Friday, November 21, 2014

Official Bridgeport Alliance Statement: Rahm's "Clean Air" Pollutes Our Reputation

November 21, 2014
For immediate release:

Earlier this week Chicago Together, Rahm Emanuel’s campaign for reelection, released a video titled Clean Air. It highlights the closing of Fisk and Crawford, a pair of South Side coal-fired power plants that had been exposing residents to harmful pollution for decades. Local residents and community groups worked for years to close these plants, but the 30 second ad spins the story differently, implying that Rahm was the true hero. In his attempt to take credit for the closures, it is the opinion of Bridgeport Alliance that Emanuel is claiming a victory that belongs to the communities, exploiting their success to bolster his campaign.

The video also implies that Emanuel has the support of local community activists. In fact, he does not. Community member and lawyer Jerry Boyle commented, “The people who struggled to close those toxic coal plants were arrested by Rahm Emanuel, who only showed up to take credit for their victory.” In a similar vein, Bridgeport Alliance Chair Ruby Pinto expressed anger, stating, “Our neighbors fought tirelessly to restore our air quality, and that meant going against Emanuel and his corporate favoritism. To see our efforts distorted into support for Rahm feels like a bully taking our lunch money and buying votes with it.”

Though we are happy that the clean-power victory was won under his mayorship, his one  positive decision (in response to community pressure) is outweighed by other decisions that have devastated our communities. School closings, cuts to mental health services, and the enactment of policies that consistently favor large corporations over the people he claims to serve have earned our outrage, not our support.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Public Townhall Forum for 11th Ward Aldermanic Election

To the 11th WARD! News!

Bridgeport Alliance will be hosting two public town hall forums as the vote for a new 11th Ward Alderman approaches. Details to be announced. At present, BA leaders are reaching out to other community organizations and institutions interested in involvement and participation in the framing and building of the event. Organizations interested should contact The next planning meeting will be in mid-September. More info available upon request. Thank you!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bridgeport Prayer Vigil for those Imprisoned or Detained

To Our Neighbors and Community Members in Bridgeport!

For those who have not yet received an invitation to Thursday's Vigil, please consider this yours!

All are welcome as we gather to pray, especially for those in prison or detained. The prayers will include prayers for prisoners, detainees, parole officers, guards, our elected officials and law makers, police, the sheriff, judges,our youth, our families, our neighbors, ourselves, those caught in the system, and many more—all touched by incarceration, detention, and our criminal justice system.

In addition to prayers, petitions and spiritual songs, we will hear a few brief reflections from community members about their varied experiences with our justice system. Speakers will include a retired parole officer, a former prisoner and convicted felon, clergy, family members and individuals of those migrated to the US. Also, young teenage community member will speak whose father is in prison.

All faith and all walks of life are welcome at the vigil, planned as an ecumenical Christian service. In the longstanding tradition of Christian vigils, community members are invited to wear white to symbolize hope, peace, and unity. You may also bring names or photos to add to the lists of those prayed for, and bring your own candles, or means of remembrance for those apart from us, in prison, or detained.

The vigil will last less than an hour, near the alley just west of 31st and Halsted.

All are welcome.

See you then!


Rev. Tom Gaulke, First Lutheran Church of the Trinity

“I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'” - Jesus, Matthew 25:36

Jesus unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the captives go free,to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. -Luke 4:17b-21

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bridgeport Alliance officer election 2014

Congratulations to:

Ruby P, Chair
Mary C, Vice Chair
Peggy W, Treasurer
Theresa R, Secretary

Thank you and good luck!

Why We Care About Fracking

Christina Martinez shares her insight on Fracking.

Hydraulic Fracturing aka FRACKING is the method used by the natural gas industry
to extract methane gas from shale rock. Millions of gallons of water along with sand and 600 plus toxic chemicals are used under high pressure to break shale rock underneath the earth's surface releasing the methane that is then contained and sold. States such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas all have cases involving well water contamination, air quality violations, seepage of toxic chemicals into the groundwater, cattle dying from cancers, children and adults suffering from asthma, leukemia, and other types of cancers as a result of over 10 years of fracking. There are plans for fracking to begin in our state of Illinois.

