This photo was taken of me immediately after I read Helen Shiller's letter to her constituents.
It immediately struck me as being something important. Something along the lines of Churchill's "We Shall Fight Them On the Beaches" speech. Nearly as moving as Dr. King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail". Something that like the Gettysburg Address will be quoted long after we are all dead and gone. It is a privilege to live in the 46th Ward.
Anywhere you see "text in bold" was added by me, Da IrishPirate.
Now I know that the Alderman's beloved son, Brendan the attorney and gambler, might not like me mentioning him in this post. That really chastens me. Perhaps if he ever figures out who I am he can suggest running me over like he recently did that right wing nut Tom Mannis. Now I realize that Brendan was merely trying to be sarcastic so in actuality I don't hold that against him. I am congenitally sarcastic so I understand. As for Mannis please don't buy any of his t-shirts. You only encourage him.
I suggest Brendan file a lawsuit and issue subpoenas. Whatever legal training I may have pales in comparison to his. Perhaps I'm just a convicted felon with too much time on my hands. Perhaps I'm part of a wide ranging conspiracy to defeat his mother and institute good government in Uptown. The truth is I'm just a retired wacky local with a legal background and pegleg............arrrrrrrrgh.....or perhaps not.
Hell, once Cappleman is Alderman, and that looks to be about 18 months away I'll probably turn on him and support someone else for alderman. That's just the kind of person I am. I don't appreciate all the hard work Helen Shiller has done to keep this ward pristine and beautiful and why would I appreciate the work some evil social worker like Cappleman would do. Why he might even try to actually bring people together. We can't have that.
Brendan can argue that he is not a public figure. Although given his mentions in the Chicago Reader and being a paid campaign worker for his mom might mitigate that argument. Hell, it would stomp on that argument. That and his lawsuits against the Police Department make him a public figure. Really it does. I just talked to Justice Breyer and he agrees. Besides crafting fine legal opinions Justice Breyer makes a mean ice cream cone. When I knew the old Justice he was merely a professor.
OH well. Here We go. The IrishPirate interpretation of the Shiller Memorandum.
Dat sounds like a bad movie. The Shiller Memorandum.
A Statement from Alderman Shiller on Recent Events
On the night of Thursday, August 13, an altercation broke out between a couple of dozen young men(she means gangbanging scumbags) at the intersection of Sheridan and Leland in Uptown. There were no guns or knives used, but bottles were thrown and there was yelling and attempted fisticuffs. Most of the event was videoed by a neighbor.(By Neighbor She Means Tool of the Capitalist Cappleman)
Within minutes of receiving the 911 call, officers arrived and the youth dispersed.(Which is good because if the police had had to use force Brendan Shiller, son of the alderman and renowned gambler and lawyer might have sued the city) There was one arrest, one police officer suffered a minor injury and there was a little property damage. No one else in the area suffered any injuries. Because of the subsequent media frenzy,(The Bastards are out to get me)this incident has come to symbolize safety in Uptown. In general, the recent discussion about crime and violence in our community has been emotional, high-pitched and polarizing.(Not that I took part in that discussion, because I ran away)
Crime and violence is unacceptable.(Duh)
My office spends more time and resource fighting crime and violence than dealing with any other issue. (The IrishPirate doubts this very much)My staff and I regularly exchange information with the 20th and 23rd District police regarding potentially dangerous situations and how to prevent violence or crime from occurring. And today crime and violence in the 23rd and 20th police districts is among the lowest in Chicago. But don’t take my word for it. Check it out at www.chicagopolice.org. Whether you search by district, ward and/or individual beat – you will find this to be true. This is a great accomplishment within a community as diverse as the 46th Ward, and the credit goes to our residents and the leadership of our police commanders.
Every day individuals and organizations are engaged in anti-gang and anti-violence initiatives just by creating other paths for young people to walk down and create a life for themselves.(What we need is more paths. Where is the TIF money for paths?)
