At Lindblom Math and Science Academy, a selective enrollment school in Englewood, a new cohort of urban planners is on the rise. For the past few months, students taking Honors Human Geography have been investigating the issues facing their neighborhoods and designing projects aimed at addressing them. Three Wednesdays ago, on February 13, seventy students presented their work—podcasts, diagrams, colorful cardboard cutouts—to each other, more students from the school, and architects and urban planners.
Jaime Guzmán is one of three candidates vying for alderman in the 14th Ward, which covers parts of Gage Park, Archer Heights, Brighton Park, and Garfield Ridge. He’s up against Tanya Patiño, a civil engineer who started her campaign late in December but picked up the endorsement of U.S. Representative Jesús “Chuy” García and other progressive groups, and the notorious Ed Burke, who is seeking re-election despite facing federal extortion charges. Guzmán has spent ten years working in nonprofits, doing violence intervention work for Enlace Chicago and improving digital literacy at the Resurrection Project. He’s also worked as an aide to outgoing 22nd Ward Alderman Ricardo Muñoz and a legislative staffer for García during his time on the Cook County Board.
At the intersection of 51st Street and Washtenaw Avenue in Gage Park rests the political fate of the 14th Ward. The northeast corner is home to the office of its alderman, Edward Burke, who holds a number of other important distinctions: longest-serving alderman in Chicago history (since 1969), largest stash of aldermanic campaign funds ($12 million), until recently chair of City Council’s Finance Committee (considered by many to be one of the most powerful positions in city government), and, as of a couple weeks ago, the latest Chicago alderman to be charged with corruption by the federal government. A towering, two-story sign reads “14th Ward Regular Democratic Organization,” lest you forget who still runs this place.
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Mike McMahon is a fourth-generation Pullman resident. His great-grandmother settled in Pullman in 1928. He is the president of the Historic Pullman Garden Club.
On Wednesday, June 13, the 8th grade class from Philip D. Armour Elementary gathered in the backroom of Bridgeport Coffee, five blocks north on Morgan Street from their school building, to celebrate the maps they had created of Bridgeport. For eight weeks, in collaboration with the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the students had perused archival collections of Bridgeport and other neighborhoods and learned about the ways in which maps represent communities. “Mapping the Neighborhood,” the name of their exhibition, featured maps of varying scale, focus, and artistic style in an attempt to answer a question: how is Bridgeport changing?
On the night of March 20, at the end of a race that had cost candidates a combined $5 million, Joseph Berrios called Fritz Kaegi to congratulate him on his victory. Barring the unlikely introduction and even less likely victory of a Republican candidate in the fall, Kaegi will assume the office of Cook County Assessor in December and attempt to deliver on his reformist platform. What voters may not realize—and what Kaegi will have to contend with—is that the anticipated reforms are years away.
In 2010, when the last families were moving out of Cabrini-Green and the last tower was being prepared for demolition, Ben Austen, a magazine writer and South Side native, began researching this end of an era for a Harper’s article. In a recent interview with the Weekly, Austen reflected that the more he dug in, he realized that this was “not just an important Chicago story but one of the most important Chicago stories…the whole history of the city exists within it.” Seven years and hundreds of interviews later, Austen would document that history in a deeper way with High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing.
This week on SSW Radio we got reactions on Black History Month, talked with Ben Austen about his new book on public housing, and began celebrating Valentine’s Day with the first in a series of interviews about love and marriage