Description of specific issue:
The Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act (HFRA) was passed by the Illinois General Assembly and signed by Governor Quinn on May 31, 2013. On November 15, 2013 the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) submitted their first draft of the rules. These rules were to be the toughest in the country. They would essentially regulate the fracking industry. Public comment in Chicago regarding these rules took place at the University of Illinois on Tuesday November 26 just 2 days before Thanksgiving 2013. Throughout the state it was determined that 35,000 public comments were submitted. The majority of the comments were not in favor of the rules. Many said that the rules were too lenient on the gas companies and not stringent enough on issues of public health. IDNR must read and respond to every single comment received before it submits its second draft on November 15, 2014.
Fair Economy Illinois and the Sierra Club drafted a document called the “Dirty Thirty” that identifies exactly where and how the rules have fallen short. 
OUR ASK: We demand that no permits be issued until the dirty 30 are addressed. We ask legistlators to   
  1. ensure the IDNR rules reflect the spirit and intent of the law and (2) insist on the inclusion of the Dirty 30 on the IDNR rules.

History of Wins/Partial Wins:

On May 21, 2013 Gasland director Josh Fox, author Dr. Sandra Steingraber, and Tabitha Tripp of SAFE spoke against SB 1715  at the Illinois House Executive Committee Hearings. SB 1715 was passed by the Illinois GA and signed by Gov Quinn on May 31, 2013. SB 1715 is what is now known as HFRA the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act.

On November 15, 2013 the IDNR submitted draft rules which would detail how fracking will be regulated in the state of Illinois.

On Tuesday November 26, 2013 400 people packed a room at UIC to submit public comments to the IDNR fracking rules. The majority of the commenters oppose fracking in Illinois.

During the month of December 2013 members of Frack Free Illinois, Chicagoland Against Fracking, SAFE etc.. approached members of JCAR (Joint Committee on Administrative Rules) to educate them on flaws in the IDNR rules. The rules have too many loopholes and benefit the oil/gas companies instead of the public health.

On January 19, 2014 at the MLK IIRON public meeting Gov Quinn's AID committed not to issue any permits until the DIRTY 30 is addressed. 

On March 25, 2014 Fair Economy Illinois organized a LOBBY DAY. The anti-fracking contingent met with members of the Green Caucus, JCAR and rallied inside the headquarters of the IDNR.

On Friday May 23, 2014 Democrat John Bradley presented SB 0649 which would essentially bypass the IDNR's rulemaking process for fracking in Illinois. This bill would disregard the 35,000 public comments submitted back on November 26, 2013 and allow the gas companies to begin fracking in southern Illinois. On Monday May 26 (Memorial Day holiday) people from IPA, Sierra Club, FEI, SAFE packed the hearing room and voiced their opposition to SB 0649. The bill died as there were not enough votes to support John Bradley's efforts.

Current Battle:

Governor Quinn is running for Illinois Governor. He is up against Bruce Rauner a Republican and there is a Green Party candidate. Quinn has not publicly affirned his commitment. He does not discuss fracking on his campaign trail. He tries to avoid the topic even when confronted by activists. Numerous attempts to schedule a meeting with Quinn have failed. Various anti-fracking groups have attempted to bring attention to the fracking issue at various public functions where Quinn has appeared.
The current strategy among activists is to press the issue on Quinn wherever he can be publicly addressed.
The Bridgeport Alliance is helping to bring this issue to the community. They held a screening at Benton House of the documentary GASLAND by Emmy award winner Josh Fox. This took place
on Saturday May 17, 2014. About 20 people attended the screening. There was lots of heated and angry discussion afterwards. One concrete thing that people did was to write a letter to Governor Quinn expressing their concern for fracking in Illinois. Everyone who came to the screening opposes fracking in Illinois. Cristina Martinez an anti-fracking activist with the Bridgeport Alliance took those letters to Governor Quinn's office on the 16th floor of the State of Illinois building.  It is hoped that the governor will take the time to read each and every letter.

Email to get involved.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bridgeport Prayer Vigil For Our Sisters and Brothers, Imprisoned or Detained

If you are interested in helping plan, call Pastor Tom at First Trinity - 312.842.7390. Or email


Where: Bridgeport, Chicago, Bridgeport Homes

When:  Thursday, July 24, 6pm-7:30

Why: Bring the community together, Pray for and bless our sisters and brothers who are imprisoned or detained, Put Hope into action by offering opportunities to fight against mass incarceration – through organizing and direct action.

