Tuesday, October 15, 2013

RECAP: Readers' Notes From Last Night's Community Meeting

Many CWB readers attended the Southeast Lake View Neighbors Association's (SELVN) monthly meeting last night to express their thoughts about the Broadway Youth Center's (BYC) desire to set up a permanent service center.

The most frequent observation? There was no representative from Alderman Tom Tunney's office there.

The SELVN's monthly meeting minutes archive shows that someone from the alderman's office is almost always there. Perhaps they were booked. Or, perhaps they would like to have the ability to say that they didn't hear about the neighbor's thoughts.

Just to cover your bases, perhaps you'd like to piece together a few thoughts in an email to ward44@cityofchicago.org

Here's a recap of last night's BYC discussion from readers' comments and emails:
Never underestimate the power of the humble flyer...over 100 people showed up, most of them quite angry.
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I also find it interesting hoe a vote is to take place December 9 and they ALREADY are on the docket for city approval. Makes u wonder if the vote on Dec 9 is symbolic. What if the neighbors vote no??
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It was painfully obvious that they hoped this meeting was going to go under the radar and their usual 10-15 people would show up. It's also obvious by their answers they (a) have no real plan after the doors close - so its a CRIB all over again and (b) could care less about the community with the answers they gave. 
Ans speaking of answers -- the BYC could not answer ONE straight question about working with police...and when they did they danced around the topic, never really saying they would help police if one of their clients is in the hood causing trouble. 
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Shame on the BYC for not cooperating with police when the manager of Chipotle was assaulted by one of their clients.  Imagine if a LGBT client had been assaulted by anybody else, the BYC and the entire GLBT community would be enraged, demanding justice for the victim
The entire population is required to identify ourselves every day, many times per day in order to get health services or any other kind of services.   Allowing the clientsof BYC to be anonymous is enabling criminals/gangbangers to hang out there and make it their headquarters.  The BYC is not doing their clients any favors by doing this.  
Registration, presenting I.D. should be REQUIRED.   
Furthermore, clients should be presented a contract to sign which says they understand they are expected to behave in a lawful manner when they are coming/going from BYC.  That they will be banned from the BYC if they get in trouble in the neighborhood. Furthermore this contract should state that the BYC is cooperating with the Chicago Police dept.    
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Also must be nice to be providing illegal healthcare due to not having the proper permit....but hey...what Tunney wants...Tunney gets.
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Over 100 people attended. The BYC segment was the lengthiest part, needless to say. Most of the people hammered away on what plans the BYC had to control the people they are bringing into the neighborhood for their programs. 
At first they simply refused to answer, then they pretty much said it's really not their responsibility. A retired cop recounted a recent robbery incident involving a silver colored gun, and that a gun matching that description was found in the alley in the vicinity of BYC. 
The representatives told us they service patrons from 12 to 24 years old, but with their no ID required, no background check policy I must say that their operating procedure is reckless to say the least. Mixing children as young as 12 in with adults (and troubled adults at that) is beyond irresponsible. 
People questioned the procedure that allowed them to move into the Wellington location with no advanced notice to the neighborhood and no permit to operate. BYC claimed they and the alderman were unaware that a zoning permit was required. 
Yes, you may have to read that twice to make sure you read correctly, but that's what they said. They discounted one resident's comments about the beating of the Chipotle manage by BYC patrons when they were located at Belmont and Broadway as 'second hand information." they also refused to comment on BYC refusal to cooperate with the police in that matter. 
Most damning was a comment that came near the end when a resident pointed out that no zoning permit for that location would allow for some of the programs they are running (most notably any medical type program). The CAPS officer present applauded that comment.
Of course there were a few supporters who trotted out the usual slogans about the residents hateful intolerance and closed-mindedness. 
To be frank, the alderman has some explaining to do, especially if he votes to approve this location before it goes off to the zoning board.
Another neighbor emailed:
We need people to sign up as members of selvn so they can vote against byc. Can you help? Thanks
Yes we can. $10 per calendar year to join. You are entitled to vote after being a member in good standing for two weeks.

