John Arena – Accidental Alderman

Well folks, here we are. We have an Alderman that by all accounts should have won the race hands down by virtue of the Democratic population of the 45th Ward but only won by 29 votes. That’s not saying much for the overall confidence of the Ward in Arena’s ability to lead it in to prosperity. The reality is that the Garrido supporters assumed (incorrectly) that Garrido would win hands down and many did not come out to vote. Shame on those people as it is a true testament of the old adage of “Every Vote Counts”. I understand everyone’s confidence in Garrido but not coming out to vote? Now we have to live 4 years with PPNA-ish shenanigans that have already started. The poor guys at the Klee Building who just want businesses to move in are going to have to deal with a grudge Arena has with them. Sad, sad times are ahead of us. 6 Corners will just get worse while the rest of the Ward get ignored.

Anyway, please feel free to use this post to vent your frustrations over the situation and to keep an eye on “Alderman Elect Arena” and the sure to happen antics that will come with that title.



Filed under Chicago 45th Ward, Chicago Politics

96 responses to “John Arena – Accidental Alderman

  1. Jacquelyn

    What PPNA shenanigans have started? I am not happy with the end result of this election but the fact remains I have to still live here. With that said even though after polishing a turd you still have a turd, YOU can plant a seed in some cow s—t and watch something grow from YOUR efforts. I hope people still put energy into this community, but hold Arena accountable and ride him to get results. The SEIU is going to make him work for their “dowry”, you know he is going to be their “B”, but as constituents we also need hold him to every promise he made. I think he will not last 4 years. We should do squares with years and dates on it. At least make it interesting, we already know it is going to be humerus!

    • I am hearing about silliness with the PPNA wherein they are going to try and block the curb (AGAIN) at the Klee Building. Don’t they realize that if Klee can get some more businesses in there that others will surely come. They need to drop the petty grudge because they didn’t get their way there. Apparently, Levar put in a petition for a zoning change there which would allow them to do the ONE WAY curb cut to allow ingress to the valuable parking in that building that no one uses as it is too difficult to get in there through the alley. Silly. Let them prosper. You would think that as the new alderman he had better things to do but the reality is that his only TRUE supporters are the cronies with the PPNA. The rest of the voters just believed . . . ah never mind. We all know what they believed.

  2. Jacquelyn

    opps! HUMOROUS! auto fill sorry!

  3. accident waiting to happen

    So when is this PPNA BBQ? If it’s free? wouldn’t it be nice to spread the word to some of his “constitutes” in the Austin neighborhood that there’s going to be a big party.

  4. Long Time Resident

    The thing is, I don’t remember Arena making ANY promises. He was too busy bashing Garrido. I guess I’ll have to go to his website and see his platform because all I know is he is a Democrat. Big whoop. So are the 37 former aldermen who have gone to jail for various corruption related charges. So just being a Democrat should not have been enough to get him elected.

    • MTC

      Accidental Alderman, indeed. First no Levar, who would’ve squashed him out. Then a crowded field that got him to the run-off. Then SEIU, for no apparent reason, spends $200,000 to smear Garrido, who was a union guy against selling off city assets (this has made me ashamed to be a Democrat). Then 1000-2000 Garrido voters did not show up at the poles (WTF?). A perfect storm and here we are.
      Meanwhile, from what I’m seeing Arena is surrounding himself with incompetent people without business experience. The 6 Corners BarBQ is appropriate, b/c it is meets their level of vision. If we are to be watchdogs we need to do our due diligence by following the money and documenting his moves, and in fairness, measuring the results objectively.

  5. Jacquelyn

    I do not remember him making any promises either. According to his website he promised everyone recycling bins, 48 hr turn around on all service request, No Gambling for Chicago, he also promised to piss off the garbage men, traffic aides and janitors that work for the city by cutting their jobs

    My favorite part of his website is this though: “Chicago deserves honest politicians and clean politics. Corruption hits us hard, both in the health of the body politic and the bottom line. The good news is that the unfortunate reputation of Chicago politics is a matter of choice. Citizens can seek out and elect principled candidates — such as John Arena — who understand the true cost of dishonest governing.

    John Arena is dedicated to creating a ward office that runs on integrity. John will not hire family members for city jobs, nor will he accept donations from city contractors with business pending before City Council.”

    • MTC

      Might you be suggesting that the SEIU has some business pending before City Council? We’ll hold him accountable. I want to see if he bogs down everything with bureaucracy just to protect SEIU jobs. How hard will he make it to open business in the ward?

      • He has already as head of the PPNA made it impossible for new businesses to come in to the Ward and we all know that new businesses mean jobs. Unfortunately, Arena can’t see things objectively just selfishly. The Ward is screwed. Read the dialogue between Jacquelyn and myself above. Sad, sad, sad times are looming. The best we can hope for . . . well, maybe there is no hope.

  6. Marrion

    I expect that you will see someone rise up to lead the opposition against Arena pretty quickly. There is no telling what the next six months to a year will hold but I would expect that either Blair or Garrido will be up for round two. The consensus would suggest that a strong Democrat will make Arena a one term alderman. From what I have heard about the shenanigans at the polling sites, instead of calling Arena the “Accidental Alderman” we should be calling him the “Illegitimate Alderman”

  7. James

    Arena will not bring businesses to the Ward because he does not know how. He is surrounding himself with the same do nothing-block everything idiots that brought us to this place I think we should draft up a petition to encourage Garrido to run for the State House. I think he could beat Lyons whose time has come to go. Also I think its ironic that Arena used the very tactics he has been railing about against Levar for and the people of the Ward unwittingly elected another Machine politician who will slop at the public trough after years of being unable to establish a consistent employment history and provide for his family. Arena has become the very thing he fought against for years. He is the epitomy of self serving individual who cares only for himself and has not a shred of decency and integrity to his name. I do hope the people of this Ward realize quickly, the mistake they made so that momentum shifts to rectify that mistake.

  8. I just looked at the Six Corners newsletter at

    Note the article on the SBIF’s being used to improve businesses and in one case bringing a new business in. Hopefully Arena and the PPNA doesn’t get to involved in the new Pomo Dora restaurant to the point that they turn off the investors and they eventually don’t move in like so many situations before. Keep you fingers crossed that doesn’t happen. Although, I don’t have high hopes on that one.

