GWNA Newsletter, May 30, 2017

 

SWAT Raid on CHA Property—4425 N Malden

 

Thanks to the News-Star publication for the front page story on the SWAT team raid of CHA 4425 N Malden criminal housing where the Sims brothers have operated their gang house for years.

 

The Chicago police in full SWAT gear and federal drug enforcement authorities raided the home of Jabri Sims, 18, and Jordan Sims, 21, in the 4400 block of N. Malden (4425 N Malden exact address) around 3:45 pm on May 16, according to a source.

 

05.17.17 Booster WEB copy

 

The article raises several critical issues—why has the female on the lease, Tracy Sims, not been evicted after years of allowing her sons to operate their violent gang and drug house operations out of this CHA unit?  Why has Jordan Sims, who was released the next day, been allowed to move right back in with mom? Why doesn’t HUD hold the CHA in contempt for not enforcing HUD policies and regulations?

 

Many Uptown residents have been asking why the CHA won’t follow their own written policies and evict known gang members

And their supporters out of CHA buildings? And wondering if criminal housing statutes can be used against the CHA?

 

Ask this man—CHA CEO Eugene Jones—public safety standards start at the top.

04.12.16 – Chicago, IL – Headshots of CEO Eugene Jones, Jr.

 

The last GWNA issued covered the story on Jones being ousted from the Toronto Community Housing Corp for abysmal failure of leadership.

Shortly after his ousting, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Jones as CHA CEO—go figure the common sense of that decision. Maybe we should be asking the mayor the same questions.

 

We will continue our campaign for public safety and enforcement of safe housing policies. 4425 N Malden is the tip of the criminal housing problems plaguing our Sheridan Park public safety.

 

Stay tuned…

 

04.12.16 – Chicago, IL – Headshots of CEO Eugene Jones, Jr.

Who is this man? And why should you care?  Eugene Jones Jr., the current CHA CEO pictured above, was a no-show at the May 2nd CAPS  meeting. After confirming at 4PM he would attend the CAPS meeting, Jones failed to attend. Instead Jones sent Anthony Powell, CHA Security Director. And Eric Cato, Kates Detective & Security, Senior Director to take the heat from the crowd.   Residents’ anger has reached an all-time high with the uptick in weekly gang shootings, murders and public street vigils to honor their gang members slain on Sheridan Park streets.

 

Residents’ anger and frustration stems from the gangs’ growing violence and gun battles on our streets—even though it’s a known fact many of the gangs operate out of identified CHA and Voice of the People properties. One of the worst properties is CHA 4425 N Malden where the Sims brothers have terrorized the neighborhood for years. For years.  The oldest Sims brother, Greg Sims, was shot to death on September 6, 2016, on Wilson and Kenmore. The Sims 18 year old twin brothers, James and Jabri, have taken the Black P Stone gang leader reins.  And continue to operate their gang HQ out of CHA 4425 N Malden.

 

Over and over, residents made their pleas for solutions. One of the most passionate stories was told by a woman who lives in the CHA 4425 N Malden property. As she began, her voice and anxiety increasing, pointing to Eric Kato and Anthony Powell, “I can’t let my children play outside. I am at the hospital all the time for my high blood pressure. I don’t sleep at night with the gangs constantly coming and going, slamming the gate and conducting their business all night long. I have talked to you and everyone in the office to do something. And nothing gets done.”

 

So why has the CHA failed so abysmally to honor its mandate of well managed, safe housing? And deal effectively by evicting tenants like the Sims who are not compliant with their lease?   The CHA has a long history of poor leadership and management turnover. Eugene Jones is but the latest CHA CEO who apparently lacks the leadership skills to tackle deeply endemic management issues.

 

Jones was nominated as acting CHA CEO by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in June 2014—despite the fact that just one year earlier Jones was forced out of his job as Toronto Community Housing Corporation CEO.  A scathing 111-page report cited Jones’ “abject failure of leadership” with multiple examples for his ousting.  Click here to read Toronto Star article—Gene Jones to lead Chicago Housing Authority.

 

Why did Emanuel appoint Jones as acting CHA CEO after Toronto Community Housing let him go?

 

Ironically—in the middle of the night following this CAPS meeting.  A series of gun shots once again blasted our neighborhood at 1:30 am.

