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The Montclare Supportive Living Community – November Black Fridays

ABLA tenants, Bethel Church, and activists against CHA land lease 20 years ago, CHA forced tenants out promised to rebuild affordable housing


20 years ago, CHA forced tenants out, promised to rebuild affordable housing

On Sunday October 2, 2022, the Bethel Mennonite Community Church hosted a meeting with ABLA housing residents, and Affordable Housing Activists to discuss CHA’s (Chicago Housing Authority) obligation to build housing for ABLA residents. A decision by the CHA and the City of Chicago to lease, now vacant land to the Chicago Fire Soccer team for a training facility was the reason for the meeting.
It still needs final approval from HUD. But the group hopes to stop the process because of a reversal of the city council zoning committee as stated by Bethel’s Pastor Tony Bianchi. Pastor Bianchi said, “Six years, ago we submitted a proposal to be given a chance to build affordable housing that was needed at ABLA. During the time the previous CHA head left and the city’s administration changed. We found out they wanted to rezone the area for a training facility.. The plan we submitted also created highly skilled employment training in robotics.” The group also said more affordable housing would be a better economic boom for the area along with market rate tenants they would have economic spending needs. “The projected economic impact equals $5 billion dollars of shopping dollars vs building some grass where about 80 people come twice a week about $200,000, They just want the tax credits” said Bethel consultant Derric Price.
According to the group the CHA has used unscrupulous tactics, where it promised build affordable housing but hasn’t deliver.
As reported by Pro Publica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism, “thousands of families were forced to move out of the ABLA Homes public housing complex two decades ago, Chicago and federal leaders promised they would be able to come back to new housing and a revitalized community on the city’s Near West Side.”
Once populated with 17,000 residents, spanning from Cabrini Street on the north end to 15th Street on the south end, and from Blue Island Avenue on the east end to Ashland Avenue on the west end, It was the 2nd largest 2nd largest housing project next to Robert Taylor and Cabrini-Green and more occupants than Cabrini-Green. “It now has only about 300 units, stated Dr. Derrick Price consultant for the group. It is estimated over 700 residents live there now. In a CHA report from 2019, 1153 ABLA families (not including Loomis Courts) have a right of return with 63% having been satisfied.
The residents, the church, and affordable housing activists are aggravated because CHA had promised to restore affordable housing to the land and now have reversed their promise. There are also accusations of a shady process. The city council first denied the project for the soccer training facility in a city council zoning committee meeting. But that was soon reversed with several aldermen switching their votes in a subsequent meeting the next day just 30 minutes before the general city council meeting. Even Ald Beale who isn’t opposed to the plan but stated about the process, “Yesterday this item was voted down in committee, just yesterday. So why do we have a committee, if we recess, reconvene, to circumvent the vote that happened yesterday?”
Stated Derrick Price, the CHA was supposed to contact the residents and the community in general that is impacted. But that there were targeted meetings a selected few who were notified.
The sale of housing land for a soccer field is not the highest and best use of the site, it’s 100% fraud and unconscionable according to Derric Price, President of African American Community Trust, the strategic think tank for community financial empowerment.
“This is a Backroom Mayor Lightfoot’s Deal, and it’s not necessary, because the city has other land to cut grass for a soccer training field, instead of giving away housing land. The Chicago Fire soccer is paying pennies per foot for the land, and building the training center office with taxpayer’s money, it’s unbelievable,” stated Mr. Price.
“The next generation must be taught what “evil public servant actions” look like. It’s not just the Mayor Lightfoot, actions, but Alderman Jason Irving, Billionaire Joe Mansueto, and employees at his company Morningstar, and the players of Chicago Fire, they are all participating in this evil political and money stunt.
The Millennials and Generation Z must be taught that Freedom is not free, that we must fight to build decent neighborhoods and housing. Unfortunately, we must still fight the petty money-hungry, political bought and sell-out Negro elite,” stated Mr. Price.
A training field, instead of giving away housing land. The Chicago Fire soccer is paying pennies per foot for the land, and building the training center office with taxpayer’s money, it’s unbelievable,” stated Mr. Price.
Congressman Danny Davis brokered several meeting between CHA, the ABLA residents, and the Bethel Mennonite Bethel Church, and affordable housing activists. Stated the Congressman “ I really tried to work an agreement between the City of Chicago and the Bethel Mennonite church and ABLA tenants, and community housing activists. When I became awhere of the conflict we set up meetings between the Mennonite church and the Chicago Housing Authority to see if we couldn’t get some agreement to where they both could be what they wanted to be. Then the CHA maintains the city, owns the land. It the CHA’s property but the CHA is the city. Whatever is going to happen its not going to happen unless both want it to happen.” He also said HUD (US Housing and Urban Development) said it wasn’t there decision to make. His last meeting with both entities the Congressman tried to broker an agreement where both developments could find appropriate land and where the church could build affordable housing.
Mary Rush who has been an ABLA resident for over 50 years said, “There needs to be a change. I am running for President of the Local Advisory Council (LAC) of the ABLA CHA for the residents that want housing back in the neighborhood. All of my children were born over here. I want to hold CHA accountable for bringing our houses back. I was fortunate enough to have the right to return. There are others out there that don’t. There are seniors here that have been here for over 60 years out there that deserve a home. I am running to get our homes back not give it away.”
Emma Arnold is a lifelong ABLA resident. She is running for office as a vice-president of the LAC. She feels having lived in the ABLA homes all her life qualifies her to represent the others that are living their and those who want to return but can’t because of the affordable housing shortage at ABLA homes.
Bethel Mennonite Community Church are hosting community townhalls on the issue every Sunday at 3:00 pm. They are asking ABLA residents and supporters who believe and want to fight for affordable housing to help in the fight. The church is located at 1434 S Laflin Street.