  9. Mark

    With so many people upset about Arena and the SEIU stealing the election, I would not want to be Arena for the next 4 years for all the whisky in Ireland.
    He will be a major target as he has managed to sell the people of the Ward a bill of goods. My take on this is that no one voted for Arena for the most part. They voted against Garrido because he was labled as a Republican. The lies and smears were not countered strongly nor swiftly enough to have an effect. I think that Garrido’s team thought they had it in the bag and because of that, some of his supporters stayed home. That’s a shame. OK so now I hear rumors about a large opposition uprising in the 45th Ward against Arena before he even takes office. I think Arena is an instant one termer if he even lasts that long. With an arrogance and ego like his, he will surely end up stepping on his own $%&*. How in God’s name did we end up with an unemployed inexperienced graphic artist as our alderman? Who ever runs against this moron in 4 years better have a ton of experience. Hopefully some of the less serious candidates will sit this next one out: Ward, Klocek, Bellissimo etc. Nice people but now this is way too serious.

  10. Balls of Steel

    As our Beloved John Garrido wishes to refund the money people donated for a recount, our accidental alderman is now asking for MORE cash so he can payoff his election debt. WHAT F***ING BALLS. Also, does Ed Burke have Arena’s number already by nicknaming him “Landslide”!! see link for a laugh

    • Another fine example of how the SEIU could really care less about Arena as they were happy to dump oodles of money in to the smear campaign but none in to his own interests such as Arena signs, Arena sponsored mailings, newspaper ads, etc . . . Otherwise he wouldn’t asking for this money. Also, I heard he is already pimping up businesses for $1,500 contributions. Some of the ones I talked to were pretty pissed.

  11. Jacquelyn

    28 votes is more like a skidmark when it comes to Arena. The constituents are more likely to nickname him skidmark, than landslide for more than one reason. I truly hope that all who have donated to Garrido thus far just write it off as a donation at this point. The day he spent downtown reviewing votes last Friday with his team of attorneys I am sure will result in a big bill, not to mention the campaign also still has outstanding debt as well. I think helping Garrido with the existing debt is justified, but when you take $250k from the SEIU what kind of stupid moron are you to NOT neogiate the back end of the deal as well ie. walking away debt free with your campaign paid off.

  12. mike carasotti

    not being the kind of guy that says I told you so…but the SEIU robots? Helen Shiller tactics.

    Told you so.

  13. LaborGuy

    The ignorance of the people posting on this site is unbelievable. I don’t even know where to start. How about with the notion that SEIU “gave” John Arena “250k” but didn’t help Arena with his own campaign needs. The “250k” SEIU spent in the 45th Ward was an Independent Expenditure and therefore was not given to Arean nor coordinated with his campaign. SEIU spent that money of it’s own accord and did not notify the Arena campaign of the expenditure. The Arena campaign did not “negotiate the back end” with SEIU because there was no coordination between Arena and SEIU. John Arena did not know what SEIU was going to do until he saw it in the ward.

    BTW, SEIU had every right to get involved in the 45th Ward aldermanic election. They have nearly 3,000 members in the ward and therefore have a great interest in who represents their members.

    As far was why the SEIU “robots” ran an independent expenditure in our ward it may be that they felt that a Republican with close ties to corporate interests in the city should not be allowed to sneak into the city council without voters knowing his true background. You may not have liked it but everything the SEIU said about John Garrido was correct.

    John Garrido is a self proclaimed Republican that took money from a guy that made millions of dollars off the parking meter deal. He also took money from David Herro, a guy that owned ten million shares of Walmart stock and was a key donor for many of Carl Rove’s Republican smear campaigns.

    Mr. Garrido also took $10,000 from For a Better Chicago which is a big business political action committee that refused to reveal it’s donors even after mayor-elect Emanuel urged them to do so.

    I think it is more than fair for the SEIU to inform the voters of our ward, who vote Democratic about 65% of the time, that the man who wants to be our next alderman is a life-long Republican that supports the right to conceal and carry handguns and wants to privatize city assests.

    It is also true that, if elected, John Garrido would taken two city pensions paid for by the tax payers. Garrido lied when he said there is only one city pension plan. It is an outright lie. do the research. As a mastter of fact, Alderman Tim Cullerton of the 38th Ward pledged not to take a second city pension if elected alderman since he had been a building inspector for some 30 years. John Garrido had 20 years in as a police officer and was therefore fully vested in that pension plan. Like other police officers elected to city council he would have received a second seperate pension if elected. He could have answered the charge by simply pledging not to take a second city pension. It might have won the election for him but he chose not to do that.
    I could go on and on but it is clear that many of you are not too concerned with the truth. Perhaps with some time you will become less sour and realize that the best candidate won and won fairly. Goodbye neighbors.

  14. LaborGuy

    Rest assured, John Garrido will not get a second chance to beat John Arena. Many of you have said you are looking forward to the rematch but you should be aware that the next city election will be with new ward maps and I can guanrantee that John Garrido will be mapped afr outside the 45th Ward. He is gonna have to look for some other office. Good luck with that.

  15. Jacquelyn

    Nobody can predict what the future holds with the remapping. However, if he is no longer in the 45th ward the 41st was has another SEIU robot who is not exactly a prize. Former adminstrative assistant to Brian Doherty who at the debate her only statement of why people should vote for her is “because she is the person who anwsers the phones when you call.” The people in the 41st ward are as equally unhappy with their alderman elect and would be thrilled to see Garrido run there as well. He would be an asset to either ward. I also have to assure you that through this election he has made several friends who would help in whatever ward he ran. Geez, if the qualifications to run for alderman are to be an admistrative assistant or an unemployed graphic artist you may see me throw my hat in the ring against Arena if Garrido is gone. At least I own a successful business with *real* employees not one I am married to, have been on the PTA, plan to run for the community LSC chair this spring, involved in community fundraising and in community service in the ward. Believe me if Garrido is out of the ward someone will step up against him and he will be a one term Alderman.

