WBEZ | Freddrenna Lyle http://www.wbez.org/tags/freddrenna-lyle Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Public debate begins over Chicago's ward redistricting http://www.wbez.org/story/public-debate-begins-over-chicagos-ward-redistricting-92193 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-20/mapfix.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A stand-off over the racial and ethnic makeup of Chicago's City Council got going Monday with a proposal from its Black Caucus.&nbsp;The group proposed new ward boundaries favorable to its 19 members.</p><div><p>The most recent Census data show that Chicago has lost nearly 180,000 African American residents in the past 10 years.&nbsp;That's the equivalent of more than three seats on the City Council.</p><p>But the caucus has drawn a ward map that could protect its members.</p><p>"The African American community basically lives in certain areas. So they are still concentrated in particular areas where we were able to draw 19 African American wards," said former Ald. Freddrenna Lyle, the group's lawyer.</p><p>That's a loss of one majority black ward from the map drawn in 2001, though that seat is no longer represented by an African American alderman.&nbsp;</p><p>"The goals of the black caucus were to maintain the maximum number that the law would permit us of African American representation," said Ald. Howard Brookins, caucus chair.</p><p style="margin: 0.6em 0px 1.2em; padding: 0px;">The release of these draft boundaries sets up a clash between the Black Caucus and the Hispanic Caucus, whose members say there needs to be a substantial increase in the number of majority Hispanic wards.</p><p>The Black Caucus map tentatively includes&nbsp;an increase of two wards where Hispanics have a voting-age majority.&nbsp;That's not enough for Ald. Danny Solis, chair of the Hispanic Caucus.</p><p>"I have to study it a little bit more, but I don't think it really reflects the population increase of the Hispanic population," Solis said Monday afternoon.</p><p>The city's Hispanic population grew by about 25,000 in the past decade.&nbsp;Solis said his caucus will hold public meetings before unveiling its own map.</p><p>These proposals are the opening offers in redistricting negotiations.&nbsp;Ten years ago, most aldermen agreed on a compromise, but past redistricting efforts have ended in lengthy legal disputes.</p></div></p> Tue, 20 Sep 2011 00:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/public-debate-begins-over-chicagos-ward-redistricting-92193 Fewer women on new Chicago City Council http://www.wbez.org/story/fewer-women-new-chicago-city-council-86188 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-31/Lyle-Sawyer.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago City Council will soon have fewer women. Fifteen female aldermen will be sworn in a week from now, down from 19 in the recent council.</p><p>Leslie Hairston, alderman of Chicago's 5th Ward, said she doesn't think gender played a role in the recent elections. But Hairston is clearly bothered there will be fewer women on the council.</p><p>"Not happy about that. Not happy about that," she had said recently at City Hall.</p><p>It's a matter of perspective, Hairston said, in a field - politics - where there are still fewer women then men.</p><p>"When the numbers are shrinking rather than increasing, I think that kind of changes the balance of power. But I think the group of women that we have now are strong enough to make some in-roads."</p><p>Meantime, the racial makeup of the council stays roughly the same. An exception to that is the 47th Ward, where Eugene Schulter cedes his council seat to Ameya Pawar, who becomes Chicago's first Asian American alderman.</p></p> Mon, 09 May 2011 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/fewer-women-new-chicago-city-council-86188 Venture: Englewood pins hopes on new tax district http://www.wbez.org/story/asiaha-butler/venture-englewood-pins-hopes-new-tax-district-85305 <p><p>Each week on Venture, we trek out into the local business scene to see how wider economic trends are playing out on the micro-level. This week, we'll get unemployment rates for cities across Illinois.</p><p>The state's been slowly adding jobs again, but the gains aren't spread evenly. It's particularly tough to jumpstart the economy of a blighted area.</p><p>Take Englewood, for example. On 69th Street near Wentworth Avenue, there are 18 acres of vacant land that used to be Kennedy-King City College. That empty stretch of land – the size of several football fields – represents promise to many people in the community who would like to see the vast expanse translate into jobs. But they want something more than just big box stores.<br> &nbsp;<br> A financial boost might come in May, when an economic development tool—tax increment financing—likely will be approved. With the TIF as a lever, residents have what you might call a business plan for the 67th Street corridor.