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The [Wednesday] Papers

Chicago, in one tweet, from the city council meeting today:

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The council approved the construction contract for the proposed West Side police academy.

The council is expected to approve a zoning change paving way for the academy today, too, making the done deal done.

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The new mayor can't take office soon enough.

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The election Ervin is referring to, via the Reader:

In the west-side 37th Ward, notwithstanding a social media and community organizing campaign against her, incumbent alderman Emma Mitts won reelection with 54 percent of the vote and won't face a runoff. Despite #AnybodyButMitts, which targeted her for her steadfast support of the $95 million police academy planned for the ward, voter turnout dipped slightly compared to 2015, from 27 to 24 percent.

Then again, on the same night that Mitts won re-election, two mayoral candidates opposed to the police academy also won, so are there no consequences from that?

Now, Ervin might say, hey, it's Emma's ward - aldermanic prerogative, ya know!

And Toni Preckwinkle might agree - after all, unlike Lori Lightfoot, she's not against aldermanic prerogative.

So I don't know if elections have consequences in this particular instance.

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To be clear, Lightfoot is not against a new police academy, she's just against this one:

"The Chicago Police Department 'desperately needs' a new training academy, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to build a $95 million complex in West Garfield Park is 'ill-conceived,' Police Board President Lori Lightfoot said Monday," the Sun-Times reported a year ago.

The newly-reappointed Police Board president said it's "undeniable" that the Police Department "desperately needs" a new training facility. The U.S. Justice Department report triggered by the police shooting of Laquan McDonald found CPD's training to be sorely lacking.

But she said: "From the perspective of many, the plan for the new police academy is flawed. I share that view . . . In its current form, the plan is ill-conceived."

Lightfoot then ticked off the reasons. It has more to do with the how and the where than the what.

"Putting this edifice to policing in this high-crime, impoverished neighborhood where relations between the police and the community are fraught, without a clear plan for community engagement, is a mistake," Lightfoot said.

Questioning how a $37 million funding gap will be closed, she said: "The allocation of any funds for a police academy - and certainly one that will likely exceed $100 million when all is said and done - is viewed by many as further affirmation that needs of the people will never be prioritized over those of the police."

Lightfoot argued that the "young people of color" who have organized around the Twitter hashtag #NoCopAcademy are "smart, organized and determined" - and not going away.

"For these young people, every dollar spent on policing is a dollar not spent on the needs of their communities," she said.

I agree. I'm not necessarily against a new police academy, but I'm against Rahm's typically heavy-handed top-down approach in all its insensitivity to the actual community in which it will be placed. I also don't see a police training facility as an economic development project to brag about. The trainees will need some places to eat? That will lure new housing and other businesses? I dunno.

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As for Preckwinkle:

"Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says she'll halt plans to build a new police academy, dismantle the city's contentious gang database and create an office of criminal justice as part of her plan to create a safer Chicago if elected," the Sun-Times reported in January.

"The plan to freeze the proposed construction of a new $95 million police and fire academy 'until further review' would allow the department to focus on overhauling police training because 'our highest priority is curriculum and content, not buildings and amenities.'"

Is this possible? Can the new mayor really freeze the project? Wouldn't it take a new city council vote to reverse field?

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As for Mitts, she said this in late February:

"Every time I try to bring any project in I have to fight and fight. Do you want us to be black and stay back all the time? No, I don't," Mitts said.

And, via Block Club Chicago:

"You take care of your business, and I'll take care of mine," Mitts said, delivering a succinct defense of aldermanic privilege, which gives each alderman the final decision over projects in his or her ward.

"And I hope that each and every one of you look in your own wards, see what you got," Mitts said. "And then just take a look in the 37th Ward. Don't you think we want the same thing? Don't you think we deserve the same thing?"

I get what she's saying, but I can think of several wards that probably wouldn't want the academy - especially in lieu of schools, businesses, tourist attractions, entertainment districts and all manner of housing.

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And then there's Rahm's not-so-hidden hand:

"Alderman Emma Mitts (37th Ward) took a $40,000 campaign donation from Mayor Emanuel two weeks before the city's planning commission approved funding for a $95 million police academy that will be built in her ward. The commission approved the funding two days after Mitts was elected to a sixth term," the Crusader reported last week.

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Previously in Emma Mitts, via the Beachwood vault . . .

February 2, 2010:

The money Carothers pocketed might seem like small change, but consider:

"The zoning change had another, more personal economic impact. Prosecutors said that change meant an extra $3 million in Boender's pockets," the Tribune reports.

