The Mayor and Mr. Claypool: Chicago Citizens Suffer Under an Arrogant City Regime

THE MAYOR AND MR. CLAYPOOL: OUT OF TOUCH WITH CHICAGO’S CITIZEN MILLIONS

In the news what do we have? Here is just a brief list:

Citizens on a hunger strike for the support of the school they want in their neighborhood;
Among the worst (gun) violence in the nation;
Schools in disrepair;
Teachers upset and on strike and threatening strikes;
Pension funds a mess;
Roads and bridges in disrepair;
Homeless families and veterans;
Special needs people who are seeing cuts in funds for services……………………..

And what are our officials talking about? Here is just a sampling:

Property tax increases;
Garbage fees (we already pay for utility and garbage fees at many apartment complexes);
School property tax increases;
Congestion tax for people who drive in from the suburbs;
Taxes on sugary drinks such as sodas and fruit punches;
Cutting public school personnel and jeopardizing teachers and students;
Selling expensive parking lots and earning millions of $$ from those sales in downtown;
Closing schools and establishing charter schools that do not use union personnel;

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What are our officials NOT talking about? Cutting their own perks and salaries and timing themselves on a time clock like many citizens do, and being accountable to the people who elect them instead of to the mayor who hand-picks many of those ‘trusted’ officials. These narcissistic people are so worried, so paranoid and obsessive-compulsive about giving up or sharing their power that they will do just about anything… but that is going to ruin not only their reputations but our city as well.

Who is going to want to have a business or a home in the city limits? Who will want to drive in and be sacked with a ‘congestion tax’? And by the way, some Chicago apartment managers charge for garbage collection and sewer services and a resident told me that doing so is illegal because the city already pays those companies so we are being charged twice for garbage collection. They head everything under the name of “utility fees”.

We certainly need people in our city department offices who are not accountable to the mayor, who are not hand-picked by the mayor, who have to answer to their employees and not their boss the mayor, and who must answer to a citizen’s board made up of people from all the neighborhoods and who have a bone to pick with the mayor and his arrogant ivory-tower inner circle.

No doubt they have their hands in every department and every office. I suspect that if you turned upside down and shook the boards of METRA, the RTA, Chicago Parks, the CTA, and the Streets & Sanitation, you would find some mayoral crony in the official circle. The Chicago City Council and the Chicago Public Schools already have that deep trouble, and they will push taxes through in a hurry without any consideration of the millions who will suffer.

We are in the grips of a high-money mayor who has his head in the clouds of big money and corporate favoritism and Washington politics. Yet he was booed out of a public meeting recently and there are many people who hope that happens at every public meeting he has until the problems we have are resolved completely to citizens’ satisfaction.

Those few tyrannizing over the many? Uh, folks, we need to get on the officials and in a hurry. We need to ask them what is going on, we need to ask to whom they are answering. If they say, “I answer to the mayor” then those who work for them have choices – they can strike, they can reply, “Oh, then if you cannot help me then why am I working for you?” They can leave the city and go elsewhere, to jobs where they will be appreciated and leave the officials hanging and wondering and having to search their own consciences and finally cooperate with their constituents.

Just look around – there are already people leaving for other cities and suburbs. There are plenty of ‘for sale’ and ‘for lease’ signs in downtown, and there are plenty of homeless and beggars and families suffering on our streets. There are vacant lots full of trash and there are abandoned buildings that attract drugs and crime and vermin. What is the mayor and his inner circle going to do – drive out so many people that only the rich will be left and those who are left will be ‘taxed to the max’ and then want to leave? What will Chicago be left with – no residents, no small businesses, and no workforce.

Get the officials to answer to you or band together and find ways to fire them for not doing their jobs. After all, if the average citizen did not do their job they would be severely reprimanded or fired or demoted, so considering that we let those officials keep their jobs and their money and perks and cushy seats, we should stay on top of them like our employers sandwich us in and hold them accountable for every little thing – yes, every pothole, every power outage, every flooded home, every rat and mouse in the alleys, every tax increase, every investigation that shows government waste, every closed school, every murder using a gun, every homeless veteran, and everything else we know can be corrected. We just have to do this ourselves.