</p><p>Asiaha Butler is an organizer with Resident Association of Greater Englewood, known as R.A.G.E. She meets up for an interview at Dunkin Donuts off of 63rd Street in Englewood because “this is the closest thing we have to a sit-down cafe,” Butler says. But she's hoping a TIF will change that picture.<br> &nbsp;<br> TIFs have been controversial - criticized for being a slush fund for Mayor Richard Daley.&nbsp; Some tax money gets collected and earmarked to help lure business development. But TIF money often has flowed to areas that aren’t blighted.<br> &nbsp;<br> In Englewood, it’s a different story. In theory, this is the kind of area TIFs were designed for. That’s why residents like Butler are eager for the opportunity to put a renewed economic shot in their neighborhood.<br> &nbsp;<br> “Our wish list – a produce store was first off. Art gallery to some type of museum of some sort. Retail space and also office space – a couple of office buildings where people can actually lease space. Anything that would draw businesses in and anything that will keep people here,” Butler said.<br> &nbsp;<br> Butler is a young professional with a family who chose to move back to Englewood as an adult. Her grandfather was one of the first blacks to move in the neighborhood in the 1930s. He owned a candy store called Cheap Charlie’s.<br> &nbsp;<br> Today, Englewood has higher unemployment and crime rates than most Chicago neighborhoods. But it’s also a community of strong block clubs. Some R.A.G.E. members will be on a newly formed TIF advisory committee.<br> &nbsp;<br> Butler for one is doing her homework. “I remember Wicker Park being a place where most people were scared to walk down the street,” Butler said. “And it has totally turned itself around.”<br> &nbsp;<br> Butler walks around Englewood, camera in tow.<br> &nbsp;<br> “I take pictures all the time to just show the blighted areas,” she said. “And I see it as opportunity. That means basically we have a clean slate.”<br> <br> But actually filling that empty stretch of land with businesses may not be easy. Outgoing Ald. Freddrenna Lyle, 6th, says the community needs to be involved in deciding what comes in.<br> <br> “So now that we are here with a blank slate we are taking a new look at we’re going to have community meetings again,” Lyle said. “The community, at a minimum, they want some retail.”<br> &nbsp;<br> Lyle recognizes that blight may be the reason a TIF-generated economic development project belongs here.&nbsp; But it’s also what makes even a vast vacant area like hers a hard sell.<br> &nbsp;<br> “The problem is because it’s blighted and because business people are very conservative, they don’t take risks,” Lyle said. “That’s not how they make money by taking risks and having a vision of what’s to come. It’s going to be a hard sell. That’s why I say it may take multiple developers.”<br> &nbsp;<br> Rachel Weber is an urban planner and policy professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago. She’s also an expert on TIFs. She agrees Englewood is the exact kind of neighborhood that TIFs are for. But the downside of a TIF in a blighted area is that it’s seen as a silver bullet.<br> &nbsp;<br> “What we found is that that’s not always the case. You really need to have independent market interest in an area,” Weber said. “TIF alone is not going transform a neighborhood that has no retail activity to a thriving commercial district.”<br> &nbsp;<br> Weber says about one third of Chicago’s TIF districts are dormant – mostly in neglected areas on the South and West sides.<br> &nbsp;<br> “You need the city to overcome some of the sort of the site-specific impediments of the area so you may need to sweeteners, some city incentives,” she said.<br> &nbsp;<br> But she says residents need to be business-savvy.<br> &nbsp;<br> “There are certain kinds of businesses that are going to ignore sort of an urban-format store at all costs,” Weber said. “They only are comfortable in a suburban retail strip so it doesn’t make sense to pursue retailers that will have no interest in moving to the city.”<br> &nbsp;<br> Weber says Englewood has many community assets to flaunt. Public transportation is plentiful.&nbsp; There’s an expressway nearby. Englewood is home to major institutions such as a hospital and a brand-new Kennedy-King campus. There’s also density.<br> &nbsp;<br> Jake Cowan is with LISC Chicago, a nonprofit that helps jumpstart community organization and development. He says residents can be resourceful -- helping create, for instance,&nbsp;a clean and neat neighborhood appearance for interested developers.<br> &nbsp;<br> “So things communities can do to help encourage that are as simple as working on cleaning up vacant lots in their community,” Cowan said. “Things like a block club adopting a couple of lots or a church adopting a couple of lots. Just going out with trash bags and trash cans.”<br> &nbsp;<br> Englewood residents may earn below the city’s median household income. But there’s something else the neighborhood has to offer in a business relationship– concentrated buying power.