Friday, July 31, 2015

For Family Dollar, there’s big business in the neighborhood | Chicago Reporter

Average Family Dollar store generates $1.3 million in annual revenue. And the company was one of the biggest dollar store chains in the U.S. before rival Dollar Tree acquired it recently for $9.2 billion. The deal created a company with nearly $20 billion in combined sales and more than 13,600 stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. Federal regulators pushed Dollar Tree to sell 330 Family Dollar stores, with a total of nearly $45.5 million in operating income, because they feared the merger would hurt competition in the discount retail sector. About 13 of the affected stores are in Chicago. Sycamore Partners, a private-equity firm, bought the stores and plans to operate them under its Dollar Express store banner.
Not bad for a chain that serves the ‘hood.

Fwd: Fw: GRANT OPPORTUNITY: Violence Against Women Act


Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority CJ Dispatch

July 31, 2015

  Grants will support multidisciplinary victims' response teams across Illinois


The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority is requesting applications for funding to develop and implement programs or expand existing programs that serve victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking with a multidisciplinary team that includes personnel from state's attorney's offices, law enforcement agencies, probation departments, and victim services agencies.

Grants will be made with federal fiscal year 2015 Violence Against Women Act funding awarded to Illinois. About $4 million is available for these programs. Individual grant awards of between $100,000 and $600,000 will be made.

State's attorney's offices, law enforcement agencies, probation offices, and victim services agencies are eligible for funding.

Application deadline: 4:59 p.m., Monday, August 31, 2015. 

Mandatory webinar: All applicants must participate in a webinar hosted by the Authority on Thursday, August 6, 2015. 

View application and instructions and register for webinar>> 



The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority works to improve the administration of Illinois criminal justice in the areas of grants administration, research and analysis, policy and planning, and information systems and technology. Visit us at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.



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My 5th haiku (Private Diary)

Air conditioned rooms/ Summer's popsicle delight/ For the whole body

Thursday, July 30, 2015

4th haiku (Private Diary)

Sunny, summer day/ People and streets bustling/ Sun and smiles shine bright

Jon Stewart, Superboss

Jon Stewart, Superboss
HBR.ORG | JULY 30, 2015

This past February, when Jon Stewart announced his impending retirement from Comedy Central's The Daily Show after sixteen years, the collective mourn... read more


They are unusually intense and passionate—eating, sleeping, and breathing their businesses and inspiring others to do the same.

Can African Americans Use Buying Power To Fight Racism? – Financial Juneteenth

Emanuel defends privatization guidelines - Chicago Tribune

"Three years ago, Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th, introduced his own ordinance for evaluating proposed privatization of city services, but it didn't become law. Sawyer joined Emanuel in sponsoring the new guidelines, even though the alderman's version would have included worker protection standards and other guidelines for privatizing service contracts as small as $250,000. While acknowledging some smaller privatizations of city services would avoid the tougher rules, Sawyer said he thinks the new proposal could halt another bad deal on the scale of the parking meter lease."

City of Chicago budget forum

To realize fruit from your organizing you need to ID funding to pay for reforms you've been working to achieve. Please join us to discuss opportunities in the City of Chicago budget.

Sneed exclusive: Archbishop Cupich requests ride-along with Supt. McCarthy

Sneed exclusive: Archbishop Cupich requests ride-along with Supt. McCarthy


The priest patrol . . .

Sneed is told Archbishop Blase Cupich,who has until recently been publicly low key on the city's gun violence imbroglio, has requested to go on patrol with Police Supt. Garry McCarthy in the city's most violent neighborhoods.

"The archbishop is taking this issue very seriously and has been doing his due diligence," said a top Sneed source.

"He and Superintendent McCarthy have had several conversations," said a top cop source.

"McCarthy was just given permission by his doctors recently to go back on full-time patrol since his heart attack last June, and was back on patrol July 4th," the source added.

Word is Cupich, who also recently invited McCarthy to dine with him, has been gathering input on the city's escalating gun violence from experts in the field and what role the church should play.

Cupich's visit to inmates at Cook County Jail and his statement at a news conference Tuesday of support on a gun ban in Catholic churches throughout the archdiocese "highlights his considerable concern about the issue," the source said.


Although Cupich, who was named the head of Chicago's Catholic flock last year, was unclear Tuesday on just what the archdiocese's gun policy actually was — the Rev. Michael Pfleger, the fiery peace priest who heads the South Side's largest black Catholic church — was very clear on the issue.

Pfleger, who unsuccessfully lobbiedCardinal Francis George to declare churches gun-free zones (Sneed scoop Aug. 1, 2014), tells Sneed:

"I just e-mailed Archbishop Cupich this week to come to St. Sabina's and talk to us about the gun violence issue.

