Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chicago Mayoral Candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia


“It is time to take this city in a new direction,” said Garcia. This is no surprise to anyone who has watched the career of 58-year-old Garcia. He has rarely been comfortable with the status quo.
His new direction for the city includes violence reduction through more effective community policing, adding 1,000 new police officers, and greater support for public schools, including a democratically-elected school board that will be responsive to people in the neighborhoods.
Over the last three decades, he has advocated vigorously for progressive policies and political reform throughout the city and county and worked for better housing and schools in the Little Village community he represents on the Southwest Side.
Garcia is no stranger to elected office.  He’s been a Chicago alderman, a state senator and, in 2009, was elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners, which allocates the county’s $3.5 billion budget.
County Board President Toni Preckwinkle lost no time naming him her floor leader to help with her drive to enact a reform agenda.
As floor leader, Garcia successfully urged his colleagues to roll back an excessive one percent county sales tax imposed under former board President Todd Stroger—“The hated Stroger sales tax,” Garcia recalls with a smile.
Last year, Garcia resisted pressure from a small army of real estate lobbyists and passed a ban on their refusing to rent homes to people who rely on federally funded housing choice vouchers, including low income families, veterans, the disabled and others. This had become the practice of some suburban landlords.
Garcia also sponsored an ordinance that stopped county officials from cooperating with a Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs program that was identifying people accused of minor offenses who were suspected of being undocumented immigrants.
“Families were being torn apart,” Garcia recalls,  “and it also cost taxpayers money because some of the names on the list were there by mistake and they filed lawsuits.”

Early life

Garcia was born in Durango, in a picturesque village at the edge of the Sierra Madre in north central Mexico.  His father was a farm laborer who worked the fields of California, Kansas, and Texas under the US Government’s World War II-era bracero program. He sent much of his earnings home to support his family.  When Garcia was 10 years old, they gained permanent residency status and moved to Chicago, settling in the Pilsen/Little Village area where he still lives. Garcia later became a US Citizen.
His interest in politics started while attending St. Rita High School, inspired by the speeches of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, and United Farm Workers Union leader, Cesar Chavez.
He got his first taste of political organizing when he and fellow students threw a picket line around the old Atlantic movie theater on 26th Street, which had become seedy and rundown. It closed, but was cleaned up and reopened later, which inspired the newly minted high school activists.
Garcia enrolled in the University of Illinois-Chicago and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in urban planning.  While attending university he worked as a paralegal assisting immigrants and people with low incomes.

Political career

In 1983, Harold Washington was elected mayor, which spawned what some see as the golden age of progressive politics in Chicago. Harold named Garcia Water Commissioner and two years later he was elected alderman of the 22nd Ward, an election that would change the balance of power in the City Council.
Old guard stalwarts of the Chicago Machine had a majority in the council and outvoted Washington’s forces in furious clashes that became known as the “Council Wars.”  The 1986 election gave Mayor Washington the upper hand as a fresh batch of his supporters, including Garcia, were voted into office and started on the reform of city government.
Alderman Garcia won funds for construction of the Little Village Arch that sweeps across 26th Street in the 22nd Ward. He also pushed through an ordinance that helped immigrants fill out forms, write letters, and apply for green cards that allowed those with permanent resident status to work legally.
Garcia moved from the City Council to the Illinois Senate where he passed legislation limiting fees charged by notary publics to immigrants for assistance with legal matters. He also won passage of a bill requiring interpreters be made available to hospital patients who could not speak sufficient English to understand their treatment options.
Garcia’s time in Springfield came to an abrupt end when he was defeated in 1998 by an opponent who was supported by the Hispanic Democratic Organization, a group firmly aligned with the old guard patronage machine in Chicago politics.
Chuy's wife and daughter
With Jesus “Chuy” Garcia are his wife, Evelyn, left and daughter, Rosa right.
Garcia’s response was to plunge himself into community organizing. He founded, and was Executive Director of, the Little Village Community Development Corporation. This organization is now called Enlace, which means “connections.” At the beginning, Garcia was the only employee. Within a year, the organization had 27 full-time employees, 120 part-time workers, and an annual budget of $5 million.
Among other activities, Enlace raised money to upgrade community housing and sponsored night classes in subjects such as computer science, violence prevention, dropout prevention, and English as a second language.
On Mother’s Day in 2001, the group caused a sensation when a contingent— mostly mothers—went on a hunger strike to pressure the Chicago Public Schools administration to deliver on a promise for millions of dollars to construct a new high school.
The hunger strike went on for 19 days. The neighborhood eventually got its school—Little Village-Lawndale High School—which continues to serve the community today. The protests also resulted in changes to the administration of CPS, headed by Arne Duncan (now US Secretary of Education).
Garcia’s wife is Evelyn; they have three children, Rosa, Jesus, and Samuel.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

