WBEZ | 12th Ward http://www.wbez.org/tags/12th-ward Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Settlement could lead to big park for Mexican neighborhood http://www.wbez.org/story/settlement-could-lead-big-park-mexican-neighborhood-90552 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-12/00_580x350_parks6.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The city of Chicago could be near the end of a five-year legal battle for control of a former industrial site with potential to help form a 24-acre park. If an eminent-domain settlement holds up, the land could be an asset for a Mexican-American area of the Southwest Side.<br> <br> Cook County Circuit Court Judge Sanjay T. Tailor this week signed off on the deal, under which the city will pay more than $7.5 million for about 19 acres owned by 2600 Sacramento Corp.<br> <br> “I don’t get a penny,” company owner Joanne Urso said Friday afternoon. The money will go to the Cook County Treasurer’s Office and remain there as Urso tries to settle with a bank that has filed suit to foreclose on the property, according to her attorney.<br> <br> Urso’s land could combine with an adjacent five acres the city already controls. The park would total about five blocks, all just west of South Sacramento Avenue and north of West 31st Street. The perimeter would pass residential buildings, industrial properties and the Cook County Jail.<br> <br> Activists in the Little Village neighborhood hailed the settlement. “We have not seen any park development in over 75 years,” said Kim Wasserman, executive director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization.<br> <br> Wasserman said the deal could inspire other neighborhoods to push for public amenities and services. “Regardless of language and regardless of immigration status, as long as there is determination in these communities, we can continue to get the things that we need,” she said.<br> <br> The park concept has the backing of the local alderman. “That’s what we’re pushing for,” said Juan Manzano, an aide to Ald. George Cárdenas, 12th Ward.<br> <br> The property served industrial manufacturers for more than 70 years, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Their output included asphalt, coal tar and driveway sealer. Celotex Corp. made roofing products on the site from 1967 to 1982, the EPA says.<br> <br> Allied Chemical and Dye Corp. purchased that operation. A series of mergers and acquisitions turned Allied into New Jersey-based Honeywell International Inc. The corporation dismantled the Celotex facilities between 1991 and 1993, according to the EPA. Urso’s company bought the property later.<br> <br> After cancer-linked chemicals turned up in nearby homes and yards, the EPA designated the area a Superfund site. A Honeywell cleanup consisted largely of covering the land with gravel. The cleanup finished last year, the agency says in a statement.<br> <br> Chicago filed the eminent-domain suit in 2006. The case became more complicated in August 2010, when Texas-based United Central Bank filed the foreclosure suit, a nearly $10 million claim, in federal court. The loan involves both the Celotex site and another Urso property.<br> <br> The city’s payment for Urso's land will consist of $6 million from the Chicago Park District and more than $1.5 million from city general-obligation bonds, according to Jennifer Hoyle, a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.<br> <br> But the timeframe for creating the park is not clear. Ownership of Urso’s property will transfer to Chicago upon payment, due September 7, but the city is not specifying a date for turning over the acreage to the Park District. “Possibly later this year,” Hoyle wrote Friday afternoon.<br> <br> A possible obstacle is a Chicago Fire Department facility on the adjacent five acres.</p><p>The biggest challenge could be funding the park construction. Wasserman’s group is calling for playgrounds, a farm, sports fields, an amphitheater and a community center. Building all those amenities could cost hundreds of millions of dollars, the group says.</p></p> Fri, 12 Aug 2011 22:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/settlement-could-lead-big-park-mexican-neighborhood-90552 West Side Aldermanic Races http://www.wbez.org/story/12th-ward/west-side-aldermanic-races <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/1_morfin_6.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated At: 10:40 p.m.&nbsp; </em>New numbers from West Side wards, where runoffs seem likely in the 24th, 25th, 36th and 38th wards.