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Lawndale 5K Saturday October 1, 2022

Danny K. Davis 43rd Annual Back to School Picnic, Parade, & Caravan on Saturday, August 20

Lawndale 5k

Dr. Willie Wilson: Servant

Millionaire philanthropist, Dr. Willie Wilson, who has a backstory from sharecropper, to owning 5 McDonalds franchises to an international medical supply owner has a goal to help Chicagoans by becoming its next mayor.

By Professor Zaki Amir

2023 will be Dr. Wilson’s third attempt to win the mayoral contest and his reason is, “I want the people to know that I‘m running for them. I’m not a politician. In the beginning I was a sharecropper. I now have a worldwide international company and 100% of the money we make goes to help people.” Adding, “I don’t want anything from the city except to help,” emphasizing that he funds and has funded all of his political campaigns.

He went on to say,” The politicians they owe one another, they sign off from their parties. I don’t take any money from anyone, I’m strictly independent, concluding with the statement, “There is nothing the city could give me or that I would take for being a public servant.”

Dr. Willie Wilson pumping gas during free gas giveaway sponsored by him at Marathon Gas Station located 340 S Sacramento Blvd. Over 48 gas stations throughout the city and suburbs provided gas totaling over 1.2 million dollars.

February 2023 is the election for the mayor of Chicago and Dr. Willie Wilson has entered his hat into the race once again. His first attempt at the mayoral position was in 2015 against mayor Rahm Emanuel where he came in third out of five candidates. For those politicos, he declared his intention for President of the United States and was on the ballot in several states during the 2016 primaries.

He ended his campaign in April on 12, 2016 and two years later in 2018 entered his hat into the ring for mayor not garnering enough votes in to make it to the runoff. In addition, challenges to the candidature petitions of several black candidates caused the Wilson campaign to be criticized for challenging petitions.

August of 2019 he decided to challenge Senator Dick Durbin for his senatorial seat. Starting out as an independent, he

Dr. Willie Wilson provded free food coupons of $25 to shoppers at Cermak Fresh Markets throughout the city totaling $80,000. This Cermak Fresh Market located at 3311 W 26th St. had plenty of people in line grateful for the gift of help provided by Dr. Wilson.

formally created his own party, the “Willie Wilson Party.” He got 4% statewide finishing third with the most support coming from Afrodescendant wards getting 18.5% of the votes, outpacing Mark Curran his Republican opponent who got only 4% compared to Senator Durbin who got 75.9 % as the incumbent.

Dr. Wilson has been accused of trying to buy votes and spoke to that accusation by replying, “In the past two to three months, I’ve been giving gas, groceries and hope to the people who need it the most.”

He said that he has given away approximately 5.2 million dollars to lend a hand to the 77 communities in the city and suburbs that need assistance in this economic atmosphere where it’s getting harder and harder to put food on the table and remain current with bills. He has also given money and Covid-19 slupplies to other cities, and to Ukraine. His history of giving has made news since 1996 to a front page article in the Wallstreet journal..

Asked directly why a voter should vote for him, he replied, “So many things are going wrong in Chicago, crime is so high, people are afraid in their own homes, they are concerned with home break-ins, being carjacked when driving and other problems like very high taxes and even lack of respect for the mayor, the police and city officials in general.”

