Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 - Mayor Emanuel, CPD Supt. Johnson respond *** Kennedy claims a “strategic gentrification plan” is deliberately forcing people of color to leave Chicago
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*** UPDATED x2 - Mayor Emanuel, CPD Supt. Johnson respond *** Kennedy claims a “strategic gentrification plan” is deliberately forcing people of color to leave Chicago

Wednesday, Jan 3, 2018

* I have heard some African-American politicians say this in private as far back as Mayor Richard M. Daley’s tenure

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy on Wednesday accused Mayor Rahm Emanuel of being part of a “strategic gentrification plan being implemented by the city of Chicago to push people of color out” of the city. […]

Asked about minorities moving from the city to the suburbs, Kennedy said: “My belief is they are being pushed out. This is involuntary. We’re cutting off money for schools, cutting off money for police, allowing people to be forced to live in food deserts, closing hospitals, closing access to mental health facilities.”

“What choice do people have but to move, to leave, and I think that’s part of a strategic gentrification plan being implemented by the city of Chicago to push people of color out of the city?

Asked who is behind the alleged plan to push out minorities, Kennedy pointed to Emanuel.

“I believe in the tone at the top,” he said. “I believe the mayor is aware of what’s going on, and I think he is allowing that to occur and in some ways encouraging it.”

* More…

…Adding… He could’ve had an epiphany since then I suppose, but good question nonetheless…

…Adding… Tribune

Kennedy cited as an example of the “strategic gentrification plan” a move by CPS to close four South Side high schools for a year before a new school opens in 2019.

“I don’t know what you can say when the strategic plan for Chicago Public Schools suggest that the entire community of Englewood can go an entire year without access to a high school,” he said.

“What are you saying to the people there? No one’s going to move there who’s got a high school kid. And anybody with a high school kid has to think about what they’re going to do. It’s just a device to empty out the community,” he said.

The CTU’s Twitter account seems to be nodding the union’s approval. Check it out.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Sun-Times

In response to Kennedy’s comments about city violence, Police Supt. Eddie Johnson released a statement.

“I’ve never heard from Chris Kennedy. I’ve never even met him. He’s never visited a police station or asked me or my team for any kind of briefing on what we are doing in Chicago to address the gang violence and ongoing infusion of illegal guns on to our streets,” Johnson said in the statement.

“I don’t recall seeing him at our CAPS meetings or in our beat meetings. As far as I can tell he hasn’t spoken to one officer or any of CPD leadership. I’m not a politician but I do take issue when the hard work our men and women are doing to beat back this violence is used to score political points. In terms of violence reductions, no one is spiking the ball, but we must acknowledge and build upon the commitment and progress being made by communities and officers working together to reduce crime.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** Mayor’s office…

“It’s sad to see Chris Kennedy joining President Trump and Governor Rauner in using cynical, politically motivated attacks about Chicago’s communities for his own personal gain. His divisive comments today are a direct assault on one of this city’s great strengths — our diversity — and they ignore the work being done in neighborhoods across the City - and in conjunction with community leaders and residents — to improve the quality of life for everyone who calls Chicago home. The noise of this particular election will come and go, and when it does we’ll still be focusing on boosting neighborhood small businesses, investing in our schools, and improving public safety.” - Matt McGrath, mayoral spokesman

* Related…

* Chris Kennedy Discusses Illinois’ Gun Violence Problem, His Plan For Change: Solidifying his stance as not a regular Democrat, he said leaders of his party are part of an economic system that pushes minorities out of the city. And, he added, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner strangles social programs to help victims of violence and the poor.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:51 pm:

    Makes me wanna believe Chris Kennedy is the best man to beat Bruce Rauner.


    – MrJM

  2. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:53 pm:

    ==Makes me wanna believe Chris Kennedy is the best man to beat Bruce Rauner.==

    He might be the best guy to take on Rahm, though.

  3. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:53 pm:

    The numbers certainly suggest that. The next Aldermanic remap could get ugly - there’s no way the black community would take lightly losing the number of City Council seats that the demographic data suggests would be necessary for the council to be representative of the City population.

  4. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:54 pm:

    good point by my fellow Gooner. Chris Kennedy to run as the progressive alternative to Rahm in 2019? This assumes Rahm runs again. Beat Chelsea!

  5. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:54 pm:

    In order to take on Rahm, he would have to establish Chicago residency before February 2018.