This time, gang members on the porch of Voice of the People 4431 N Racine property, returned gun fire to rival gang members shooting at them from the street. Police arrived quickly, but were not able to enter the property because the gang members sitting on the Voice of People porch would not let them enter.  Turns out one of the 4431 N Racine tenants sons was recently released from prison and moved back in with mom.

 

~ How do we change tactics and stand up for our rights to live in a peaceful community?

~ How do we hold the CHA and Voice of the People accountable?

~ Time to demand a full housing inventory in Sheridan Park?  Yes.

~ Time to demand full compliance and enforcement of tenant leases? Yes

 

Coming in our next GWNA newsletter…

Short survey on proposed Wilson Ave changes and businesses

Save the date for Sheridan Park Block Club party and Yard Sale

Sheridan Park Gangs’ Shooting Rampage Continues

 

The gangs continued shooting up our streets this Saturday just before 5PM.  A male teen was shot in the head on the 4400 block of Magnolia. Just south of the Broncho Billy Playlot.  No suspects in custody.  Victim in critical condition.

Click to read DNA info article.

 

Public safety 911 call group eye witnesses observed Jabri Sims, running back to CHA 4425 N Malden unit, where he and his brother James operate their Black P Stone gang headquarters operation.

 

The CHA 4425 N Malden property has been at the top of our CRIME HIGH ALERT list for years.  CHA’s failure to deal with the Sims brothers continues to jeopardize our public safety every day. We, as a community, demand the CHA reform their housing policies. Or lose their properties.

 

CAPS meeting, Tuesday, May 2—Come one, Come all

 

Folks are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore. We all live with the consequences of the CHA and other subsidized housing providers that don’t seem to have a clue about dealing with their gang tenants.  The time has come for rapid reform.

CAPS meeting—Tuesday, May 2. 6:30 PM

Courtenay School—Main Entrance on Beacon, first door north of Montrose with intercom

 

GWNA April Members Meeting —Change is happening rapidly, Voice your Views

Thanks to Brian, owner of Emerald City Coffee, for hosting our April 19th block club meeting.

We had a great turnout and good conversations on many community topics/issues. Also thanks to Alderman Cappleman and Caitlin from his staff.

 

MEETING HIGHLIGHTS….

 

Public safety remains a key issue. Magnolia north of Wilson was closed twice on Saturday, April 15, with more gun fire and shootings around the Magnolia and Leland intersection. Apparently the problem buildings with tenants behaving badly have been identified. Public Safety 911 members have been in touch with the property owners and managers. Stay tuned.

 

Wilson Underline Public Plaza  Alderman Cappleman has called Doral Carter, CTA president, and officially requested a public meeting to resolve the CTA points of contention on establishing a public plaza around the Wilson L and Sunnyside substation.  The Wilson Underline community-driven project

www.wilsonunderline.com is alive and well.  The Open Space Impact Fee funds, OSIF, has over $300,000 available to fund the initial phases of the Wilson Underline project.   We hope to apply for these funds very soon to jumpstart the Wilson Underline project.

 

Package Goods Liquor Store proposal at former site of Sheridan Park Liquors. Two gentlemen and their attorney presented their proposal to open another package liquor store at 1255 W Wilson.  We had a good discussion on would this store have any additional value-added offerings. Not really. We agreed the community, through a Sheridan Park survey, would determine if we want and would support another package liquor store opening at

1255 W. Wilson. Survey will be up and running shortly.

 

Kalish owner, Andy Kalish, made a plea for metered parking.  Andy Kalish requested metered parking along the strip of Wilson frontage by Kalish and his soon to open new restaurants.  When asked about the new restaurant concepts, Andy was slim on details. Some area residents already are airing their dissatisfaction with this plea saying parking is at a premium and these meters are not needed.

 

Uptown United, Justin Weidl, discussed the retail changes happening in Uptown.  Justin is working on the continued improvements for streetscaping that have a big impact on pedestrians and shoppers along our retail corridors.  He’s working hard to bring a new look to our streets through tree care and plantings and other enhancements that signal people to come and stay awhile.

 

 

And always remember…

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful , committed people can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

YOU’RE INVITED to the Graceland Wilson Neighbors Association, GWNA, Block Club Meeting on Wednesday, April 19th at 7PM

Join your neighbors at Emerald City Coffee, 1224 W. Wilson, for our first 2017 meeting. Meeting starts at 7PM. Come early, grab a beverage or food. Good time to join or renew your block club membership. $20 per household.