<br> &nbsp;<br> According to LISC, Englewood residents have $109 million buying power per square mile – $25 million more than a typical Cook County square mile.<br> &nbsp;<br> Every week on Venture, we bring you something called the Windy Indicator. That's where we try to get a read on the wider economy by looking at one small piece of it.<br> <br> This week, we bring you the Lamb Index. Orthodox Easter is this coming Sunday, and for a Greek boy like WBEZ's Alex Keefe, that means leg of lamb, studded with garlic, slathered in lemon and olive oil and roasted “to rich perfection.”<br> <br> So what's the price of family tradition?<br> <br> Last year it was around $3.89 a pound, now it's more like $4.50, according to Nick Tsoukas, manager of Olympia Meat Market in the West Loop.<br> <br> Historic floods in New Zealand and Australia, where about half our lamb comes from, have crippled imports, Tsoukas says. Couple that drop in supply with Americans' increasing taste for the meat, and Tsoukas says his wholesale price for an entire Easter lamb has about doubled since 2010. So this year for the first time, he's asking customers to put a deposit down on their holiday supper.<br> <br> “Always seven or 10 people don't show up for their lambs, so now it's a different ballgame,” Tsoukas said. “It's going to be $200 for one lamb. We can't afford to lose that.”<br> <br> Tsoukas said Easter orders are down a bit from last year. But he thinks people will wind up buying lamb in spite of the price.<br> <br> “I think people are still going to buy lamb just because it's Easter,” Tsoukas said. “Whether the price will be very high or not, it's part of their tradition.”<br> <br> So is there any chance of Greek people across Chicago serving chicken instead this year? Tsoukas says, not a chance.<br> <br> Next week, our Windy Indicator meets the man behind the machine – the vending machine, that is.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 18 Apr 2011 05:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/asiaha-butler/venture-englewood-pins-hopes-new-tax-district-85305 What a runoff! I had no idea voter apathy could be so hyper-local! http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-04-06/what-runoff-i-had-no-idea-voter-apathy-could-be-so-hyper-local-84788 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-06/Rhymefest-boe.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Wait, I thought runoff was what was in my yard after a rainstorm, not the MEDIA EVENT OF THE CENTURY!!!! Alderman Freddrenna Lyle lost????? Michael Chandler is back???? Smith beat Egan??????? My world is going to change foreeevvvvveerrrr!</p><p>I understand that this is hyper-local news at its core. The people who care about the runoff election in the 24th ward are either a) voters or b) niche blog editors. I'm not sure a random Chicagoan could name more than three alderman. So the loss of Lyle, Dixon and Stone probably won't change much. Listen, we have a new mayor and it's probably okay that some of the resident alderman shuffle out. Hopefully the newcomers can either a) be better than the old alderman or b) be as good as the old alderman.</p><p>So instead of the mayor appointing aldermen, 14 percent of the ward chooses who gets paid $119,000.</p><p>Funny story: I talked to a friend today who said she didn't have a runoff in her ward, because her alderman, Mike Quigley, had already won. I told her Quigley was her U.S. Representative, not alderman. She then said, "Oh!!! I meant Deb Mell." Nope. Deb Mell is her state representative. "Oh. Wait, so who's my alderman?" Good question.</p><p>I think the better question might be, are we over-represented?</p><p>Here are my quick, random observations from the 2011 aldermanic runoff:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" height="375" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-06/Rhymefest-boe.jpg" title="" width="500"></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/20th-ward/che-rhymefest-smith-vows-election-challenge-84796">Rhymefest lost by 300 votes in the 20th ward</a>. Well, he isn't conceding because his camp is claiming "massive voter irregularities." They pulled a mini-Tony Peraica last night and stormed the Chicago Board of Elections. Well, by stormed, I mean they brought a couple lawyers to a closed door meeting. I was hoping Rhymefest would come down, someone would throw a chair through a window and then have an impromptu rap concert.</p><p>So I was disappointed when I tagged along with Tony Arnold to cover the event. I recuse myself on covering Rhymefest because we are friends. He's a funny dude and we do a lot of performing together, even before he ran for alderman. We <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-04-05/new-video-alderman-ed-bus-how-raise-big-campaign-cash-featuring-rhym">released a video last night of my character, Alderman Ed Bus (fictitious 53rd) teaching Rhymefest how to raise money</a>. Anyway, the reporters grilled Rhymefest's lawyers about what could actually be done and it seemed that this was more for show, less for changing the vote. Ah, well. Rhymefest got more pub for running for alderman than he did with his last record. So something tells me he knows what he's doing.