11th Ward Candidates On WTTW Chicago Tonight Tuesday Jan. 20 7PM
Maureen Sullivan will appear on a panel with Aldermanic race opponents Patrick Daley Thompson and John Kozlar on WTTW Channel 11’s Chicago Tonight program.
The show will air at 7PM on Tuesday night January 20.
11th Ward Tax Tricks Written Up In DNAChicago
“Hosted by The Civic Lab co-founder Tom Tresser, the ongoing, citywide seminars are for residents looking to learn how money is being collected and spent under the oft-misunderstood economic development tool of TIFs.
“Here’s how it works: When an area is declared a TIF district — by law it’s supposed to be in a “blighted” area — the county sets a “base value” by totaling the property values within the district.”
“Then, the amount of property tax money public agencies like schools and parks can take from that area is calculated using that base value for 23 years. Any additional property tax money generated from an increase in property values within the TIF district is instead sent to the TIF fund overseen by the city.”
“The event is sponsored by Friends of Maureen Sullivan, the political group backing the candidacy of 11th Ward aldermanic candidate Maureen Sullivan.
“In a statement, Sullivan criticized TIF misuse and what she’s labeled the 11th Ward’s “old-boy leadership,” citing her decade-long crusade to renovate the long-shuttered Ramova Theater, which is owned by the city.”
“The city in 2012 spent $330,000 shoring up the building but hasn’t secured a developer to renovate it.”
About That Shoring-Up Of The Ramova
City ownership of the Ramova has been a major topic of Maureen’s community work since she created and led Save The Ramova in 2005. It was Maureen who called attention to the specific architectural damages to the building and it was her work that forced the appropriation of remediation funds. Before her pressure, the city had let the property deteriorate.
“It’s just one chapter in a ten-year long story of fighting for that theater,” Sullivan said. “But it’s an important one.”
Maureen Sullivan: Progressive Activist Poised To Beat The Daley Machine
Curtis Black‘s profile piece published today in the Chicago Reporter says it all: Maureen Sullivan is the popular progressive activist poised to beat the downtown Daley machine on its own turf.
In the first major piece on her Aldermanic race, Sullivan’s clear alternative to the 11th Ward leadership and its tendency to do nothing but claim credit is illustrated by Black:
“Bridgeport native Maureen Sullivan, who has founded civic, business and park groups, and organized against school closings in Bridgeport, describes a local political elite that has become too comfortable with the status quo and neglected the neighborhood.
Sullivan may represent an approach we’ll see from more aldermanic candidates this year: emphasizing the local impact of citywide policy issues like education and TIFs along with ward service concerns — and tapping into the growing sentiment against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s policies.
She calls the mayor “a Wall Street banker from Wilmette who wants to help his friends become even wealthier at our expense” and attacks the “rubber stamp City Council” including retiring Ald. James Balcer, who’s backed Emanuel in 100 percent of contested council votes.”
“Balcer announced his retirement shortly after Sullivan entered the race, throwing his support to Patrick Daley Thompson, grandson of the original Mayor Daley and a commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District since 2012. Thompson’s name is featured prominently, along with Balcer’s and that of his uncle’s, ward committeeman John Daley, in the windows of the 11th Ward Democratic Party building at 36th and Halsted.
A downtown corporate attorney who handles property tax appeals and represents developers seeking TIF money, Thompson said his real estate and development experience would be an asset to the ward. But it didn’t seem to help a few years ago, when the Better Government Association identified Thompson as one of several politically-connected individuals who’d been granted homeowner exemptions for investment properties. Thompson pled ignorance and paid the back taxes.”
Sullivan Kicks Off Campaign In Front Of Ramova Theater
Casey Cora’s DNAChicago piece yesterday really did justice to our kickoff rally yesterday in front of the Ramova Theater. Way to pick up on the symbolism, Casey!
BRIDGEPORT — Maureen Sullivan, the homegrown activist, author, organizer and neighborhood historian, has announced her candidacy for 11th Ward alderman.
At a campaign kickoff event outside the shuttered Ramova Theater on Monday, Sullivan came out swinging against sitting alderman James Balcer and the Daley clan — political heavyweights who she said have an icy grip on the city’s oldest neighborhood.
Choosing the rundown theater as the backdrop couldn’t be more poignant.
The city-owned building is surrounded by boarded-up storefronts on an ailing stretch of Halsted Street, and it’s also located within eyeshot the 11th Ward offices and next to Cook County Commissioner John Daley’s private insurance business.
On Monday, about 50 supporters gathered outside the theater to back Sullivan’s candidacy.
Among them were Kieran Delaney, 40, a graphic designer who said he’s been frustrated with Balcer for about a dozen years.
“When we ask the alderman for anything it feels like we’re imposing,” he said.
Sullivan said she’s hoping to turn that pent-up frustration into votes.
“I know I can win. When I knock on doors in this neighborhood, this ward, people already know who I am. We went to the same schools, the same church … I love to talk directly to my neighbors. I’m not afraid to knock on doors. Knocking on doors and engaging neighbors is exactly what we’re missing in this ward. That’s how I plan to win this race,” she said.
Read the entire article here.