If the officials are too prim and lazy to get out there then grass-roots efforts are the answer. We need to show them how it is done and organize cleanup days and go through this city from south to north and from east to west till we like the way it looks. Then we can work on deciding where our taxes should be spent and how they should be spent and who should control that money. We need to send the officials home for a few weeks, rather like a time-out for a fussy child, until they can cooperate and politely ask to come out of the corner and then assure us, their bosses, those who elected them (and what is the mayor but an elected official so where does he come off being so arrogant and stuck-up), that they can and will behave properly and do their jobs correctly and for the benefit of those who put them in office.

Meanwhile we have the:

Citizens on a hunger strike for the support of the school they want in their neighborhood and who are now going to rally for an elected school board;
Among the worst (gun) violence in the nation;
Schools in disrepair;
Teachers upset and on strike and threatening strikes;
Pension funds a mess;
Roads and bridges in disrepair;
Homeless families and veterans;
Special needs people who are seeing cuts in funds for services
Kids dying on our streets due to drugs and guns and gangs……………………….

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2015.

America on a New Route of Rude?:: Rude, Crude, and Inhumane!?

Hello Chicago and hello America!

What is going on with our attitudes? Sure it is admitted that no human being is perfect in any way – be it behaviorally, physically, morally or spiritually. But we sure need to at least try to improve our behaviors towards others and in the presence of others.

Now my view of behavior and the science of it is that our reactions towards others begin with how we view ourselves and our environment and how environmental factors of all kinds have affected us.

My goodness, what a spit of rude behavior I have seen and experienced lately! We tend to misjudge and sadly prejudge others before we know the facts or the circumstances of situations we see or hear about. The so – called “news” does not help our tendencies to be so fast and thus to act before we think – such as been a shortcoming of our “progressive” technological world. But it is still rude to do many things and to act before thinking. Acting means any kind outward manifestation of thought here – speaking, shouting, gesturing, traveling, etc.

Just some of the examples I have seen of how rude Americans can be include:

Reprimanding someone when the reprimander did not know the rest of the situation (happened in a grocery store and the nasty reprimanding person was way out of line and did not know the rest of the circumstances);
Interrupting someone when they are serving another customer;
Cutting another driver off on Interstate 88;
Wearing caps at the dining table (I have seen at least three guys – I will not call them gentlemen – do this in the past week);

Now there are situations I have not experience but have heard of that indicate just how rude and crude Americans are becoming, such as:

Abuse of others for any reason;
Teasing and making ethnic or other manner of jokes (some people do not consider funny what others consider as funny or “just having fun”);
Smoking within the entrance of a store or apartment complex where non-smokers have to walk;
Mistreatment of animals;
Stepping on the feet of others and not saying excuse me or I am sorry;
Pushing others into a subway car and shoving other passengers out of their way (arrogance, prideful and shameful behavior that has no consideration for the others on board);
Littering (even when a garbage can is within a few feet);
Not cleaning up after pets;
Stealing money from one’s company;
Interrupting in a senate or parliamentary procedure situation, and so many more!

I admit no one is immune to some eruptions of unusual or bad behavior but I am attempting to improve, and pledge so to do. If we all do that, pledge to improve our behavior towards others by a small percentage or by giving a few more seconds’ thought to a situation before we impose any kind of action on another person or on the situation, we will be better people and have a nicer nation.

Divi Logan. Chicago. 2015.

Civility in the Big City: Everybody’s Duty and Responsibility. Respect is Part of Living Around Others in the City

LIVING IN PEACE AND DISTURBING THE PEACE: LEARN HOW TO LIVE IN THE BIG CITY

I. THE TRANSITION MISSION

Coming from Nashville and an area where there were large lots and homes well built to block out a lot of noise, and homes set back from the street and off the main thoroughfares, I became accustomed to not only keeping the noise level down for the benefit of neighbors and family, but to not having a lot of noise from the outside to deal with. People in my family were pretty civil when it came to not making a lot of noise in the evenings and at night. Mostly the noises came from storms and the occasional flurry of travel activity in some early mornings, along with jet noise from the airport a few miles away. Being polite and respecting others was just a part of daily living as regarded making unnecessary noises.