</p><p>Berny Stone has left the building! The<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/50th-ward/stone-loses-50th-ward-offers-no-apologies-84802"> elder statesman of the City Council was trounced last night</a> by Debra Silverstein. So another of the Daley rubber stamp City Council members rides off into the sunset. It's kind of like Jedi when Luke sees the glowing images of Yoda and Obi-Wan. In this case, Waguespack will look over his shoulder and see images of Burt Natarus, Bill Banks and Berny Stone. And oh how the Ewoks will dance.</p><p>I think I will like this <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/john-rice/chicago-firefighter-upseat-incumbent-alderman-ward-organization-84800">Nicholas Sposato</a>. He is a firefighter who beat Bill Banks' chosen one, John Rice. Sposato should be a fun guy to cover. Rice's loss is more symoblic than anything, as he was backed by big Chicago machine committeeman. Emanuel also endorsed Rice, but - according to the latest state records - gave no money. Not a huge vote of confidence in the machine, eh?&nbsp;</p><p>And how 'bout this for an internship coup? This photo was on the front page of the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> today. Stone is talking to the media. Next to WBEZ's Odette Yousef (red jacket), stands our new intern, Kate Dries. Find a paper copy and put that in the ol' scrapbook, Dries!</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" height="500" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-06/trib-odette-kate.jpg" title="" width="500"></p><p><strong>B story</strong>: Enough elections. Let's get to the real stories of this city. As you may have heard, <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-04-05/entertainment/ct-live-0406-batman-pittsburgh-20110405_1_dark-knight-rises-local-film-industry-richard-moskal">Batman is not coming back to Chicago</a>. They are shooting the next installment of the Batman movies in Pittsburgh. See what happens when you lose a series at home to the Pirates? Boom, $50 million in lost revenue.</p><p><strong>C story</strong>: <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/TheBlog/archives/2011/04/05/local-reggae-club-returns-to-its-african-roots">The Reader reports that the Wild Hare is closing</a>. The Wrigleyville reggae bar was a destination spot for touring bands and adventurous Cubs fans who couldn't get into Sluggers. I raise a Red Stripe in your honor, out-of-place reggae bar. You treated me well a few times. Is Exodus 2 still open across the street? <a href="http://www.exeduslounge.com/">Indeed it is</a>!</p><p><strong>D story</strong>: They did it! <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blewt/dont-spit-the-water-lets-make-a-pilot-and-get-on-t">Blewt and Steve Gadlin</a> raised enough cash to produce a pilot for WCIU! We should be seeing a new gameshow called "Don't Spit the Water" soon. GM Neil Sabin will have to honor his word. Wait - what?&nbsp; Want me to back up? Ah, just click the link (above).</p><p><strong>Sports</strong>: Don't look now, but a young star is budding on the North Side. Starlin Castro has been lights-out at the beginning of the season. He is hitting over .500 and leading the charge for a Cubs team that is 3-2. Can it continue? Will this be the best shortstop the Cubs have had since swingin' Shawon Dunston? And in college basketball news, a <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/cbsports-illinis-richmond-declares-for-nba-draft-20110405,0,4658309.story">guy from the Illini squad is going pro</a>. I wouldn't know him because he didn't play in either of the NCAA tournament games because of a suspension. The paper told me he averaged 7.6 points a game in his freshman year in Champagne. Sounds great.</p><p><strong>Kicker</strong>: Have you been out to Wrigley yet? I want a progress report on our new PA announcer. <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/sports/mlb/cubs/chicago-cubs-wrigley-field-home-opener-opening-day-redford-bellison-fans-20110401">Andrew Bellison was chosen as the winner</a> of the Cubs' contest to take over duties announcing at the ballpark. Here's his audition tape, where he tells the world that he "I always idolized Paul Friedman as a kid growing up." Paul works with us at WBEZ.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" height="450" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-05/Friedman.jpg" title="" width="300"></p><p>And now, he's an old man. Hilarious.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/adHdypzE774" title="YouTube video player" width="425"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 06 Apr 2011 15:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-04-06/what-runoff-i-had-no-idea-voter-apathy-could-be-so-hyper-local-84788 Meet Chicago's newest aldermen http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-04-06/meet-chicagos-newest-aldermen-84807 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-06/P1000508.