Election Rules and Special Meeting

Election Meeting/Pizza Party!  Facebook event here 

This is an open meeting, all are welcome.  Only those eligible to vote may vote.  See below.

First, a Correction - This is why I am not secretary - In reviewing the minutes this morning I realized that the agreed upon date for the election was July 17, and the 11th was the closing day for nominations. I apologize for any problems this may have caused. - Rene

July 11 - Nominations due
July 14 - Deadline for requesting Absentee Ballot.
July 15 - Absentee Ballots will be sent to those who request them.
July 17 - Absentee Ballots due by 5 pm, Special Meeting/Election at 7.

Current nominations:

Please review the list below. If you have been nominated, please let me know if you accept or decline the nomination. Some of you have been nominated for more than one role, but per the rules can only run for one. If this is your situation please let me know which you accept.

We can still take nominations through July 11
Thank you,
Rene (

Ruby Pinto
Kristina Tendillia

Vice Chair:
Kristina Tendillia
Mary Cantore
Tom Gaulke

Ben Huey
Peggy Watson

Charlie Rumppe

************Election Rules**************

In order to nominate, vote, or run, you must be a member in good standing. Membership requires that you have, in the last year (July-June):

Attended at least 3 BA meetings, actions or events.
Made a financial contribution.
If you are not sure of your membership status please contact the Election Judges: Rene Paquin and Jennie Biggs

These volunteers will be responsible for:
Collecting nominations
Creating ballots
Counting ballots
Announcing winners

Election judges may not run for any office.

Nominations will be taken at the May meeting or via email/phone.

Members may nominate themselves and others.

Nominations do not require a second to be included.

Nominees will be informed of their nomination as soon as possible and asked if they accept.

Phone and email nominations may take place through July 11.

To nominate a member via phone/email contact the election judges at


Each member is entitled to one vote for each held office.

Votes will be collected and tabulated by the election judges by the end of the meeting.

In the case of a tie the results will be presented to the assembled group for a solution.

The election results will be announced by the end of the meeting.

Absentee ballots will be provided (to those who request them) and must be submitted no later than 5 pm on the day of election. (see deadlines above)


May only run for one office.

May vote.

Are entitled to a 2 minute speech prior to voting.

May not serve as election judges.

Will take office beginning in the July general meeting.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Take the 35th Street bus to the 31st Street Beach!

Service to 31st Street Beach

How does this affect my trip?
Bus service will be extended to 31st Street Beach weekends and holidays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Buses in both directions will operate east of 35th/Rhodes, and begin/end at 31st Street Beach. Buses will run nonstop between Rhodes/33rd Pl and the beach. Buses will serve the beach from 9:10am until 9:40pm on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

Buses will continue to begin/end at 35th/Cottage Grove early morning and late evenings on weekends, and at all times on weekdays.

Why is service being changed?
Service is being extended for the convenience
of customers traveling to/from 31st Street beach.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April News

This month's general meeting will be postponed due to scheduling conflicts.

Please note - May's meeting will include nominations for new officers. Please think about people you might like to nominate for Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. You can also nominate yourself if you are interested in serving. 

In order to nominate, vote, or run, you must be a member in good standing. Membership requires that you have, in the last year (July-June):

  • Attended at least one BA meeting. 
  • Participated in at least one BA action or event. 
  • Made a financial contribution. 
If you are not sure of your membership status please contact Jennie

Upcoming events:
Clean and Green - April 26, 9:30am - 1 pm, McGuane Park signup at 9:30 am - This is a super fun event! There will be refreshments and cleaning supplies available. Come ready to get dirty!

A Quality Education for Every Child: How Do We Get There?- April 26, 10am - 12 pm, Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division Seating is limited, please register. Sponsored by Raise Your Hand and Chicago Community Trust.

Landlord Workshop - April 28 6-8 pm, 9th District Police Station

National People’s Action D.C. Conference, April 26 - April 28

Community Heliport Meeting with PERRO @ First Trinity - April 29, 6:30 - Let's have the community run forum that we deserve!

 McGuane & Palmisano park advisory councils meeting May 5, 6:00 pm, McGuane Park field house

CAPS May 13, 6:30 pm 9th District Police Station. 

