;"><strong>Neighborhoods help put Latino in Congress</strong></span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/web%20PilsenFoundGutierrez1crop_0.jpg" style="height: 242px; width: 190px; float: left;" title="" /><strong>MARCH 17, 1992</strong>: In a Democratic primary election for U.S. House, Chicago Ald. Luis V. Gutiérrez (26th Ward) easily defeats his strongest challenger, Juan Soliz. A 1990 court order required a Chicago district with a Latino majority. Shaped like an earmuff, the district covers the Pilsen-Little Village corridor and Puerto Rican neighborhoods on the Northwest Side. Gutiérrez, who was an ally of the late Mayor Harold Washington, has Mayor Richard M. Daley&rsquo;s backing in the Congressional race. After the general election, Gutiérrez will become the first Midwest Latino in the House. Although his family is from Puerto Rico, whose residents are born with U.S. citizenship, Gutiérrez will champion immigrant political causes and maintain strong support in Pilsen and Little Village. <span style="font-size: 11px;"><b><u>6</u></b></span></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">Pilsen remains Latino, but for how long?</span></strong></p><p><strong>MAY 20, 1997</strong>: In the name of job creation, Ald. Danny Solis (25th) leads a rally for a plan that would extend the University of Illinois at Chicago southward to the edge of Pilsen. The Daley administration, meanwhile, is planning a tax-increment financing district to boost industry in Pilsen. Some residents are linking those efforts to gentrification on the neighborhood&rsquo;s east end. Those residents say the changes are threatening Pilsen&rsquo;s Mexican-American character and pushing rents and property taxes too high. This summer, artists led by Hector Duarte (<span style="font-size: 11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">7</a></strong></span>) will transform an outdoor wall at 1805 S. Bishop St. into a colorful mural called &ldquo;Stop Gentrification in Pilsen.&rdquo;&nbsp;The mural will depict United Farm Workers co-founder César Chávez and Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata flanking a multigenerational Pilsen family, a pushcart vendor and anti-gentrification protesters. Such efforts will not stop affluent newcomers from moving into Pilsen but, for years to come, the neighborhood will remain the cultural heart of the Chicago area&rsquo;s Mexican-American community. <span style="font-size:11px;"><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538#sources">8</a></strong></span></p><p style="margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="color:red"><o:p></o:p></span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4%20MURAL%20FINAL.jpg" title="" /></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;"><a name="CM"></a>Our question comes from: CM! Winters-Palacio</span></strong></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cm winters FINAL.jpg" style="height: 194px; width: 185px; float: left;" title="" />African-Americans in Chicago cannot help but look at the city&rsquo;s most heavily Latino neighborhoods with some envy, according to WBEZ listener CM! Winters-Palacio, who lives in Auburn Gresham, a South Side neighborhood. &ldquo;If you drive through Little Village or Pilsen, they&rsquo;re thriving with little local stores,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;When you go on the South Side, it&rsquo;s a totally different experience.&rdquo;</p><p>Winters-Palacio chairs Malcolm X College&rsquo;s library department and tells us her interests include community development and racial segregation. So what does she think of our answer to her question? Pilsen&rsquo;s Latino identity is &ldquo;relatively new,&rdquo; Winters-Palacio says. &ldquo;It helps dispel one of the myths.&rdquo; Namely, that a strong community must have long historical roots.<a id="sources"> </a>Winters-Palacio says Pilsen and Little Village provide hope for her part of town.</p><p><strong><span style="font-size:22px;">Notes</span></strong></p><p><strong>1.</strong> Lilia Fernández, <em>Brown in the Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago</em> (University of Chicago Press, 2012). &ldquo;City&rsquo;s &lsquo;DPs&rsquo; sit tight in path of big projects: Evacuation notices just a &lsquo;wolf cry&rsquo; to them,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (February 16, 1949). <strong>2.</strong> Deborah Kanter, &ldquo;Making Mexican Parishes: Ethnic Succession in Chicago Churches, 1947-1977,&rdquo; <em>U.S. Catholic Historian, Volume 301:1</em> (Catholic University of America Press, 2012).&nbsp;<strong>3.</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;Protest rally today against U. of I. campus,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (March 20, 1961). &ldquo;Council OKs W. Side U. of I. site, 41 to 3: Crowd in gallery boos action, vows fight,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (May 11, 1961). Fernández, op. cit. <strong>4.</strong>&nbsp;Fernández, op. cit. Administrative History, Bethlehem Howell Neighborhood Center collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago. <strong>5.</strong>&nbsp;&ldquo;New post of Legion honors Mexican-American hero slain on Luzon,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (June 30, 1946). &ldquo;Slain vet who killed 75 Japs is honored in memorial service,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Daily Tribune</em> (February 14, 1949). &ldquo;Ordinance requesting the City of Chicago to convey the Manuel Pérez Jr. Plaza to the Chicago Park District,&rdquo; <em>Journal of the Proceedings of the Board of Commissioners of the Chicago Park District, </em>1979-1980. <strong>6.</strong> John Kass, &ldquo;Gutiérrez picks up Daley&rsquo;s backing for Congress,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Tribune</em> (December 10, 1991). Lou Ortiz, &ldquo;Gutiérrez coasts toward big win in Hispanic district race,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> (March 18, 1992). <strong>7.</strong>&nbsp;Editor&#39;s Note: Duarte is married to WBEZ reporter Linda Lutton. <strong>8.</strong> Gary Marx, &ldquo;Opposition brewing to UIC expansion; proposal may drive out the poor, foes say,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Tribune</em> (March 12, 1997). Ernest Tucker, &ldquo;Latinos urge UIC to move forward with expansion,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> (May 21, 1997). Teresa Puente, &ldquo;Pilsen fears upscale push may shove many out,&rdquo; <em>Chicago Tribune</em> (November 4, 1997).</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/cmitchell-0">Chip Mitchell</a>&nbsp;is WBEZ&rsquo;s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ChipMitchell1" target="_blank">@ChipMitchell1</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud" target="_blank">@WBEZoutloud</a>. <a href="http://twitter.com/ero_nel" target="_blank">Erik Nelson Rodrigue</a><a href="http://twitter.com/ero_nel" target="_blank">z</a>&nbsp;is an&nbsp;illustrator and graphic designer in Chicago.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/swept-their-homes-chicagos-latinos-built-new-community-110538 UIC faculty claim higher cause http://www.wbez.org/news/uic-faculty-claim-higher-cause-109732 <p><p>As University of Illinois at Chicago faculty members went on strike this week for the first time in school history, English Professor Walter Benn Michaels took a break from picketing to give a reporter a lesson about the academic pecking order.</p><p>Looking up at the school&rsquo;s tallest building &mdash; the 28-story University Hall &mdash; Michaels pointed out that the top floors are for UIC&rsquo;s senior administration. &ldquo;You got people up there making a lot of money,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />The building&rsquo;s other floors are for various academic departments, including English, headed by Michaels, whose office is on the 20th. Among the tenured and tenure-track faculty, he said, &ldquo;there are some people like me who are well-paid.&rdquo;<br /><br />But go down one floor to the 19th and &ldquo;you have the exact opposite,&rdquo; Michaels said. &ldquo;You have the non-tenure-track English professors who are making mainly $30,000 a year. A few lucky ones &mdash; some of them have been here 15-20 years &mdash; are making $35,000.&rdquo;<br /><br />Most of these employees, Michaels pointed out, have doctoral degrees and teach full-time for UIC.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/MichaelsSCALED.jpg" style="height: 417px; width: 300px; margin: 5px; float: left;" title="Walter Benn Michaels, a professor who heads the University of Illinois at Chicago’s English Department, works on the 20th floor of University Hall. He says he’s backing the strike to stand up for students and his department’s lowest-paid instructors, who work on the 19th floor. WBEZ/Chip Mitchell" /></div><p>Eighteen months since the Illinois Federation of Teachers won certification to represent 1,100 of the school&rsquo;s faculty members, they are still trying to get their first collective-bargaining agreement.</p><p>Their dispute has become a flashpoint in a nationwide battle over the fate of higher education. On many campuses, that battle pits socially driven professors against market-oriented administrators and trustees or, as Michaels describes them, &ldquo;neoliberal&rdquo; forces.<br /><br />The main unresolved UIC bargaining issues concern faculty compensation. The school&rsquo;s administrators say they cannot give the union all it wants. Over four years, according to UIC, the faculty&rsquo;s demands would hike costs by 23 percent for tenure-system faculty and 27 percent for the rest.<br /><br />But faculty members say the two-day work stoppage, which ends Wednesday, is about more than their pocketbooks. They say it is about their students.</p><p>&ldquo;We would like, for example, to have all the English majors to do senior theses,&rdquo; Michaels told me. &ldquo;But, when you have a tenure-track department faculty of 33 people, you can&rsquo;t be having hundreds of English majors doing senior theses.&rdquo;</p><p>The only way to properly advise all these students, Michaels said, would be to deploy the department&rsquo;s non-tenure-track faculty &mdash; the folks who get $30,000 or $35,000 a year.<br /><br />&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t turn to these people and say, &lsquo;I want to add some additional work, which is hard work and which requires a lot of personal hours with students,&rsquo; &rdquo; Michaels said. &ldquo;How can I ask them to do that when I can offer them nothing? I can&rsquo;t offer them a promotion. I can&rsquo;t offer them a better wage.