More details here. Direct link to membership application here.

…And, as one emailer suggested, we read BYC's Yelp! reviews. There are five of them, but only one from 2013:
First, I support any place that contributes to free STD testing. However this place suffers from a grave lack of organization and common sense management.
The nurse is never there first of all, so the idea of syphillis testing is basically false advertising
The clinic which is apparently walk in only, "fills up" 2 to 3 hours before closing time and when you come in they say "WOOPS here go to this other clinic but they'll charge you 90 dollars" 
All of this will happen that is IF you can get there during their obscure hours. Hey BYC normal people work from 9-5 on weekdays. 
Lastly, you will wait in the waiting room and deal with people singing, running around, causing chaos for an hour AT LEAST. Like this is the testing part of the clinic, why is there so much going on? And waiting for that long greatly discourages people from coming in general. 
GREAT GREAT GREAT IDEA, but such poor execution.
Innnnnteresting.

21 comments:

  1. Wanted to give a big thanks to everyone that showed up at the meeting for others that couldn't. These personal accounts only sound like one thing. Two trains blazing down the tracks from opposite directions. One big TRAINWRECK.

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  2. This place is a DONE DEAL. Tunney has approved it in a backroom deal. It will operate however they want it to operate. It does not matter what the neighbors think or how they vote. It is a DONE DEAL. Mark my words...

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  3. Hey "DONE DEAL" Anonymous- I don't accept that and I don't think the majority of folks in this neighborhood accept that. Be cynical all you want, but I plan to fight this to the end. Period. There are laws and zoning ordinances that at the very least prevent them from doing any of their medical services there. If you want to give up before you even try to fight this, fine, go ahead. But I don't think the majority of the residents in this neighborhood are ready to give up so easily. I am going to fight for the neighborhood I love as hard as I can and as long as I have to. And I suspect, especially from the turnout at the SELVN meeting last night, that there are a lot more people that feel the way I do.

    We can do this, people. And you all are truly awesome for coming out last night and raising your voices and sharing your points of view. THANK YOU! We need to keep this up, so please join SELVN asap so you can vote in the meeting on Nov. 11, email Alderman Tunney and Commander Voulgaris, and let's keep this momentum going. We CAN effect change in our neighborhood - TOGETHER.

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  4. Sarah G. said...
    Hey "DONE DEAL" Anonymous- I don't accept that and I don't think the majority of folks in this neighborhood accept that. Be cynical all you want, but I plan to fight this to the end. Period. There are laws and zoning ordinances that at the very least prevent them from doing any of their medical services there. If you want to give up before you even try to fight this, fine, go ahead. But I don't think the majority of the residents in this neighborhood are ready to give up so easily. I am going to fight for the neighborhood I love as hard as I can and as long as I have to. And I suspect, especially from the turnout at the SELVN meeting last night, that there are a lot more people that feel the way I do.

    We can do this, people. And you all are truly awesome for coming out last night and raising your voices and sharing your points of view. THANK YOU! We need to keep this up, so please join SELVN asap so you can vote in the meeting on Nov. 11, email Alderman Tunney and Commander Voulgaris, and let's keep this momentum going. We CAN effect change in our neighborhood - TOGETHER.

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    Right on, Sarah! We'll be there all the way.

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  5. Sarah, even if it is a "done deal" it's far from over. A sleeping giant is starting to wake.

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  6. Great turn out from the community to oppose the BYC. Since BYC is a program of Howard Brown, why isn't it just run out of Howard Brown facilities?
    Next up, what do we do about The Crib?

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  7. A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL THE NEIGHBORS WHO CARED ENOUGH TO SHOW UP!! You made a big difference!