    Same is true for Richard Boykin.

  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:57 pm:

    === he would have to establish Chicago residency before February 2018.===

    And that isn’t gonna happen, so move along on that particularly silly topic.

  7. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:58 pm:

    I know, I said it more for the Boykin angle, which is a possibility

  8. - S. Grobnik - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:58 pm:

    Trib: “As shootings and homicides drop in Englewood, a new optimism grows”

    Looks like Rahm’s plan to kick black people out isn’t working.

  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 12:58 pm:

    Kennedy obviously has eyes that see.

    Remember all those CHA towers? They weren’t replaced on anything close to a unit-to-unit basis. That wasn’t an accident.

    Meanwhile, take a trip to DeKalb and see all the old rundown off-campus student apartment buildings converted to Section 8 housing when they couldn’t compete with new apartment buildings.

    That old Main Street farmer/university town now has a poverty rate of 32%.

  10. - Sputnik - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:02 pm:

    Sorry, there is no strategic plan to make people of color leave Chicago. This is needless racial incendiary rhetoric. Chicago is super diverse and this diversity is our strength. Statements like this divide our communities.

    There happens to be a nationwide movement back to the city. This is happening in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Boston, DC, etc.. Millennials, in particular, want to live in the city.

    Gentrification is a complex phenomenon. Yes, it brings in higher income people. But every citizen has the right to live wherever they want, provided they can afford it. The second part of gentrification is that excess investment dollars come into these areas and drive up rents and prices. They are popular places to invest.

    I am glad that Chicago is renewing itself. With our State’s problems, it is good that we have positive economic activity.

    In reality, there is plenty of affordable housing, but it is on the Southside. I don’t think anyone has the inherent right to say they must live in Logan Square or some of the other “rediscovered” areas.

    Is Kennedy a clumsy politician or who is he trying to court here?

  11. - wayward - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:10 pm:

  12. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:12 pm:

    Is Bill Daley responsible for this messaging because that would be funny.

    I know lots of middle class black people move out of their neighborhoods when they become middle class. I don’t know how much of it is about the old CHA high rises. If there are no services on the south and west sides to arrests the problems with violence, poverty, and education, then Kennedy’s message rings at least somewhat true in me.

  13. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:13 pm:

    well, I certainly agree on the beat Chelsea part, but I think the plan is not strategic in the shoving out terms. it is strategic in the attract the tech world terms, so that is where the money goes.

  14. - Montrose - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:13 pm:

    “But every citizen has the right to live wherever they want, provided they can afford it.”

    This free market rhetoric is very handy if you want to ignore the reality of racism. Did Rahm say “I have a plan to push black people out of Chicago.”? Likely not. Did he and his predecessors make policy decisions that favored those with money over those without? Yup. Do those decisions by default hurt people of color due to and as part of institutional racism? Yep.

    Kennedy is right. We have a chain of mayors in Chicago that have had the same basic plan. We can try to avoid discomfort by explaining it away, but that creates a lot of discomfort for people that are struggling.

  15. - A guy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:17 pm:

    I too have heard this many times from AA people in business and in worship circles. Hadn’t heard it out loud or in print before. Can’t say for sure how complicit Rahm is with this, but if you watch the zoning process; it’s definitely not a figment of anyone’s imagination. It has been happening for quite some time. Watching the South Loop continue to expand and push south is one example. Same on the west side when the new Chicago Stadium was built and the “preparations” for the Dem Convention there created a huge development push from the west Loop to Damen. There’s no doubt it’s been subtle and very aggressive at the same time.

  16. - Saluki - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:22 pm:

    So Rahm Emmanuel is a racist? Is that Kennedy’s point? Obama’s former chief of staff, is trying to drive minorities out of Chicago….on purpose…maybe Chris shouldn’t skip breakfast anymore…

  17. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:26 pm:

    Rahm doesn’t care what race Chad and Trixie are, just as long as they can afford the high rent and move to the suburbs when they have school-aged children.

  18. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:33 pm:

    What are Cook County Democrats in Springfield and at the city and county level doing to encourage business expansion in the areas of the city and county that are struggling so the population can find good jobs and reverse this trend?