    I also have to say I really could give a rats ass if he did collect two pensions. He EARNED the first one by serving our community for 20 years, however there is also an age requirement at CPD to retire and receive full pension. Garrido does not meet that requirement. The city workers earned and deserve their pensions. They pay into it similiar to a matched 401K. I have to admit, I laughed when I read this post because it reminds me of this website my niece visits for Americal Idol Constestants. It is called “Vote For The Worst.” The person on idol (who is the worst) has nothing to do with it. But the website picks the worst person to try to help them win and encourages everyone to vote for them to upset the system and take control. If they are voted off, then they pick the worst remaining contestant. So Marina, the Arena in this case they went for the stupidest with no qualifications. So really I could careless if Arena knew or not. It is the PRINCIPLE. He is still a puppet, they are going to come down on him an squeeze him. You should also be aware that Cullerton and O’Conner are also SEIU puppets. That is 3 votes. Think about that. The mob still exists and it has nothing to do with being Italian.

  16. LaborGuy

    Another ignorant post. The admin assistant that you speak of was the Republican and lost to the Democrat Mary O’Connor who was backed by SEIU. You got it bass akwards. Not too worried about you running for alderman.

  17. Jacquelyn

    O’Connor beat Gavin, I am aware of that. I was told by people who live in that neighborhood she was the assistant. Must be the Irish association with the name. Well apparently then they are both worthless. Admittedly, I did not follow that ward and I did not follow the race. I don’t live there. But was happy when Doherty lost. Regardless, she is another SEIU puppet which is the point! At least I can admit I made a mistake and at least you acknowledge she is another SEIU pawn.

  18. LaborGuy

    why is it that if SEIU supports a candidate they automatically become a pawn? SEIU supported 28 current and newly elected aldermen in the city council. Are they all puppets? Are you aware that the SEIU has supported more Independent aldermen than any other political entity in the city? Do you like Alderman Scott Wagausepack? He wouldn’t have been elected without the support of SEIU.
    SEIU has been the greatest force for political change in Chicago for at least the last decade. SEIU is a huge player in Democratic politics in Illinois usually supporing the more independent minded candidates like John Arena. Now, you may not like Progressive\Independent politics and that would be a good reason the oppose the politics of SEIU but they certainly are not part of the Machine or the “Mob” as you contend.

    • Jac and Labor Guy. Would have chimed in earlier but was out of town for the weekend taking a break from all of this.

      As for LG’s post . . . the SEIU may have supported 28 people but the one they had the least amount of confidence in was clearly Arena, hence the big ticket mailings to smear his opponent. Arena could not have won on his own accord. You know that and I know that so what does that say about him being the leader of the 45th ward. If the SEIU had no confidence in him that why should we? We’re screwed and more importantly to me personally Six Corners is screwed. It’s an ongoing grudge match which means it will either stay in the state of disarray it is in now or just get worse. I hope that I am wrong and Arena stops this silliness because the PPNA didn’t get their way with the Klee building. I would be proud to say his was our Alderman if that happens and he starts to focus on other things under the heading of “his job”.

  19. Jacquelyn

    And how is Chicago doing financially? It is time for a change, I agree. But seriously – Arena? I can see why they supported Marina. At least she was sharp, a negotiator and personable. Actually, as a person, I like her and grew up where she “really” lived prior to running for office. One thing I will mention though many people who supported Arena, totally “dissed” Marina due to her having been a union negotiator (or whatever she was) and her being backed by the SEIU. Those same people looked the other way when they backed Arena. I am a Democrat for the record, but have voted Republican here and there just as Arena has. Why don’t you post your name and then I would be happy to have a conversation with you. Either way, there is no point in beating a dead horse. Arena is in, so he is the only person who can write his future. It is to be seen. There is no point regurgitating what has already happened over and over again. Time to move forward. Next election though Arena will have to come up with new material if he is up against Garrido. He may be able to recycle his signs for the next run, but he sure as hell can not recycle his flyers for re-use and unless he pays to play himself (to the SEIU) they won’t be backing him again. I really hope I am wrong and 3 years from now feel free to call me on it if I am. I am sure this blog will still be up and going strong as there is going to be lots to talk about between now and then!

  20. Balls of Steel

    A little late but I thought I would post what “Landslide” is sending out to his supporters. You decide, good laugh or barf bag. I dont know about you, but my arm would get sore from this twisting.

    With this week’s announcement that we won’t have to suit up for a recount, we’re all relieved. I’m ready as you are to put campaign season behind me and I’m eager to begin representing the citizens of the 45th Ward.

    Unfortunately, before I can turn my attention toward May 16th and the many tasks before me, there’s one campaign-related task with which I need your help. Can you pitch in to help me retire our campaign’s debt?

    As you know, campaigns are expensive, and run-off campaigns even more so. Help me greet the new day coming to our community with a clean slate. Smooth the transition by donating to our debt relief fund today.

    You’ve been there for me these many months, and I want you to know how much I appreciate your support, both throughout the campaign and to this day.

    Thank you,

  21. Mike Carasotti

    I live in the far north end and have a good chance being remapped into the 41st. Hope so. It’s a much better ward. Good luck with the future 46th ward type peeps that are going to be running and flooding into this ward.

    Lots of bad stuff follow SEIU types and their bedfellows like Arena who they get elected.

    Watch how many halfway houses and “senior” bldgs this ward will inherit. Uptown is being cleaned out, and Arena will grab them with both hands.

    In 46th wardspeak…soon to be 45th wardspeak, it’s called “voter base”.

    That JeffPark CTA and Metra area is gonna look like the Cookoo’s nest, it’s already on it’s way.

    You guys ain’t seen nothing yet.

  22. Mark

    Plain and simple. John Arena is a moron who made it to the run off by lying to voters about his background. He also did the same to the major newspapers and I know this because I spoke to editorial board members. They told me that the PPNA sent dozens of letters in support of his lies and both papers bought it as gospel without verifying it. Now Arena lied about Garrido and the parking meter deal to get elected. The man is a liar and I would not belive a word that comes out of his mouth. He is highly beatable in 4 years.
    Sorry Labor Guy, but you are dillusional. I too am I union member but I am afraid you have your head so far up your own arse that you would make a statement about Arena being “the best guy” John Arena is a scumbag who slaps his wife around. Just ask his neighbors or listen to the 911 calls. You can see the truth in it when you watch how visibly upset he gets when challenged by a woman. Also, you are doubtless unaware of how much damage the maroon has caused in our neighborhood. Millions of dollars in investment losses due to his and the PPNA ‘s meddling. As for the SEIU just “independently” running ads and mailers, you are kidding yourself is you think that Arena did not coordinate that. If you actually believe that then you know nothing about politics.

