January 31, 2009

My 2 Cents Worth

My 2-4 cents worth:

Beyond Moore’s email blast about the new commanders initiative on Howard Street and his support of it, well, why not make a list of methods in which Joe can be supportive and accountable?

Beyond whining and moaning behind a computer screen, how about putting aside past grievances and come up with a plan?

No matter what your perception of CAPS is, go to meetings and make changes if you don’t like it. Sadly, for NOH it means ‘contact Eva or Toni’ and make suggestions or vent. Why not get off your arses and tell the police your opinion(s) every second Thursday of each month at 7pm at 7450 N Rogers if you live in Beat 2422? Tell them in person in a public meeting – they’re the law enforcers. If you’re still not satisfied – do your research. Start block clubs all over the area – and get out and walk and watch and make a list of bad buildings. It’s more than just what’s happening in your space – what happens on one street eventually has its effect on another street. Whining isn’t the answer.

The largest burden should be on the alderman who rarely attends our beat meetings. Joe's next step, after attending the February meeting, should be a summit meeting with ALL subsidized building owners/managers North of Howard. Since many owners are absentee landlords, they don’t have a real stake in the neighborhood other than the monthly government check. They don’t live here or deal with the issues and its time they did their due diligence to earn their government handout.

IDHA and HUD should sit at the table and there should be no compromise on the enforcement of HUD rules in government subsidized buildings. Zero tolerance is the term isn’t it? Owners and managers should be contacting the 24th to review any felony arrests of their tenants and follow the guidelines. Period. If it sounds harsh – tell HUD not me.

Moore continued Orr's plan to create a low income hood - and Joe’s supporters lined up to make sure no subsidized buildings landed near them to disturb their peace or endanger them. “Put it North of Howard Joe.”

To NOH commenters - how about whining IF it’s a proven failure? How about whining after you’ve personally attended public CAPS meetings? How about following up with the group after you’ve implemented your plan for your specific area? The biggest challenge is the number of problem buildings. Don’t ignore the fact that the police didn’t create this neighborhood, Moore and Orr and their supporters did. So share the burden with the planner(s) and supporter(s) not just the police.


Toni said...

Beat 2422 Meeting Dates

All Beat 2422 meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month
at the
Gateway Senior Apartments 7450 N. Rogers
7:00 P.M.

Thursday January 8th
“ February 12th
“ March 12th
“ April 9th
“ May 14th
“ June 11th
“ July 9th
National Nite Out Tuesday August 4th , location to be decided
Thursday August 13th
“ September 10th
“ October 8th
“ November 12th
“ December 10th

Beat a part of the Solution

Toni said...
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Tom Mannis said...

Hi Toni! Good post, but how many more years of whining and moaning AT CAPS MEETINGS will it take before real change comes from those little bitch-and-moan socials? You asked, "how about whining IF it’s a proven failure?" How many more years of gang activity and a murder rate higher than Uptown will it take to convince you that CAPS is a failure overall, and that it cannot combat or undo 40 years of bad social policy, fatherless homes, wallowing in the culture of victimhood, and a narcotics subculture fed in part by rich white kids from Loyola and Northwestern? The list goes on; those are just highlights. CAPS cannot replace a badly needed readjustment in the decaying morals and demand for instant gratification even by illegal means, including robbery, burglary, narcotics sales, and so on. Let's get real. The officers at CAPS meetings nod politely. But what the kvetchers at the meetings tell them is either insignificant ("my upstairs neighbor is always yelling at her roommate!") or already known to the police. It's amusing to hear self-described "liberals" bitch out loud about the "scum" and "thugs" on the streets, but when will they begin to understand that decades of repeatedly voting for politicians who make light sentencing possible is one of the causes of the mess we're in? When will they begin to understand that the liberal judges who slap the gangsters on their bloody wrists should be voted out? When will people start to understand that neighborhood walks and candlelight vigils and CAPS meetings are nice ways to socialize and commiserate, but are completely ineffective in bringing about real change?