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated at 10:07 a.m.</em></p><p>Four incumbent aldermen appear headed for losses in Chicago’s runoff elections: the 6<sup>th</sup> Ward’s Freddrenna Lyle, the 24<sup>th</sup> Ward’s Sharon Denise Dixon, the 36<sup>th</sup> Ward’s John Rice and the 50<sup>th</sup> Ward’s Berny Stone. Rice was one of the council’s newest members, having been appointed just a year-and-a-half ago; Stone one its longest-serving.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-06/polling.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 300px;" title="(WBEZ/Sam Hudzik)"></p><p>Those seats represent just about a quarter of the turnover in the council. Nine aldermen decided to call it quits come May 16<sup>th</sup>. And the new council will also include two aldermen who were only appointed in January. That all adds up to fifteen new(ish) faces, assuming last night’s election results hold.</p><p>The list below includes three Democratic ward committeemen, one wife of a Democratic ward committeeman and one brother of a Democratic ward committeeman. It includes one former alderman, and three offspring of former aldermen. It includes two members of the Illinois House, a former city inspector, a firefighter, a graphic designer and a caterer. It includes 12 men and 3 women. Here are the freshmen:<!--break--></p><p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;}</style> </p><table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>rd</th><th>New alderman</th><th>Who's that?</th><th>Old alderman</th><th>Why the change?</th></tr><tr><td>4</td><td>Will Burns</td><td>State representative</td><td>Shirley Newsome / Toni Preckwinkle</td><td>Newsome was a placeholder after Preckwinkle became Cook County Board president.</td></tr><tr><td>6</td><td>Roderick Sawyer</td><td>Lawyer and son of former Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer</td><td>Freddrenna Lyle</td><td>Sawyer appears to have defeated Lyle in April runoff.</td></tr><tr><td>13</td><td>Marty Quinn</td><td>Democratic campaign worker, ally of ward committeeman Mike Madigan, the Illinois House speaker</td><td>Frank Olivo</td><td>Olivo announced his retirement after the November filing deadline, clearing the way for Quinn.</td></tr><tr><td>19</td><td>Matt O'Shea</td><td>Rugai aide, 19th Ward committeeman</td><td>Virginia Rugai</td><td>Rugai is retiring, and O'Shea won in February.</td></tr><tr><td>24</td><td>Michael Chandler</td><td>Musician, former 24th Ward alderman</td><td>Sharon Denise Dixon</td><td>Chandler defeated Dixon in April runoff, reclaiming his old seat.</td></tr><tr><td>28</td><td>Jason Ervin</td><td>Former Maywood village manager</td><td>Jason Ervin / Ed Smith</td><td>Ervin won in February, after being appointed in January to fill out the term of Smith, who retired in the fall.</td></tr><tr><td>36</td><td>Nick Sposato</td><td>Chicago firefighter, unsuccessful 2007 aldermanic candidate</td><td>John Rice</td><td>In the April runoff, Sposato defeated Rice, who was appointed to finish Bill Banks' term in 2009.</td></tr><tr><td>38</td><td>Tim Cullerton</td><td>Electrician, retired city employee, son of the late Ald. Tom Cullerton, sister of ward committeeman P.J. Cullerton</td><td>Tim Cullerton / Tom Allen</td><td>Cullerton won the April runoff, after being appointed in January to finish the term of Allen, who became a judge.</td></tr><tr><td>41</td><td>Mary O'Connor</td><td>Ward committeeman, owner of catering company</td><td>Brian Doherty</td><td>O'Connor won the April runoff to replace Doherty, who is retiring.</td></tr><tr><td>43</td><td>Michele Smith</td><td>Ward committeeman, former federal prosecutor, failed 2007 aldermanic candidate</td><td>Vi Daley</td><td>Daley is retiring, and Michele Smith won the April runoff.</td></tr><tr><td>45</td><td>John Arena</td><td>Owner of small graphic arts business</td><td>Patrick Levar</td><td>Levar is retiring, and Arena has a small lead in the runoff to replace him.</td></tr><tr><td>46</td><td>James Cappleman</td><td>Social worker, unsuccessful 2007 aldermanic candidate</td><td>Helen Shiller</td><td>Cappleman won the runoff to replace Shiller, who is retiring.</td></tr><tr><td>47</td><td>Ameya Pawar</td><td>Program assistant at Northwestern University’s emergency management office</td><td>Eugene Schulter</td><td>After Schulter announced retirement, Pawar beat the alderman’s chosen successor in February.</td></tr><tr><td>48</td><td>Harry Osterman</td><td>State representative, son of the late Ald. Kathy Osterman</td><td>Mary Ann Smith</td><td>Osterman won in February to replace Smith, who is retiring.</td></tr><tr><td>50</td><td>Debra Silverstein</td><td>Certified public accountant, wife of state Sen. Ira Silverstein, who is the ward's committeeman</td><td>Berny Stone</td><td>Silverstein defeated Stone in the April runoff.</td></tr></tbody></table><p>Not included in this table are three other aldermen who are (relatively) new. Each of them was reelected outright in February, avoiding a runoff.