  19. - Belle - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:41 pm:

    Then what about CPD? More white people are leaving (or threatening) due to the severe increase in crime. People in my area are tired of getting robbed via gunpoint including their high-end puffy jackets, cars stolen, and their homes burglarized.
    The bikes were one thing but getting held-up in your garage at your $1.4 mil casa is a bit too urban for some. Maybe Rahm needs a lesson in gentrification?

  20. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:42 pm:

    I’m a CK supporter but…ugh. “Black flight” is not simply a Chicago thing ( ). The gentrification of the city core isn’t a racist plot, it’s a money plot, but obviously one with racial consequences. What’s driving flight from the south and far west sides is more tragic but no, Rahm is not trying to foment more crime and poverty there. Not to mention, CK uses the term “people of color” - does that no longer include Hispanics? Because those numbers wouldn’t fit the narrative. His evidence is cuts to the schools, police, etc. - ok Chris, which *Chicagoans* are you raising taxes on to pay for these things? Be specific. Or are you calling for police/teachers/etc. to be diverted from middle class neighborhoods?

    Politically this is smart - Kennedy’s path to victory might be a combination of reformers and high African-American turnout vs. lukewarm support for JB. He’s playing to his perceived base. But it strikes me as pretty cynical.

  21. - anon2 - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:55 pm:

    Kennedy is moving rapidly to the left. That way he can limit support for Biss, and appeal to the energized base.

  22. - Shytown - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    off script, again! And maybe he should ask his senior advisor, Bill Daley, about what his family has done to displace african americans in Chicago.

  23. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    I wouldn’t say that city policy is made specifically with the idea of driving African Americans out in mind, but I think it’s almost certain that many city policies are made with so much neglect for the African American community that it forces them out all the same.

  24. - PJ - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:26 pm:

    ===Kennedy is moving rapidly to the left. That way he can limit support for Biss, and appeal to the energized base.===

    Want to bet on how fast that progressive enthusiasm fades when people watch him flounder around whether he supports marijuana legalization?

  25. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    When we enforce our labor and tax laws we will have three jobs for every unemployed African American.

  26. - Come on, Man! - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    The issue here is class not race.

  27. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:41 pm:

    On net, Chicago has lost 200K residents since 2010, yet obviously people are moving into all those new condo and apartment towers.

    In a nutshell, population gains in the Greater Loop and North Side have been offset by larger population losses on the South and West Sides (see chart, page 8, in link).

    Meanwhile, in 2015, the Obama Administration zinged the Emanuel Administration for failing to issue Section 8 vouchers and piling up $440 million in cash reserves at CHA while 250,000 people were on the CHA waiting list.

    If it aint a plan, the results are still the same: poor black people are moving out, wealthier white people are moving in.

    A blind man can see that.
    According to the Census bue

    The CHA tore down all

  28. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    ===On net, Chicago has lost 200K residents since 2010===

    Actually, Chicago has gained about 10K residents since then

  29. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    Thanks, Rich, mea culpa. I meant between 2000 and 2010, per the city report I linked above.

  30. - Smitty Irving - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:52 pm:

    The only thing wrong with Kennedy’s statement is he should have “poor” / “lower class” instead of “black” … otherwise, he’s spot on.

  31. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 2:55 pm:

    ===he should have “poor” / “lower class” instead of “black”===

    You’re missing the whole point.

  32. - David - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:03 pm:

    In reality it comes down to economic segregation is presumed okay and racial segregation is not. You can live anywhere, even “people of color,” as long as you have the bankroll.

  33. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:06 pm:

    I grew up in the western suburbs. The area was heavily white and now is about 60% black, 20% white, and a mix for the rest. When I talk with my parent’s neighbors that came from the city, everyone says they worked hard to get where they are. They chose to move there and continue to work hard for a quality of life they want. They just laugh over the gentrification issue as political nonsense. Cicero was a Polish enclave for generations. Now it is mostly Hispanic. Poles get gentrified out or is it simply demographics changes over time?

  34. - Ron - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:12 pm:

    Mr. Kennedy, under Daley II, Chicago lost 200,000 african americans.

  35. - Ron - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:14 pm:

    - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 1:33 pm:

    What are Cook County Democrats in Springfield and at the city and county level doing to encourage business expansion in the areas of the city and county that are struggling so the population can find good jobs and reverse this trend?”

    Insisting unionization will bring jobs.

  36. - IrishPirate - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:24 pm:

    This could be a good move politically for Kennedy.