But until we find that magic bullet to stop violence that continues to elude us all, there will always be more to do. In recent days I have had several conversations with community leaders about more creative and progressive solutions. To a person they have started with “Violence is not acceptable,” and followed that up with, “We have to do more about this and blaming you is not it. What more can we do together?” There have been a number of positive suggestions, and we are going to work on all of them.(I suspect the "community leaders" she speaks of may be "voices in her head")
When I was first elected alderman in 1987 the 46th ward had some of the highest crime in the city, some of the highest number of buildings in housing court for hazardous and dangerous conditions, some of the highest infant mortality rates in Chicago, had a dysfunctional grid of street lights resulting in dark and dangerous streets, and had some of the poorest performing public schools in the city. To day(this should be one word) we have among the lowest crime, the fewest buildings in housing court, lower infant mortality rates, improving schools and new street lights and sufficient lighting on every block in the ward.(This whole paragraph is nearly one long run on sentence)
In each of my five re-election campaigns, the strategy of my opposition has followed a now familiar pattern: attack my efforts at preserving affordable housing and engaging in a goal of development without displacement by repeating a mantra that affordable housing equals crime, and polarizing the community at every opportunity in spite of evidence again and again that each day has brought improvements to the safety of our community.(Something is starting a slow jog here)
The media coverage of the Leland/Sheridan event was intensely and overtly personal coverage.(The bastards are out to get me) With the exception of one television reporter, not one outlet bothered to check the police statistics to actually determine if this fight represented typical or atypical activity. Instead, they ran the video over and over, labeling the fight as a full riot and focusing on my political opponents hounding me at a Chicago’s 2016 Olympic meeting.(That should be Chicago 2016 and she really needs to find an "editor")
At that meeting, media and protesters stood together as I made a statement and took questions. When it became clear that some were not interested in my answers but rather a confrontation I left.(I ran like a wee child after an ice cream truck scared that it might get away not realizing that by doing so I might get hit by a political truck driven by "my opponents")
As bad as the Sheridan fight was, on any given week, there are far more violent events, including far more arrests by police, in other Chicago communities that have received far less attention – even when there was ample video. What is it about this particular video that caused such great fear in so many people?(The bastards are out to get me) Clearly it is important to the community because this is where we live. The importance to the media however is more difficult to understand, unless it is driven by other motives.(I'm sorry but does this seem Palinesque to anyone?)
Again, I do not have the solution to urban crime and violence. If someone out there has the magic bullet(really fucking poor choice of phrase there, Helen) I’d like to know what it is. But having said that, while guns, and the requisite anger to use them, seem to be in never ending supply, there is no excuse for violence. And it is incumbent upon us to do all we can to curb violence and to give our young people the future they deserve and crave.
My staff and I will continue to work closely with the Chicago Police Department to prevent crime and violence.(However, my son the lawyer will continue to sue the department and individual officers at any time he deems it appropriate. His being paid by my campaign fund at various times does not mean I can tell him what to do. He is an adult and like the Mayor's son and nephews can do what he chooses)
We will continue to get the minutes from our CAPS meetings and continue to insure appropriate responses from my and other city offices to issues raised.
We will continue the improvements that are underway at our local parks.
All of our public schools have improved and continue to improve. Support of their efforts will always be a priority.
We have no fewer than 25 educational, recreational and not for profit organizations that serve youth and families in our community. They will continue to get my support and advocacy. There is no reason for someone to be fighting on the street threatening the lives of others and their own lives when just a few blocks away they can become a star or a scientist or an athlete or anything they have the talent to be but just don’t know it yet.(Perhaps they can study English and become "editor" for the Alderman)
For years we have fought for a safe community for everyone. Nothing said by political opportunism can change this.(Damn you to hell opponents) Nevertheless, even with all the improvements we have seen in our community, that it is still necessary for us each to be vigilant is a fact of life we must embrace. I continue to believe that it is possible to maintain a truly diverse community that is safe for all its residents and my staff and I will continue work towards that goal on behalf of all of our residents. (Again could this paragraph be written a wee teeny bit better? I mean I'm drunk and I could write it better than that))
Helen Shiller(Beloved Alderman, Fierce Opponent, and Iconoclastic Warrior Against the Media Elite)