    1) Please keep coming to the SELVN meetings (second Monday of each month...next one Nov 11th).
    2) If you live within the SELVN boundaries of Diversey and Belmont and Halsted and LSD become a member so you can vote.
    3) Talk to your neighbors and recruit them.
    4) Tell everyone you know about this blog. Only when people read for themselves what happens here everyday will they be inspired enough to get involved. (I have it on my toolbar.) Also, connect w/ people who've met through the blog.
    5) Sign the petition on the blog.
    6) Go to CAPS meetings at the police station on Addison (first Wednesday of each month...next one Nov 6th).
    7) Write to, call or meet with Alderman Tom Tunney and let him know exactly how you feel. He is supposed to represent us. If he doesn't, then elect someone who will.
    8) Let Commander Voulgaris know about anything suspicious. He wants to know about it. Call 911, too.
    9) Stand up for our neighborhood. It would be a tragedy to lose such a beautiful thing.

    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." -Edward Burke

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  8. I am just outside the SELVN area but interested in stopping this. Will there be a meeting at city hall we can attend? I work downtown during the day and could easily head over to lend my support.

    Also maybe Alderman Smith would be interested as this borders her ward.

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  9. People, stop relying on self-serving politicians. Persuading someone across the street to aim a camera at the entrance of the BYC facility and streaming the images to the web would kill the BYC because there goes the anonymity of research subjects (ie "troubled youth") and they will have no other choice than to move out.

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  10. Bad News! Periwinkle was on Chicago Tonight (http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2013/10/15/juvenile-detention) last night promoting the new law that requires thugs under 17 to only be administered through the juvenile justice system instead of allowing prosecutors and judges to place extreme offenders into the adult system (there is an exception for murder which can be placed in the adult system). It was very disturbing what she said she wants. (BTW the pictures they showed of the Juvenile Jail looked like a pretty nice place, too nice! It’s supposed to be punishment, not a vacation. FYI, they let them paint their cells with graffiti. Great, let them practice their tagging they have done all across the city.)

    1. She wants to expand the law through age 21.

    2. She wants to start releasing all juveniles immediately after arrest back into the community as they await trial. In other words, she wants to put them into our community youth centers. Yes, you heard that correctly. After they are arrested she wants them released to the youth centers which are in our community. If you think the crime problem hasn’t been bad enough it will get a lot worse when she starts releasing criminals from all over the city into our community. (They realize that they don’t have enough space to house all of the criminals in the juvenile facilities which is what is prompting this. My vote, overflow show go to the adult jail and more jails should be built (they would be cheaper facilities to build if you didn’t try to make them into a hotel that is nicer than the homes the little brats came from).

    How delusional can people really be? Sure, teenagers arrested for crimes are going to be responsible when you let them out and will show up for court. I’m so sure all those gangbangers are going to be real cooperative. Sure that will happen. Really people? This is a state law that took away the discretion of local prosecutors and judges and Periwinkle is the one who pushed for it. We are going to have to take all of this to the state representatives as well to prevent Periwinkle from achieving her goals. How mentally challenged and brainless do you have to be to think this is going to work?

    I have been a lifetime Democratic and have never voted for any Republican in any election and I vote in every election. I am seriously thinking about voting Republican in the next election to get these brainless idiots out that are this delusional about crime. I get that they are trying sympathetic approaches to rehabilitate criminals but this is beyond ludicrous. This is the Democrats equivalent of the Tea Party.

    (Moderator, you might want to create a new post on this story. It's pretty disturbing what Periwinkle wants.)

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  11. "I am just outside the SELVN area but interested in stopping this. Will there be a meeting at city hall we can attend?"

    You should immediately write to the Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals. It's critical for people in the immediate vicinity (250 feet of the church) to write NOW and voice their opposition. When this comes up before the Zoning Board there will be a chance for the public to speak, and while it is vitally important to have those immediate neighbors speak, you as a concerned community member can also speak in support of the neighbors. As many people as possible to write and then speak to the zoning board is critical.

    Email and mail a hard copy as well.