    As for the black population declining rapidly that’s clear and has been for decades. Black population probably peaked in Chicago around 1985 or so in terms of raw numbers and percentage.

    Census estimated that Chicago black population declined by 40K in 2016. Year before probably 20K. What happened to double that number in one year? Skyrocketing crime rate and conversely a better economy.

    There are also longer term national trends at play as the black birth rate is now about the same as pasty white folks and blacks in the North are moving South for better weather, job opportunities, retirement etc.

    Rahm’s cynical move in covering up the McDonald shooting and the consequent “fetalization” of the police department where cops basically reduced interaction with the criminal element resulted in a 58% homicide increase from 2015 to 2016.

    Was that some Rahmian masterplan or just blowback from a cynical political move?

    People make judgments every day as to what’s in the best interest of their families. Black flight from Chicago initially followed the path of earlier white flight out to nearby burbs. What’s changed recently is the raw numbers and to a certain extent where people are moving.

    Again, don’t discount the declining birth rate in the black community nationally. There are local AND national trends going on here and “masterplan” shouldn’t be invoked regarding them.

  37. - City Zen - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:41 pm:

    “…a move by CPS to close four South Side high schools for a year before a new school opens in 2019.”

    The 4 schools in question have an enrollment of 660 students combined. One school has 10 freshmen. How much does it cost to run these schools, even if only for one year? If Chicago and Chicago alone wants to pick up the tab at the expense of other schools, go for it.

  38. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 3:47 pm:

    He’s going to the left of Biss.

  39. - Say What? - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:20 pm:

    The Bohemians and Czechs who settled Cicero will chuckle to learn it was a Polish enclave.

    As for Chicago, the Blacks exiting are middle class. The gangs are still in place.

  40. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:20 pm:

    “Forcing people of Color Out” wow, there is no stone that won’t be used in this election. Yes, we should ignore that people of color might be choosing to leave because of rampant shootings, other types of increased crime, lack of good jobs, high taxes, marginal schools at best for most people, lack of retail in many areas such as the food deserts and out of control gang activity. Of course they should stay, wouldn’t you? You might if you are moving into one of the gentrifying neighborhoods but if I am in the west or south side and I can afford it I am out of here.

  41. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:32 pm:

    –I grew up in the western suburbs. The area was heavily white and now is about 60% black, 20% white, and a mix for the rest.–

    Define “western suburbs.”

    Not being snarky, just trying to get a handle on where you’re talking about. Because it aint Berwyn and Cicero, that’s for sure.

  42. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:42 pm:

    –The gangs are still in place. –

    It’s not so much hierarchial gangs anymore as block-to-block cells. “Gangs” have leaders with targets on their backs.

    And the violence isn’t all drug-related. You can’t duck anyone on the street anymore waiting for a beef to blow over. A young man gets called out on social media, his whole circle knows whether he answers the challenge or not.

  43. - anon is more fun - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:45 pm:

    deleted the comment.

    must have hit home. quite the agenda there.

  44. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:47 pm:

    I’m not sure Rahm cares about the skin color of the poor people he wants gone. He just wants poor people gone.

  45. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:51 pm:

    –deleted the comment.

    must have hit home.–

    He did you a favor. You don’t read so good. But you sure do start drooling the talking points when the bell rings.

  46. - Chris Widger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:57 pm:

    ==“It’s sad to see Chris Kennedy joining President Trump and Governor Rauner in using cynical, politically motivated attacks about Chicago’s communities for his own personal gain.==

    Wow, that’s craven on Rahm’s part. People will stop at no rhetoric.

  47. - Veil of Ignorance - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:11 pm:

    This isn’t a radical viewpoint as there’s very strong circumstantial evidence that there’s either an intentional policy or a de facto policy of neglect that is leading to a Black exodus from Chicago. Close public schools, continue to prioritize investment in the Loop area and North Side, favor larger corporations over small business incubation, and underresource city agencies responsible for enforcing housing discrimination (predatory rent-to-buy scams are back on the South and West sides). If it walks like a duck…now, Kennedy is leaning into a clear campaign strategy that leverages his cred with a reliable segment of the Democratic voter base.

  48. - Deadbeat Conservative - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:23 pm:

    =He’s going to the left of Biss.=

    Or to the right of Ives.

    =Makes me wanna believe Chris Kennedy is the best man to beat Bruce Rauner.=

    He is, in the GOP primary.

