Occupy Chicago Gets a Home

Occupy Chicago has secured a new home base to coordinate its winter activities.  The group is leasing two units on the fifth and seventh floors of Riverfront Work Lofts at 500 W. Cermak Road.  …

The fifth-floor unit is nearly 3,400 square feet, while the seventh-floor unit is about 2,500 square feet.  Kaunert said protesters will use the units for office space and not for temporary overnight lodging.  The lease terms were not immediately clear, but a previous post on the group’s website said the combined monthly rent would be about $5,600.

via Chicago Tribune.

This is interesting.  Nearly 7,000 sq-ft for office space?  That could be offices for 100 or more people.  That’s a lot of “office help” for a group of hippies who want to camp in the park.

And who’s funding all this?  $5,600/mo through May is a lot of money for a bunch of kids using Twitter to organize a protest.

Looks like this post had it right.

Ward Remap: Round Two

Alderman Bob Fioretti 2nd Ward, one of eight alderman to vote no on the map, stated in his email newsletter on Thursday that he has no intentions of dropping the issue.

“I believe that new map breaks up communities of interest and includes deviations in population from ward to ward, which may subject it to future legal challenge. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether it will ever go into effect.”

via Gapers Block Mechanics.

I wonder if he needs any legal help with that?

Church Groups Getting Public Money

Here’s something:

Faith-based groups that have become the face of community support for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s controversial plans to lengthen the school day and close failing schools also receive millions of dollars in grants from his administration.

One of the key players touting grass-roots support for Emanuel’s agenda is the Rev. Roosevelt Watkins, a minister and longtime ally of former Mayor Richard Daley who has seen an uninterrupted flow of contracts to provide services to Chicago Public Schools students. …

A roughly one-month, $1 million contract was awarded for this spring to three groups, including HOPE, for a program designed to keep children off the street during school breaks. In June, Emanuel’s then-newly appointed schools CEO, Jean-Claude Brizard, lauded the Safe Haven, Safe Summer program, which the district said involved about 100 churches.In July, Watkins’ group was among 10 community organizations that collectively received a one-year, $6.3 million Safe Passage contract to watch over children going to and from school and to defuse potential conflict, according to public records.

via Chicago Tribune.

If CPS is giving all this money away to religious groups for after school programs then there should be no problem moving to a voucher system and giving CPS money away for during school programs.

This could be the birth of a nice school choice program for the city.


I found a post on Second City Cop about the madness coming this spring.  SCC was concerned that the kids were going to “live without dead time for a month in May and see what happens.”  Hardly a threat.

What I found interesting was their claim that:

On May 1, 50,000 people from all over the world will flock to Chicago, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and #OCCUPYCHICAGO for a month. With a bit of luck, we’ll pull off the biggest multinational occupation of a summit meeting the world has ever seen.

via Adbusters.

Really?!  50,000 protesters?  Do they have any idea what a hotel costs in this town?  Where are they all going to stay?  Oh, wait… they have a plan:

And this time around we’re not going to put up with the kind of police repression that happened during the Democratic National Convention protests in Chicago, 1968 … nor will we abide by any phony restrictions the City of Chicago may want to impose on our first amendment rights.

What exactly are “phoney restrictions”?  Would those be the laws that you simply disagree with?  I see.  Occupy the parks.

And if they don’t listen … if they ignore us and put our demands on the back burner like they’ve done so many times before … then, with Gandhian ferocity, we’ll flashmob the streets, shut down stock exchanges, campuses, corporate headquarters and cities across the globe … we’ll make the price of doing business as usual too much to bear.

The completely misappropriate reference to Gandhi aside; do you think they care at all about the rights of the good hard working people who live here and don’t want them shutting down the streets that we use to pick our kids up from school, get to the hospital, visit our parents?

I think a whole lotta people are going to get hurt.

Illinois Unemployment vs. The Media

Good News!!

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Unemployment dropped to 9.8 percent in Illinois in December, state officials said Friday, a second straight monthly decrease that capped a year in which the jobless rate fell almost a full percentage point from 2010.

via Chicago Tribune.

Or, maybe not:

The unemployment rate in the Chicago area rose to 10.2 percent in December from 9.3 percent a year ago, according to seasonally adjusted figures released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

via Chicago Tribune.

Hummm…  So, I can’t tell if this is good news or bad news.  So I did some searching and found a cool link at CapitalFax.com which led me to a supercool Google tool were one can graph public data.

The unemployment rate for the last 20 years of several mid-western states:

Then check out the same graph for the last 5 years:

Wisconsin and Michigan appear to be heading in the right direction.  Illinois… not so much.