II. LIFE IN THE BIG CITY STILL REQUIRES RESPECT FOR OTHERS

In the big city however, in a place like Chicago, activity is constant and people have different schedules. Still, that does not mean that you can make as much noise as you want and not think whether or not it is disturbing others. Most likely it is to some degree, even though no one complains directly. No one should have to come to you or go to the complex managers or law enforcement to quell disturbances of the peace or check upon the belief that there is suspicious activity going on. In doing things very late or on a pattern take care in this instance, for patterns of activity might be taken by some to indicate drug activity, as in getting drugs ready for drops at certain times and places. By making unnecessary or late noises or noises in the early part of the morning you might attract attention from the law or from apartment managers or angry tenants who might not take kindly to the noises you are making once it is found out that you or your guests are the source of the disturbances. It is just better to keep the noises down and not attract attention in the first place.

No one should have to tell you to lower the noises; you should take care not to make excessive noises especially when you live in an apartment or condominium complex. That means simply that others do live around you and that you should have a care not to be loud after regular working hours. Many older buildings do not have soundproofing as some newer complexes do, so sounds such as slamming doors, toilet seats falling hard, heels on tiled surfaces, kids running around on uncarpeted flooring, and dropping tools carry through walls and ceilings, even though the actual action is not directly above or below where the sounds end up being heard.

It is simply keeping with what it means to be a “good citizen”. Now good citizens have certain qualities, among these being trustworthiness, accountability, honesty, and community service, keeping up with current events, voting and the like. But the golden thread that binds the other facets together is RESPECT FOR OTHERS. This is so vital, so essential to living together in harmony and maintaining discipline and good society. Respect is so simple, more so than being bad or rowdy or upsetting or arrogant. Being civil and polite are so basic, and really are easy to do, as to smile is better than to frown. It makes you look better, look good, have a better outlook on life and on daily activities.

In major cities with tall buildings, sounds can also carry oddly from the outside. Storms sounded very strange when I first moved here; echoing thunder and wind seemed to come from every direction as the storms came in and would whip around structures. Sirens seem to come from one direction when in fact they come from another, and yelling comes from corners, with horns, stereos from cars, and the humming, roaring motors of trucks or vehicles that need mufflers. Some noises are to be expected where, as in Chicago, there is a mix of old and new structures, high rises, apartment buildings in various states of repair and material construction, and people who do not pay attention while driving. With so much activity you can expect first responders to be active on occasion, and you might hear some shouting or screaming or the occasional brawl. First responder activity is part of big city life…

In-complex noises are not part of big city life.

You can take steps to prevent excessive noise or noises late in the evenings after eight or ten PM when people are settling down after hard days at work. Think of what it would feel like for you if someone made noise that prevented you from settling in or eating a meal in quiet or going to bed and getting up timely so you could do a good job at the office. I doubt it if you would appreciate someone making noises or being inconsiderate and impolite. You might take steps to see who it was making the noises and ask them to stop.

But then the noises should not be happening in the first place, should they? Remember, folks, you aren’t in a detached house with a yard or separate driveways. You live around others so changes are in order so everyone can live in peace and happiness and more contentment. You can take basic steps, such as closing doors quietly (no slamming), taking out your trash in a timely manner, taking off heeled shoes when you must walk on tile or other hard surfaces, setting down tools and parcels carefully (after all, tools can break too and they are expensive many times to replace, and if they belong to others all the more reason to be careful with the possessions), not allowing things to drop (yes accidents do happen but you can exercise care and caution and go slowly and not lift a lot at one time in order to lessen the chance of dropping something), holding parties in party rooms or outside of the complex, and making sure your guests are quiet and do not talk loudly in hallways.

Guests must be respectful as residents are respectful; they need to adhere to the rules of the complex and not use areas where it is required that they be accompanied by a resident. They should hold to the rules many bars and restaurants post, asking patrons to keep the noise down and leave quietly so as not to disturb neighbors. Everyone should take more steps to be mindful of the rights of others to peace and quiet and relaxation. Big cities have enough stresses and stimuli without people making more noise than is needed.

Civility does count, and that applies to EVERYBODY. It applies to me and to you, to all who deem they are good citizens. Civility has a place in every society.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2015.