• atkins2

    Bridgeport Resident, International Musician Martin Atkins Speaks Up For Sullivan

    A little fun is what’s needed in a political campaign sometimes, even if the underlying issues are serious. When I think of fun (and change and power and overthrowing an old regime), I think of the music I love. I think of the punk and post-punk music that came out of England and the US in the late 70s and 80s. I think of the hundreds of shows I’ve seen and of the great bands that changed the lives of so many.

    And I think of the musicians from these bands, some of whom I got to meet over the years and become friends with.

    Martin Atkins is among Bridgeport’s most internationally noted arts figures. He is an incredible drummer, has appeared with multi-million selling bands and is a world-class educator and lecturer on cultural business. And he’s lived in Bridgeport for the last fifteen years with his beautiful family. I’ve been honored to be friends and a fellow traveler with him for many years — not even counting the time before I knew him personally and only knew his tremendous work with favorite bands like Killing Joke and Public Image, Ltd.

    Punk rock is an attitude, not a style. It’s about doing things yourself, and not waiting for someone else to do it for you. Don’t like the music you’re hearing? Start a band. Don’t like the way the neighborhood looks? Pick up some garbage. Don’t like the candidates you’re seeing run? Run yourself or back up someone who sees things your way. It’s all one continuum, a way of thinking that I believe in.  It says: we can change things. Be real, be active and don’t take word from royalty as gospel.

    If these themes seem familiar in my campaign, good. That just means you’ve been paying attention.

    Our vibrant and growing arts community certainly understands this. And Martin is a perfect example of how arts has enhanced our diverse and working-class community without our losing any of what makes us proud to live here. Creative people and artists are family people, educators, good neighbors.

    In fact, the only area where the 11th Ward has been lacking in creativity is in our government.

    I’m going to change that.

    So enjoy our campaign video clip starring Martin Atkins of Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke, Ministry, etc. Thanks and hugs, Martin!

     

  • Screen-Shot-2014-10-27-at-7.36.05-PM-300x182

    Sullivan Snags Endorsement From Potent Progressive Group

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    The Sullivan campaign is proud to announce its latest endorsement, this time from progressive powerhouse Grassroots Illinois Action, whose dynamic and smart work pushing back against the rubber-stamp city council is incredibly valuable.  

    “I am a fan, both of their work and of their principles,” said Sullivan. “I am again honored that bona fide progressive activists recognize my candidacy as being dedicated to working families and the issues that affect them. I am very proud to stand with GIA, Reclaim Chicago, Chicago Teachers Union, the Illinois Greens and NDFA to push back against the business-as-usual, pay-to-play politics that are taking things away from working families only to give them to already wealthy players whose lobbyists work City Hall and Springfield.”

    GIA runs TakeBackChicago.org, our favorite tool to discover the voting record of Aldermen, among other initiatives.

  • Photo of CHE Heliport Site

    Heliport Nonsense

    Yesterday’s forum at Trinity Church resurfaced the community’s concerns about the CHE Heliport being built at 2420 S. Halsted.

    My opponents had a lot to say. But they’re a day late and a dollar short on this.

    John Kozlar seemed to say he was against the heliport. In fact, John Kozlar seems to say a lot of things, often loudly.

    But the record says something more loudly: when his website went up on September 10, the words “heliport” and “noise” were completely missing.

    Patrick Daley Thompson said at the forum that he was “against” the heliport.  But the very next thing he said was to describe the “covenant” that the 11th Ward office at 37th street had arranged with the helicopter company.

    In other words, he was “against” it, but not “against” it enough to stop it.

    He cut a deal instead.

    With “against” like that, who needs “for”?

    And what is in this covenant deal?  Who knows? Apparently that’s not our concern — we only live here!  We’re not to be told by the grand and mighty machine in its infinite wisdom.

    The fact is, when it mattered, Patrick Daley Thompson was nowhere to be found on the heliport.  He attended no meetings I saw, and I was at most.

    Patrick Daley Thompson’s office is a shared office on 37th St. with Alderman Jim Balcer. To imagine that that Balcer’s support of the heliport was different than what Thompson wanted is to totally misunderstand what the machine is, and how the machine works.

    The ordinary people in the 11th Ward understand the machine very well. And they also understand this fact:

    There is only one candidate in this race who was always against the CHE heliport.

    It’s me.  It’s in my record.

    You can read what I wrote about it on September 16th right here:

    I Never, Ever Supported The CHE Heliport

    http://sullivan11thward.com/i-never-supported-the-che-heliport/

    Remember, I’m not anti-business. I’m anti-B.S.

    Thanks for paying attention.  Somebody has to.

  • bridgeport-alliance-flyers

    11th Ward Aldermanic Town Hall Forum

    bridgeport-alliance-flyers

    Sunday, January 25: Join neighbors from throughout the 11th Ward, as we host an afternoon of real, important, 11th Ward questions for our aldermanic potentials. 

    This is a forum–not a debate, and is non-partisan. Candidates will be allotted equal time for their responses, and be aware of discussion topics prior to the event.