"When I read in the Sun-Times [Cupich] supported a church gun ban, I was delighted. I am now hoping he will announce plans to make it an official policy in the archdiocese here at St. Sabina's. It's a major thing to do! It could set precedence for the entire country.

"I was not successful in getting Cardinal George to do so because he told me there were priests who argued against it, priests who apparently believed in the right to carry a concealed weapon in church.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

U.S. Mayors Say Ferguson Could Happen To Us - Ben Wofford - POLITICO Magazine

"... urban public schools—widely identified by experts as the key to improvement of neighborhood conditions, racial equity and social mobility—won't offer a solution anytime soon, according to large majorities of mayors who also expressed deep dissatisfaction with the state of their city's public education systems, citing lack of funding, high drop-out rates and racial segregation as their leading causes of concern."

Read more:

Monday, July 27, 2015

My 2nd Haiku (Private Diary)

Listening to jazz/On a summer evening/These cats are jamming

The unexpected and ingenious strategy of Obama's second term - Vox

Obama is sidestepping Congress with more aggressive, more polarizing actions. To put it another way, he's prioritizing the liberal policy outcomes he promised in the 2008 campaign above the compromise-oriented political approach he promised in the 2008 campaign.

Chicago's Million Dollar Blocks

A war on neighborhoods

We hand out harsh sentences for all types of offenses. We give these sentences, overwhelmingly, to Chicagoans who live in our segregated, low-income neighborhoods on the west and south sides. This amounts to a war on neighborhoods.

Millions Committed to Incarceration, 2005-2009

Millions allocated to incarcerate residents on individual city blocks

In Chicago, over a 5 year period from 2005-2009, there were:

851 blocks

with over $1 million committed to prison sentences

121 blocks

with over $1 million committed to prison sentences for non-violent drug offenses

This is wasteful spending at its worst, especially given that research has shown that incarceration does not necessarily reduce crime in neighborhoods.

The good news is that there are many innovative, common-sense, and creative approaches being used elsewhere in the United States to expand the menu of options for public safety

My first haiku (Private Diary)

Late summertime night/Cool, dark, near deserted streets/Hoping for peace please

Chicago tops in fatal police shootings among big U.S. cities | Chicago

Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority, or IPRA, has investigated nearly 400 police shootings — fatal and nonfatal — since 2007 and found only one to be unjustified

°Chicago police shot 240 people from 2010 through 2014, or an average about one per week, according to interviews and records. That was more than other departments examined by the BGA, though Los Angeles, New York and Phoenix provided incomplete data on overall police shootings, or data on fatal shootings only.

°Since 2010, the city of Chicago has paid $26.7 million to families of victims who were shot and killed by police, according to interviews and records. That includes a $5 million payment to the family of Laquan McDonald, the teen who was fatally shot 16 times by police last October. An FBI spokeswoman says a criminal investigation of that shooting is ongoing.

°Blacks are about a third of Chicago's population but accounted for at least two-thirds, or 46, of the 70 people killed by police from 2010 to 2014, IPRA records show.

°Forty-one, or 59 percent, of Chicago's 70 fatal shootings, happened in the Calumet, Deering, Englewood, Grand Crossing, Gresham and Morgan Park police districts.

Last year, the BGA reported that, over a decade, the city spent more than $500 million on police misconduct-related legal claims, including those involving police shootings.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Can Chicago Public Schools transform itself? - Opinion - Crain's Chicago Business

July 25, 2015


Is CPS up to the job of transforming itself?Comments Email Print



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Chicago Public Schools Chicago Transit Authority City of Chicago More +

Photo by AP ImagesForrest Claypool, center, addressing reporters after being named CEO of Chicago Public Schools.

If a reality TV production shop were to create a series about the world's toughest jobs, one of its first episodes would be shot at the headquarters of Chicago Public Schools. CEO Forrest Claypool, a former chief of the Chicago Transit Authority andgovernment fixer extraordinaire, is being handed the keys to the district's 664 schools, but he might as well be handed a mop: There's a mess years in the making to clean up. And there's no time to waste.

Not only must Claypool immediately face a $1.11 billion budget gap; he has only a few weeks to patch things up with a quarrelsome teachers union so Chicago schools can open on time in September. He also must swiftly revisit $60 million in cuts to classroom funds rammed through by the previous leadership and ferret out questionable contracts, like the one that cost his predecessor, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, her job and made her the center of a federal corruption probe. And that's just a start.