&rdquo;<br /><br />Professors in fields ranging from art history to philosophy also claim that it has become harder to get approval for courses that may not attract hoards of students.<br /><br />When it comes to colleges and universities struggling to do right by their students, UIC is less the exception than the rule, according to Gary Rhoades, director of the University of Arizona&rsquo;s Center for the Study of Higher Education.<br /><br />At many schools, Rhoades said, professors are resisting &ldquo;administrative desires to narrow the range of fields in which education is provided, to concentrate resources on a few areas that [management] thinks are going to pay off &mdash; either in terms of bringing in research moneys [or] cutting off areas that are not seen to be so valuable in the marketplace for the student.&rdquo;<br /><br />The academic areas deemed valuable, Rhoades explained, are those that help students get jobs as soon as they graduate.<br /><br />Michael Poliakoff, vice president of policy at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, suggested that UIC emulate &ldquo;smart&rdquo; universities and colleges that have formed consortia and transitioned to interactive video. He said there may not be any other affordable way to provide low-enrollment programs ranging from classics to foreign languages.<br /><br />Poliakoff also echoed Harvard Business School management guru Clayton Christensen, who says on-the-job training is pushing aside the traditional U.S. higher-education model. &ldquo;Fifteen years from now, half of the colleges and universities in this nation are going to be in bankruptcy,&rdquo; Poliakoff warned.<br /><br />&ldquo;Universities can&rsquo;t be everything to everybody,&rdquo; Poliakoff said. &ldquo;If they try to do that &mdash; especially if you have faculty collective-bargaining agreements attempting to protect programs even when they&rsquo;re not financially viable &mdash; then the school is really headed for financial disaster.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It is the business of an institution to ensure that it is cost-effective,&rdquo; Poliakoff said.<br /><br />The UIC faculty members call their strike an effort to ward off that sort of thinking. They insist they are standing up for their students.<br /><br />&ldquo;When I teach American literature,&rdquo; Michaels said, &ldquo;they&rsquo;re going to learn something about the value of literature &mdash; something that they&rsquo;ll take with them all the way through their lives. That&rsquo;s important to us. That&rsquo;s part of what a university is.&rdquo;<br /><br />When the sides resume bargaining this Friday, they will have to decide whether that value is something the school can still afford.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/cmitchell-0">Chip Mitchell</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/ChipMitchell1">@ChipMitchell1</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>, and connect with him through <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chipmitchell1">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://plus.google.com/111079509307132701769" rel="me">Google+</a> and <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/ChipMitchell1">LinkedIn</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 07:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/uic-faculty-claim-higher-cause-109732 Women still face gender bias in math, science fields http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-10/women-still-face-gender-bias-math-science-fields-108870 <p><p><img alt="" bang="" big="" cbs="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/The%20Big%20Bang%20Theory%20promo%20photo.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" the="" title="Publicity photo for &quot;The Big Bang Theory.&quot; (CBS/Big Bang Theory)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image ">A recent article in the&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/magazine/why-are-there-still-so-few-women-in-science.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=1&amp;" target="_blank">New York Times</a></em>&nbsp;asking and then answering the perpetual question,&nbsp;&quot;Why are there still so few women in science?&quot; should be required reading for anyone who believes that gender bias in higher math and science fields no longer exists.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Author Eileen Pollack&mdash;who was one of the first women to receive a bachelor of science degree in physics at Yale in 1978&mdash; writes that even in 2013, American women are not only given low expectations from the start for success in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), but also are seldom encouraged, sometimes even discouraged, to pursue higher education in these fields.&nbsp;Additionally, Pollack cites several research studies as proof that gender inequality remains a rampant problem in the male-dominated world of STEM careers and academia, especially in the upper echelons of physics, engineering and computer science. &nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">One such study, published last year by Dr. Jo Handelsman and Corrinne Moss-Racusin, found direct gender bias in American faculty members in three scientific fields&mdash;physics, chemistry and biology&mdash;at six major research institutions across the country. Each professor was given identical resumes to rate in terms of competence, hireability, likeability, and willingness to mentor the student, with the only difference being that one applicant was named John, and the other named Jennifer. When the results were collected, John was rated an average of half a point higher than Jennifer in all categories except &quot;likeability.&quot; Also, John was offered an average starting salary of $30,238, while Jennifer was offered $26,508.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Another study, conducted by the American Mathematical Society to track standout performers in various international competitions, found that American competitors were almost always the children of immigrants, and very rarely female. Moreover, according to the study&#39;s authors, &quot;gifted girls, even more so than boys, usually camouflage their mathematical talent to fit in well with their peers.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/science.jpg" style="float: right; height: 450px; width: 300px;" title="Woman working in Genspace Lab. (Flickr/William Ward)" /></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Immediately, my mind flashed to the apropos film and television references, from Lindsay Weir attempting to hide her Mathlete past&nbsp;on &quot;Freaks and Geeks&quot;&nbsp;to Cady Heron&nbsp;heeding the advice of her new friend Damien in &quot;Mean Girls,&quot;&nbsp;who blurts, &quot;You can&#39;t join Mathletes; it&#39;s social suicide.&quot; Still, Lindsay and Cady&#39;s quests to become &quot;cool&quot; ultimately result in newfound appreciation of their gifts, perhaps prompting other young women watching them to realize their &quot;limit does not exist!&quot; as well. We all have Tina Fey to thank for that line.&nbsp;</p></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">However, the main characters on the CBS sitcom <a href="http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/stereotype-and-the-big-bang-theory-are-keeping-women-out-of-science" target="_blank">&quot;The Big Bang Theory&quot;</a>&nbsp;tend to serve a more unfavorable purpose: reinforcing stereotypes of male and female nerds in popular culture, while also keeping the gender divides firmly drawn.&nbsp;For example, the character of Amy (played by the lovely and talented Mayim Bialik, who also happens to hold a <a href="http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/08/zombie-science-math-education/" target="_blank">Ph.D. in neuroscience</a> in real life) is a dowdy, socially inept spinster-turned mate for theoretical physicist Sheldon. Bernadette, the other female scientist on the show, has a comically high-pitched voice and doesn&#39;t contribute much outside of playing the love interest to mechanical engineer Howard. The other male leads, Leonard and Raj, are respected physicists who also cater to stereotypes as socially awkward man-children, while the beautiful, science-illiterate neighbor Penny serves as the bubbly object of adoration for both sexes.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Of course, &quot;Big Bang&quot; has its cute and funny moments; but, as Pollack also suggests in her article, what &quot;remotely normal&quot; person would choose to be an Amy when she could be a Penny? Furthermore, what other cultural biases factor into the current acceptance (or lack thereof) of women in these fields; and, as a result, potentially discourage would-be female engineers or astrophysicists from continuing their studies? How many brilliant young minds do we leave untapped, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1DnltskkWk" target="_blank">Will Hunting</a>-style, when science and math teachers fail to provide female students with the same opportunities and encouragement given to male peers?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></div><p>To gain new insight into these questions and more, I asked four women involved in STEM fields to share their thoughts and personal experiences in bridging the gender gap.&nbsp;</p><p><em><span style="font-size:16px;">Veronica I. Arreola, Director of the Center for Research on Women and Gender&#39;s Women in Science and Engineering Program&nbsp;at the University of Illinois at Chicago.</span></em></p><p><strong>On gender bias: </strong>&quot;The literature clearly shows a bias against women, by both men and women, in STEM.&nbsp; As for how it plays out in the classroom...it plays out in different ways. We have seen women delegated to secretary positions, men doing the actual experiments. Men often yell out answers, women raise their hands and wait to be called on. There are ways to minimize these examples, but it takes additional work. The tough thing about bias is that we often feel like we don&#39;t have them, so we don&#39;t work to minimize them. But we&#39;re all biased.&quot;</p><p><strong>On the lack of women pursuing higher math and science degrees:</strong>&nbsp;&quot;There are many theories. The one I focus on is awareness of the different careers in STEM. For example, I work with a lot of pre-med students, who might be better suited as researchers versus clinicians. Our society does not do a great job at exposing young people, boys or girls, to the wide range of careers available. When students are debating leaving, I often hear, &#39;I want to work with people.