Based on his career as a successful businessman, he was a McDonald’s franchise owner with 5 stores that he sold to start Omar Medical Supplies importing and distributing latex gloves and other medical and safety supplies and equipment sorely needed in this time of an international Covid-19 pandemic that appears to be unstoppable.

He is also a recognizable personage due to the syndicated Gospel program known as Singsation, winner of a Chicago Midwestern Emmy Award in 2012. Deacon Wilson has some government experience as the Chairman of the Governor’s Task Force on Fair Practices in Contracting. And as an appointee to Governor-elect Bruce Rauner’s transition team, in 2014. He is not a political amateur.

Specifically pressed on how he would make the city better, he said, “We have the responsibility to hold everyone accountable for what they are doing, and I want to start with the teachers, from grade school through high school into college. Even community centers in the neighborhood, they have to do a much better job with the students so that they can take care of themselves after they graduate.”

He then advanced the thought of “trade schools” as he continued by saying, “In order to stop crime, you have to put things in place so that people can make a good honest living. By putting trades in place you get to the root of the problem. When a person can do something for themselves, they are much more able to avoid getting in trouble and going to jail.” He then began to speak about recidivism.

“Offering a skill or trade to those that are incarcerated helps them as they become apprentices and look forward to employment when they are released. With a trade or a skill, they won’t need to return to making money illegally, by selling drugs or robbing someone.”

Focusing on the need for change in Chicago, he said, “Grants should be set aside for young people and those that are unemployed and especially those newly released from jail or prison to work for the city. Programs in the construction area, painting government buildings, repairing public housing facilities or in plumbing for CHA is something that is not impossible, is it; he asked before continuing with this comment,

“The CTA belongs to the city and has lots of employees. It is a place that is able to offer many jobs, and there should be more aggressive business opportunities sponsored by the city for those that need help. Mentors from the business sector should be added and a quarterly review of the programs should be done to make sure they are doing the right thing because money can be a real temptation to some people”

Dr. Willie Wilson began to end the interview with these words, “As mayor of Chicago, I would authorize that there be four Police Superintendents rather than just the one to bring about improved services for the people of the city.”

In response to him being a politician, he declared, “No, I’m a servant and I like to look at myself and pattern myself after Christ. He worked with the poor and needy and the Bible says blessed is he that considereth the poor.



Chicago Summer dance is back

Have you applied for your prepaid gas cards of $150 or your transit cards of $50 to eligible residents across the city?

  • Chicago Moves will issue up to 50,000 prepaid gas cards of $150 and 100,000 prepaid transit cards of $50 to eligible residents across the city.
  • The transit cards may be used to purchase fare for public transportation purposes at Ventra vending machines located at CTA stations, Ventra retail locations located across the city or digitally via the Ventra website or mobile appUse of the gas card will be limited to the purchase of gas at pumps located at any filling station within the City of Chicago.
  • 75% of these cards will prioritize residents in community areas that face higher mobility hardship.
  • The remaining 25% of cards will be distributed citywide in equal amounts to each ward.
  • Applications for Chicago Moves will open on April 27, 2022, and cards will be distributed every month from May through September.
  • The Lottery will be conducted in the second week of May – September. To be considered for each month’s lottery, applications must be submitted by the first day of that month.

ONLINE:  at Chicago.Gov/ChicagoMoves

IN-PERSON:  at any Chicago Public Library Location

You CANNOT apply at City Hall.

BY MAIL:  Send a letter containing a completed application (pdf) to:
ATTN: Dept. of Finance: Chicago Moves
121 N. LaSalle St., 7th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

You CANNOT apply at City Hall. 



Chicago residents who meet all of the following eligibility requirements are eligible to participate:
• You reside in the City of Chicago AND
• You are 18 years of age or older AND
• You have experienced economic hardship related to COVID-19 AND
• Your household income level falls at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level
The Federal Poverty Level is an income measure used by the government to determine eligibility for programs. It is based on household size – larger households will have higher income cutoffs than smaller households. If you are unsure about whether or not your household qualifies, you can use the following table to estimate.

• For individuals: $33,975
• For a family of 2: $45,775
• For a family of 3: $57,575
• For a family of 4: $69,375
• For a family of 5: $81,175
• For a family of 6: $92,975
• For a family of 7: $104,775
• For a family of 8: $116,575
• For a family of 9+: Add $11,800 for each extra person
City employees, full or part-time and households including City employees, are not eligible to apply under this program.