We invited Alderman Cappleman to meet with hundreds of constituents today. We sent the invitation February 28th, and that invitation is viewable here on the website: Alderman Cappleman Invite 3-21-13
We sent the agenda items we would raise in the meeting with him ahead of time, to be transparent about the content of the meeting. Instead of attending the meeting, he sent a slap-dash email responding to each agenda item. Our email agenda items and his responses are below:
1.) Presentation on Cease-fire
Question: Will you work constructively with Cease-fire Uptown to prevent violence in the community? Yes, I and my staff have always worked with Ceasefire. My chief of staff is in contact with JW on all Ceasefire matters.
Alderman Cappleman’s office has attended Cease-fire events in the past. However he has not publicly supported our efforts, or recognized our impact. In fact, many of the alderman’s public safety policies are counterproductive to violence prevention and alienate community members of color. We want the alderman to include ONE and its violence prevention partners, including Ceasefire, in public safety planning and policy making.
2.) Presentation on School Closings
Question: Will you write a public letter to the board of Education encouraging them not to close any schools in our community? I already told CPS at the public meeting at Truman, in front of everyone and the press, my stance on this.
The Alderman did not truly answer the question. At Truman College, he stated that he doesn’t want a neighborhood school closed if a charter school will replace it. We need the Alderman to be a leader in advocating against any school closings in our community, without qualifications.
3.) Presentation on Chateau
Question: Do you commit to drop the fines that the owner of the Chateau has accrued in building court if and only if he stops displacing tenants immediately and preserves the building as affordable housing? Unfortunately the current owner has not accrued fines in court.
Ald. Cappleman simply does not understand the process. When the case eventually comes to trial, the city will address the violations and will settle on the fines with the new owner, and the Alderman’s views play a part in the settlement process. We need Ald. Cappleman to agree to weigh in and positively affect that process for the tenants.
4) Presentation the JDL Development at Maryville
Question: Will you set aside 20% of the units (In the Maryville development) as affordable and allow ONE to give a presentation on the Affordable Requirements Ordinance to an open meeting of the Zoning and Development Committee of the 46th ward. ONE recommended and voted to have a 10% affordable requirement.
They’re representative has not asked to do a presentation, but I think that would be a good idea for them to bring to the committee.
At several of the 46th ward Planning and Zoning committee meetings, of which ONE is a member, the alderman and his staff have given the committee patently false information on the requirements of a TIF development like the one JDL has proposed over the former Maryville site on Clarendon. Without warning, at the last meeting, the Alderman’s staff called for a vote on this development. Prior to the vote, we recommended in writing and presented to the committee that at least 20% affordable units be built at this development, but we were dismissed and ignored by the Alderman’s staff. ONE did vote for the 10% affordable units, as it appeared the vote for 20% would never carry. We believe strongly that any developer who stands to gain $30 million in TIF subsidy must provide a substantial community benefit. Because the committee’s vote was based on false information given by the Alderman and his staff, we stand by our position on at least 20% affordability being maintained. The statement is available online at http://onechicago.org/2013/03/public-statement-on-the-maryville/.
4.) Presentation on FLATS Chicago
Question: Will you broker a meeting between ONE and Jay Michael at which concrete agreements are made to preserve true affordability in the buildings? I already brokered a meeting like this and it fell apart. We were never aware of such a meeting, of which we should have been an integral part.
5.)Presentation on the Men’s Hotel
Question: Will you pledge not to close the Men’s Club until each tenant has a stable home elsewhere in Uptown to go to? Yes, absolutely. Good. We have surveyed the Wilson Club and the Ewing and it seems that the impact of your ordinance to close these buildings will leave most of the residents homeless. As a social worker, surely you are concerned about where these residents will go if their home is closed down. Since there is a significant loss of truly affordable housing in the 46th ward, we are skeptical that there are actually housing units (not shelter beds) in the ward for these individuals. By our calculation, you have worked, and mostly succeeded, to close at least 1000 units of affordable housing.