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Thursday, February 15, 2007

I was checking out N'Digo

Two good stories. One about Ald. Arenda Troutman well actually an editorial and another about black political families in Chicago. Let me start first with black political families in Chicago.

The only black political family I know about in this country are the Fords in Tennessee. From Harold Ford who was the Democratic nominee for US Senate there and up until January congressman of the 9th District which is basically the Memphis area. His family has also produced other political leaders on the city, county, and state level.

Well this article mentions three: the Beavers, the Steeles, the Strogers, and the Jacksons. Really I should count the Jacksons because they're husband and wife. This article specifically talks about Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi. Yeah we can talk about the controversies with regards to the Strogers and the Steeles. Mainly that Todd Stroger replaced his dad on the ballot during the summer and that was met with some opposition that didn't prevent Todd from becoming County Board President and then former county board President Bobbie Steele resigned after he re-election as a commissioner to hand the post over to her son her son who now sits in her seat.

Still it's a good story to take a look at.

Now to the Troutman editorial.

If you ever get to crack open an issue of N'Digo you will often see an editorial by the owner and publisher Hermene Hartman. What she tackles is generally going to be local in nature but the scope could be business, national politics, or perhaps more cultural. This week since N'Digo is a weekly publication she tackles a local issue or a person Ald. Troutman.

Not a very good editorial for Troutman. Yeah OK she does touch upon the corruption charges that she is facing right now. Hartman notes...
...At the last City Council meeting, Alderman Troutman said that her signature had been forged on papers that gave approval to a $77 million housing (mixed income) project that has the ability to turn the community of Woodlawn around.

How could an alderman stand up in a room of law, and claim forgery? Who could have forged her signature?

Sounds like an outright lie, and hopefully voters will find this information troubling enough to replace Troutman in the upcoming election.
Then she goes on to talk about how Troutman has proven herself unable to move development in her ward. Hartman makes bullet points on project that should have gone forward but Troutman kept at a standstill...
  • St Bernard’s Hospital is located in Englewood. The population here suffers intensively from heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, respiratory disease, infant mortality, and obesity. For years St. Bernard’s has tried to build a new state-of-the-art community health clinic for Englewood citizens. Alderman Troutman refuses to meet with the principals to discuss the project. A new hospital is not in St. Bernard’s future because of the alderman. This should not be allowed to happen.

  • The Grand Ballroom at 63rd and Cottage Grove has been restored to its splendor. It is one of Chicago’s historic ballrooms that sat next to the Regal Theater. The building has been restored with painstaking efforts, and is one of the most beautiful in the city. It took guts for the developer to drop millions in a desert of a community. The same developer also bought the old Strand Hotel, which is vacant and boarded up. Now that the Ballroom has been reopened, he has spent thousands to develop the hotel for residential and commercial purposes. The alderman encouraged the developer, and now refuses support his multi-million dollar project.

  • Another site that receives no notice from the alderman sits on the southwest corner of Garfield Boulevard and King Drive. The site begs for development as it sits at the entry corridor leading into Washington Park. This gateway could be a centerpiece in the 20th Ward.
In closing Hartman says that developers in Chicago generally pass over the 20th ward because of their difficulty in dealing with Troutman. She doesn't seem to be interested in developing her ward which isn't exactly doing that well. I drive through every now and then and I would see boarded and empty buildings and vacant lots. So Hartman hopes that the people there will elect a new alderman. Right now though I'm totally not sure if she's either going to be indicted or lose her seat on the city council.

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