</p><ul><li>In the summer of 2009, Mayor Richard Daley picked then-Cook County Commissioner Roberto Maldonado to replace the 26<sup>th</sup> Ward’s Billy Ocasio, who left the council to take a job in Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration.</li><li>Ald. Proco Joe Moreno was appointed by Daley in March of 2010 to replace 1<sup>st</sup> Ward Ald. Manny Flores, who also took a job with Quinn.</li><li>At the same time, Daley appointed then-state Rep. Deborah Graham to fill 29th Ward Ald. Ike Carothers’ term. Carothers lost his seat when he pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges.</li></ul></p> Wed, 06 Apr 2011 08:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-04-06/meet-chicagos-newest-aldermen-84807 Voters push out some Emanuel-backed aldermen http://www.wbez.org/story/berny-stone/voters-push-out-some-emanuel-backed-aldermen-84801 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-31/Lyle-Sawyer.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated with endorsement of Ald. Dixon at 7:47 a.m. </em></p><p>Several incumbent aldermen backed by Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel appear to have lost their seats.</p><p>Emanuel invested more than $280,000 into runoff elections, using a political action committee he called New Chicago Committee.&nbsp; The total includes some $46,000 for South Side Ald. Freddrenna Lyle in her 6th Ward battle against Roderick Sawyer, son of former Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer.<br> <br> Lyle is losing, as is John Rice, another Emanuel endorsee. Unlike Lyle, though, Rice hasn't reported receiving any financial support from the mayor-elect. And the results from Tuesday show Rice well behind firefighter Nicholas Sposato in the Northwest Side's 36th Ward.<br> <br> According to an Emanuel spokesperson, the mayor-elect also backed 24th Ward Ald. Sharon Dixon. She was soundly defeated Tuesday by the ward's former alderman, Michael Chandler.</p><p>In all, Emanuel endorsed candidates in ten runoffs; seven appear to have won, including the only challenger he endorsed - Debra Silverstein in the North Side's 50th Ward. With the help of close to $50,000 from Emanuel, she unseated longtime Ald. Bernard Stone.</p><p>(For more on endorsements and money in these contests, check out <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/SUPPORT%20CHART%207AM.pdf">Chicago runoff muscle: Who's backing whom and with how much?</a>)</p></p> Wed, 06 Apr 2011 06:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/berny-stone/voters-push-out-some-emanuel-backed-aldermen-84801 6th Ward candidates Fredderinna Lyle and Roderick Sawyer debate in advance of the runoff election http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-31/6th-ward-candidates-fredderinna-lyle-and-roderick-sawyer-debate-advance- <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-31/Lyle-Sawyer.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On Tuesday, April 5, Chicago will hold a runoff election. Voters in 14 wards will decide who will represent them in City Council. The 6th Ward on Chicago's South Side is one of those wards. It includes the neighborhoods of East Englewood, Chatham, Park Manor, Greater Grand Crossing, West Chesterfield and Roseland. Crime is an issue in some areas —two police officers were killed in the ward last year in separate incidents. The candidates for alderman have a number of things in common, including a history with Chicago politics.<a href="http://electlyle.com/" target="_blank"><br> <br> Alderman Freddrenna Lyle </a>has represented the 6th Ward since 1998. And <a href="http://friendsofrodericktsawyer.org/" target="_blank">Roderick Sawyer</a> is the son of the late Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer. Both candidates joined host Alison Cuddy to discuss their platforms.</p><p><em>Music Button: Tommy T, "Brothers", from the CD The Prester John Sessions, (Easy Star Records)</em></p></p> Thu, 31 Mar 2011 13:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-31/6th-ward-candidates-fredderinna-lyle-and-roderick-sawyer-debate-advance- Chicago alderman vows to return donation, then takes her time http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-03-30/chicago-alderman-vows-return-donation-then-takes-her-time-84509 <p><p><a href="http://www.forabetterchicago.com/">For a Better Chicago PAC</a> – that well-funded, mysterious monster of the Chicago municipal elections – gave $10,000 to 6th Ward Ald. Freddrenna Lyle. The alderman received the donation on February 11th, and reported it to the Illinois State Board of Elections.</p><p>A few weeks later, For a Better Chicago started taking some extra heat from good government groups and the press. The crux of the complaints: that For a Better Chicago’s nonprofit arm slipped more than $850,000 in donations to its political arm before the end of 2010, allowing it to avoid any and all disclosure on the source of that cash. This was shady, <a href="http://www.ilcampaign.org/complaint-against-for-a-better-chicago">some argued</a>. But it was <a href="http://blog.ilcampaign.org/2011/03/sbe-votes-against-icpr-complaint.html">not illegal</a>, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.