"Others benefited as well, according to court records filed Monday. Boender hired Carothers' brother, Anthony, for security at Galewood Yards. The records also state that Red Seal Development Corp., Boender's partners in the project, employed Ald. Emma Mitts' daughter as a laborer and used Gutierrez's sister-in-law to sell real estate.

March 8, 2010:

"Mitts' daughter, LaTonya Mitts, said she got the job on her own.

"'I had the skills and I applied,' LaTonya Mitts said.

"Ald. Mitts said her daughter worked as an hourly maintenance laborer on the project for three to six months.

"'One of my primary goals as alderman is to provide jobs and economic empowerment and opportunity for my constituents,' Mitts said. 'Several constituents, including my daughter, applied and after a review of their qualifications, were hired.'"

Nobody even knew who LaTonya's mother was!

February 7, 2014:

"A Chicago alderman has thrown her support behind convicted former Ald. Isaac 'Ike' Carothers as he attempts to make a political comeback - and history - by becoming what one expert said would be the first area public official to return to elected office after doing time for corruption," the Sun-Times reports.

"Documents filed with the state Board of Elections indicate Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) is the campaign chairwoman of the Friends of Ike Carothers committee, the political organization behind Carothers' bid for an open Cook County Board seat."

"The Tribune reports that federal authorities are examining the deal as part of an investigation into how zoning decisions are made in City Hall," I wrote in 2008.

"Of course, Gutierrez is one just one end of the deal; Daley is on the other end. City planners told Daley they opposed the Boender project. Yet, a compromise favorable to Boender passed the mayor's Chicago Plan Commission; naturally, Boender was represented by zoning lawyer James Banks, the nephew of Big Bad Bill Banks, who conveniently enough is the chairman of the city council's zoning committee.

"Alds. Ike Carothers and Emma Mitts also deserve special mention. As reported by the Trib, Carothers compared the development, which would include a 14-screen movie theater and 187 homes, condos and townhouses, to the proposed Calatrava Spire. Mitts, meanwhile, put a down payment on one of Boender's homes, though she ultimately couldn't follow through."

"'After going through the motions of taking resumes on the city Web site, Daley picked someone who wouldn't have been state representative if Carothers hadn't decided to pull out all the stops to get her elected in 2002, with some help from Carothers' wholly owned subsidiary in the 37th Ward - Ald. Emma Mitts,' Mark Brown writes."

December 9, 2015:

"West Side Ald. Emma Mitts, 37th, said she has apologized to her constituents for not doing more due diligence on the McDonald case. Mitts said she was 'really just as shocked as everyone when we got briefed on' the McDonald video shortly before Emanuel publicly released it.

"They told us about it and said 'You voted for it,' and I'm like, 'Voted for what?'" Mitts said.

Let's look at the transcript again of the Finance Committee approving of the settlement and sending it along to the full City Council, where it was approved without discussion.

City attorney Stephen Patton: Words, words, words.

Finance Committee: Aye.

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"So I had to research," Mitts said, "and I apologized for that, but at the same time our duty is to oversee the taxpayers."

That's true, and to that end it appears the city and the council did a good job cheaping out the McDonald family. Bravo.

June 23, 2016:

"Motorists who park illegally in private lots and return to find their vehicles booted may soon have to pay a little extra for using credit cards to pay the $140 removal fee," the Sun-Times reports.

"Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) chairman of the City Council's License Committee, wants to empower private booters now roaming free in more than half of Chicago to charge a 'convenience fee' to recoup the processing fee they must absorb when motorists pay with plastic."

Emma Mitts, you are Today's Worst Person In Chicago.

August 6, 2018:

George McKinley, 37th Ward Magically, all of George's petition signatures are identical to the ones for Emma Mitts, the 37th Ward Democratic committeeman and alderman. It seems that someone carried both a Democrat and a Republican petition down the streets of the 37th. Perhaps it isn't magic: George works in Emma's office.

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And, finally . . .

When Emma And Ike Stalled Police Board Reforms:

"If it ain't broke, why are we trying to fix it?"

Emma Mitts, everyone!

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

How The Rich Really Play, "Who Wants To Be An Ivy Leaguer?
What was meant as a work of investigative journalism became a how-to for affluent readers.

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ChicagoReddit

Has anyone had issues with Ventra cards on the app from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

Instagram is down!

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ChicagoTube

R. Kelly Pranked At His Chicago Trump Tower Condo.

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BeachBook

Hal Blaine, Pop Music's Go-To Studio Drummer, Is Dead At 90.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood McRibTipLine: In our cups.



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Posted on March 13, 2019


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BOOKS - The Bias Hiding In Your Library.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - County To Historic Wash Park Bank: Drop Dead.


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