Archive for July, 2008

Cost-Cutting Ideas for Mayor Daley

Posted on July 31, 2008. Filed under: Chicago | Tags: |

In an effort to save over $3 million, Mayor Daley is requiring managers earning $75k-plus per year to take three unpaid days.  Managers earning under $75k are required to take two unpaid days. 
While this may be an effective plan, and it may well be, I would like to offer a few suggestions on how to cut the city’s budget.
                                                                                        
   
1) Remove some of the high ranking managers in the government’s ranks.  They are all Daley’s puppets in one form or another, and they don’t do much anyway.
2) Give some of the Aldermen furloughs.  Many are invisible in the community, so that shouldn’t be too hard.
3) Provide diversity training in the police department.  The city would have  ALOT more money if the police officers would serve and protect instead of attacking citizens maliciously. 
According to the Chicago Reporter, “Between 1998 and 2002-the most recent year for which information is available-citizens made 13,703 charges against officers. OPS found evidence to support 847 of them. During the same period, the city resolved 935 civil cases alleging excessive force by Chicago police officers that will cost the city $61.2 million.”  So, looking at the $61.2 million figure, that would cover huge deficits for many years.
4) Stop putting all of those flowers and trees in the middle of wide streets.  They are making u-turns impossible, and make drivers waste gas and time.  I sometimes feel that Mayor Daley puts more time and effort into going green than into education.
That’s all I have for now.  I will definitely share as I gain more ideas.
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Where is the Justice?

Posted on July 30, 2008. Filed under: Police | Tags: , |

On Saturday, July 26, 2008, the driver of police car # 7904 ran a red light at approximately 7:25 a.m. on 87th & Morgan.  Now, if this were me, I would have been ticketed and given a moving violation.  Where is the justice?

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School to Prison Pipeline – Chicago, IL

Posted on July 28, 2008. Filed under: Chicago | Tags: , , , |

There is information available about how the schools and prisons are working together to make sure that little people of color, particularly African Americans, are doomed for the rest of their lives.  According to the Chicago Public School’s website (http://www.cps.k12.il.us/AtAGlance.html), the cost to educate a child was “$10,555 operating expenditure per pupil” during the 2007 – 2008 school year. 

Check this out.  There is a state prison facility in Chicago and it costs $76,095.00 to lock a child up.  That is a difference of over $60,000 http://www.idoc.state.il.us/subsections/facilities/information.asp?instchoice=chi

(Information provided from the Fiscal Year 2003 Annual Report)Illinois Youth Center Chicago
Opened: July 1999
Capacity: 130
Level 3: Minimum-Security Juvenile Male
Average Daily Population: 104
Total Average Daily Population: 104
Average Age: 17
Average Annual Cost Per Inmate: $76,095.00

Is this not the most disheartening information you have seen in a long time?  And notice that the average age of inmates is 17 years old which means that their youth has been pretty much snatched from them.  Also, if you delve deeper into the information on the site, over 60% of the inmates in Illinois prisons are Black.

What does this mean?  It means that non-Black people should walk in the shoes of Black people, especially Black men, for one year to feel the social and mental castration experienced by these people.  The politicians and decision makers should experience the plight of people living as hostages in their own homes due to unsafe environments.  These environments are unsafe because people have turned to illegal activities for survival.  However, if those activities are the only options that they feel that can help, that is what they are going to do.  They may not think that they can do better because they feel that they odds are against them. 

High-ranking officials need to witness firsthand the feeling of not being able to support their families due to unemployment, under-employment, lower wages, and other unequal situations based on skin color.  They should also send their children to experience the poor environments in Chicago Public Schools. 

These are just a few of the social ills that lend themselves to the school to prison pipeline.  I don’t have any resources to direct you to.  However, if you learn of any resources, please direct them to me at legalpolice@yahoo.com.

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You Are Paying to Be Watched

Posted on July 24, 2008. Filed under: Chicago | Tags: , , , , |

Your every move is being watched in Chicago – blue police cameras, red speeding cameras, and the newly considered cameras on street sweeping trucks (what color will they be?). And you are paying for each of them in one way or another.  You are being watched, but you have to pay.  How fair is that?

 

Police cameras were initially installed to reduce gang and drug activity.  The speeding cameras are supposed to catch drivers running red lights.  Sweepers will have cameras to catch the owners of vehicles that have not moved their rides during scheduled street cleanings.

 

What everything really boils down to is money (this was really rocket science).  The police cameras are NOT fully reducing drug and gang activity (obviously).  According to people I interviewed in person and via an email questionnaire, drug activity takes place directly UNDER the cameras.  Many people interviewed feel that the cameras are not effective.  

 

Based on data obtained from the Chicago Police Department’s Freedom of Information office and chicago.everyblock.com/crime, 36 cameras are mounted in 60624 and 2092 narcotics arrests were made between January 1 and June 30, 2008 in the same zip code.  (These figures do include indoor arrests.)  What is the point of the cameras again? 

 

Traffic cameras are huge money makers in Chicago.  According to the March 13, 2008 issue of Chi-Town Daily News:  “The city claims success with its red light tickets, which raked in $24.6 million for the city in 2007. That’s up from $19.8 million in 2006, says Ed Walsh, spokesman for the Department of Revenue.”