</p><p>Lyle first <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/elections/ct-met-emanuel-council-fundraising-20110302,0,3034256.story">defended</a> her decision to accept the donation, then vowed in the <em>Tribune </em><a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/elections/ct-met-emanuel-council-fundraising-0320110303,0,1385406.story">to return it</a>:</p><blockquote><p>“I’m giving it back, I just wanted you to know. […] There has been some discussion that this group represents Republican interests, and if that is the case then the people in my ward would not like that very much. […] When I read the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> today and how this PAC tried to ignore rules and regulations to avoid disclosure, I just decided I didn't want that to become an artificial issue in my campaign. Then the mayor-elect called upon them to disclose their donors. I just thought it was for the best.”</p></blockquote><p>The trouble is, she hasn’t. That quote appeared in a <em>Tribune </em>story dated March 3rd – four weeks ago, and For a Better Chicago PAC said Wednesday it still has not received any money back from Lyle.</p><p>I called the alderman and asked what was up – and whether she still intended to return the cash. She said she does. The delay, according to Lyle, was a matter of postal service mistrust, and a second briefcase.</p><p>Lyle said her campaign actually made out a check for $10,000 to For a Better Chicago PAC on March 11, the week after her comments to the <em>Tribune</em>.</p><p>“Originally I was going to mail it, and then I said, ‘I’m not going to put a $10,000 check in the mail.' And I wanted to return it to them, and then I hadn’t been downtown, and then it got in the briefcase," Lyle said, explaining that she has two briefcases.</p><p>"And then I found it in the briefcase, and said, ‘What am I doing? I’ve got to get it down there.’ Because it has got to show up on their D2s.”</p><p>D2s are a political committee’s quarterly disclosure reports. And if Lyle doesn’t hand For a Better Chicago the check before the end of this month, there would be confusion: her campaign's report would indicate she had paid back the money to For a Better Chicago, but the PAC’s report would show it hadn't received it.</p><p>"And I certainly don’t want any issues with the Illinois board of elections,” Lyle said.</p><p>The alderman said she’s going to return it – in person – to the PAC’s office.</p><p>“I think it’s going to be very awkward, but it is what it is,” Lyle said, adding - with laughter, “It might be why I subliminally...forgot, you know.”</p><p>For a Better Chicago PAC is well aware of Lyle’s vow to return the money. In fact, after endorsing Lyle before the February 22nd election, it left her off of its list for the April 5th runoff.</p></p> Wed, 30 Mar 2011 22:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-03-30/chicago-alderman-vows-return-donation-then-takes-her-time-84509 Some runoffs attract hundreds of early voters, others get forgotten http://www.wbez.org/story/brian-doherty/some-runoffs-attract-hundreds-early-voters-others-get-forgotten-84201 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-25/voting booth chicago - Getty Scott Olson.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>There's one week to go for early voting ahead of the April 5th elections. In Chicago, some aldermanic runoff races are getting a lot more attention than others from voters.<br /><br />There are 14 Chicago runoffs, and one of them is getting more than its share of early voting love. According to the Chicago Board of Elections, the 41st Ward on the Northwest Side attracted more than 1,600 early voters through Wednesday. It's a tight race, an open seat where the current alderman, Brian Doherty, is retiring.</p><p>Another aldermanic race getting a lot of attention is the the 6th Ward on the South Side, where Ald. Freddrenna Lyle faces a challenge from the son of former Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer. In excess of a thousand early ballots have been cast in that election.</p><p>On the other side of the popularity scale is a nearby ward on the South Side. The 15th has the lowest turnout so far during early voting, with under 150 voters. The incumbent alderman there, Toni Foulkes, faces Raymond Lopez, a 32-year-old Southwest Airlines employee.<br /><br />There are 43 early voting sites scattered across suburban Cook County, which has more than 700 local races going on - ranging from school board members to mayors to fire protection district trustees.</p><p>According to Cook County Clerk David Orr's office, the busiest site so far is an ice rink in north suburban Wilmette, followed by the city hall in south suburban Chicago Heights.</p><p>Early voting continues through next Thursday, Mar. 31.