MEMO FROM FOP LODGE 7 ~~ Retiree Update from Attorney Clint Krislov

Retiree Update From Attorney Clint Krislov
Dear Retirees:
We’re still waiting for a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, following our argument December 10, 2014. We cannot predict when the decision will come down; but we’ll certainly let you know when it does.
In the meantime, we have filed a case for the Municipal and Laborers Funds participants to challenge the statutory deferral and reduction in their Cost of Living Adjustments, as prohibited by the Illinois Constitution’s “Pension Protection Clause” – more on that around the end of the month. Obviously, if the City is successful in that case, it’s likely that the City will try to impose the same changes on Police and Firemen’s pension COLAs.
Arguments on the State Pension “Reform” challenge are likely to be sometime in the March term of the Illinois Supreme Court. We will likely be filing another “friend of the court” brief in that case, as we did on the State retiree healthcare case. Our brief will likely be due February 16, 2015.
Korshak reconciliation checks should be out this month for the six month period ended June 30, 2013. Most of you will be receiving checks on the level of a month’s premium. We’re proud of having obtained these for you, and hope that you will consider contributing a portion to our war chest.
Sincerely, Clint

Monday, January 19, 2015



I cannot believe that it has actually come this but there comes a time when you need to swallow your pride and do what is best for your family. My story is simple and I will break down exact numbers so you understand what is happening. I am currently on disability from work (can never go back to police work), I bring home about $2792.00 a month. From that 1167.00 goes to the mortgage, $546.00 for my health insurance, $381.00 for Chrissy's health insurance, & 185.00 for my medications. I am Diabetic and I have had to not get my medication so we could eat. That leaves $513.00 a month from which I am supposed to make a car payment $400.00, car insurance (currently have none), pay utilities (owe Com Ed 2600.00, they can't turn us off until April), groceries, cell phones (off, owe Sprint $800.00).
I think you can get the idea. People have told me to apply for Public Aid. I tried, thankfully I got insurance for my two boys but that is it. Applied for SNAP, eligible for $83.00 a month (I can't even feed my dogs for that amount). I do not qualify for any programs because they count only your gross income and I am $100.00 over the limit.
My wife, Chrissy, cannot work due to six bad discs in her back and the doctors say it is to dangerous to try and fix them. She also suffers from Fibromialgia and now she she will have to help me out after my knee surgery on January 19, 2015.
The only positive I have is that I saved us from losing our house. Thank God!!
If anyone is interested in helping, THANK YOU. If you cannot, then please pray for us. I understand how things are today for everyone but my money making abilities are severely diminished due being disabled right now and I need to get some of these boulders off of me so I have some fresh to start out in.
I cannot file bankruptcy because I cannot come up with lawyer and filing fees and to be honest I really don't need to file if I can just get back to ground zero and start fresh.
I cannot explain to you how it feels for me that I am doing this but I am out of ideas and I have nowhere to go.


Thursday, January 8, 2015


I received the following text message and a few calls from officers on duty disability complaining about not receiving a retro check or raises reflected in their monthly annuity. "Hey, Just called FOP to inquire about our pay raise since it seems everyone got their raises and retro, except duty disability people.  FOP said this is the first they have heard about it and no one else called about not getting their pay raise on Duty Disability. So I would tell all people on Duty Disability to call FOP"

They also called the Pension Board and was told nothing for disabled officers will be processed for six to eight months because of all the calculations!  


Another update from a reader:
Wrote Bob at pension and dean angelo both last Friday regarding retro money and never got a response.  So, just called pension board and got more info from girl that answered; she said they haven't even started on calculating the retro from new contract.  she said each person disabled or retired would be individually inputted with the new rate for annuity benefit and their back pay.  the operative point she made was they haven't started because they are waiting for the city's end of the money necessary to be disbursed?????????  are your friggin kidding me?  waiting for the money!  when pressed regarding time, I stated. " would you guess of a time line, say a month or so?"  her response was longer (that's when she said they didn't have the money yet from the city's end...put that in your blog !
now it explains why no response from dean/fop?!  theyre all bullshit!  when will this torture with these people end? 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

LET'S SUPPORT TEAM VICELLI ~ Brothers Fight for Brothers!!!!