Graceland Wilson Neighbors Association flyer

Learn more about what’s happening in our Sheridan Park Uptown community. Share your ideas on what you’d like to see come to our neighborhood.

We’ll hear updates on the Wilson L project and the Wilson Underline Public Plaza from Alderman James Cappleman. Wilson Avenue’s continued transformation from Kalish owner, Andy Kalish. And his two new restaurants coming soon on the same block.

Proposal for a packaged goods liquor store, Uptown Wine & Spirits, in the building where Sheridan Park Liquors stood for years at 1255 W Wilson. The Alderman wants to hear from the community on this proposal. To refresh your memory on Sheridan Park Liquor’s closing, CLICK Here to read DNA info article.

Justin Weidl—with Uptown United—will give an update on more restaurants, retail and plans for sprucing up the retail streetscaping..

Let’s not forget the Sunnyside Mall, that’s the heart of Sheridan Park’s green public space. Our block clubs , with a devoted team of Sheridan Park volunteers, have been working tirelessly to transform this green community space. We can’t do it without your support.

 

Please forward and share this newsletter & flyer with your neighbors. Strong block clubs have amazing power.

 

And, always remember…

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

GWNA e-Newsletter

Block Club Meeting at Emerald City Coffee on April 19th

 

Graceland Wilson Neighbors Association is gearing up for 2017 good changes coming to Uptown.

Mark your planner for a GWNA meeting on Wednesday, April 19, at 7PM at Emerald City Coffee on Wilson.

Ald Cappleman will be joining us.  We’re confirming other speakers including local business owners and others on what’s happening

along Wilson Ave and the Wilson L Station project this year.  Full agenda will be sent soon.

Chicago Tribune Story on Wrigley Field’s Summer Concert Series and How this does/doesn’t affect Uptown Entertainment District

 

Read Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune Art’s Critic, Story on Wrigleyville’s growing concert series and how this could impact Uptown’s Entertainment district.

As Wrigleyville booms, Uptown’s district is left in the dust—Chris Jones

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/ct-wrigleyville-uptown-jones-ae-0212-20170209-column.html

 

Reporters are paid to shake things up. The day will come when the Uptown Theater will come back to life .  Just wait and see.

And always remember…

 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

GWNA Newsletter, March 29, 2017

 

New 197 Unit High-Rise Development Approved in Heart of Uptown

 

Another high-rise development on the southeast corner of Wilson & Sheridan was approved by the Zoning & Development Committee at the Monday night meeting.

Click here to read the DNA info article

The meeting included a heated discussion on the number of affordable housing units on-site versus money paid into the Low-income Housing Fund.

Just one block away, another market rate high-rise on the corner of Wilson & Broadway won approval with the Chicago Planning Commission.

Both buildings are considered TOD—Transportation Oriented Design—with their close proximity to the Wilson L Station.  This allows a low ratio of on-site parking. Builders pay an OSIF—Open Space Impact Fee—based on the number and size of units. The OSIF funds are used to create new public green spaces for residents to enjoy nature and encourage community activities such as farmer’s markets and local musical events.

We hope to apply for the OSIF funds for the creation of the Wilson Underline www.wilsonunderline.com

 

Coming in April—Block Club meeting and membership drive

We will be hosting a Graceland Wilson Neighbors Association, GWNA, meeting in April.  The Alderman and others will be invited to come speak at the meeting.  If you have suggestions for people you’d like to hear from at the meeting, please send information to gwna13@gmail.com

 

Clean & Green on April 22

Mark your planner for Saturday, April 22, from 9-noon to help spruce up the neighborhood, clean up the winter gunk and give some trees and plants a little love and mulch.  Stay tuned for block club and park events. You can start with your own building’s parkway and mulch the trees.

 

Underscore Theatre Announces Spring Gala/Production

Uptown’s very own Underscore Theatre Company is hosting their first gala next month and hopes local residents will invest in Chicago’s only theatre dedicated to fostering and producing original works of musical theatre in the region.