    The forum will be moderated by former Canaryville librarian, Rebecca Berg.

    John Kozlar, Patrick Daley Thompson, and Maureen Sullivan have committed to being present. 

    Translation for Spanish and Chinese languages will be available. 

    Brought to you by Brigeport Alliance and Coalition For A Better Chinese American Community, with Active Transportation Alliance, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago, Bridgeport Pride, Pilsen Alliance, PERRO, UIC- LGBTQA, Raise Your Hand, & Roots of Justice at UIC

    芝加哥市11区(桥港区)区长候选人论坛将于2015年1月25日,星期日下午三点-四点在31街643W号的First Lutheran Church (Lowe与31街交界)举行。该论坛将为11区选民提供一次市政府选举前夕11区竞选候选人与民众面对面直接交流的机会。

    该候选人论坛并不是政治辩论会,且无党派参与。届时三位区长候选人- 寇梓乐(John Kozlar),苏立文(Maureen Sullivan), 汤普森(Patrick Thompson)将出席该论坛与民众会面,并在等同的指定时间内回答大家关心的社区问题。

    论坛将由前金丝鸟区(Canaryville)社区图书管理员—-丽贝卡•伯格(Rebecca Berg)主持。

    论坛免费对公众开放,现场全程提供中文同声翻译,有残疾人座位。如果您想做活动志愿者或获取更多活动信息,请联系fiona_feng@caslservice.org

    论坛承办机构:华埠更好团结联盟,Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago, Bridgeport Alliance, Bridgeport Pride, Pilsen Alliance, Raise Your Hand, Roots of Justice at UIC.

  • maureen-outdoor1-500px

    Aldermanic Forum On January 21 By Canaryville Improvement Association

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    On January 21 at 7PM, Maureen Sullivan is scheduled to appear at a Aldermanic Candidate forum put on by the Canaryville Improvement Association. The event is free.  A piece in DNAInfo about the event can be found here.

     

     

  • Seal_of_Chicago,_Illinois

    When A Good Idea Is Against The Law

    Here’s a question you might hear in law school: is it worth breaking the law to do a good thing?

    Law student John Kozlar has promised, if elected, to “give his entire $73,280 Aldermanic Allowance to support our seniors and veterans instead of using it for himself.”

    I haven’t promised to do that with the Aldermanic Allowance.

    The reason is I can’t. Because it’s illegal.

    John’s idea is great. There is no doubt that seniors and veterans deserve support. We all know that. It’s a very good idea that comes from someone whose heart is in the right place.

    But if you do it with that particular money, you have to break the law to do it.

    What we have is a law student simply misreading the law.

    The Aldermanic Allowance John talks about has very specific laws that govern the money. The rules say it’s to be used for the various expenses of running an Alderman’s office.

    It gets expensive to run an office, as I learned in my many years of managing custom furniture showrooms.

    In Chicago’s Municipal Code, ordinance 2-8-050 states that the Aldermanic Allowance is “to be used for ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in connection with the performance of an alderman’s official duties”.

    (The law also states this money is never to be used for “personal, political or campaign expenses”, so it’s a misreading to say you could “use it for yourself” in the first place.)

    But you also couldn’t legally give it away to seniors and veterans or to anybody because the ordinance specifically forbids it in 2-8-050 (c) (8), which reads “In no event shall any aldermanic expense allowance funds be used for any of the following purposes: […] trophies, awards, gifts or donations of any kind”

    You can click here to see the Municipal Code section in question. It’s been on the books since 1991.

    Again: John Kozlar’s heart is in the right place. Seniors and veterans need to live in dignity and be protected. And there are many ways to do that — legal ways — that I’m committed to.

    But someone with a law education should know we need to do that legally.

    That’s why we need someone with experience and attention to detail to make sure that happens. That’s why I will make the best Alderman for the 11th Ward.

    If we make things up as we go along, if we say anything just to get elected, that makes us no better than the machine.

  • sullivan-at-u-of-c-forum-jan-8-2015

    Maureen Sullivan Endorsed By Chicago Teachers Union

    In a Wednesday session of the Chicago Teacher’s Union endorsement committee, progressive 11th Ward Aldermanic candidate Maureen Sullivan was selected in an overwhelming vote by the union membership over her Aldermanic challenger Patrick Daley Thompson. Thompson had been originally proposed by union leadership.

    “I couldn’t be more honored by the Chicago Teachers Union’s decision to endorse my candidacy,” said Sullivan, a school council member at McClellan Elementary in Bridgeport. “I owe this outcome to the CTU rank and file who I worked with closely fighting the recent wave of public school closings that threatened Armour, McClellan and Graham elementary schools,” she said.

    The reversal decision for Sullivan and against Daley Thompson came in two steps. CTU leadership originally proposed endorsing Thompson, a move that sparked contention over the last three days following the proposal’s appearance.

    At the meeting, 11th Ward resident teachers and numerous supporters of Sullivan, keenly aware of Thompson’s pro-charter, pro-voucher and anti-elected-school-board stances, led the membership in a move to strike Thompson’s name from the endorsement resolution.