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Turnout for early voting in Chicago, by ward<br /></strong></p><p><style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table {border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;} .tableizer-table td {padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc;} .tableizer-table th {background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold;} </style></p><table height="430" align="center" width="122" class="tableizer-table" style=""> <tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>Ward</th><th>Early voters*</th></tr> <tr><td>41</td><td style="text-align: right;">1634</td></tr> <tr><td>6</td><td style="text-align: right;">1077</td></tr> <tr><td>50</td><td style="text-align: right;">842</td></tr> <tr><td>43</td><td style="text-align: right;">772</td></tr> <tr><td>45</td><td style="text-align: right;">705</td></tr> <tr><td>36</td><td style="text-align: right;">659</td></tr> <tr><td>46</td><td style="text-align: right;">624</td></tr> <tr><td>17</td><td style="text-align: right;">476</td></tr> <tr><td>24</td><td style="text-align: right;">440</td></tr> <tr><td>25</td><td style="text-align: right;">371</td></tr> <tr><td>20</td><td style="text-align: right;">320</td></tr> <tr><td>38</td><td style="text-align: right;">302</td></tr> <tr><td>16</td><td style="text-align: right;">196</td></tr> <tr><td>15</td><td style="text-align: right;">148</td></tr> <tr><td><strong>Total</strong></td><td style="text-align: right;"><strong>8566</strong></td></tr></tbody></table> <p style="text-align: right;">* Totals are up to date as of Wednesday.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><em>This story was corrected at 11:51 a.m. on Friday, Mar. 25 to fix a typo.</em></p></p> Thu, 24 Mar 2011 18:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/brian-doherty/some-runoffs-attract-hundreds-early-voters-others-get-forgotten-84201 Some aldermanic candidates say they'd happily take Emanuel's leftover cash http://www.wbez.org/story/eugene-sawyer/some-aldermanic-candidates-say-theyd-happily-take-emanuels-leftover-cash <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Rahm on campaign night - Getty John Gress.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Some candidates for Chicago alderman headed to runoff races said Thursday they will seek help from the mayor-elect. Rahm Emanuel said he plans to provide political resources and ideas to candidates who will be partners in &quot;reform and change.&quot;</p><p>Emanuel had more than $13 million at his disposal during the campaign. There are &quot;resources&quot; left over, he said, but claimed he does not know the dollar amount.<br /><br />He is likely to get lots of requests for help.<br /><br />Ald. Sharon Dixon of the 24th Ward faces a runoff after getting just 19-percent in a crowded field on Tuesday. She said she will talk to Emanuel &quot;as soon as [she] possibly can.&quot;</p><p>They will talk about issues, Dixon said, as well as money.</p><p>&quot;We will definitely talk about campaign resources. Yes,&quot; she said. &quot;That will be part of the conversation. I am in a runoff.&quot;<br /><br />An endorsement may also help; Emanuel won 60-percent of the vote in Dixon's ward. She faces former Ald. Michael Chandler in the runoff.<br /><br />On the Northwest Side in the 45th Ward, small business owner John Arena is one of the candidates headed to a runoff. The seat is currently held by retiring Ald. Pat Levar.</p><p>Arena said he wants to talk to Emanuel, who got more than half the vote in the ward. But Arena noted he will not accept help if there are strings attached.<br /><br />&quot;If it's expected that...I can't maintain my independence, then no, I wouldn't accept it,&quot; Arena said.</p><p>Arena's opponent, police officer John Garrido, said he's hopeful Emanuel stays out of the race. But Garrido said if Emanuel chooses to endorse a candidate in the ward, he hopes it's him.</p><p>In the South Side's 6th Ward, Emanuel won 59-percent of the vote. The challenger there, Roderick Sawyer,said his campaign could use Emanuel's money if the mayor-elect chooses to work with him.</p><p>&quot;But we don't want to put all of our eggs in one basket and say that's the end-all and be-all of this campaign,&quot; said Sawyer, who is a lawyer and the son of a former mayor, Eugene Sawyer. &quot;That's just one step. You know, there's other money out there.&quot;</p><p>Sawyer is up against incumbent Ald. Freddrenna Lyle. Lyle endorsed former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun in the mayor's race, but said she's talked to Emanuel a few times about issues.<br /><br />Asked if she'd accept campaign money from the mayor-elect, Lyle said she is &quot;not ruling out any support unless the devil comes in with a check.&quot;<br /><br />And Lyle said she does not think Emanuel is the devil.</p><p>Fourteen city council runoff elections will be held on April 5th.</p></p> Thu, 24 Feb 2011 23:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/eugene-sawyer/some-aldermanic-candidates-say-theyd-happily-take-emanuels-leftover-cash