  23. James

    Yes I have heard those rumors many times how Arena has beat on his wife and she had to run to the neighbors for help. So not only have we elected a liar but also a dispicable coward who beats on his wife. Nice going 45th Ward. Hey maybe we should look for a convicted felon to run against Joe Lyons for State Assembly………

  24. James

    Oh and let’s not forget the fact that Arena is cheating on his property taxes. He is being taxes on the value of his home as if he does not have a garage even though he has one. Also he is getting a reduced tax rate for being of low income. I wonder if he will give that up now that he will be making 3-4 times what he has ever made in his life?

  25. Jacquelyn

    okay, so I just want to clarify as I have received a bunch of phone calls regarding this — I am not running for alderman the next run! I already have people encouraging me — uh thanks, but I was just laying out an example of if all it takes is to be an unemployed graphic artist — there are a lot more qualified people. I hate to keep going on and on about Arena. My eyes just roll to the back of my head at the sound of his name! But he is liar, now that he was won he has gone from being a graphic artist to a printer! HUH? I have read this several places now. Also, I am so glad someone has brought this up. I did not want to be the one to do it. But it is a known fact around here he slaps around his wife. The problem is she has never filed a complaint and if you just throw it out there during an election it is just hearsay without a formal complaint. To add to what Mark said if you look at the flyer’s the voting box on one of Arena’s flyer’s and the voting box on one of the SEIU’s flyer’s is the exact same picture. I did a picture search online (which you can do if you have the software and I do) and this was not a stock photo or clip art readily available. Which clearly proves a connection. Arena and his “people” are cut from the same cloth they are all hostile get in your face type of people who use intimidation tactics and fear mongering. Marcy (one of his side kicks who helped him with that half a**ed park the put together at Dickerson Playlot) verbally attacked my child when we rang her door bell supporting Garrido. He said to her Arena told a lie and she just went off on him. He is 9 years old! Not a teenager. I really think this group should be dissolved or have a formal dissolution and a new one should be formed. There is a clear conflict of interest in having them involved in the ward and Arena as alderman. I hate to keep talking about this man. My intentions going forward is to continue to give 110% and do my best to make changes where I live. I hope everyone will do the same. Changes happen because people are involved. So with that said with Arena as Alderman we all need to get involved more not less or our neighborhood will fall apart. I pray to God he proves us all wrong, but I am not hopeful.

  26. Balls of Steel

    she may take a beatin’ but she keeps on tickin’, and thats mrs. alderman to you!!!!

  27. James

    BOS, too funny!!!!!

  28. Response to James

    I believe there a hot line you can call about property tax cheats. The number is 312-443-7550 ask for Dale or Thurmon. They will be happy to send out an field inspector to look for any discrepencies, such as a garage, finished basement and fireplace.

    • We should hold that one in our hip pocket in the event that Arena retaliates against those that had Garrido or Blair signs in their front yard during the elections/farce. He could call for an inspection of any one of you or me and then . . . well you do the math.

  29. Tax fraud, Low Income, what next Link Card?

    what? How is he is getting a reduced tax rate for being low income? I did not see that! Where does it say that? I wonder what the income level cut off is? Did he get a Link card too? Seriously, this is all to far fetched to not be a bad dream or a sopa opera. Wake me up or turn the channel please!

  30. James

    OK so now Marina Faz Huppert is showing up at the Six Corners Economic Restructuring meetings? And now that Kmart political columnist, Russ Stewart is claiming that she made a deal with Arena and Levar to run for Ward Democratic Committeeman? PLEASE!!!!!
    Marina is a turd that all of the money in the world could not sell. Arena is a bigger turd that all the money the SEIU came up with he could not sell himself so he had to lie about the other guy. 45th Ward politics has truly scraped the bottom of the barrel. Marina has all the charisma of the bottom of a shoe as does Arena. God I hope someone stands up and stomps on these two idiots sooner rather than leter.

  31. Well the reality is that the SEIU spent the better part of a half a million dollars to get one of them in office. That isn’t a very good resume entry for either of them that wouldn’t have stood a chance without the SEIU. I still can;t figure out why the SEIU had such an interest as neither of them are leaders. This whole race was silly if you ask me. The wrong guy won and it is us residents that have to pay for it now by having to live with substandard leadership. I just can’t help but think of all of the positive change that would have happened if Garrido won and now we have to deal with john Arena grudges and the like. He said 6 Corners is a model for what the rest of the Ward should be and unfortunately he is probably right. All you other areas be prepared for the blight that we have had to learned to live with.

    My only glimmer of hope is that the Board of Elections (who still hasn’t called the race over) steps in and demands a recount given how close this was. Being the progressive city we are I can’t believe that isn’t happening. And the recount not at the expense of Garrido. Too many precincts with manual counts is just plain old wrong.

    Sorry for that stream of thoughts but I am still not over the whole thing.

  32. James

    Unfortunately Concerned45thCitizen,
    My understanding of the election process is that only the candidate can request a recount. That said, we are stuck with this POS Arena for four years. That means nothing will get accomplished because he is out for himself and inserting himself in front of the TV cameras, not fixing the Ward. He did not in fact make any promises because he can’t. He just has no clue how to rebuild the Ward and could not care less how. These are not the old patronage days with Levar. If we band together we can stop this idiot in his tracks. Plans and connections are already being laid to try and do this. Being obstructionist is not always a healthy thing. But stopping a moron like this with a track record for destroying the neighborhood, is a good thing. Let’s get started shall we?

  33. different point of view

    Many of the people who post to this blog really despise John Arena. But trying to go against anything and everything he proposes, seems to be counter productive to improving our ward altogether–and isn’t that what we all want? He won the election, whether you like it or not…..still not sure if it was fair and square, but that doesn’t matter at this point, as he is going to become the alderman of this ward come mid May. Many people want Arena to fail so that he won’t be re-elected, but in the end, we all suffer for that. I am not altogether sure how our city government runs itself, but if there is an area that you want to improve, then join a committee or an organization that is working toward that end…trying to stop him in his tracks will only make living in this ward more of the same (such as it was with Levar). I hear what many are saying on this blog loud and clear (and btw, some of the more personal stuff is just not relevant) but I believe if those who read and post to this blog stick to the issues (such as improved shopping districts, more restaurants, better city services, etc) then we will all get off on the right foot…..just saying.