Toni said...

Good morning to you too Tom. Let’s see, I think I did point out two ‘progressive liberals’ who created and enable the problem(s) we deal with here. Speaking of Loyola, there are a couple of Moore NIMBY supporters in that area who have, over the years, directed traffic to this neighborhood! By traffic I’m not referring to drug traffic but subsidized housing traffic. But that’s how it turns out. Other enablers don’t even live in the city limits or this area but jumped on board with the yeas to Moore.

As for voting – I think half the ward understands that issue. As for calling everyone liberal - its a convenient method to get off the track or issue. About the only time the blanket method works is by using it to extinguish a small fire. The issue is this area that Moore/Orr created; the issue is who is accountable for it? Many long timers may be able to tell us that they never had a community meeting for approval or disapproval or saw the issue on a ballot! That’s the source of the failure. CAPS is only a fraction of the problem. Like I wrote, if people aren’t satisfied with CAPS, they have the option of making the time to show up and help make changes or sit and whine and complain. It’s similar to your voting analogy.

Now and then a few ‘spies’ attend the meetings to see what’s going on. One month 3-4 spies came to the beat meeting. Note the term spies is my term for the paranoids in the buildings who buy Moore’s election ‘stuff’ that some of us will run them out of their homes. Duh, it’s a 30 year agreement for some so add 30 years onto the year 2014 and what do we have?

One one officer reminded us at the beginning of the meeting that these are public meetings and if anyone had any sensitive information to relay he/she may want to discuss with the police after the meeting. We were informed that one of the spies was recognized by a local security team and the police and was arrested after the last meeting! Many of us have seen this person flyering the neighborhood with ward meeting notices. It must not have been a terribly serious offense or else this person assumed we have very short memories. This person attended a recent meeting!

So it’s a matter of choice – sit home and complain or do something – if you live in Beat 2422.
We have two years until the next aldermanic election so in the interim…..people have a choice to pitch in or sit home and whine behind the screen.

mcl said...

CAPS as it has been 'operated' by the City and the CPD is meaningless when it comes to dealing with street crime issues. The cops who patrol our neighborhoods either do or should know whats going on regarding street crime...don't they have eyes and ears. As far as the new 'Howard Street Initiative', this action was prompted not by people going to CAPS meetings but rather by 'data', the number of 911 calls and 'contact cards' recorded over a period of time. The new Commandeer was obviously directed by 'someone' up the chain of command to get the situation under control.

Toni said...

I certainly hope the police have eyes and ears but a few more couldn’t hurt could it? I’ve noticed police taking notes on issues people attending meetings brought up. I just don’t recall ever seeing you at these meetings either contributing or doing your research to support your comment. The number of 911 calls, contact cards and arrests is given each month, it’s not top secret information.

I also failed to read any ideas you would bring to the table. Did I miss something? Being cynical is one thing – doing nothing is another.

mcl said...

FYI: My attendance at the CAPS meetings stopped about the time you moved into the neighborhood. Prior to that it had gone on long enough for me to realize that there wasn't much accomplished at such meetings when it came to preventing 'street crime'. Prior to CAPS, there was the 'Beat Representative' program, IMO a much more effective community policing effort which I was heavily involved in for a number of years. As to my "research", it was the Commander who stated he was initiating the 'Howard Street Initiative' due to the 'data',i.e., the volume 911 calls & contact cards. That's how the people up the chain of command make the determination to start a 'special attention operation'; evaluation of the data numbers. You know, Toni, you don't always know best nor do you have all the answers. You 'contribute' your way and I'll 'contribute' my way, O.K.!

Karen Hoover said...

I was actively involved in the old Beat Rep program. It certainly had it's shortcomings. The community was expected to be the "eyes and ears" for the police. We reported criminal activity and quality of life problems ad nauseum. We rarely got feedback much less knew if the problems were being worked on. After learning about community policing, I vowed never again to be anyone's eyes and ears.