 

There were 69 cameras in Chicago as of March 13, 2008.  Sixty additional cameras were scheduled for installation by the end of March.  I have no information to confirm that they have been installed.

 

Owners of cars will be slapped with a $50 fine if their vehicles are not moved on street sweeping day. The June 23rd issue of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that “Every sweeper would be equipped with a pair of cameras — one to capture the image of the ‘illegally parked vehicle and its surroundings,’ the other to take a clear picture of the license plate. Video evidence would be forwarded to the city’s Department of Revenue daily, then mailed to motorists along with the $50 tickets.”

 

They also said that, “In 2006, the city issued 345,206 sweeper tickets.”  This means that $17,260,300 was made in 2006 and even more was made in 2007.  So, with over $17 million dollars made in one year, the cameras are being installed for what?  To pay for the 2016 Olympics.

 

Police cameras, speeding cameras, and sweeper cameras are the three spy tactics that you are paying with your tax dollars to be watched.

http://www.chitowndailynews.org/Chicago_news/Aldermen_push_speeding_cameras,12620

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/1071147,sweep072308.article

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10% Sales Tax or Die

Posted on July 23, 2008. Filed under: Chicago | Tags: , , |

Ok, the title is a little exaggerated, but the message from Cook County Commissoner Larry Suffredin pretty much states that without the tax increase, services at county hospitals and Cook County jails will be compromised.

That’s unfortunate.  With over 430 inmates in Cook County Jail who have awaited two or more years for a trial with 36 of those inmates waiting over five years, these people will waste away waiting for an initial hearing.  And the service at Cook County hospital is already less-than-stellar.  I have a feeling that we will not really see a positive difference in customer service in the overly defunct hospital system. 

However, there is a huge Olympic project underway.  You know, Chicago is bidding to be the city of choice for the 2016 Olympics.  And Chicago is located in Cook County…HMMMM.  This is possibly another story.

In the meantime, read the full story at http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=6280466

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The 10% Sales Tax is “Taking Food from Kids’ Mouths”

Posted on July 23, 2008. Filed under: Chicago | Tags: , , , |

These were the words of Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica about the current jump in sales tax that took effect on July 1, 2008.  In fact, his exact words were:  “This tax is only regressive and will hurt the poor most. And we’re trying to help them out? Give me a break, all we’re doing is taking food from kids’ mouths.” 

He then says, “We don’t need this tax on the working men and women of Cook County who don’t even have a voice on the board.”

Hurt the poor?  Working men and women of Cook County?  Does he not realize that many of the working men and women of Cook County are becoming the “working poor”?  There are very few signs that the middle-class ever existed.  What is he talking about? This is the biggest pile of garbage I’ve heard all day. 

Food started leaving the mouths of babes with the current spike in unemployment; the unbearable cost of gas; and the increase in food prices.  These are just a few of the factors that are affecting the food supply of our youngsters.

If he really wanted to help, he would make an effort to adjust the taxes on gas and food in Cook County in spite of the increase.  While he may not have a lot of control over the unemployment situation directly, I’m sure he could pull a few strings and get a few people over to the Water Reclamation District for the summer.  Wait a minute…he probably already has people there.  Strike that. 

Read the entire story http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=6280466.

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Why Your Kids Aren’t Working

Posted on July 22, 2008. Filed under: Chicago | Tags: , , , , , |

According to a report by Fox news on July 14, 2008, children of taxpayers cannot get good paying summer jobs because they are “going to children of politicians, city and county officials and full-time employees of the District.”“The Fox News investigation found ten children of seven Chicago aldermen landed summer jobs at the Water Reclamation District. The aldermen include Tom Allen, Carrie Austin, Ike Carothers, Pat Levar, Patrick O’Connor, Frank Olivo and Eugene Schulter. ”

 

Allow me to exercise my first dmendment right of Freedom of Speech.  If the truth is to be told, some of  the children of the politicians and other people with clout would probably be better off in their parents’ positions for what they are worth.

http://www.myfoxchicago.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=6981859&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1

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So Much for a Speedy Trial

Posted on July 22, 2008. Filed under: Chicago | Tags: , , , |

The 6th Amendment under the Bill of Rights says that accusers in criminal prosecutions have a right to a speedy and public trial.   That was then.

This is now.  Currently, there are over 430 inmates in Cook County Jail who have awaited two or more years for a trial with 36 of those inmates waiting over five years, according to a July 7th article in the Chicago Sun-Times.  

I guess it’s supposed to be a minor consolation to know that the “percentage of Cook County inmates who have waited more than a year for trial has fallen to 13.7 percent this year from 18.3 percent in 2003.”

It was noted that “the inmates waiting the longest tend to face the most serious charges” and “Whenever we have major problems here at the jail . . . it almost always [involves] the people who are here the longest,” said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. “These are people with nothing but time on their hands.”

A few questions come to mind:

  1. What is the REAL reason why these inmates have not been to trial? 
  2. Will the recent hike in county taxes help to resolve this issue?
  3. Since my tax dollars are being used to care for these people, can I write them off on my taxes?

Read the entire story at http://www.suntimes.com/news/24-7/1042636,CST-NWS-jail07.article.

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