&#39; Which is exactly what scientists and engineers do &mdash; they work with people to solve problems for people. From climate change to curing cancer, it&#39;s all teamwork. I also hear that there aren&#39;t enough jobs. For some fields, it may be true, but tech companies and banks cannot hire enough computer scientists fast enough, yet fewer men and women go into computer science. Lastly, the family-work juggle does get mentioned. For some reason, science and engineering does not come across as family-friendly. I remind students that until we have a national child care system and paid family leave, few careers are truly family-friendly. Plus, the women in academia do have much more control over their hours than women in almost any other field.&quot;</p><p><em><span style="font-size:16px;">Colleen, Northwestern University graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and a minor in Earth and Planetary Sciences.&nbsp;</span></em></p><p><strong>On studying physics at Northwestern: </strong>&quot;The majority of my peers were male, and I&#39;m sure I wanted to stand out and prove to everyone that I was capable and that I could do physics just like them. But when I joined a lab, it felt like everyone knew more than I did, and everyone who was working on a research project had brilliant ideas right away. By not meeting those standards from the start, I saw myself as being behind; but the truth is, there was far more collaboration and discussion than I realized. I could have been asking for help, but to me that felt like admitting I wasn&#39;t good enough to contend with the &#39;big boys&#39; in the lab...&nbsp;I eventually decided that pursuing a Ph.D. was not for me. In talking with other female graduates of STEM fields, it sounded like I was not the only person who felt lonely working through her degree. I think if I had figured out the keys of positive collaboration and had managed to boost my confidence earlier in my college career, I might have graduated with a different outlook on what a life of academia would hold for me.&quot;</p><p><strong>On gender roles in an academic setting:&nbsp;</strong>&quot;This certainly isn&#39;t true for everyone, but to me, it appears that young women are appealing to the popularized notion that they should be polite, considerate, and soft spoken rather than being loud and roaring with&nbsp;competitive&nbsp;opinions. I think something about our educated culture results in men being more willing to ask questions and find solutions without encouragement; so, it&#39;s not that they&#39;re any more capable of problem solving, men are just more visible while they&#39;re doing it. I&#39;m sure this&nbsp;trend can be traced all the way back to young boys: something about young male culture makes it cool to be the &quot;class clown,&quot; to confidently disrupt class and be loud. I did not experience a young female culture that would support or encourage those traits. If there is a confidence curve, then in my experiences, young girls are positioned to be playing catch-up from an incredibly early age.&quot;</p><p><strong>On dating:&nbsp;</strong>&quot;Outside of individuals in a traditional STEM field, I have yet to introduce myself to someone who upon learning that I earned my degree in physics didn&#39;t respond with a double-take or a &#39;Wow really? You must be really smart.&#39; I&#39;m never sure how I should respond to that, so I usually mumble a, &#39;Yes, maybe? I just really liked physics.&#39; I don&#39;t know if this has ever deterred the potential pursuit of a significant other, but if the prospect of dating a physics major is intimidating to the point of deterrence, then I probably wouldn&#39;t be happy dating them anyway.&quot;</p><div><em><span style="font-size:16px;">Kelsie, Ph.D. candidate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.</span></em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><p><strong>On pop culture reinforcing stereotypes: &quot;</strong>In&nbsp;&#39;The Big Bang Theory,&#39; there is a lot of physics jargon and complicated topics that Sheldon, Leonard, and Raj talk about that I feel aren&#39;t even meant to be understood by the audience. However, I think that Amy and Bernadette&#39;s careers are presented in a much more palatable, &#39;dumbed-down&#39; version and are generally less referenced. Aside from maybe one or two times, I think Amy&#39;s research topic is presented as tobacco addition in monkeys&mdash;which is a very easy-to-understand topic, unlike many of the physics topics studied by the male characters. Also, what is presented about Amy&#39;s research is often inaccurate or comical. To name a few off the top of my head, Amy having a cigarette-smoking research monkey in her apartment (which goes against so many animal research federal regulations) and eating lunch/answering her phone while dissecting a brain in lab. Aside from Bernadette being a microbiologist and doing drug development, I don&#39;t think much is ever really mentioned about her science career.&quot;</p><div><strong>On the theory that more women are drawn to &quot;people&quot; sciences, like biology:&nbsp;</strong>&quot;It&#39;s certainly a reasonable explanation for why more women go into biomedical and social sciences, though this isn&#39;t really my specific reasoning. To me, the difference is working with something that feels concrete and tangible. I started at Northwestern University intending to be a chemistry major, and then switched to biology when I realized I liked working with living things that I can see or conceptualize better (meaning, cells or proteins in biology as opposed to chemical reactions with chemistry). I don&#39;t really consider my work to involve people, since I typically work on a much, much smaller scale, with a culture dish.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><p><em><span style="font-size:16px;">Jessica, Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering.</span></em></p><p><strong>On gender discrimination:&nbsp;</strong>&quot;I&#39;ve heard from a number of women that they&#39;ve been told by male professors they shouldn&#39;t be an engineer or don&#39;t belong in the field. There are also a number (very few)&nbsp;classmates&nbsp;who refused to work with female students, because they don&#39;t feel that they pull their weight. Those same men sometimes accuse their female&nbsp;classmates&nbsp;of being able to get answers or help on homework easier then men because of their looks or a&nbsp;damsel-in-distress act. I had one classmate who acted this way, but then would ask one of my female classmates for help.&quot;&nbsp;</p><div><div><strong>On misunderstandings of STEM careers:</strong> &quot;From the research I&#39;ve read, girls gravitate toward &#39;helping&#39; careers (doctors, vets, teachers, nurses) and stereotypes about STEM careers don&#39;t include that. That&#39;s why you see so many women in biology&mdash;much of biology research is centered on killing disease. What people don&#39;t understand is that engineering is all about making people&#39;s lives better and math modeling (or applied math) can be used on genetics projects to help cure diseases, find the best path for emergency vehicles, etc.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>On the power of support and encouragement:</strong>&nbsp;&quot;I attended a private school where there was never any gender bias in math and the sciences. I had male and female teachers who encouraged me in my course work. I also had very supportive parents and a mother who was a biology major and eventually a computer programmer. I think that as long as a girl has support from parents and teachers, she will succeed.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>As for positive influences in pop culture, there is some good news!&nbsp;Marvel is teaming up with the National Academy of Science,&nbsp;the Girl Scouts of America&nbsp;and Natalie Portman to use the upcoming release of&nbsp;&quot;Thor: The Dark World&quot;&nbsp;to promote female interest in careers in STEM. The project is called Thor: The Dark World <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2013/10/03/can-thor-2-and-natalie-portman-hook-girls-on-science/" target="_blank">Ultimate Mentor Adventure</a>, and it sounds incredible.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. You can find her on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;and<a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">&nbsp;Tumblr</a>.</em></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 09 Oct 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-10/women-still-face-gender-bias-math-science-fields-108870 Should we use the 'L word' for Jane Addams? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/should-we-use-l-word-jane-addams-108619 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/JABE%20ADDAMS%20TOPPER.jpg" title="" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F109020582&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Note: we also aired a segment about Jane Addams&#39; work and the Hull-House legacy on<a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2013-09-06/afternoon-shift-jane-addams-columbia-college-creative-writing">&nbsp;the Afternoon Shift</a>. You can listen to that <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/should-we-use-l-word-jane-addams-108619#Afternoonshift">segment here</a>.&nbsp;</em></p><p>In the early 20th century, <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/_learn/_aboutjane/aboutjane.html">Jane Addams</a> was among the most famous women in America. The Chicagoan worked, lived and <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=aAnLrCOHRQ8C&amp;pg=PA181&amp;lpg=PA181&amp;dq=love+on+halsted+street,+louise+knight&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=RWB0IeyMbw&amp;sig=JT3I6ZKzYfEY2sNnG9AKxHffSrI&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=6rknUpXxEIaayQHLiIDQDQ&amp;ved=0CC4Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&amp;q=love%20on%20halsted%20street%2C%20louise%20knight&amp;f=false">loved </a>on Halsted Street in the <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/_learn/_abouthullhouse/abouthullhouse.html">Hull-House settlement</a> she co-founded with <a href="http://asteria.fivecolleges.edu/findaids/sophiasmith/mnsss64_bioghist.html">Ellen Gates Starr</a>. Her career was one of struggle and triumph as she organized, fought for social services on behalf of immigrants, children, women and other disenfranchised groups. At one point the FBI considered her &ldquo;<a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/_museum/_museum/historyoncall/fbifile.html">the most dangerous woman in America</a>.