</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 12</strong></p><p>24 of 24 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>George Cardenas, (i) 2,680 - 55 percent</p><p>Jose Guereca, 911 - 19 percent</p><p>Jesse Iñiguez, 796 - 16 percent</p><p>Alberto Bocanegra, 321 - 7 percent</p><p>Maria Ortiz, 137 - 3 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 21</strong></p><p>70 of 74 precincts - 95 percent</p><p>Howard Brookins, (i) 8,004 - 56 percent</p><p>Sheldon Sherman, 2,797 - 19 percent</p><p>Patricia Foster, 1,706 - 12 percent</p><p>Sylvia Jones, 1,537 - 11 percent</p><p>Jerome Maddox, 309 - 2 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 22</strong></p><p>29 of 29 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Ricardo Munoz, (i) 2,793 - 65 percent</p><p>Neftalie Gonzalez, 1,536 - 35 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 23</strong></p><p>54 of 54 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Michael Zalewski, (i) 8,581 - 53 percent</p><p>Anna Goral, 5,511 - 34 percent</p><p>Chuck Maida, 2,231 - 14 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 24</strong></p><p>56 of 56 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Sharon Dixon, (i) 1,783 - 20 percent</p><p>Michael Chandler, 1,197 - 13 percent</p><p>Vetress Boyce, 841 - 9 percent</p><p>Valerie Leonard, 697 - 8 percent</p><p>Shavonda Fields, 606 - 7 percent</p><p>Chauncey Stroud, 605 - 7 percent</p><p>Julius Anderson, 482 - 5 percent</p><p>Wallace Johnson, 477 - 5 percent</p><p>Wilbert Cook, 459 - 5 percent</p><p>Sondra Spellman, 435 - 5 percent</p><p>Melissa Williams, 369 - 4 percent</p><p>Frank Bass, 346 - 4 percent</p><p>Regina Lewis, 309 - 3 percent</p><p>Jeffery Turner, 203 - 2 percent</p><p>Donielle Lawson, 137 - 1 percent</p><p>Larry Nelson, 113 - 1 percent</p><p>Mark Carter, 44 - 0 percent</p><p>Jimmy Lee Lard, 37 - 0 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 25</strong></p><p>31 of 31 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Danny Solis, (i) 4,291 - 49 percent</p><p>Cuahutemoc Morfin, 2,451 - 28 percent</p><p>Ambrosio Medrano, 2,025 - 23 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 26</strong></p><p>61 of 63 precincts - 97 percent</p><p>Roberto Maldonado, (i) 5,885 - 82 percent</p><p>Devon Reid, 1,263 - 18 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 27</strong></p><p>59 of 59 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Walter Burnett, (i) 6,606 - 71 percent</p><p>Tom Courtney, 2,056 - 22 percent</p><p>Gevonna Fassett, 655 - 7 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 28</strong></p><p>60 of 61 precincts - 98 percent</p><p>Jason Ervin, (i) 5,557 - 85 percent</p><p>William Siegmund, 1,007 - 15 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 29</strong></p><p>44 of 49 precincts - 90 percent</p><p>Deborah Graham, (i) 4,884 - 52 percent</p><p>Thomas Simmons, 1,147 - 12 percent</p><p>C B Johnson, 1,075 - 11 percent</p><p>Mary Russell Gardner, 899 - 10 percent</p><p>Jill Bush, 636 - 7 percent</p><p>Beverly Rogers, 299 - 3 percent</p><p>Roman Morrow, 279 - 3 percent</p><p>Oddis Johnson, 168 - 2 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 30</strong></p><p>40 of 41 precincts - 98 percent</p><p>Ariel Reboyras, (i) 4,506 - 75 percent</p><p>Stella Nicpon, 595 - 10 percent</p><p>Chester Hornowski, 526 - 9 percent</p><p>Doug Cannon, 368 - 6 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 32</strong></p><p>52 of 52 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Scott Waguespack, (i) 8,704 - 66 percent</p><p>David Pavlik, 2,290 - 17 percent</p><p>Bryan Lynch, 1,465 - 11 percent</p><p>Brian Gorman, 770 - 6 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 34</strong></p><p>61 of 61 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Carrie Austin, (i) 9,170 - 65 percent</p><p>Henry Moses, 2,123 - 15 percent</p><p>Shirley White, 1,533 - 11 percent</p><p>Burl McQueen, 659 - 5 percent</p><p>Michael Mayden, 618 - 4 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 35</strong></p><p>36 of 36 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Rey Colon, (i) 4,451 - 51 percent</p><p>Miguel Sotomayor, 2,174 - 25 percent</p><p>Nancy Schiavone, 2,117 - 24 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 36</strong></p><p>55 of 55 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>John Rice, (i) 6,709 - 48 percent</p><p>Nicholas Sposato, 3,346 - 24 percent</p><p>Jodi Biancalana, 1,964 - 14 percent</p><p>Brian Murphy, 656 - 5 percent</p><p>Thomas Motzny, 650 - 5 percent</p><p>Bruce Randazzo, 628 - 5 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 37</strong></p><p>40 of 43 precincts - 93 percent</p><p>Emma Mitts, (i) 4,779 - 58 percent</p><p>Maretta Brown-Miller, 1,982 - 24 percent</p><p>Shanika Finley, 390 - 5 percent</p><p>Minerva Orozco, 389 - 5 percent</p><p>Steven Pleasant, 332 - 4 percent</p><p>Tommy Abina, 328 - 4 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 38</strong></p><p>53 of 53 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Timothy Cullerton, (i) 5,795 - 48 percent</p><p>Tom Caravette, 2,699 - 22 percent</p><p>Bart Goldberg, 945 - 8 percent</p><p>Carmen Hernandez, 723 - 6 percent</p><p>Mahmoud Bambouyani, 704 - 6 percent</p><p>Sheryl Morabito, 672 - 6 percent</p><p>John Videckis, 402 - 3 percent</p><p>Ed Quartullo, 237 - 2 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 39</strong></p><p>47 of 47 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Margaret Laurino, (i) 7,735 - 76 percent</p><p>Mary Hunter, 2,392 - 24 percent</p><p><em>Updated At 9:38 p.m</em>. Incumbent 25th Ward Ald. Danny Solis will likely face a runoff to defend his seat. &nbsp;He won 49% of the vote with all precincts reporting.