On August 5, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers raided a gas station on Belmont and Milwaukee Avenues that has long been a hiring site for day laborers (jornaleros) in Chicago. A group of workers—most of whom specialize in construction and landscaping—gathered that morning, as they do every day. They waited for employers who regularly come by to make job offers and negotiate a pay rate. The workers who frequent this particular site in Albany Park are black, Polish, Eastern European, Latinx. Some are immigrants, and some are not.
Read Part One, resources available to Chicago homeowners, here.
In late January, the city of Chicago released a list of landlords found by the Department of Buildings to have repeatedly failed to provide for their tenants basic services such as heat, hot water, and functional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to their tenants. The “Problem Landlord List,” as it has been dubbed, cites forty-five individual properties, concentrated on the South and West Sides, with three or more serious code violations—all owned by landlords caught up in two or more administrative hearing cases within a two-year period. One building on the list—a Woodlawn address at 64th and Eberhart—has ninety-three open violations. The list is meant to alert renters to some of the worst-case scenarios of renting in Chicago. The Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) outlines the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords alike. Below are some of the main issues covered in the RLTO. Continue reading
Read Part Two, an overview of renters’ rights in Chicago, here.
Chicago is often thought of as a city of renters, but homeownership has played a contested and extremely influential role in creating this city. From rampant redlining and blockbusting practices in the twentieth century to the more recent impact of the foreclosure crisis, Chicago has been shaped—quite literally—by fluctuations and manipulations of mortgage rates, property values, and homeownership. The Weekly has compiled a list of organizations and resources that might be helpful for those navigating precarious homeownership situations, or for those seeking more information on the subject. Continue reading
With Up in Here: Jailing Kids on Chicago’s Other Side, Mark Dostert returns to the detention center where he once volunteered as a student chaplain. Then, interpreting scripture for a cluster of quiet, studious residents came with a sense of duty and idealism. That idealism evaporates his first day on the job. As Dostert quickly realizes, the responsibilities of a “children’s attendant” are those of a jailor. He seems surprised and even offended by every detail of his job. He expected to serve as a kind of cell block counselor, mentoring young boys over games of chess on the value of impulse control while a real guard stood silently in the background. He is appalled at the way Audy Home supervisors run their show: “Children sanitizes the more accurate labels—juveniles or inmates—that we’re instructed not to call the boys…Sleeping in a room must not scar a boy’s soul compared to sleeping in a cell. Glancing into the rectangular brick-walled chambers, hardly wider than my arms’ span, I can’t deny that they are cells, damn it. And in cells live inmates.” Continue reading
Everyone knows that in Hyde Park the Medici has the best milkshakes (get the mexicana with a shot of espresso), Valois the best post-anything brunch, Blackstone Bikes the best quick fix, Open Produce the best 1am raspberries, the Point the best bonfire, LSD bike path the best way out, Grounds of Being the best $1 coffee (cash-only), Kimbark the best student-friendly liquor store, the quad the best shade, Powell’s the best cheap books, the Seminary Co-op the best class books, Clarke’s the best place to avoid at all costs, Swift Hall the best fire escape, Mansueto the best thunderstorm view, Rajun Cajun the best palak paneer and butter chicken, Harold’s the best half dark with salt and pepper (hot sauce on the side), Hyde Park Produce the best greens, WHPK the best 2am tunes, Jimmy’s the best thing to do when there’s nothing else to do, and Maravillas the best thing to do after that. Continue reading
On May 1, 2006, 300,000 demonstrators marched through downtown Chicago as part of a nationwide protest of several restrictionist proposals to U.S. immigration policy. Within the federal government, a bill (H.R. 4437) sat before legislators, threatening to criminalize undocumented immigrants and anyone assisting them as felons. On May Day 2014, as they have every year since, demonstrators gathered once again to protest deportations. Continue reading
Jazz cellist Tomeka Reid has a soft-spoken way about her. Continue reading
There are many ways into Bridgeport as a neighborhood, figuratively and literally. If you’re not a local, you might step off the Halsted Orange Line, make your way south and come across the sprawling, grass-filled expanse of Palmisano Park. Or you might come down from the Archer 62 bus, down to the Ling Shen Ching Tze (芝城雷藏寺) Buddhist Temple on West 31st., poke your head in, take off your shoes, and end up with a short lesson on Buddhism. On another night you might stop in for a drink at Maria’s. Or Bernice’s Tavern. Or Schaller’s Pump. Continue reading