Tuesday, November 26, 2013

LV Community Meeting, Ald. George Cardenas [12th Ward], Farragut ROTC Cadets, New Park in Little Village, Veterans Day, Benito Morales, Movie Trailer Cesar Chavez, Happy Thanksgiving

          COMMUNITY MEETING: The Little Village Community Council and the Helping Others Progress Economically (H.O.P.E.) organizations are hosting a Little Village community meeting. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 10, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Good Shepherd Church, 2735 S. Kolin Ave. for the purpose of hearing from Ald. Ricardo Munoz [22nd Ward].  Ald. Munoz has been invited to speak with residents and business owners on the housing project at 26th St. & Kostner Ave. Residents have several unanswered questions regarding the project in Little Village and it is our hope to get those questions answered. The residents of the Little Village community have a right to know what is happening in their Ward; and Ald. Munoz is obligated to share his ideas and plans with residents. Residents of Little Village mark your calendar and tell your neighbors.
Ald. George Cardenas [12th Ward] surrounded by ROTC
Cadets from Farragut Career Academy in Little Village
Aldermen George Cardenas [12th Ward] held a fund-raiser at John Barleycorn Restaurant in downtown Chicago on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. Special guests were ROTC cadets from Farragut Career Academy, who recently won a contest on a good green environmental product. “We want these young students to understand the value of a good and safe environment,” said Ald. Cardenas. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn were invited guests. The event was festive with plenty of food and refreshments. 
          NEW PARK:  Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. George Cardenas held a “Groundbreaking” ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013 for a new Little Village Park at 31st St. & Albany Ave.
          THE PARK, located on the east side of Little Village in the 12th Ward, features a baseball and soccer field, a skate park, a basketball court and other amenities.
          UNDER THE leadership of Ald. Cardenas and Little Village Environmental Justice Organization's former Executive Director Kimberly Wasserman, were instrumental in making the new park a reality in Little Village. Chicago Park District spokeswomen Michele Lemons said the plans were shaped after “extensive” outreach; and the community had already given the current plan its “stamp of approval.” 
Benito Morales, WWII Veteran
          VETERAN DAY: Members of the Manuel Perez Jr. American Legion Post 1017 held its annual Veteran’s Day ceremony Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 at the Manuel Perez Jr. Memorial Plaza, 26th St. & Kolin Ave. The rainy day didn’t stop the veterans or guests from paying homage to fallen comrades. Each year veterans gather to salute on 11-11-11 [November, the 11th month of the year; on the 11th Day of the month and at 11:00 o’clock a.m. on Veteran's  day] to face east, at attention, and salute while army taps are playing.
           POST COMMANDER Joe Ramirez made brief remarks and presented awards to special guests.  State Rep. Lisa Hernandez was the only public official at the ceremony. Recognition was given to Benito Morales, 90, an Army World War II veteran. After the ceremony the veterans and guests enjoyed tamales and refreshments at the America Legion Post Headquarters, 27th St. & Hamlin Ave.

Cesar E. Chavez

          MOVIE TRAILER: Watch the Cesar Chavez; An American Hero movie trailer, scheduled to be released 2014, on YouTube. Actor Michael Pena, 37, portrays Cesar Chavez as an unrelenting union organizer for the farm workers. It was Chavez and Dolores Huerta’s leadership that organized the United Farm Workers Union of America. Actor Pena was born in Chicago and graduated from Hubbard High School. Pena’s father was from Villa Purificacion, Jalisco and his mother was from Charcas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico. I highly recommend seeing this movie next year. 

                            HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Secret Meetings, Public Housing Project, No Public Announcements, Mexican Neighborhood, Arch in Little Village

          SECRET MEETINGS: As President of the Little Village Community Council, I have been asked by many residents, homeowners and local business people in Little Village about a rumor. The rumor is that a public housing project is proposed on the northwest corner at 26th St. & Kostner Ave. in Little Village. The question is why hasn’t Alderman, Ricardo Munoz [22nd], informed the community?
          MY INITIAL RESPONSE was I have not been contacted by Ald. Munoz or anyone involved with this project. I am unaware of it and, more importantly, there have not been any public announcements about the project.
          AS OF THIS DATE, Alderman, Ricardo Munoz [22nd], has not held any public meetings to inform the community about this housing project proposal.
           WHAT I’ve heard is that meetings are being held in Little Village with a select group of people; and the owners of the property are Mercy Housing Inc., based in Denver, Colorado. Also, Linda Brace, Mercy Housing VP of Real Estate Development, has been meeting with members of Enlace, Erie House organizations and others. They are non-residents, non-homeowners and non-business people who are meeting with Brace to gain support for Mercy’s housing project.
          AGAIN, I emphasize, there has not been any public announcements about these meetings by Ald. Munoz, Mercy Housing, Enlace or Erie House; nothing in the Latino newspapers or media. The Little Village Community Council, LV 26TH St. Chamber of Commerce, Manuel Perez Jr. American Legion Post 1017, the Universidad Popular organizations have not been invited to participate in any of these discussions. The Little Village Environmental Justice Organization has expressed some concerns regarding asbestos in the old buildings located on 26th St. & Kostner Ave. property and contamination of the grounds. This location is considered a Brown field site and the correct clean-up is required.
          LIVING in Little Village are predominantly Mexicans. This is a fact, and it cannot be disputed. Little Village is the largest Mexican neighborhood in Chicago and in the Midwest. It is also a fact that Little Village has a viable commercial business strip down 26th Street. Thriving Mexican businesses stretch from Sacramento Ave. west to Kostner Ave. on 26th St. and overflowing onto surrounding streets. Mexicans have an entrepreneurial spirit. The concern of the residents and businesses is the preservation of our Mexican culture.
Historic Mexican Arch in Little Village
          ON WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6, 2013, Alderman Munoz was scheduled be at a Little Village Community Council meeting for the purpose of reporting the housing project to the residents. Munoz never made it to the meeting; a meeting he had committed himself to a week earlier. An hour before the meeting Munoz called me and said he might not be able to attend. He told me he was at an immigration rally downtown and would probably be arrested. I asked him if he was arrested, Munoz said, “Yes, but I will call you back within a half-hour”. He did not call back. Later I found out he was not arrested.
           THE 25 people who anxiously waited for Ald. Munoz at Wednesday’s evening meeting were Little Village residents, business owners, homeowners and others. They all wanted to hear about the Little Village housing project. Even without Munoz’s presence, people expressed their concerns about safety, property value, residency and crime. At the meeting, I read a letter I sent to Linda Brace informing her the position of LVCC; LVCC advocates home ownership.
           PRESENTLY, Little Village residents continue to be in the dark. I heard Ald. Munoz is saying that this issue is “political?!” In reality, this issue is about information and the lack of it. Every homeowner and every business owner in Little Village must always protect their property and investment                 POLITICALLY. As the Alderman, Munoz has an obligation to inform his constituency about this huge project. A project he proposed for the ward. He must not keep this project a secret, but be honest and tell Little Village residents everything he knows about it.
          THE LITTLE Village Community Council wants to host a Public Forum in order for Ald. Munoz to report on the housing project to all of the residents of Little Village. We await Munoz’s reply.

          TO contact Ald. Ricardo Munoz call 773/762-1771.