Louis, was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma in November 2014 and has recently started his chemotherapy treatments. Chemo will consist of 8 rounds and will possibly be followed up with radiation. He will repeat his PET scan after 4 rounds to hopefully find out that the chemo is working.

Since his diagnosis, his wedding that was originally planned for May was rescheduled and he was married to his amazing wife, Amanda, in just two weeks. Along with Amanda's support, Louis has the great support of his family, friends, and coworkers. Louis is a firefighter/paramedic at both Oakbrook Terrace and Stone Park Fire Departments. He truly loves what he does and loves helping those that live in those communities.

He has a very big heart and he would do anything possible to help anyone whether they needed it or not. We could not ask for a better brother, godfather, son, friend, coworker etc. Please keep Louis, Amanda and our family in your thoughts and prayers! 

We are going to be placing the t-shirt order within the next few days. I’m going to order large quantities of the standard sizes (small, medium, large & x=large). They will be $20 and all the proceeds will go directly to Louis' medical bills and expenses. Below is a draft of what the shirt may look like.
If anyone would like youth sizes, larger sizes or know of a large quantity order please message me or email teamvicelli@gmail.com. This will be very helpful so we order the correct amount of sizes.
Additional size options -
Youth: XS, S, M, L, XL
Adult: 2XL, 3XL

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Rest in Heaven, My Wonderful Buddy and Friend!! James P McMahon

My condolences to the entire McMahon Family! We all lost a small part of us when Jimmy died! I'll be seeing you again and we'lll be laughing, eating, bitching and moaning while blogging in heaven, you can count on it!!!Hhttp://www.nextstepschicago.org/

McMahon, James P. Age 57, Suddenly; Retired Lt. C.F.D.; Beloved father of Shannon (Gerard) McCraw, Kelly (Eric C.P.D.) Mitchell, Maggie (Jason C.P.D.) Motyka and Jimbo (Melissa); Dear grandfather of 7; Fond brother of Sheila (Joe) Gallas, Maria (Chuck) Seivert, Bill McMahon Retired D.O.H., Peggy McMahon D.W.M and Joannie McMahon; Loving son of the late Margaret and James C.P.D.; Former spouse and friend of Kimberly McMahon; Owned McMahon Construction; A licensed Airplane Pilot, avid Motorcycle Enthusiast, and he was among the Contingent of 27 firfighters; Visitation Tuesday 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. Funeral Wednesday 8:45 a.m. from Curley Funeral Home (T.P. Kerrigan Sons Directors), 6116 W. 111th Street, Chicago Ridge to St. Christiana Church, 111th & Homan, Chicago. Mass 9:30 a.m. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Next Step Spinal Cord Injuries,www.nextstepsChicago.org. For funeral info 708-636-0031. Published in Chicago Tribune on Dec. 29, 2014 -at:http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/chicagotribune/obituary.aspx?n=james-mcmahon&pid=173641866&fhid=13778#sthash.OfuCpQV6.dpuf.


Thursday, December 18, 2014




The battle continues. I suffer from pinch nerves and severe neck and shoulder pain. This happen after being in a car accident while arresting two offenders who committed a drive by shooting. I exhausted all of my injury on duty days. What's my reward from the Chicago Police Dept.? A five month battle without pay. I had to hire an attorney who has to prove the same injuries they been paying me for were duty related. Any donations to help offset the basic needs of shelter and food are greatly appreciated.

i am a Chicago Police Officer who while on lunch responded to a call of a drive by shooting. My partner and I were involved in an accident with the offenders. We arrested them and recovered the gun. My cervix vertebra has pinched nerves throughout my spine. Steroid epidural shots, therapy, and all medicines have failed. I have exhausted the one year allowed and I'm forced to apply for duty disability. This process takes two to three months with zero dollars in income. My chapter 13 is dissolved, water was turned off, vehicle booted, unable to assist my daughter with college tuition and all while assisting four underage children who have been displaced. Any assistance during these tumultuous times is greatly appreciated.