“Underscore Theatre is hosting its first annual gala and backer’s auction on April 23rd from 5-7PM. Our Musical Director from the 2016 Jeff Recommended show Haymarket, Robert Ollis, has generously opened the doors to his Lakeview home to host our event. With your help, we hope to raise the funds to launch Underscore’s future productions into a new level, and provide even greater compensation to our terrific artists and performers, a goal which has been a hallmark of the company since inception in 2011.

We’ll also have a wonderful opportunity for a sneak peak at Underscore’s spring show, My Name Is Annie King as well as meet and chat with Underscore’s artistic leadership team. The backer’s auction gives you an opportunity to help support our Spring production while winning terrific auction items. It should be a great night!”
Please reserve your tickets by visiting www.underscoretheatre.org/gala.

 

And always remember….

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

GWNA E-Newsletter, February 9, 2017

 

What’s Up? With the Wilson Underline

 

The Wilson Underline,  www.wilsonunderline.com , is alive and well. The amazing public plaza plan continues to build strong community support. The original Wilson Underline Survey, conducted in March 2016, www.wilsonunderline.com/survey/, 931 respondents overwhelming prefer the Wilson Underline plaza design. Instead of the CTA plan for fenced-in parking lot.

 

low-line

http://moss-design.com/project/the-lowline/

 

The Lakeview Low-line public plaza (Located at the Brown Line Paulina station), shown above, is another example how activating under-L tracks space creates thriving community places.  Brett and Matt, our Wilson Underline team leaders, recently met with the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce.

 

Now five 46th Ward Block Clubs have sent Wilson Underline support letters to Ald. Cappleman:

  • Graceland Wilson Neighbors Association
  • Buena Park Neighbors
  • Dover Street Neighbors Association
  • Beacon Block Club
  • Magnolia Malden Block Club

 

www.wilsonunderline.com/support/ click to read the Block Club letter and Ald. Cappleman’s response in support of the Wilson Underline.

 

We continue to build support and collaboration with other organizations and block clubs. We are in the process of applying for funds that will provide a very good financial base to create the dynamic Wilson Underline public plaza, www.wilsonunderline.com.

 

Stay tuned!

 

 

Accountability—CHA Falls Flat on its Face for Safe Housing Practices

 

During these turbulent times, accountability is the Chicago BUZZ word. If government organizations serving our communities were all held accountable for implementing their practices in an appropriate and timely manner, our world would be a different place.

 

For example—The CHA falls flat on its face in dealing with gang tenants that threaten our public safety.  Sheridan Park continues to be riddled with gang murders, random daytime shootings and blatant drug dealing from gangs living comfortably in CHA properties. The most notorious Black P Stone leaders,  the Sims brothers, live without fear of eviction at the CHA 4425 N Malden property.

 

Despite hundreds of 911 calls over the past two years—two of the three brother still live at 4425 N Malden with their mother.

 

On September 6, 2016, Greg Sims, the oldest brother,  was shot in the chest and killed near Kenmore and Wilson.  During the prior few years (while living at CHA housing at 4425 N Malden) Greg had been arrested numerous times and convicted of crimes. Greg Sims was seen trespassing on CHA property (at 4454 N Magnolia) on several occasions in the weeks leading to his death.

 

Greg’s younger brothers, James and Jabri, are 18 years old and have been seen dealing drugs on a continual basis while using CHA housing as a home base for conducting drug sales and other gang activity. James was arrested at 4441 N Malden (next door the CHA housing at 4425 N Malden)on August 11, 2016 for the Class X Felony of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school.

james-sims-aug-2016-mugshot

A picture of James’ mugshot is attached and is included in this link: http://publicsearch1.chicagopolice.org/Arrests/Details/17290410

jabri-sims-mugshot-dec-2016

Jabri has been arrested on the following dates in 2016: Sept. 1, 3, 21; Oct. 20, Dec. 9. A picture of Jabri’s mugshot is attached and included in this link:

http://publicsearch1.chicagopolice.org/Arrests?FirstName=Jabri&LastName=Sims&CbNumber=&ChargeId=&CPDArea=&District=&Beat=

 

Time to hold the CHA accountable for their lackadaisical enforcement of tenants not in compliance with safe housing practices.

Our goal this summer, no murders, no drug dealing, no shootings, no gangs. What’s it going to take to hold the CHA in compliance?

 

Please forward to your neighbors with a personal note—sign up for the GWNA E-Newsletter. Get involved and be part of our community’s transformation.

 

And always remember…

 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.