Really fixing CPS requires a long-term strategy and a top-down reorganization—a prerequisite if CPS ever is going to stop being a major reason the city's middle-class tax base leaks to the suburbs. A transparent five-year budget plan grounded in real math and not crafted in a fog of crisis intervention and hysterics would be a good place to start. So would a diet for the central office, a customer-service approach to parents and thoughtful responses to divisive issues such as charter schools, high-stakes testing and selective enrollment. While we're at it, wouldn't it be great if the revamped school board put away the rubber stamps and engaged in some meaningful public debate once in a while?

Of course, this will require straight talk—something CPS never has been good at—as well as more cuts that no one will like. But let's be clear: While Claypool was tasked with this job, success or failure depends as well on Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who handpicks the school board. If Chicago wants to be a world-class city, its schools need to be world-class, too. Higher graduation rates, a longer school day and expanded pre-K are admirable first steps, but an overall strategy has to exist—and the math behind it has to work.

It's a tough job. Claypool and Emanuel now have a chance to show they're up to it.

WRITE US: Crain's welcomes responses from readers. Letters should be as brief as possible and may be edited. Send letters to Crain's Chicago Business, 150 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago Ill. 60601, or by e-mail to Please include your complete name and the city from which you are writing, as well as a daytime telephone number for fact-checking purposes.

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The M.I.T. Gang - The New York Times

Friday, July 24, 2015

Black & Female in Chicago: How the Fate of Sandra Bland Hits Home « CBS Chicago

Candidate for assassination - Inspirational Message By James A. Washington

"...most of the Bible was written from a jail cell... Jesus was the quintessential revolutionary. It still amazes me how such principles of unconditional universal love for humankind got Him killed. And then it always hits me that this kind of philosophy will ultimately attack and undermine entrenched institutionalized power of all kinds..."

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Castro: In America, geography has consequences

"A ZIP code should never prevent people from reaching their aspirations. That's why the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has taken an important step to promote greater access to quality, affordable housing for all Americans. We published a final rule updating the process by which local communities use HUD funding to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing — a key provision of the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

When this landmark law was passed 47 years ago, it boldly declared that all Americans deserve an equal chance to access safe, affordable housing near quality schools, transportation and jobs — no matter who they are, what they look like, how they worship or where they are from. As part of this effort, the Fair Housing Act required local governments and states that receive HUD funding to use it to promote fair housing and expand access to opportunities. That's why we've published this rule, to simplify that process and provide better partnership to local leaders working to put opportunity within reach of every resident they serve.

In this age of limited resources, communities are often operating without the data and tools they need to chart the landscape of opportunity in their area and craft locally tailored plans to achieve their goals.

HUD's new effort will provide these resources. It will empower mayors, county officials, and community members with publicly-open data and tools to eliminate the barriers that block many Americans from getting ahead in life. As a former mayor, I know how valuable these resources are for communities."

Inside Chicago's Endless Cycle of Gun Violence | Rolling Stone

Mass shootings in Aurora, Newtown and Charleston drum up the national gun debate, but any given holiday weekend with decent weather in Chicago sees similar devastation. Fourth of July weekend this summer left 65 shot and 10 dead, including the seven-year-old son of a gang leader. Memorial Day weekend 2012: 51 shot, 11 killed. Fourth of July weekend 2013: 74 shot, 12 dead. Easter weekend 2014: 45 shot, nine fatalities. In anticipation of Fourth of July weekend last year, hundreds of extra officers patrolled the city's most violent areas. "What were the results?" Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy asked afterward. "The results were a lot of shootings and a lot of murders, unfortunately." In three and a half days, 82 people were shot and 14 were killed.

Chicago police recover seven times as many guns as New York City cops and more than twice as many as those in Los Angeles. Unsurprisingly, Chicago's gun-related homicide rate is three times larger than New York and over twice that of L.A. Yale sociologist Andrew Papachristos found the average annual homicide rate during a recent decade in one West Side Chicago neighborhood was 64 per 100,000 people, nearly the casualty rate for civilians in Iraq during the height of the war (hence the nickname "Chiraq"). In 2012, the year Mikey was shot, Chicago was the only city in America to surpass 500 homicides.      

Read more: 
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Black Time Travel | DEA Agent says he was told not to arrest white people for drugs

War on Drugs=War on Black Community?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


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 Bring Your Ideas To The
Bronzeville Regional Collective
in a conversation about community benefits agreements
for south side communities impacted by the


an info and working session

July 23, 2015
6:00 - 7:30

See Documentation Below

Drexel YMCA
6200 S. Drexel

Call Naomi Davis for more information

  Come Stand In Solidarity,
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