&rdquo; In 1931 she became the first American woman to earn the <a href="http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1931/addams-bio.html">Nobel Peace Prize</a>. Addams passed away in 1935.</p><p>The only two remaining buildings of Addams&rsquo;s once 13-building Hull-House settlement are easy to miss on the vast campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago, which overtook the area. And recent UIC graduate Adam Peterson used to pass by them when he was a student on his way to an American feminist history class. It was in this class that he learned about Jane Addams, but he says the class didn&rsquo;t touch on her private life.</p><p>&ldquo;We did touch on her background as a white, middle class, well-educated woman who just didn&rsquo;t want to be married and be a housewife,&rdquo; Adam says. &ldquo;But then there were just these ambiguities that were said in passing [about her sexuality], but not fully discussed.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>This glossing-over prompted him to ask us this carefully worded question:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>Could Jane Addams be considered a lesbian with the current use of that terminology?</em></p><p>If you&rsquo;re looking for a quick &ldquo;Yes, she was&rdquo; or &ldquo;No, she was not&rdquo; answer, you&rsquo;re out of luck. People most involved in Jane Addams&rsquo; history and legacy showed me and Adam that it&rsquo;s worth asking about the lesbian label, but it can be a problem. And, if you do apply it, it&rsquo;s best not to do it so quickly.</p><p><strong>The brunette in a yellow confection dress</strong></p><p>Let&rsquo;s start with an art history mystery. In 2006, a lifetime after Jane Addams passed away, <a href="http://arthistory.aa.uic.edu/faculty.php?profile=lisalee&amp;subj=5">Lisa Yun Lee</a> took up the position of Director of the<a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html"> Jane Addams Hull-House Museum</a>. One day she came across a fetching painting of a brunette in the museum&#39;s back offices.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/WEB%204.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 400px;" title="Jane-Addams Hull-House Director Lisa Yun Lee discovered this painting in 2006, which sparked some discussion into Jane Addams' relationship with Mary rozet Smith. (WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)" /></p><p>Lee says the painting was initially described to her as being a great example of the work of <a href="http://schwartzcollection.com/artists/alice-kellogg-tyler">Alice Kellogg Tyler</a>, an accomplished painter who taught at the Art Institute of Chicago. She also taught at Jane Addams&rsquo; Hull-House settlement.</p><p>But, Lee says, &ldquo;As soon as I started asking &lsquo;Who is <em>that</em> person in the painting,&rsquo; there were hushed tones and confusion. And people said, &lsquo;Well, some people say that it&rsquo;s Jane Addams&rsquo; partner.&rsquo; Other people say it&rsquo;s her biggest business supporter. Other people said, &lsquo;Well, of course. It&rsquo;s her lesbian lover.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>The more Lee prodded, the more she realized the depth of debate surrounding the woman in the painting and her relationship with Addams. Lee says Hull-House started to dig through the historical record and &ldquo;ask different kinds of questions.&rdquo; At this point the staff realized this woman was indeed Jane Addams&rsquo; chosen partner in life.</p><p><strong>Mary and Jane</strong></p><p>This woman was Mary Rozet Smith. Lee says until people debated the painting, Smith had pretty much been written out of the historical record. But as more surfaced about her relationship with Jane Addams, Smith&rsquo;s fuzzy place in the Hull-House settlement&rsquo;s history became clearer.</p><p><a href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/lib/specialcoll/services/rjd/findingaids/MSmithf.html">Smith came from a wealthy Chicago family</a> that made a fortune through manufacturing. She was drawn to the work of the Hull-House settlement, taking on several roles: philanthropist, benefactor (some might say a sugar mamma), and Jane Addams&rsquo; lifelong companion.</p><p>Addams sums up an early encounter with Smith in this unfinished poem dating from 1895:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20poem.jpg" title="" /></p><p>Scholarship suggests Smith and Addams&rsquo; lives became deeply entwined. Over 40 years they wrote letters and love poems to one another. Addams requested that most of her letters be burned upon her death; she had felt they were too intimate. (Note: <a href="http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/jowh/summary/v009/9.4.freedman.html">Burning letters was not uncommon</a> at the time.)</p><p>The pair also vacationed together and traveled around the world, sometimes calling ahead to request a double bed, which was not unusual for women friends to do. Addams had Smith listed as an emergency contact on her passport. They also made major financial decisions, such as co-owning a home in Maine. At one point they considered adopting a child together.</p><p>As for that large painting of Smith in the yellow dress? Addams sometimes traveled with it &mdash; wrapping it up and schlepping it with her across country.</p><p>Historians say that when Rozet Smith passed away in 1934 (a year before Addams), Jane received condolences from far and wide, not unlike a widow in heterosexual relationship.</p><p>But what does this all mean? Does this kind of evidence equate to proof that the pair were lesbians?</p><p><strong>Women who love women</strong></p><p>What does the word <em>lesbian </em>mean? Well, if you use an expansive definition that does not by necessity have to include sex, then many people agree that, yes, Addams and Smith were lesbians. (After all, even married couples can have little or no sex, yet their heterosexuality is not called into question.)</p><p>Several sources tell me the most important thing to consider is what, exactly, having a relationship like this meant<em> in Jane Addams&rsquo; time.</em></p><p>One good person to ask is <a href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/wsweb/people/faculty/demilio/demilio.html">John D&rsquo;Emilio</a>, a professor of Gender and Women&rsquo;s Studies and History at the University of Illinois. And conveniently, his office is a few short blocks from the Hull-House museum.</p><p>He defines a lesbian as &ldquo;a woman who turns to other women for the love, and emotional support and intimacy that most human beings like to have in their personal lives.&rdquo;</p><p>With this definition in hand D&rsquo;Emilio feels comfortable assigning the lesbian label to Addams and Smith, even though he says it&rsquo;s impossible to know whether Smith and Addams had sexual contact. And even if we were to find out, he says, he wouldn&rsquo;t change where he lands on the use of &quot;lesbian.&rdquo;</p><p>But how does D&rsquo;Emilio take those letters that were burned and deemed &ldquo;too intimate&rdquo; by Jane Addams? Could those have contained &ldquo;smoking gun&rdquo; evidence for those bent on equating sexual contact with the term lesbian? &nbsp;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/web%202.jpg" style="float: right; height: 300px; width: 400px;" title="A photograph of Jane Addams and Mary Rozet Smith inside the Hull-House Museum. (WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)" /></p><p>&ldquo;They just wouldn&rsquo;t have been writing about that,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s just no way. This is not the world of Hugh Hefner and <em>Playboy</em>. So that&rsquo;s not what they were writing about. But what they were writing about was the open expression of how much the other person meant and how much I need you!&rdquo;</p><p>Even though D&rsquo;Emilio is confident in saying Jane Addams was a lesbian, he can understand why others might not feel comfortable using the term. And, he says, he prefers using the term &ldquo;woman-loving woman.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>A decoder ring for history</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/wsweb/people/faculty/brier/brier.html">Jennifer Brier</a> is an Associate Professor of Gender and Women&rsquo;s Studies and History at UIC. Her take on the question?</p><p>&ldquo;I would say no,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;As a historian I would say no. As a lesbian who exists under the current definition &mdash; sometimes I&rsquo;d like to say yes. But in the end, I say no.&rdquo;</p><p>She says &ldquo;lesbian&rdquo; <em>was </em>a term used in Addams&rsquo; time, but Brier says Addams wouldn&rsquo;t have used it to describe herself and that &ldquo;it wasn&rsquo;t a phrase that had meaning for her.&rdquo;</p><p>Brier argues this point matters. She says it&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ahistorical">ahistorical </a>to assign the term to Addams retroactively, and that can be dangerous; shorthand terminology can bypass context and you can lose the richness and diversity of human behavior. We can also mistakenly believe that we understand what being a lesbian meant at the time. And Addams&rsquo; era indeed had very different relationship cultures. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;You need a decoder ring,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;And the decoder ring has to be adjusted to each historical period to actually function. It has to be tuned to the right frequency to understand what&rsquo;s happening at a particular moment in time.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Platonic love</strong></p><p>Since sex is so ingrained in our current culture&rsquo;s notions of what being a lesbian entails, it&rsquo;s worth noting that this was not the case in Jane Addams&#39; time; romantic relationships did not necessarily entail sex. On the question of whether Addams may have even been celibate, several experts tell me the general feeling is: &#39;Maybe, but it&#39;s impossible to know.&#39;&nbsp;</p><p>What historians do know is during the Victorian era <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/platonic%20love">platonic love</a> was in the air. It described a meeting of souls, not necessarily bodies, and was viewed as a pure kind of love that same-sex couples could enjoy. Men could share a Platonic love with men, and women with women. The intimacy in these relationships could be as deep as any hetersexual relationship, but they were not framed in terms of sex.