</p><p><em>Updated At: 8:55 p.m</em>.&nbsp; Incumbent 24th Ward Ald. Sharon Dixon is leading a tight race that is headed towards a runoff. With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Dixon has a slight edge over her closest competitor Michael Chandler.<strong><br /></strong></p><p>Here's a look at some of the races WBEZ is focusing on:</p><p><strong>12th Ward</strong><br />&nbsp;<br />Ald. George Cárdenas&rsquo; campaign staffers predicted a victory without a runoff, but the two-term incumbent looked nervous. During this month&rsquo;s blizzard cleanup, Cárdenas spent thousands of campaign dollars to bring in snow plows. He festooned them with reelection placards.<br />&nbsp;<br />This Southwest Side ward, mostly Latino, covers parts of Brighton Park, McKinley Park, Back of the Yards and Little Village. It&rsquo;s struggling with overcrowded housing, foreclosure filings, struggling schools and rising crime.<br />&nbsp;<br />Cárdenas won his first aldermanic election in 2003 with help from the Hispanic Democratic Organization, a roving campaign army that eventually dissolved amid a federal probe into patronage hiring by Mayor Daley&rsquo;s administration. Cárdenas won his 2007 reelection handily.<br />&nbsp;<br />But this year&rsquo;s race was tougher. The strongest of four challengers appeared to be Streets and Sanitation worker José Guereca, a former Army soldier who received tens of thousands of campaign dollars from State Sen. Tony Muñoz, the ward&rsquo;s Democratic boss. Muñoz, a former Cárdenas ally, was a fellow HDO beneficiary. Guereca also got support from Teamsters Local 700 and the Chicago Firefighters Union.<br />&nbsp;<br />Another tough challenger was coffee-shop owner Jesús &ldquo;Jesse&rdquo; Iñiguez, head of the United Southwest Chamber of Commerce who ran poorly against Cárdenas four years ago. This time he got help from Ald. Ricardo Muñoz (22nd Ward) and County Board Commissioner Jesús &ldquo;Chuy&rdquo; García (7th District), making the race a skirmish in a decades-old war between Southwest Side progressives and regular Democrats. Other important support came from the Service Employees International Union. Iñiguez campaign staffers predicted they would advance to the runoff as Cárdenas and Guereca competed for the same machine voters.<br />&nbsp;<br />But Iñiguez himself lost some votes to the Green Party&rsquo;s Alberto Bocanegra Jr., who raised a lot of money for the race. Bocanegra had backing from water district commissioner Frank Avila and immigrant rights organizer Jorge Mújica.<br />&nbsp;<br />Also on the ballot was María &ldquo;Chula&rdquo; Ortiz, a suburban bus employee with little money or visibility.<br />&nbsp;<br /><strong>24th Ward</strong><br />&nbsp;<br />Ald. Sharon Denise Dixon struggled to build a strong political organization after narrowly winning her seat in a 2007 runoff. When Chicago police officers arrested her on drunken-driving charges in 2009, some residents of her ward smelled blood. Seventeen got on the ballot to challenge her, making the contest the most crowded of any Chicago ward race in two decades.<br />&nbsp;<br />A judge determined the officers had no probable cause to arrest Dixon and, last month, she filed suit against three of the cops, saying they wrongly accused her. These developments didn&rsquo;t seem to give her big boosts. The mostly African American ward, which includes North Lawndale and parts of other West Side neighborhoods, is struggling with poverty, abandoned lots, unemployment and low high-school graduation rates.<br />&nbsp;<br />Three challengers seemed to have the most support or credibility. One, Ald. Michael Chandler, lost his seat to Dixon despite support from Mayor Daley. In the rematch, Dixon said Chandler ran straw candidates to help force her into a runoff. Chandler denied that accusation. Another strong challenger appeared to be Melissa Williams, a real-estate attorney who has worked for neighborhood housing groups and ex-offenders. She had backing from State Sen. Rickey Hendon. The third was Valerie Leonard, who uses her finance background to help social-service agencies gather government funding. She founded Lawndale Alliance, a community group focused on affordable housing, community development and quality schools.