  34. Jacquelyn

    James please let everyone know who to connect with if they want to be a part of the “plans and connections being laid.” Thanks! As residents we do need to come together and now put even more effort into our neighborhood to give it direction.

  35. James

    Different point of view,
    I hear what you are saying but unless you have lived at Six Corners and have seen first hand what Arena has done by chasing away businesses and opportunities for his own personal “utopian” agenda, then you are not positioned to have an informed opinion, which you should be. I would encourage you to read all of the blog entries. If the personal ones bother you then don’t read them (and yes, sorry, they are relevant as they speak to Arena’s character or the lack of one) then you will see why so many of us do not want him to use whatever power he may gain for his own personal agenda and that of his idiot friends in the neighborhood association. John Arena is a liar and a cheat plain and simple. He colluded with the SEIU to steal this election. You may not have seen the evidence but I have firsthand. In the eyes of many, he needs to be stopped before he does even more damage to our community.

    • ShoeGoo

      James said:

      “In the eyes of many, he needs to be stopped before he does even more damage to our community.”

      What’s your thoughts on how to “stop him”? How does one go about doing this until it’s time for the next election?

  36. James

    Some of the things that I and others are doing is behind the scenes at this point because it needs to be. Rest assured, that when we are ready and it will be very soon, that we will let everyone know how they can play a part.

  37. different point of view

    I have lived in the neighborhood for 20 years now–I am raising my family here so please don’t patronize me with your attitude of whether I have lived here long enough to see how 6 corners has gone down the drain…..of course I have. Was John Arena alone responsible for it’s demise? I don’t know–and I didn’t write in to challenge that at all….read my original post. I don’t know enough about the fall of 6 corners, except for what I have read on the blog and what I have heard in the neighborhood…. I was merely stating in my earlier post that John Arena is going to be the alderman, that is a fact, and rather than fight it, I think it would be better to work together towards a common goal…..and that includes me too. I have read the blog pretty thoroughly, and I might add that many people (and in particular you) have a real ax to grind with Arena– and all I can say is that nothing good can come of this if everyone acts this way, but don’t let me stop you James….really, I don’t know you from Adam. I just want to be productive rather than petty and vindictive, that’s all. Just encouraging those reading this to be of the same mind set….

  38. James

    Different Point of View,
    No one is patronizing anyone. Well at least not intentionally. I do have an axe to gring with Arena. I have seen with intimate detail, the money, investment and jobs he has cost our community. Whethere Arena is the alderman or not, this is a true statement. My personal views of him are shared by many others. His conduct during the election toward the other candidates was appalling. The man has no sense of decency and will do and say anything for his own benefit. It is truly discusting. While I appreciate your point of view of wanting to work with him, I and many, many others can see no point in doing so. This is a fight that has been a long time coming. Of all of the candidates, he was by far the least qualified, well other than Ward or Klocek. For years we have needed someone with experience and a sense of vision and doing what is right for the community on the whole; not himself and his friends. The purpose of this blog is to band together those people who have a like POV about Arena and ensure that they have a place to express their opinions. While we must respect the opinions of others which I think we all try to do, I think that you will find that the vast majority of opinion of the dozens upon dozens of people who post on here is that we now live in the Twilight Zone where a nothing like Arena was aloud to hoodwink people by his lies and deceit. You apparently do not share that view. I afraid that puts you at an extreme minority on this blog.

  39. different point of view

    James, I pity you for your bitterness. If you must know, I did not vote for John Arena (nor did I vote for Rahm Emanuel) but I am dealing with all of it. And really, I am pretty sure the point of this blog (and even most blogs) is not for like minded people to band together, but instead for all view points to be shared….I follow a few blogs about other urban issues and that has always been the case with those blogs–that is, not to tear people down but to gain insight from one another. Yeah, it’s crappy Garrido lost this thing by 29 votes–it’s really crappy, and now many have to live with an alderman they can’t even stand to look at….but I guess i am trying to move on with it. I am not sure why I even bothered posting…..I guess it is my nature to try to be reasonable. Good luck to you James.

  40. Jacquelyn

    DPOV how can you have lived in this neighborhood for 20 years and not know about the fall of 6 corners and Arena? I do not not mean that as any sort of confrontation I am just curious of what level of involvement you had in the community? I do not think this blog will ever be pro Arena if that is what you have your hopes on, but I do think that group of like minded people who want to improve the neighborhood are joining together to make sure Arena does not bring it further down the toliet. DPOV here is a group you might like it seems to be more neighborhood oriented and more nuetral in regards to all that is happening. Thus far it seems to be very informative I had thought maybe James was running it but I changed my mind on that front. 🙂

  41. James

    No bitterness here but a sense of reality that I don’t think you share or have any specific knowledge of. BTW I can smell an Arena plant on here a mile away. Good luck to you also DPOV.

  42. Erin

    I don’t think James is bitter at all. I think that label is inappropriate. The man appears to have specific knowledge that you do not. It’s all nice to think we are going to hold hands and sing Kumbaya but that is not what’s is going to happen. Whether you voted for Arena or did not is irrelevant. What is relevant here is what these people on here are saying about John Arena and the kind of person he is. If you are not comfortable reading a blog where people share a common view about someone they despise who can further damage their community then go elsewhere please. Thank you.

  43. different point of view

    Not sure what you mean by saying you can smell an Arena plant on her a mile away….trust me James, I am just looking for peace in the ward, nothing more….. it is going to be a long 4 years here but it was been a long 20 as well…just more of the same.

  44. Jacquelyn

    DPOV I am confused how it has been a long 20 if you were not aware of Arena’s antics. First he has only been here 10, second how could you not be aware of him if you lived anywhere near 6 corners with the PPNA newsletter and nadig news. I think I side with james on this one. Sorry, but you are suspect. Either way whatever your intentions are going forward good luck on your future involvement in the ward.