    Jonathan Swain, Chairman Zoning Board of Appeals

    312.744.5822 or ZBA@cityofchicago.org

    Jonathan Swain, Chairman Zoning Board of appeals
    City Hall
    121 North LaSalle, St.
    Chicago, IL 60602

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  12. I thought I read somewhere that BYC was a *for-profit* enterprise. But I also read that it was affiliated with Howard Brown. Can someone confirm BYC's status and ownership/affiliation?

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  13. Question: From what neighborhoods do the clients come? Do they keep statistics? I'm curious why we don't bring social services to the clients rather than having the clients trek across the city to receive them.

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  14. It looks like SELVN needs to find an Attorney to file an injunction against the opening of this center if it is in fact operating in an area that it isn't zoned for (if they aren't seeking a zoning variance or a special use permit).

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  15. "Persuading someone across the street to aim a camera at the entrance of the BYC facility and streaming the images to the web would kill the BYC because there goes the anonymity of research subjects (ie "troubled youth") and they will have no other choice than to move out."

    They would steal the camera long before they would move out IMHO.

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  16. "They would steal the camera long before they would move out IMHO."

    Seriously, someone's security camera at a safe height from the street level aiming at their main entrance (and/or at the alley area)that streams images on the internet would be an enormous setback to the BYC because their services would no longer be anonymous, which to them is a criterion for the way they operate. So that would be the end of the BYC on Wellington.

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  17. "Persuading someone across the street to aim a camera at the entrance of the BYC facility and streaming the images to the web would kill the BYC because there goes the anonymity of research subjects (ie "troubled youth") and they will have no other choice than to move out."

    Giving the 'Spock" eyebrow...hmmmmmm

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  18. I would like to say thank you so much to the people in charge of this CWB website. You have brought to light so many issues that have been going on in this neighborhood that would otherwise be overlooked and ignored. I was a beating and robbery victim last year which drew my attention to what is going on. It surely opened my eyes. Really, all you have to do is go out for a fun night on Halsted street after dark and you will truly see what is going on unless you are completely naive. Anyway, there are plenty of people in this neighborhood who do not enjoy the nightlife that east lakeview has to offer, which renders them unaware of the horrific crimes that are happening right on their streets on a nightly basis. The local news surely does not bring any of this to light either. So this website is a necessary reference for everybody that lives here, and I wish there was a way that we could make sure that everybody is aware of it and reading it daily so that we can rise up and take our hood back from these degenerate animal thugs. Again, thanks CWB for all you do and I have already become a SELVN member (thanks to this website and the flyers posted around the area) in order to vote AGAINST this atrocity known as the BYC. In cooperation with the center on halsted, the crib, and the night ministry, the BYC will be the final nail in the coffin and together will be the demise of what we have previously known as the best neighborhood in the city. we CANNOT let this happen.

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  19. ^ Thank you for your support, Anonymous. Four of the five CWB editors are also victims of violent crimes in Wrigleyville or Boystown.

    As a group, we support the missions of the public service groups 100%.

    The disconnect is not in the services provided. The disconnect is in the groups' unwillingness to be good neighbors.

    Turning our neighborhood around is a process. It will take time and it will take people like you meeting and working with other concerned neighbors.

    We 100% believe that this community can return to the level of safety we enjoyed not very long ago. We also fully believe that responsibly-operated social agencies are an important part of our neighborhood's future.

    The time for deflection and denial is long gone. The "you can't prove anything" excuse is tired and hollow, particularly when many of these agencies flat-out refuse to assist police when officers desperately need it most.

    We'll get there. It won't happen tomorrow or even this year, but we'll get there.

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  20. Just wanted to mention the links to SELVN (more info on membership, membership) didn't work for me.

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  21. AnonymousMonday, 21 October, 2013
    Just wanted to mention the links to SELVN (more info on membership, membership) didn't work for me.
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    We just checked them and they are working. Be sure to click on the word(s) "here." That's where the link is.

    Thank you!

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