<br />&nbsp;<br />Several other candidates also seemed to have a decent shot: Wallace &ldquo;Mickey&rdquo; Johnson, a former NBA player and former Cook County sheriff&rsquo;s deputy who has a West Side business; Wilbert Cook III, who heads a nonprofit that works to reintegrate ex-offenders into the job market; Chauncey Stroud, who once served as chief of staff for former Ald. Jesse Miller (24th); Donielle Lawson, a Cook County Jail teacher and union delegate; and Frank Bass, who lobbied in Springfield for John Stroger, the late Cook County Board president.<br />&nbsp;<br />The weakest candidates seemed to be Martavius &ldquo;Mark&rdquo; Carter, Sondra &ldquo;Sam&rdquo; Spellman, Vetress Boyce, Julius Anderson, Shavonda Fields, Jimmy Lee Lard, Regina Lewis, Jeffery Turner and Larry Nelson.<br />&nbsp;<br /><strong>25th Ward</strong><br />&nbsp;<br />Ald. Daniel &ldquo;Danny&rdquo; Solís has been Mayor&rsquo;s Daley&rsquo;s closest Latino ally on the City Council for years. In 2007, nevertheless, Solís barely avoided a runoff. This year the incumbent seemed to have an even tougher race.<br />&nbsp;<br />Daley appointed Solís to the seat in 1996 to replace Ald. Ambrosio Medrano, who pleaded guilty in the Operation Silver Shovel scandal and served more than two years in federal prison. Solís was a player in the Hispanic Democratic Organization, Daley&rsquo;s most powerful campaign army until federal authorities started looking into City Hall patronage hiring. Solís also co-founded the United Neighborhood Organization, a group that now runs charter schools.<br />&nbsp;<br />Solís now chairs the council&rsquo;s powerful Zoning Committee. In that post, he helped broker a deal last year that could lead to several new Walmart stores in Chicago.<br />&nbsp;<br />Solís helped open gates to development and gentrification, which angered some residents of Pilsen, one of Chicago&rsquo;s oldest Mexican neighborhoods. The ward also includes Tri-Taylor, Chinatown, and an area near the University of Illinois at Chicago.<br />&nbsp;<br />Solís also took shots for withholding support for proposed city regulation of emissions from two coal-fired power plants, one of which stands in the ward.<br />&nbsp;<br />One of his challengers was Ambrosio &ldquo;Ambi&rdquo; Medrano Jr., a city Department of Transportation worker and son of the former alderman who went to prison. Medrano had backing from organized labor. The other challenger was construction contractor Cuahutémoc &ldquo;Temoc&rdquo; Morfín, an immigrant rights activist who came within a dozen votes of forcing Solís into a runoff in 2007.</p><p><strong>26th Ward</strong></p><p>The 26th ward has one of the youngest candidates on the ballot. 18-year-old Devon Reid is a studying at Wright College to be a high school history teacher. He says his love of history leads naturally to a love of politics. He's going up against an experienced politician, Roberto Maldonado. Maldonado spent 15 years on the Cook County Board of Commissioners before being appointed 26th ward alderman by Mayor Richard Daley in 2009. This is Maldonado's first election for alderman but he's got $200,000 to spend on the race. Reid has raised about $3,000 in cash and in kind contributions. He says most of that has come from his foster family.<br /> <strong><br />32nd Ward</strong><br /> <br />Scott Waguespack was elected to the city council in 2007 and was considered part of a group of new independents who would question and challenge the policies of Mayor Richard Daley. There weren't that many challenges, but Waguespack is one of the aldermen who voted against the now largely reviled parking meter deal. Waguespack says that deal crystalized for voters all the ways city hall isn't working. He says aldermen have focused solely on their wards to the detriment of the citywide issues.<br /> <br />Waguespack is facing a challenge from David Pavlik who currently works in the governor's office of management and the budget. Pavlik is getting support from 33rd Ward Ald. Dick Mell. That's a little awkward because Mell sits next to Waguespack in the city council. Mell says he likes Waguespack, whom he refers to as a &quot;young man,&quot; but Pavlik's mother used to work for Mell so Mell gave her the okay to siphon off any of his political workers who wanted to help her out. Mell's seat is safe because he has no challenger. Mell says he's also dispatched workers to the 41st and 43rd wards, and he's supporting Rey Colon in the 35th. In addition to Pavlik, Waguespack is also trying to fend off challenges from Brian Gorman and Bryan Lynch.</p><p><em>Chip Mitchell and Robert Wildeboer contributed to this report.</em></p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 23:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/12th-ward/west-side-aldermanic-races