  45. different point of view

    To James and Jacquelyn–last post here–don’t have time for this, but it is amusing me in a strange way, so I have to just say this one last thing: You can think what you want–but please know there are a many people who did not vote for John Arena who have to live with the outcome….not just you sore losers. Just because I am choosing to be positive doesn’t mean I am liking it…. nor does it mean I am suddenly in the John Arena fan club. Once again, re-read the original post…I am merely suggesting for people to be constructive rather than destructive….we all want the same thing but some of you feel that if we don’t feel the EXACT same way about our new alderman, then we are not on the same team. I am not so sure I want to be a part of the team anyways, but I do want our neighborhood to improve, so I will have to figure that out myself. And finally, don’t be confused by one living in a neighborhood for 20 years and not being in the PPNA or another neighborhood group. It is not uncommon….busy with work and family. I never said I didn’t know of John Arena–I am just not privy to all of the little things that he has done (or not done) in the neighborhood relative to his involvement with the PPNA…. that’s all.

  46. different point of view

    P.S. And a long 20 is in reference to the number of years I have lived in this neighborhood with Levar as our Alderman. I wasn’t referencing the number of years John Arena has lived here–that doesn’t mean anything to me. Forgot to add that to the last post….

  47. Erin

    It sounds like DPOV should find another venue for his expression.

  48. Jacquelyn

    DPOV why do you think James (or I for that matter) is being destructive? I am pretty sure I did say I am going to make the best of it and continue to do what I can to improve our neighborhood. Also you do not stand along in not being part of the PNNA as it is a select group with no admission. It is a self appointed neighbodhood group similar to the “Triangular Association” another neighborhood joke representing the neighborhood behind the Jewel which is shaped like a Triangle. They seem to think they represent all things in that area. Which I find humor in as the new housing is mainly young couples and people moving in. The group is a teacher in her late 5o’s with no children or spouse just a dog and the 60+ year old wife of a truck driver who’s son was the neighborhood homeless person (he passed away) causing a large percentage of the theft and break ins on both sides of cicero. Anyone can form a group, call it what they want, make it legal, keep minutes etc. but that does not mean they represent the desires of the neighborhood if the neighbors are not heard. I think James is moving in the right direction there needs to be a group in opposition to give it balance. That may be a poor choice of words and I do not want to imply that they are hostile but sometimes in conflict or a different point of view a middle ground is found that really is the best of both worlds. There is nothing wrong with what James group is trying to accomplish. Kudos for him for wanting to make sure there is a check and balance system in place. All citizens of the ward should have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives that is after all a true democracy. As far as Levar, I do not think people tried with him, everything I asked for and worked with him on was approved in this area. I think those who blame him really did not try to work with him. He & Arena had a very adverse relationship and everything was stalled or delayed because of Arena sticking his nose in everything. He is getting old and it is definately his time no doubt about that. But he was not all bad.

  49. Erin

    Jacquelyn ,
    I have a great deal more respect for Alderman Levar than I will ever have for John Arena as sad as that may be.

  50. Erin and Jaq, I must say that I agree on the Levar point. I think if he would have truly known how much of the neighborhood really felt about Six Corners then he would not have fallen in to submission to Arena and the PPNA and actually realized they were just a band of misfits who claimed to be Portage Parks neighbors voice. If he know the real truth at the time he would have just pushed the PPNA aside and let true progress happen. Now the PPNA is our Alderman. Now THAT is truly scary!

  51. I just wish someone would convince the Elections Board that a recount should happen due to the less than quarter of a percent advantage of Arena and not at the expense of the opponent. I know that won’t happen and is just wishful thinking but let a person dream would ya’? Now that is the thing movies are made of. And, I’ll bet a recount would yield some pretty interesting results.

  52. James

    I have seen some of the evidence of voter fraud first hand. People voting out of abandoned and foreclosed house and business addresses which is illegal. People voting out of tennis courts in public parks. We even have a case or two of the Keebler elves voting out of trees where houses should be. And the most important thing is the ballot place irregularities found by a watchdog group. 33 out of 41 ballot boxes had their seal broken prior to arriving at the ballot consolidation center. That means that the ballots and the ballot counters were most definately tampered with. Otherwise what’s the point? Those same ballot boxes came from some of those same precincts that reported in the latest. Remember there were over 12 precincts that took till well after 8 pm to report their returns. Coincidence???? Doubtful, very doubtful. We may not be able to change the results of the election even if it was stolen, but we can cast such a dark shadow over the “illegitimate alderman” John Arena, that his next 4 years will be a misery. Not only did he lie to voters about his background and completely misrepresent himself both to voters and the media, now he is potentially implicated in voter fraud which is a felony. He only needs to have known it was occurring which he clearly did. Hopefully the media will start digging into this. I am cautiously optimistic in that regard.
    One more thing I wanted to bring up. Arena is now strong arming businesses in the Ward to pay for his Inauguration Gala at the Irish American Heritage Center. Instead of having a small gathering with close friends at your house, he is acting like he is Barack Obama. Its nauseating. I think it would be a capital idea to get a bunch of people to hold a protest demonstration outside the Heritage Center, protesting the election fraud. I think the media would eat it up.

    • Let’s do it. I would be there if I thought there would be a large crowd. Or better, let’s just go to the gala event and help him run up a larger tab and sneer in the process. Or even better, question him in front of his supporters as to his true intention and then watch him “go off”. A whole world of possibilities here don’t you think?

  53. response to james

    James, lest we forget, Arena also wants to eliminate his campaign debt too. I thought only losers try to recoup their campaign losses. I also wonder if Marina will be attending the Gala.

  54. James

    Response to james,
    Not at all. It is not uncommon for even winning candidates to try and get their debts paid off. My point was around spending on a lavish “Inaugural Gala” like he is a big shooter all in celebration of himself. And oh yes, Marina will surely be there. She and Arena are now joined at the hip. Gee I wonder if anyone would dare to run against her for Eard Committeeman, although that is now a powerless position due to the patronage jobs having gone away.

  55. Or . . . let’s get a crowd out there protesting his alderman thingie and get the news media there. Scream at him like he did when the Klee thing happened.

  56. Jacquelyn

    who is picking me up? I would not want to miss this. 🙂

  57. James

    I assume you meant “crowd” and I am all for that. I would like to see at least 100 people there.

  58. LaborGuy

    Don’t you think it is a bit childish to protest the alderman elect’s swearing in reception? Jeez, you folks are kinda wacky.

  59. James

    No its not childish at all considering how he managed with the help of your idiot labor friends to steal the election.

  60. Mike Carasotti

    Far be it to be the kind of guy to say “I told you so” BUT.

    “Watch how many halfway houses and “senior” bldgs this ward will inherit. Uptown is being cleaned out, and Arena will grab them with both hands”.