</p><p>Lisa Junkin, the interim director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, says that Addams&rsquo; early writing expresses belief in platonic love and &ldquo;wanting to channel sexual impulses, believing that people should channel them essentially toward social justice &mdash; doing good in the world.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/WEB%201.jpg" style="float: left;" title="Newspaper clippings about Jane Addams as a social reformer are on display at the Hull-House Museum. (WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)" />This idea of diverting sexual energy to more high-minded pursuits was present for men and women, and in the era&rsquo;s lexicon, too. John D&rsquo;Emilio says instead of using the phrase &ldquo;to come&rdquo; for male ejaculation, the phrase used at the time was &ldquo;to spend.&rdquo;</p><p>As D&rsquo;Emilio tells me about this facet of history, he breaks into a mock conversation that may have actually taken place in the Victorian era: &ldquo;Did you <em>spend</em> your seed? Well, I sure hope not because we&rsquo;re a people who believe in saving!&rdquo;</p><p>D&rsquo;Emilio says the ethic among the middle class at the time was to be prudent and industrious, and that too much sex was the opposite of that. Sex exhausts your resources.</p><p><strong>Boston marriages</strong></p><p>Addams and Smith referred to their relationship as a marriage in some writings, and this era enjoyed another kind of sanctioned love that came with a term: Boston marriages. D&rsquo;Emilio characterizes Boston marriages as deep relationships and commitments between two middle-class, college educated women.</p><p>Etymologically speaking, he says, the word &ldquo;Boston&rdquo; refers to the preponderance of women&rsquo;s colleges in Boston, while &quot;marriage&rdquo; is used because many of these women never married and lived a lifetime with another woman. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Think about it this way,&rdquo; D&rsquo;Emilio says. &ldquo;This is a generation in which sex is not out there in the public. Sex is supposed to be quiet and private and behind closed doors. And so Boston marriage becomes a very neutral and acceptable way of describing something, that if described in other terms might be scandalous.&rdquo;</p><p>It can be argued that Boston marriages could be considered a corollary of lesbian relationships today, but it&rsquo;s not clear whether sex was included in these setups.</p><p>D&rsquo;Emilio says &ldquo;Boston marriage&rdquo; was a term that acknowledged a relationship and intimacy &ldquo;without getting into the stuff we&rsquo;re not supposed to talk about.&rdquo; Ironically, D&rsquo;Emilio says in part because there were taboos against openly discussing sex, there was a kind of flexibility in what happened behind closed doors; it just wouldn&rsquo;t end up in polite conversation.</p><p>Professor Jennifer Brier adds it&rsquo;s important to remember Jane Addams was part of a subset of women who were of the class and means to be able to pioneer new ways to be a woman. There weren&rsquo;t many outlets for women at the time to be in non-traditional roles (especially leadership roles). The same goes for becoming trailblazers who open up new opportunities and jobs for women, immigrants, adolescents and new ways of existing in society &mdash; the basic work of Addams and Smith at Hull-House.</p><p>&ldquo;She [Addams] didn&rsquo;t rely on patriarchy in the way we think of today,&rdquo; Brier says. &ldquo;She didn&rsquo;t rely on men for her economic or emotional support. She made her life with women at the Hull-House.&rdquo;</p><p>And Addams was not the only woman at the Hull-House to buck gender norms. Other examples include Dr. Cornelia de Bey, who was a homeopathic doctor affiliated with the settlement and who lived with a woman and dressed in tailored, masculine garb. Hull-House co-founder <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=aAnLrCOHRQ8C&amp;pg=PA181&amp;lpg=PA181&amp;dq=love+on+halsted+street,+louise+knight&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=RWB0IeyMbw&amp;sig=JT3I6ZKzYfEY2sNnG9AKxHffSrI&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=6rknUpXxEIaayQHLiIDQDQ&amp;ved=0CC4Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&amp;q=love%20on%20halsted%20street%2C%20louise%20knight&amp;f=false">Ellen Gates Starr was also Addams&rsquo;s partner at one time</a>.</p><p><strong>An alternative label</strong></p><p>These questions around both labeling Jane Addams and the painting of Mary Rozet Smith never left former <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html">JAHHM </a>director Lisa Lee&rsquo;s mind. Instead, she felt the museum needed to represent the complex information around the painting and the era. And it wouldn&rsquo;t do to simply call Addams a lesbian.</p><p>So she and staff created an &ldquo;alternative labeling project&rdquo; to foster dialogue around the painting labels. The museum staff offered three labels (&ldquo;tombstones&rdquo; in museum lingo) to sum up the painting of Mary Rozet Smith and invited visitors to weigh in. They were:<object height="520" width="620"><param name="flashvars" value="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157635410603458%2Fshow%2Fwith%2F9684980861%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157635410603458%2Fwith%2F9684980861%2F&amp;set_id=72157635410603458&amp;jump_to=9684980861" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157635410603458%2Fshow%2Fwith%2F9684980861%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157635410603458%2Fwith%2F9684980861%2F&amp;set_id=72157635410603458&amp;jump_to=9684980861" height="520" src="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620"></embed></object></p><p>Interim director for the <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html">JAHHM </a>Lisa Junkin was on staff for the alternative labeling project. She says they received many responses to the labels, ranging from hate mail to fan mail, and everything in between.</p><p>&ldquo;Occasionally there&rsquo;s also a sense of fear or anger that we&rsquo;d be telling that story, especially around young people,&rdquo; Junkin says. &ldquo;There have been teachers who have cut off the educators from telling the story of the relationship or who have covered over the label when students walk by &mdash; even though both the educators and the label don&rsquo;t use the term lesbian with younger groups.&rdquo;</p><p>Beyond the celebration and hatred for bringing Addams&rsquo; sexuality into history, the public provided useful suggestions, too. One person pointed out that none of the labels gave information about Mary Rozet Smith beyond her relationship to Jane Addams.</p><p>Which, from Junkin&rsquo;s vantage, was a problem.</p><p>&ldquo;For us as feminist historians, as a feminist site, that&rsquo;s really problematic, right?&rdquo; Junkin says. &ldquo;We essentially gave her the &lsquo;wife treatment,&rsquo; which should be avoided.&rdquo;</p><p>Here&rsquo;s the label the museum settled on:</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5537/9685555669_1f36ecd159_b.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/slide%204%20web.jpg" title="" /></a></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><em>Click the above image to see a larger view.</em></span></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The museum staff culled through the inboxes crammed with email and the drawers filled with Post-it notes. After that, they reconceived their permanent exhibit. In 2010 the museum curated a new presentation of their permanent collection, including the display of photographs made of Addams and Smith together.</div><p>But that once-mysterious painting of Mary Rozet Smith? It now hangs prominently in the former bedroom of Addams.</p><p>Junkin says &ldquo;the goal was to show instead of tell, and let the audience come up with their own understanding based on the evidence we can provide.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>A new look at old sex</strong></p><p>Junkin says after the alternative labeling project of Mary Rozet Smith, the <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html">JAHHM </a>has made conversation about sexuality more prominent. It&rsquo;s also created new programming, including a four-year film series around the sex positive movement and contemporary issues of sexuality. It also built new displays mention Hull-House&rsquo;s role in progressive sex education. (Junkin says one of Chicago&rsquo;s first birth control centers was at the Hull-House). She adds that staff have made their displays and tours more inclusive.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/LENA FOR WEB.jpg" style="float: left; width: 338px; height: 450px;" title="The Hull-House Museum's Lena Reynolds will be a tour guide for the museum's new Gender and Sexuality Tour. She stands next to a painting of Cornelia de Bey, a physician, activist and educational reformer once affiliated with the Settlement. She was known to dress in tailored, masculine garb. (WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)" /></p><p>In the first week of September, the museum debuts a new tour that directly places the Hull-House in queer history. The working title: the &ldquo;Gender and Sexuality Tour.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>The tour&rsquo;s mastermind, Christian Alfaro, is a UIC student and <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html">JAHHM </a>educator. Appropriately enough, he learned about Jane Addams&rsquo;s non-conformity by taking a tour led by Lisa Junkin, who talked about the painting of Mary Rozet Smith.</p><p>&ldquo;Representation like this is important,&rdquo; Alfaro says. &ldquo;It actually helped with my own self-identity.&rdquo; The sentiment prompted him to learn more about Addams and ultimately start the tour Hull-House residents&rsquo; challenge to gender conformity.</p><p><strong>Closing the circle</strong></p><p>I phone Adam Peterson, the curious fellow who prompted this conceptual odyssey in the first place, to let him know whom I&rsquo;d talked to and how they came down on Addams and the use of the &ldquo;L word.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Well it sounds like this is opening a whole can of worms,&rdquo; he says. (I agree)</p><p>But he finds it all fascinating, he says, and in the end more interesting than a simple yes or no.</p><p>It&rsquo;s reminiscent of what I hear from Lena Reynolds, a <a href="http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/hull_house.html">JAHHM </a>educator.</p><p>Reynolds says when she gives tours she doesn&rsquo;t use the term lesbian per se, but she does say that modern-day members of the LGBT community embrace Addams as one of their own.