    After winning the vote to strike Thompson’s endorsement, an energized union rank and file introduced a second amendment, this time to endorse Sullivan. After debate, the membership took a voice vote which was overwhelmingly in favor.

    CTU’s nod comes as welcome news for the Bridgeport native’s staunchly progressive, grassroots campaign against the legendary 11th Ward political machine.

    “This endorsement is a victory for working families and everyone who understands that a neighborhood’s economic health drives education outcomes,” said Sullivan “Our public education system is under attack by pay-to-play privatizers. In this election, I am proud to stand with public school teachers, families and students to say enough is enough.”

    [Above: Maureen Sullivan leads a class on machine politics at University of Chicago last week.  Photo: Brian Cerullo]

     

    We saved McClellan!

    [Above: Maureen Sullivan campaigns in Fuller Park against public school closures in 2012.  Photo: Derek Johnson]

  • patrickdaleythompsonfirstmailerjan10-2-500

    Where Was This Picture Taken?

    Over the weekend, a campaign mailing from Patrick Daley Thompson hit our mailbox.

    Because Patrick is a candidate for 11th Ward Alderman, we were surprised to see a bunch of high-rise buildings printed on it.

    So we asked ourselves: where exactly are the high-rises in the 11th Ward?

    Is this over by Freddie’s?

    No.

    Is this the Appleville apartments? Or over by Shinnick’s?

    No and no.

    Maybe it’s by Sox park?  The old Amp? University Village?

    Nope.

    It’s downtown. Which is where Patrick Daley Thompson does his job as real estate attorney and lobbyist for big business. Where he helps the connected get their hands on our tax money.

    So the next time you take a walk down our Haslted St. and wonder why there are so many empty storefronts in our neighborhood with Thompson signs mounted inside the empty windows, remember where Patrick Daley Thompson is coming from. Remember what he’s thinking about.

    It’s not the 11th Ward.

  • bridgeport-alliance-flyers

    Announcing January’s 11th Ward Aldermanic Forums

    In a town that could use some heating up in January, a pair of political forums* are guaranteed to raise the temperature on the insider leadership responsible for mismanaging the 11th Ward for decades. Two debates in the 11th Ward Aldermanic race are announced:

    At least one additional forum is planned for Feburary.  Watch our website for details.

    * [CORRECTION: The original version of this post characterized these events as debates, but in fact their formats are not debate-style. The formats are instead panels with Q&A directed to the candidates individually. We regret the error.]

    (Photo credit: Bridgeport Alliance)

  • polo-cafe

    Sullivan, Candidates Address Bridgeport Village Homeowners Association

    Last night at Polo Cafe, during the first event of the campaign season attended by all three candidates for 11th Ward Alderman, the questions flowed like beer from Polo’s cash bar.

    Addressing a gathering of the Bridgeport Village Homeowners Association was Maureen Sullivan and her election opponents John Kozlar and Patrick Daley Thompson. The event planned 20 minutes for each candidate to deliver remarks followed by questions from association members.

    After drawing straws, Maureen led off, letting the homeowners know why she’s running for office:

    “There are many reasons why I’m running for Alderman, but the number one reason I’m running is because my neighbors demanded it. For the past ten years, I’ve been a highly visible community volunteer stepping up to improve our neighborhoods by providing leadership, creativity, experience and successful community organizing. Time and time again over that ten years, I have been asked ‘why don’t you run for Alderman? We need you. You already do what the Alderman is supposed to do.’ This year was the year I finally gave in and stepped forward.”

    Questions for Maureen included how she would shape the business development in the neighborhood. “At Archer and Halsted,” she said,  “there should be commuter-related businesses such as a day care, and we should consider a drive-through coffee place.  I envision Halsted Street and Archer Avenue as walkable small business districts, that look inviting.”

    After remarks by Kozlar including a round of applause for his work with the Canaryville Little League, Patrick Daley Thompson took the stage to present a very different vision for Halsted’s business district and its shuttered storefronts. He said retail wasn’t the right focus.

    “You don’t need as much retail on Halsted.  You shop on the internet now,” said Thompson.

    On Alleys And Designation

    The Q&A for Daley Thompson got a little fractious. Feeling neglected by Jim Balcer, current Alderman, Daley machine appointee and office-mate of Thompson’s, association members pressed Thompson on issues including the arrangements in the development for garbage pickup.  One homeowner said he had been asking the Alderman for eight years to have city garbage pickup arranged in Bridgeport Village’s alleys.

    “That’s easy to do,” said Daley Thompson. “We have to create a designation for the alleys.”

    The crowd, familiar with the process but having gotten no response on it for years from Alderman Balcer, did not like that answer.

    “If it’s so easy to do, why hasn’t it been done?” shot back another homeowner.

    “You’d have to talk to Jim Balcer,” responded Daley Thompson.

    11thward-office

    (Above: The office on 37th St. where Patrick Daley Thompson and Alderman Jim Balcer have desks.)

     

    (Photo credits: Planet99.com, HGJones.org)

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