Several of us in Beat 2422, as members of the Coalition for a Crime Free Rogers Park, were fortunate enough to become involved with the Chicago Alliance for Neighborhood Safety and benefited from the tutelage of it's director, Warren Friedman. It was from the rudimentary beginnings that community policing came to Chicago and CAPS was born.

I beg to differ with MCL. CAPS, for the first several years, was very successful. Beat 2422 had 100's of community members who were involved and police beat teams that were proactive and in partnership with their community. This was not a "safe" time in Beat 2422. One year the beat had a homicide rate that was higher than the rest of the 24th District combined. Despite this, community members regularly walked all parts of the beat. The community and police in partnership with City services managed to close down more bad buildings than the rest of the District combined. Beat 2422 and CAPS in the 24th District was so successful, observers came from all over the world to see how policing was done "the Chicago way".

Beat meetings were not gripe sessions. There was a two tier system for dealing with beat issues. If a problem effected more than a few people and those people were willing to join together as a problem-solving group, the problem got community policing attention. If a problem only effected one person, it got traditional policing attention.

I wouldn't argue that CAPS has deteriorated in the last few years but I would be loathe to lay the blame at anyone's feet. I think the blame falls to all the community policing partners. The Police Department appears to not have the same expectations of involvement for it's officers that it had when CAPS started. The community appears to have done the same. It no longer is willing to make the commitment to work on long-term issues nor it is willing to hold it's police officers accountable for working on problems. In this tight economic time, it is difficult to get the same effective response from City services.

This deterioration is never going to be rectified by folks sitting home in their livingrooms on Beat Meeting night. For the life of me, I do not understand how staying away could be productive.

Karen N Hoover

mcl said...

The Beat Rep program was effective. I was involved in it from it's initiation in the late '70s, and I still have my photo ID, issued by the CPD. The monthly meetings took place in the homes of 'Beat Reps' who invited their neighbors in to meet with the 'Beat Cops'. The meeting was 'run' by the residents, not the police and as a result was much more directed at community input and as a result, proactive policing efforts. As to your comment that there were 100's of Beat 2422 CAPS community participants, all I will say is that I don't know what meetings you were at or where you come up with that observation but I NEVER saw anything close to that kind of participation. I do know that there was a very successful effort to 'spin' the early success of the CAPS program to the media and others by the city and the CPD...it was and still is Daley's 'baby'. And with all due respect, Karen, it was in your very vested interest to see and proclaim CAPS a 'success'....you worked for the program. You and I will just have to agree to disagree on what CAPS was and is.

mcl said...
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Toni said...

>”FYI to all who read this blog:
I sent in a reply comment to Karen Hoover's post above but apparently the blog administrator has decided not to post it. I guess you would call that 'selective' posting to provide a particular slant on an issue.”

The substance of the post was about

A) certain issues you hold dear – this pocket of poverty, slumlords, and the person(s) who enable them to continue to be mismanaged.

B) An unheard of concept of getting all responsible parties at the table and pounding out ‘change’ and reminding everyone what HUDs rules entail

C) How and what neighbors can do – which is either contribute or sit home and complain or make demands.

If it hit a raw nerve with you – then so be it. You zeroed in on ONE issue and missed the bigger picture. There are certain neighbors on a nearby corner who, for years and years, have asked for a speed bump. They were told to start a petition to get the attention they needed/wanted. Did they do it? No. Years passed and those same neighbors who couldn’t spare one hour once a month still complain and still don’t have a speed bump. I emailed two of them a petition to get signed in their own building.

Did/could they do that much?

No. Its just easier to whine and delegate instead of doing a little work.

The late 70’s are over – so instead of writing, “hey this is what we did way back when and I’d like to head up a team to start it in the 20’s” never hit the screen. It was more of the firestorm instead of the brainstorm.

It’s like people who don’t exercise their right to vote who complain loudly. That’s the slant or maybe the warp.