</p><p>&ldquo;She&rsquo;s part of this bigger movement even if it was a time before the movement existed,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Whether or not we want to put the word on it &hellip; that she was fighting for equality and acceptance and human rights is undeniable. And that she valued love is also undeniable.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Correction: This article initially misstated details concerning Jane Addams&#39; Nobel Peace Prize. She was the first American woman to receive that honor.&nbsp;</em></p><div>To learn more about the work of Jane Addams and the Hull-House settlement and how it continues today, listen to WBEZ&#39;s segment from <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift">The Afternoon Shift</a> below.<a name="Afternoonshift"></a></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F109175414" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/jbrandel-0" rel="author">Jennifer Brandel</a> is Senior Producer of Curious City and Interactive at WBEZ. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/JnnBrndl"> Twitter</a> and <a href="https://plus.google.com/117289484797285268506" rel="me">Google+</a></em></p></p> Thu, 05 Sep 2013 17:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/should-we-use-l-word-jane-addams-108619 The university down the block http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/university-down-block-108021 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F100619008&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/qu4ehMfC6uA" width="620"></iframe></p><p>Dabney Lyles, a graduate student at DePaul University, spent spring break in Salvador, Brazil. She noticed the region had a huge technology cluster and how closely knit it was to the local universities. Chicago, she figured, has even more schools than Salvador, so that got her thinking about this Curious City question:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>What economic impact do local colleges and universities have on the city&rsquo;s economy?</em></p><p>There are lots of ways to answer this question, though, so Dabney and others thought it would work to focus on how a university can benefit or hinder the economic growth of its surrounding neighborhood.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/dabney mug.jpg" style="float: right; height: 150px; width: 200px;" title="Dabney Lyles, who asked this question. (Photo courtesy Dabney Lyles)" /></p><p>Makes sense sense, right? After all, the Chicago metro area is huge, and the higher ed community&rsquo;s large, too, with more than 90 colleges and universities.</p><p>Some institutions &mdash; such as the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and DePaul University &mdash; have hundreds of millions of dollars in assets and generate hundreds of millions more in revenue. Yes, a good deal of that goes back into the schools, but they still have plenty of economic heft to toss beyond campus.</p><p>And the neighbors can be the better or the worse for it.</p><p><strong>The immovable &lsquo;eds and meds&rsquo;</strong></p><p>Before diving into a specific example from the city&rsquo;s South Side, you should know there&rsquo;s actually been quite a bit written on this topic. One researcher with a birdseye view happens to be Chicago&rsquo;s own David Perry, a professor of urban planning and public affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago.</p><p>Some of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;field-keywords=david+perry+higher+education">his titles </a>suggest we should think of colleges and universities as anchor institutions.</p><p>&ldquo;They are not necessarily market-based institutions. They are placed-based institutions. You can think of universities, eds. You can think of hospitals, meds. Eds and meds,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Perry says it&rsquo;s difficult to move these entities from one city to another. (Consider, for example, what it would mean for the University of Illinois at Chicago to, um, leave Chicago).</p><p>&ldquo;What is a university, a hospital, a government doing to create, to build the place, develop the place? Boeing may leave in another five years, but the University of Chicago is going to be here,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not going anywhere.&rdquo;</p><p>And higher ed&rsquo;s tendency to stay in place means a good deal of its money stays in place, too. Perry says urban institutions enroll 14 million students each year. They generate over $700 billion in gross physical land assets and take in more than $405 billion in revenue.</p><p>&ldquo;We spend over $340 billion every year in the communities around us on everything from toilet paper to faculty,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Perry says some of those city dollars are generated because urban universities are also developers. He points to the academic corridor in downtown Chicago. DePaul&rsquo;s University Center was once the Goldblatt store.</p><p>&ldquo;The Goldblatt people, like Marshall Field&rsquo;s, Carson Pirie Scott left the corridor,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Their leaving embodied what a lot of stores were doing. The private sector, the market sector was just bailing out of the city of Chicago.&rdquo;</p><p>For a long time, that large space of real estate in downtown was like an empty donut hole. No tax incentives or a cheap price could get a private business to move in. But with the help of then Mayor Richard M. Daley, DePaul University moved in. Daley, by the way, is a DePaul alumnus.</p><p>&ldquo;It did three things. The top floors are graduate floors. The middle floors, the city leased from DePaul and DePaul then got a long term client to pay off the loans it took out to retrofit the building,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And the bottom floors went to the private sector.&rdquo;</p><p>That includes stores and restaurants that cater to students and faculty, as well as people working around the downtown area.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/demolishion%202%20for%20web.jpg" style="float: left; height: 223px; width: 300px;" title="Tenants move out of a South Woodlawn apartment after the University of Chicago bought the land. Some Woodlawn community members say their relationship with the university hasn't always been favorable. (Photo courtesy University of Chicago)" /></p><p>While the city doesn&rsquo;t get much in terms of property tax from this deal, Perry says it profits from the private businesses and helped spur more development around a once stagnate area. Since the buildout in the early 90s, Chicago&rsquo;s academic corridor now houses 30 universities and colleges.</p><p><strong>The (economic) monster on the midway?</strong></p><p>But Perry also says treating a university as a developer can cut both ways; yep, it can be a boon, but it can also cost the surrounding neighborhood. That goes for several Chicago universities, which have had their fair share of contentious relationships over the years.</p><p>There are several examples. There&rsquo;s UIC, which struggled with the Little Italy neighborhood while building its East Campus. And in Evanston, the city government and Northwestern University debate the school&rsquo;s tax exempt status.</p><p>And then there&rsquo;s the University of Chicago.</p><p>The U of C sits in Hyde Park, a somewhat tony South Side neighborhood that &mdash; economically speaking &mdash; didn&rsquo;t really have a lot happening in it for many years.</p><p>Arguably the most contentious relationship the university has had in the past is with the nearby Woodlawn neighborhood. In the 1960s neighbors and university officials fought over plans to develop in the area. Mattie Butler, founder of Woodlawn East Community and Neighbors, remembers the decades-long back and forth.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/DEMOLISHION FOR WEB.jpg" style="float: right;" title="A building in Hyde Park that was purchased by the University of Chicago. (Photo courtesy University of Chicago)" /></p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve lived in this community since 1963. So all of my adult life. And I&rsquo;m now 70 years old,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;So I&rsquo;ve seen it come and I&rsquo;ve seen it go.&rdquo;</p><p>Butler says during the 1960s, the university bought property around 60th and 61st Streets in Woodlawn. This is after the school dramatically developed areas in Hyde Park.</p><p>Butler says poor people were driven from their homes as new university development went up. Community members organized against the university&rsquo;s efforts, and were able to take a property called Woodlawn Gardens at 63rd and Cottage Grove to house low-income residents.</p><p>&ldquo;They didn&rsquo;t do it right,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t built right, and so after about 10 years, 15 years, they started having massive problems with everything over there and not enough money to support it. And it was infested once again by gangs.&rdquo;</p><p>The property was eventually foreclosed on, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development took possession in the 80s. It became Grove Parc, and is once again being redeveloped into Woodlawn Park.</p><p>Butler blames the university&rsquo;s aggressive plans of the time for the early failure.</p><p>&ldquo;But the University of Chicago since the time of us having a real issue with them, not playing a role that we thought was a well played out role, has since come to the table with &mdash; I&rsquo;m hoping &mdash; some sense,&rdquo; she said, adding the institution deserves a rating of 7 out of 10. In particular, she lauds the university&rsquo;s role in improving local schools.</p><p><strong>Art in Washington Park</strong></p><p>University Vice President of Civic Engagement Derek Douglas admits the school has created barriers, but it&rsquo;s using some of its economic might to forge a new path.</p><p>&ldquo;What we&rsquo;re trying to do more now is create a bridge between the university and the community,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Douglas makes the point by showing us the university&rsquo;s arts incubator in the Washington Park neighborhood. It was a long-abandoned space that the university redeveloped and opened this past spring.</p><p>He says redeveloping the facility was a community effort.</p><p>&ldquo;There has been trust issues in the past where certain things were done that the community disagreed with or didn&rsquo;t like the way it was approached. And so that creates trust issues,&rdquo; Douglas said. &ldquo;As you&rsquo;re starting to have a new approach, it takes time to build up that trust, to build up that relationship. Spaces like the arts incubator go a long way towards restoring that.