  49. - Roman - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:30 pm:

    The same thing is currently happening in Brooklyn and Oakland. It’s already occurred in almost all of Manhattan and San Francisco. London and Paris, for that matter, too.

    Lot’s of factors at play. Many African-American are following migration patterns that the ethnic groups before them on the west and south sides followed. Buy a bigger house in the burbs, find better schools for your kids, escape crime. The Irish, Italians, Germans, Polish, and Jews all did the same thing. African-Americans were denied this mobility for generations, for the most part, they no longer are.

  50. - Ron - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:34 pm:

    Chicago is actually gaining educated and high earning African Americans according to the lastest census estimates.

  51. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:43 pm:

    –Lot’s of factors at play. Many African-American are following migration patterns that the ethnic groups before them on the west and south sides followed. Buy a bigger house in the burbs, find better schools for your kids, escape crime.–

    And many simply cannot find affordable housing in the city. That’s the original point you’re earnestly ignoring.

    –London and Paris, for that matter, too.–

    The black population of London was up 39% in the last census. The black population of Paris has never been statistically significant.

  52. - Roman - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 7:45 pm:

    == And many simply cannot find affordable housing in the city. That’s the original point you’re earnestly ignoring ==

    I agree, Word. As I said, lots of factors at play — didn’t want to list them all. Affordability is one of them, particularly if you want to live near downtown.

    My point is similar gentrification trends are occurring in big cities all over the world. I don’t think it’s caused by those mayors enacting social and economic cleansing programs. Mayors tend to strive for more and more economic development — it’s just what mayors do. And no doubt, “pro-development” urban policies can have deleterious effects on the poor. But if a city is economically successful, market forces naturally create gentrification, whether the mayor wants it or not. Look at NYC, where Mayor DeBlasio is frequently criticized for pushing “anti-development” policies.

    I’d also point out that (pre-Laquan McDonald) pushing African-Americans out of the city would have been politically stupid for Rahm. In two elections (three if you count the run-off,) he’s yet to lose a majority black ward.

  53. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 7:47 pm:

    Western suburbs is Broadview. Just south of Maywood. My dad grew up in Cicero speaking Polish in the morning and English in the afternoon at school. His school records are in the basement. All written in Polish through 8th grade. I got baptized at St Mary of Czestochowa. It is still there. My baptismal record..Polish. Spent many hours in Berwyn bars with high school friends and moved onto Fitzgerald’s. Completely understand the Svengoolie jokes.

  54. - Shytown - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 9:04 pm:

    = Wow, that’s craven on Rahm’s part. People will stop at no rhetoric. =

    because accusing Emanuel of strategically forcing out african americans isn’t craven. Get real.

  55. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:04 pm:

    Zat, I get Maywood and Broadview but “the western suburbs” is not “now about 60% black, 20% white, and a mix for the rest.”

    As a whole for the western suburbs, 60% black is way high and 20% white is way low. And “the rest” is way more than 20%.

    For example, Cicero is 90% Hispanic and Berwyn about 60%.

  56. - Austinman - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:51 pm:

    As a black resident of the Westside of Chicago, Chris Kennedy is correct. It’s very hard to live in an area where all the decent schools are closed, no where to shop, crime is always bad especially when it gets warm outside. I’m middle class we are a family of 4 our income is over the 100k, the temptation is real, but I’ve seen over the years how the city policies have run black people out of the East part of the 27th ward. I see how run down 2 flats are hard for people of the community to get but some white guy can snap it up with no problems. There should be programs to help people buy I their own communities. There are no jobs here only the street hustle, all the jobs are downtown or burbs. When I go downtown blacks only work in customer service or security or janitorial, I love Chicago but do I feel welcomed … no not anymore

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* IDPH Investigation Continues As Foodborne Illnesses Increase
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* Illinois Payrolls Jump +18,100

* Weekly poll results: battery life and waterproofing make a good wearable
* Nokia 3.1 in for review
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* White Sox Minor League Update: July 21, 2018
* Six Pack of Stats: White Sox 5, Mariners 0
* Jimenez, Rutherford in Saturday's top prospects
* Covey tosses gem, Leury robs HR in shutout
* Covey overthrows King Felix, 5-0
* Covey rebounds with scoreless gem vs. M's
* Moncada sets goal to reduce strikeouts

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