Tag Archives: Jefferson Park

Alderman Arena Supporting The Equivalent of a Modern Day Housing Project In The 45th Ward

So in recent news John Arena the Alderman of he 45th Ward is supporting yet another suspect initiative in the 45th Ward in which a 7 story apartment rental property would be populated wth 80% Section 8 or other subsidized housing. Residents are concerned about lowering of property values but Arena points out that would not be the case but has no basis for how that could be. He also goes on to say that with  50% of the structures population would be Veterans but no where in the proposal is that guaranteed as pointed out by Richard Gengler, a nearby resident and Veteran himself. A large outcry form the community was expressed recently at a public meeting at the Branch Community church which was filled to capacity with protestors all the while the outside was packed with more protestors. As Bob Bank of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association succinctly pointed out that this is a 1950’s approach to affordable “housing” and no one does that anymore.

Why is Arena supporting it? I’ll get to a theory on that later.

Given that I am that “Concerned” Citizen I can imagine how a building filled with 80% subsidized housing will be unlikely to be able to occupy  the remaining 20% with people willing to pay full fare for an apartment so will likely fill that remainder with special deals not covered under any sort of subsidization but in the end they won’t be able to survive leaving them empty waiting for a sucker.

Of course there can be many other things that go wrong here many of which I can envision such as increased gang or criminal activity that just happens by virtue of the residents of this building. I am not saying that all of the people that require subsidized housing are bad people but with that sort of concentration in one place a certain percentage can fly under the radar and cause undue problems.

In my opinion, the whole thing is fraught with peril and just another way Arena hopes will either help to fill his coffers with political donations from the developers and contractors that service this endeavor and possibly could blow up in the communities face if approved. Not the mention the expanded voter base that would likely vote for him in the next election. The other theory I have heard is that he is planning on running for Mayor and that could conceivably be a perceived feather in his cap for bringing an undue amount of affordable housing in to this Ward. I shutter at the thought but anything is possible. If it weren’t for the SEIU Arena would not be in office at all and if that becomes the case they will follow him to either the next Aldermanic election or Mayoral election. Is that a politician in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?


I guess the only saving grace in this would be that it would be right across the street from the 16th District Police Station. Well maybe not for the police or the residents in the area.

What are your thoughts?



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Filed under Chicago 45th Ward, Chicago Politics

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

John Garrido – What The 45th Ward Needs

So here we are in the 45th Ward with a decision to make. Our long time Alderman is now gone and we have 2 new faces in the bunch. John Garrido and John Arena. You saw many of the responses to the blog post on John Arena so I won’t belabor the obvious. So enter John Garrido. John (Garrido) has a long standing career of public service in the City of Chicago and a vision of the 45th Ward that directly parallels what I believe in. I met with him over the weekend and feel he is true to his word and has the campaign staff to make it happen. He gets it.

So, rather than me go on about why it makes sense to vote for Garrido and not Arena I will turn it over to you nice folks as your opinion really matters on this one and is the foundation for the future of the 45th. Good or bad turnout, it is on your shoulders. For the record, this blog has had close to 5,000 views since the beginning of January which shows you are paying attention so now take the time to leave an opinion.


Filed under Chicago 45th Ward, Chicago Politics