    That was April 18th…posted by me.

    A look at this weeks Nadig…99 senior units at Irving and Cicero, a possible pick up of 200 politically connected votes for Arena, and a methadone clinic at Laramie and Lawrence.

    This guy will be the Helen Shiller of the northwest side.

    Where will all those junkies be hanging around? You guessed it, the el station.

    And he’s not even in office yet, and he’s expanding his voter base.

  61. Mike Carasotti

    BTW…anyone see Elston late at night? We’re starting to see some hookers up and down there. That methadone clinic is only gonna help that.

    Uptown West.

  62. John Arena the Bully

    So John Arena is already playing old school politics and twisting arms for donations to his office. It started at $500, then $1500 and now he is up to $2000. Pay to play people, pay to play. This evening he moderated a meeting for a Senior home for a low income facility to be located in the ward. Actually he has two he wants to put into this ward. One on 4100 N. Kilpatrick and one on 53oo N. Milwaukee. The meeting tonight was for the one on Kilpatrick. He told the constituents the the decision to change the zoning was completely up to him. A member of the audience said but don’t you represent us? To which he replied the decision is mine, I will listen to what you have to say but ultimately it is my decision. Then his head swelled so big it no longer fit in the room. Though not officially an alderman yet, he is already hosting meetings and telling people what his powers are. He was met with pretty much 99% resistance from the neighborhood and yet you could tell in his demeanor his mind was made up. He told the attendees that this developer needed an answer in 30 days. So lets do the math. 30 days from now is roughly June 4. He said he was going to present this to city council at the next meeting. Zoning seems to meet the first week and the last week of the month looking at the calenders. (2/1 and 2/24, 3/3 and 3/22. 4/7 and 4/26). Looking at the calender there are no zoning meetings on the agenda for the first week of May. Being sworn in on May 16 he will bring this before city council on or about the first week of June? Is this man fricking insane? If this Developer needs to know in 30 days and the clocking is ticking this is the first week in June. The deadline for submitting the application for taxing house credit is June 10. So this bastard is going to approve this with in 2 weeks of being in office. He own voters turn on him tonight. People I know who voted for him were not happy he just pissed in their back yard. It is starting people his is already abusing his powers. He will definitely be a one term alderman if he even makes it that long. I can not wait until he defies the SEIU and they show him what a muddy river looks like.

    • Wow, this is all too outrageous. Why does Arena want to do damage to his own Ward and neighborhood. Does he want our cozy part of Chicago to be like Uptown as someone else had eluded to. Makes no sense but appears to be reality. Why is he doing this? Any thoughts?

  63. Accidental Indeed

    Such a shame that Garrido didn’t challenge. Read the following that I received a short time ago from someone close to the Garrido Camp. Utter shame . . .

    I promised to update you once we received board of elections info.
    All I can say is what we thought is certainly true. Numerous invalid votes and registrations – shelters, bars, foreclosed properties, dead people and on and on and on.
    Because John closed the door when he didn’t challenge the election in the 5 day window (like we could have known any of this in the 5 days after election), we believe we can’t do anything to “unseat” Arena. We would have to tie any of this directly to him or his close campaign staff – right now, we still can’t do this. And to boot, to date the Board of Elections has only given us information on about 11,940 voters – 12,136 votes were supposedly cast – yet we still can’t get complete information. As an example – our most steadfast volunteer – was so proud on election day he took a pic of his voting receipt – he’s not shown as voting….is he among the missing? in the 11,940-12,136 gap? We don’t know.

    It’s all outrageous.

    Again, thanks so much for your support of John – the real winner.

  64. Mike Carasotti

    “This evening he moderated a meeting for a Senior home for a low income facility to be located in the ward. Actually he has two he wants to put into this ward. One on 4100 N. Kilpatrick and one on 53oo N. Milwaukee.”

    Garrido lives in the 5300 Milwaukee area. I guess that’s his personal “fuck you” to him.

    Exactly how Helen Shiller did it. Look for low income in every precinct.

    Those will all be politically connected voters for him.

    He said he’s a “obama democrat”. He wasn’t lying there.

  65. Power in Numbers

    The senior facility most likely will not need rezoning, however the one on Kilpatrick will. Constituents will need to go to that City Council zoning meeting in mass and embarrass this man. Though this is directly in my neighborhood it will affect our entire community. People need to realize that they will be getting a tax break for 30 years that is renewable only paying 10% of their taxes due for the next 30 years! That means the constituents and the businesses in the entire community will feel it when their taxes go up! Which will decrease our home values. We ALL (not just those with in 250 feet) will have to pay for the infrastructures that will need improvements. The city will have to redo the sewers, the streets they are to narrow and two cars can not pass at the same time, the electrical we have brown outs over here all the time at least 3 times a year. The city already re-did the streets here 2 years ago (widened them 3 feet), the electric has already been increased due to jewel and the CA Development homes and we have even more brown outs than before and are with out power for days! Many of us have generators! They will not be giving back to our community with increased retail sales. With incomes of $15,000 – $25,000 OR less (remember city awards this money to those who offer the lowest rents to the most people) they will not have extra income to be eating out, shopping at Sears, Marshall and anything beyond basic staples at Jewel. Not being on a main street they have to walk 1 1/2 blocks to Cicero and half a block up to bus or cross cicero for the bus & additional retail. They are not going to do that they will go to jewel and back to their building. So they will not put money into the bus system either! Either way they would have a reduced fare! Homes with higher incomes would put back into our community by dining out, higher grocery bills with higher end selections, paying their full % of taxes etc. This is going to put six corners into an even greater downward spiral. It should also be noted CA Development wants to buy those lots to put homes on and has been trying to for the past year! There is a new six corners community page on FB check it out. There is a link to ALL the lawsuits this company is involved in. If the seniors are so happy living there why are so many breaking their leases to get out! There are also people suing her as well. Reviews online say she runs her facilities like a prison and they are very cheaply made.

  66. Mike Carasotti

    Uptown, Uptown, Uptown. I know that’s all I talk about, but I went through years of wars along with my peeps over there against Shiller. It kills me when I read posts like the one above. We did that for years over there, it drives you crazy…then you get so frustrated you move to keep your sanity.

    Here’s a kicker…over the years, everyone knew who the regular hookers were over on Broadway, the Cops can’t do anything…lock ’em up? Futile. There were tons of them.