&rdquo;</p><p>He says spaces like the arts incubator don&rsquo;t employ a lot of people, and there&rsquo;s no direct revenue, but there are economic effects. Spaces like this stabilize a neighborhood, and it can demonstrate to other developers that the neighborhood&rsquo;s an attractive place to live and invest.</p><p><strong>Arrival of assembly-line burritos?</strong></p><p>But the U of C&rsquo;s got designs on its own, contemporary home turf, especially when it comes to bread-and-butter retail.</p><p>&ldquo;Hyde Park is great in so many ways. It&rsquo;s got this lakefront location. It&rsquo;s got the university. It&rsquo;s got good schools, public schools, private schools that are here. It&rsquo;s got good medical care,&rdquo; said David Greene, Executive Vice President of the University of Chicago. &ldquo;But what there haven&rsquo;t been is the kind of amenities that there have been throughout Chicago for people to focus their energy here.&rdquo;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/inside%20incubator%20FOR%20WEB.jpg" style="float: left;" title="The inside the University of Chicago's new arts incubator lab. The lab was created with input from local aldermen and the surrounding community. (WBEZ/Logan Jaffe)" /></p><p>Greene says the school&rsquo;s developing a bigger commercial presence, and it&rsquo;s taking cues from residents.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve done a lot of surveys in this. And the number one thing people wanted was Chipotle,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>So ... assembly line burritos will be coming soon to the neighborhood. But aside from that, Greene says students and residents asked for better shopping, restaurants and entertainment like a music venue and movie theater. That&rsquo;s while the university is building out its commercial corridor along 53rd Street.</p><p>&ldquo;You&rsquo;ll start to see the mix of existing structures that have long been here on 53rd Street, as well as the start of some new development that&rsquo;s coming along. There some areas that we&rsquo;ll come to that have long been vacant and are now starting to thrive with new businesses,&rdquo; Greene said.</p><p><strong>What&rsquo;s in it for the schools ... and the city?</strong></p><p>UIC&rsquo;s David Perry says more universities are finding it essential to work with their neighbors. If they don&rsquo;t, he says, they could lose students &mdash; a prospect that no city wants to face.</p><p>Universities provide trained workers for local companies, indirect jobs for residents, and cash flow for surrounding businesses. The private sector has also done this, but Perry points out that these companies can get up and move at anytime. Not so much with the higher education sector.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s the notion of universities doing things and us doing things with universities, because they can&rsquo;t do it alone that helps us create the coalitions of place that we need to invest in Chicago,&rdquo; he said.</p><p><em>Susie An is a WBEZ business reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/soosieon">@soosieon</a>.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 18:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/university-down-block-108021 At midterm, Emanuel still cozy with City Council http://www.wbez.org/news/midterm-emanuel-still-cozy-city-council-107199 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS760_114218744-scr (1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">As Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hits his midterm Thursday in office, the city&rsquo;s 50-member City Council is also marking a milestone: two years under a new mayor.</p><p dir="ltr">At his May 2011 inauguration, Emanuel promised a new dynamic between Chicago&rsquo;s famously powerful mayor and the city&rsquo;s famously compliant City Council.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t a rubber stamp City Council, we don&rsquo;t want (a) Council War,&rdquo; then-mayor-elect Emanuel said in <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/aldermen/rahm-emanuel-explains-why-hes-forming-new-political-action-committee">March 2011</a>. &ldquo;I want a council that will be part of the reform agenda and be a partner in that effort.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Emanuel has enjoyed near-unanimous support from aldermen on his key agenda issues. But some aldermen criticize his style of dealing with some especially controversial issues, such as a recent <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/legal-fight-settled-over-chicago-parking-meters-106877">amendment </a>to the oft-maligned parking meter privatization contract, and his plan to embark upon the largest round of public school <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-proposes-closing-53-elementary-schools-firing-staff-another-6-106202">closings </a>in U.S. history.</p><p dir="ltr">Still, a recent <a href="http://www.uic.edu/depts/pols/ChicagoPolitics/City_Council_Report_April2013.pdf">study </a>from the University of Illinois at Chicago shows the average alderman sided with Emanuel 93 percent of the time on divided roll call votes through February 2013. That&rsquo;s compared to 88 percent during former Mayor Richard Daley&rsquo;s last years in office.</p><p dir="ltr">And when you ask aldermen what they like about Emanuel&rsquo;s style, a lot of them point to his regular calls or text messages, whether to chat or discuss policy, as one marked departure from the Daley years that has made dialogue on hot-button issues easier.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You know, he speaks strongly and carries a big stick,&rdquo; joked 12th Ward Ald. George Cardenas.</p><p dir="ltr">The face of Emanuel&rsquo;s agenda in the council chamber is longtime North Side Ald. Pat O&rsquo;Connor (40th). He is Emanuel&rsquo;s unofficial floor leader &ndash; that is, his aldermanic temperature-taker, nose-counter and - when need be - arm-twister.</p><p dir="ltr">O&rsquo;Connor held the same post under Daley, but says his job has been a lot busier since Emanuel took office two years ago.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We are more engaged with the City Council on a number of fronts than we were previously, in terms of my role,&rdquo; O&rsquo;Connor said.</p><p dir="ltr">Daley rarely called aldermen directly, but &nbsp;Emanuel&rsquo;s hands-on style makes rounding up votes easier, O&rsquo;Connor said.</p><p dir="ltr">Consider a recent City Council <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/churches-take-%E2%80%98leap-faith%E2%80%99-emanuel-water-deal-107089">meeting</a>, when aldermen took up a controversial plan to change the way the city charges nonprofits and churches for city water. When his proposal looked to be in danger, Emanuel himself huddled with aldermen and religious leaders near the City Council restrooms, seconds before the vote.</p><p dir="ltr">In the end, the churches got their reassurance, and every alderman voted yes &ndash; even O&rsquo;Connor, who vocally disagreed with the mayor&rsquo;s plan.</p><p dir="ltr">Still, O&rsquo;Connor bristles at the phrase &ldquo;rubber stamp.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s much better, in my opinion, to find areas where we can agree, and exploit them, and use those areas and try and limit the areas where we don&rsquo;t agree,&rdquo; he said.</p><p dir="ltr">But University of Illinois at Chicago political scientist Dick Simpson, a former independent alderman who now researches the city government, says the result is a City Council that is even more compliant than it was at the zenith of the Democratic Machine&rsquo;s power.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Well, what we ended up with is still a rubber stamp City Council,&rdquo; Simpson said.</p><p dir="ltr">But Simpson says that could change in the second half of Emanuel&rsquo;s term, as the city faces tough issues.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Aldermen are being caught between pressures of their communities, and going along with the mayor and having a nice chummy time at City Hall,&rdquo; Simpson said. &ldquo;At some point, over some issue, that may fracture the council.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Heading into his second term, the mayor is already facing several issues that could peel away some of his City Council support.</p><p dir="ltr">He&rsquo;s pushing an amendment to the wildly unpopular parking meter contract, trying to anticipate summer gun violence, and facing the Chicago Public Schools board vote on closing 54 schools next week.</p><p dir="ltr">Even some of the mayor&rsquo;s City Council allies, like 27th Ward Ald. Walter Burnett, say they sometimes don&rsquo;t feel listened to, especially over school closings.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Sometimes when you go toward that target, and you just focusing, you miss all of the things on the side and in the back of you,&rdquo; Burnett said, referring to Emanuel&rsquo;s pursuit of school closings despite community opposition.</p><p dir="ltr">Simpson says the mayor will tweak his agenda if aldermen make enough noise, as they did about his initial proposal to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-backs-some-unpopular-budget-ideas-93778">cut library hours</a> and his changes to protest ordinances leading up to last year&rsquo;s NATO summit.</p><p dir="ltr">But Emanuel rarely changes direction entirely on big issues. And when it comes to opposition from everyday Chicagoans, Simpson says don&rsquo;t expect a phone call.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;He&rsquo;s not very good at actual democracy,&rdquo; Simpson said. &ldquo;He&rsquo;s not good at asking people what should happen, and building a consensus. He&rsquo;s good at saying, &lsquo;This is what I did for you this week.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Alex Keefe is a political reporter for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/akeefe">@akeefe</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 16 May 2013 07:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/midterm-emanuel-still-cozy-city-council-107199 UIC to study government reaction to recession http://www.wbez.org/news/uic-study-government-reaction-recession-99419 <p><p>Researchers at University of Illinois at Chicago will get a $950,000 grant for a three-year study to help city governments respond to recessions.</p><p>The study will look at how city governments can adjust to the global economy and plan for sustainable growth.