    So at BPNA we came up with a idea for a “No Prostitution Allowed” sign…you know like a silhouette of a woman (but over there, you don’t REALLY know what gender they are) standing under a streetlight. Yeah, I know…kind of stupid. But we thought it would shame Helen and the CPD 23rd Dist into SOME kind of action…the Cops were afraid of her.

    In the neighborhood meeting a couple of Helen plants complained that was “insensitive and demeaning” to the hookers. While we regularly had to clean up used condoms in our gangways.

    Thursday, I saw one of the well known Broadway hookers walking around Cicero and Elston. A couple of months ago I saw “the blonde one with the glasses” as we used to call her in the same area.

  67. Jacquelyn

    Mike I lived on hutchinson & marine dr. I gave up with schiller there to and moved. I was there 1995 to 2001. It scares me those hookers are here now. Why have they come west? Any thoughts?

  68. Jacquelyn

    Is anyone following Arena’s proposal for change the zoning in a RS3 area to RM5 for a 99 unit low income senior citizens facility? Which is a huge jump in zoning. It is being discussed on FB on

  69. Jacquelyn

    Mike I agree this will become another uptown. It is scary! Arena did not hire Schillers Cheif of Staff. I heard he was trying to but the offer was turned down. He instead hired Manny Flores Chief of Staff (Jerry). Jerry is a great guy and I have already heard more than once Jerry is gearing up for Alderman himself. I will have to find out what ward he lives in.

    • Just a lovely prospect for those of us that had high hopes for the Ward for the past 20 years. Unfortunately it is just all downhill from here. Arena will do anything to keep progress from happening at 6 Corners. It’s almost like he has something against his own neighborhood. Sad, very sad.

    • ShoeGoo

      He lives in Lakeview.

      Anyone can walk over to the 45th Ward office on Milwaukee Ave. and have a conversation with everyone at the office. The staff there are welcoming, friendly and will accomodate you. If you need to speak with the Alderman face to face at length you can schedule an appointment. He’s very accessible.

      45th Ward Service Office 4754 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-286-4545

  70. Chiplote!

    Well I have good news! It is a glimmer ….Chipolte is going in at Kilpatrick and Irving Park in the 38th Ward. I am praying the ward redesignation moves 6 corners into 38.

    • ShoeGoo

      So you know, you’ve spelled the name of the restaurant wrong twice in one post.

      You must not speak Spanish, and most definitely you aren’t Mexican.


      • Jacquelyn

        LOL! Isn’t it Chipotle? In truth I often thinks Chipolte too. Most people do pronounce it that way.

  71. shoegoo

    Today is the day to have a chance to soak Alderman Arena. Dunk tank at Six Corners BBQ Fest!

  72. shoegoo

    hello? hello?

    anyone seeing this…is this thing on?


  73. Arena fest

    Had a great weekend away in Wisconsin, I talked to a few neighbors about the BBQ fest and they all told me that next year it should be named “ArenaFest” since he made sure his presence and opinions were known to all. I heard there was a huge police presence which I guess is good but I assume WE are picking up the tab.

    • shoegoo

      You heard wrong about there being a HUGE police presence, unless you mean off duty coppers in the crowd. Met up with plenty of CPD but they weren’t in uniform. We were there all day and night on Saturday and in the late day evening on Sunday. And of course Arena made his presence known, he sponsored a booth with Dunk the Alderman. They raised a ton of dough for the charity event held for Vaughn Vocational school

  74. A long 4 years

    Yes I also heard that Arena was acting like a celebrity and pretty undignified for him to let people dunk him although he deserves it. If he got just one dunk for every lie he told, he would have caught hypothermia. OK so the latest is that I heard that he hired 3 of his brothers who are on the payroll and he can’t even find a secretary. What a joke this idiot is. It’s going to be a long 4 years but at the end of it, hopefully we wil be rid of him for good.

  75. concerned45thcitizen

    Well, here we go. Arena is at it again and in a really bad way. Apparently he has granted a permit or is backing a permit to open a food kitchen and transient housing at the church on the corner of Berteau and Laramie. Is this guy an idiot or what? This is his own neighborhood. Why would he want to lower home values even more than the economy has already done. Why would he want to transient population walking right through his own neighborhood or is this his special way of say “screw you” to all of the people in that neighborhood that didn’t back him in the election. I personally am miffed.

  76. Jacquelyn

    I just want to update the senior low income housing. The one located at 5300 Milwaukee should be supported. This one is very nice and WILL benefit the neighborhood. It is backed by the polish alliance and Everygreen reality it is for Seniors 6o years old and up. People who live in the neighborhood CAN live there. Because they are backed by the Polish Alliance they can select people from the neighborhood. The one on 4100 N. Kilpatrick for 52 years+ and is strictly HUD back and people who live there will come off a waiting list HUD provides. Someone from the neighborhood would have to get inline behind hundreds of applicants already waiting. The one on 5300 N Milwaukee will provide parking for every unit they also have the support of the community and local businesses. The one on kilpatrick will provide 30 spots for 99 units they do not have the support of the community. Arena wrote a letter of support for the kilpatrick location and wrote a non supporting letter for the other one. In the letter for the one for Milwaukee he only stated he supports senior housing in general but not them. I have both letters and can post a link to a jpeg of them both. There will be a community meeting soon for he one on 5300 N Milwaukee I hope it will be well attended.

  77. kathie

    Is anyone on here a bit curious what Arena is doing now with the new Portage owners? The new owners attorney claims Arena did something inappropriate and unethical but it has not been released. He’s trying his hardest to make business for the new owner impossible and even defending a tenant who is being evicted even though the tenant owes over 100k in past rent. Reading through these old posts it is really making me wonder what this liar of an Alderman has up his sleeve.

  78. @kathie, I am going to start a new blog on the state of things in the Ward. This one got a bit long.

  79. Haven’t been logged in here in a while and for a variety of reasons I did tonight so have to ask the simple question . . . How do you think the Ward is doing now? I see a lot of acceptance of retail stores like the Dollar Tree but rejection of viable businesses on a major thoroughfares like Cicero in the form of a nice Starbucks get poo poo’ed by this guy. All the while an abundance of low income housing coming in and totally backed by Arena. No one is happy. I know I am not but would love to hear your opinion.

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