</p><p>Researchers hope to help cities handle issues like pensions, workforce development, cuts to social and human services, jobs, public safety and the tax base during a recession. Annual surveys show from 2009 to 2011, most cuts in city budgets were in infrastructure and personnel, including wages, pensions and benefits.</p><p>UIC will collaborate on the study with the National League of Cities Center for Research and Innovation and a working group from the Federal Reserve Bank. The grant is from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.</p></p> Tue, 22 May 2012 09:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/uic-study-government-reaction-recession-99419 University of Illinois' 'Circle Campus' opens http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2012-02-22/university-illinois-circle-campus-opens-96521 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-20/UIC Circle Campus_Schmidt.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>On this day in 1965, Chicago got its first, full-fledged public university. The University of Illinois' Chicago Circle campus was dedicated.</p><p>The university had been founded at Urbana in 1867. The first Chicago branch opened in 1946 at Navy Pier--"Harvard on the Rocks," the students called it. But the pier had limited room. All undergrads were forced to complete their last two years at the main campus, 130 miles away.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" height="367" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-18/02-22--1.JPG" title="" width="490"></p><p>In 1951 State Senator Richard J. Daley sponsored a bill calling for the university to build a four-year facility in Chicago. The trustees investigated a number of sites. For a while it seemed likely the new school would be located in Garfield Park.</p><p>Daley became Mayor of Chicago in 1955. He wanted a more central site. Putting the campus at Harrison and Halsted would stabilize the Loop and renew a blighted area.</p><p>Except that the people living there didn't think the neighborhood was blighted. This was the historic heart of the city's Italian community. There were protests, there were lawsuits, there was a bombing. In the end, Daley got his way.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" height="367" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-18/02-22-2.JPG" title="" width="490"></p><p>The neighborhood was bulldozed. Among the buildings destroyed was the new Holy Guardian Angels Church, barely four years old. Except for the original mansion, all of the Hull House settlement was torn down. Jessie Binford, an 85-year-old social worker who had lived there since 1905, had to find a new home.</p><p>Now the campus was ready. Daley was there, along with Gov. Kerner and various dignitaries. About 5,000 students came out to view the festivities. When the ceremonial ribbon was cut, the students let loose with three cheers.</p><p>The architecture of Circle campus was severely modern. Some critics thought the school looked like a prison. Most of the students were just glad to be off the pier. One 19-year-old gave an enthusiastic endorsement--she compared the classrooms to "rocket ships."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" height="367" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-18/02-22-3.JPG" title="" width="490"></p><p>Forty-seven years later, the university is still there. The campus has spread out, and some of the controversial architecture has been modified. What remains of the original buildings is passed off as "historic."</p><p>The name of the school has changed, too. Today it's called the University of Illinois at Chicago. This was done because very few institutions of higher learning are named after expressway interchanges.</p><p>Richard J. Daley died in 1976 after 21-plus years as mayor. He always said that the university was his proudest legacy.</p></p> Wed, 22 Feb 2012 13:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2012-02-22/university-illinois-circle-campus-opens-96521 Navistar layoffs add to doubts about incentives http://www.wbez.org/content/navistar-layoffs-add-doubts-about-incentives <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-December/2011-12-23/AP05060901633.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="The workers helped design International brand trucks. (AP/File)" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-23/Navistar_truck_SCALED.jpg" style="margin: 9px 18px 5px 1px; float: left; width: 308px; height: 207px;" title="The workers helped design International brand trucks. (AP/File)">Sears Holdings Corp. and Chicago’s financial exchanges have quit threatening to pull up stakes now that Illinois has enacted tax breaks for them. But it remains unclear whether state incentives to big companies are wise uses of economic-development resources. A personnel shift by Lisle-based Navistar International Corp. will add fresh doubt.</p><p>WBEZ has learned that some new jobs Navistar promised under an Illinois incentive agreement are coming to the state at the expense of unionized workers in Indiana.</p><p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced the Navistar incentives last year after the company threatened to pack up its headquarters in west suburban Warrenville and leave the state. The deal committed Illinois to a $64.7 million bundle of tax credits and job-training subsidies for the company. It committed Navistar to moving the headquarters to Lisle, a couple miles east, and to adding 400 full-time Illinois employees.</p><p>Navistar’s first report to the state about the jobs isn’t due until next year, so it’s hard to tell how many positions the company has created thus far. Employees confirm that dozens of new engineers and designers are working at the Lisle facility.</p><p>Navistar is creating those jobs as it phases out its Truck Development and Technology Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, just three hours southeast of Chicago. The latest Fort Wayne cuts came December 2, when the company laid off 130 employees, mostly engineers and designers who are United Auto Workers members. Before the layoff, some of the Fort Wayne workers had to help train their Lisle replacements.</p><p>Navistar has “rewritten the job descriptions so the people that used to do the work here — the union folks — don’t qualify anymore on paper,” said Craig Randolph, a design engineer the company laid off after 15 years at the Fort Wayne center. “So they’re eliminating the high-seniority, older employees like myself and replacing them with nonunion college kids — guys fresh out of school. And the taxpayers in Illinois are subsidizing the whole thing.”</p><p>Asked for a response, Navistar spokeswoman Karen Denning called it unusual for engineers to have union representation in the first place, a claim disputed by auto industry experts. Denning also sent a statement that said the company’s decision to shift the Fort Wayne jobs to Lisle was “based solely on our desire to compete in the global economy.” The statement added that Navistar has allowed many Fort Wayne employees to relocate to the Chicago area and stay with the company.</p><p>The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity sent a statement that doesn’t directly address whether the Navistar incentives have anything to do with the Fort Wayne layoffs. The statement says the state’s assistance to companies like Navistar over the last decade has “created and retained tens of thousands of jobs,” including unionized positions.</p><p>There’s not much proof to back up such claims. Scholars who study the effects of corporate incentives point out that companies decide where to operate based on proximity to suppliers, markets, transportation and so on. Another factor is whether workers are bargaining collectively. Just this summer, Navistar announced it was closing a unionized plant in Chatham, Ontario. The company has moved that work to nonunion facilities in Texas and Mexico.</p><p>“I don’t think that the [Illinois] incentives are causing Navistar to shift around its workforce,” said Rachel Weber, an associate professor of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “But they do send a message that the public sector and taxpayers are validating these kinds of activities. And, if you asked a lot of taxpayers in the state of Illinois whether they’d want to support these kinds of activities, I don’t think they’d be so happy about it.”</p><p>Weber pointed out that the economies of Illinois and Indiana intertwine closely and said it would help both states to quit poaching jobs from each other. Eliminating state incentives for corporations, she added, would free up resources for everything from workforce readiness to small-business incubation.</p><p>The union, for its part, didn’t return calls about the Fort Wayne layoffs and isn’t creating a public fuss about them. That raises questions about the role of UAW Secretary-Treasurer Dennis Williams, who serves on Navistar’s board of directors under a decades-old agreement that reserved the seat for the union. Because Williams draws salaries from both the UAW and Navistar, and because he once directed a UAW region that includes Illinois but not Indiana, some of the union’s Fort Wayne members accuse him of hanging them out to dry.</p></p> Fri, 23 Dec 2011 16:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/navistar-layoffs-add-doubts-about-incentives Grant aims to reduce racial health disparities among Chicagoans http://www.wbez.org/story/grant-aims-reduce-racial-health-disparities-among-chicagoans-94698 <p><p>The University of Illinois at Chicago has received a grant to improve access to healthy food for African American and Latino Chicagoans.</p><p>Those groups have higher rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. And an $850,000 grant seeks to reduce health disparities. The money will be used for health literacy. Community health workers will use a curriculum to educate residents in food deserts – areas lacking fresh food options.</p><p>UIC's Sheila Castillo is working on the grant.</p><p>"What we also need to talk about is how do we get people to know what to do with the food once they get it? How can we help make a systems change so that we really are impacting and benefiting people across a wide range of the metropolitan area?" Castillo said.</p><p>Part of the discourse around food desert elimination is making sure there’s an educational component. If people have never had access to healthy food, they’re less likely to know how to prepare it.</p></p> Thu, 08 Dec 2011 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/grant-aims-reduce-racial-health-disparities-among-chicagoans-94698