Gasland Showing, May 17th, 6-9pm at Benton House.

Bridgeport Alliance General Meeting and Nominations - May 29, 7:00 pm

Sunday, April 6, 2014

CPS Local School Council (LSC) Elections

The Bridgeport Alliance Encourages Local Residents to Vote in CPS Local School Council (LSC) 

Elections On Monday, April 7, parents and community members can vote at their local elementary school.

On Tuesday, April 8, parents and community members can vote at their local high school.

Local School Councils or LSCs are very important to our local Chicago Public Schools. They approve a school’s budget, help write a school’s improvement plan, and they hire and evaluate principals.

A LSC consists of 6 parents, 2 community members, 2 teachers, 1 nonteaching staff member, and the principal. A student is a member at high schools.

Strong communities have strong schools. It takes all of us, together, to strengthen our schools.

Will you commit to vote in the LSC Elections? 

Who is running at our local schools?

This link to a DNAinfo article has a complete list of Parent and Community candidates. We welcome candidates to respond to this blog with their qualifications or to post on the BA Facebook page

To find your elementary school and high school: Please use this website & plug in your address. You do need to select the “Search by Address” button.

If this does not work, please call the Department of School Demographics and Planning at (773)553-3270. Local school phone numbers are included below.

There are 2 exceptions to the above that we are aware of:

  • For Sheridan (a magnet school), anyone who lives in these boundaries can vote there: the lake to the east, Ashland to the west; 12th Street to the north, 39th Street to the south.) 
  •  For Air Force Academy High School, only parents can vote. We understand that the 2 community representatives on their LSC are appointed by the AFA Board. 

 Voting Requirements:

  • Community members voting must be at least 18 years old. 
  • You can vote anytime during the hours of 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. 
  • Voting takes place at each school. 
  • You can vote for UP TO 5 candidates. 
  • You will receive a ballot that includes both Parent Rep and Community Rep candidates. 
  • You do need to present current identification. 
    •  If you are a CPS parent voting at your child’s school, you will need the report card you just picked up, plus one more form of ID. 
    •  If you are a community member, you need 2 forms of ID to prove you live within the school’s boundaries 
  • Accepted forms of ID include: 
    •  Driver’s License 
    •  IL State ID 
    •  Credit Card with picture 
    •  Voter Registration Card 
    •  Matricula Consular 
    •  MediPlan/Medicaid Card 
    •  Permanent Resident Card 
    •  Current Lease or Utility Bill 

 Thank you so much for your time and commitment to our community and our schools!

Local school contact & location information:
 Philip D. Armour, 950 W. 33rd Place, 60608, 773-535-4530
 Alexander Graham, 4436 S. Union Ave., 60609 (773)535-1308
 John C. Haines, 247 West 23rd Place, 60616 773-534-9200
 Holden Elementary School 1104 West 31st Street, 60608 (773) 535-7200
 Robert Healy, 3010 S Parnell Ave., 60616 (773) 534-9190
 George B McClellan, 3527 S Wallace St., 60609 (773) 535-1732
 Mark Sheridan, 533 W 27th St., 60616 (773) 534-9120
 James Ward, 2701 S. Shields Avenue, 60616, 773-534-9050
 Tilden Career Community Academy HS, 4747 South Union Avenue, 60609 (773) 535-1625
 Air Force Academy HS, 3630 S Wells St., 60609 (773) 534-7706

 Voting issues? Please contact: Election Central Office of Local School Council Relations 773.553.1400

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Insurance or Medicaid Help

Hello Friends, I am sharing some information provided by our friends at Ada S. McKinley Services.  

FREE Community Breakfast – open to all

Free hot breakfast
3rd Saturday of each month
March 15, April 19, May17
From 9am-11am

Come when you can, leave when you must.
Enjoy good food and conversation.

At Salem Lutheran Church
318 E. 74th St. (74th & Calumet)
Chicago, IL 60619
Enter on 74th St. by alley

Saturday, March 15th, 10am to noon


Affordable Care Act health insurance counselors will be at Salem’s parish hall from 10am-noon on Saturday, March 15th. These in-person counselors from Ada S. McKinley Services will be available to help people sign up for insurance or Medicaid. They will assist anyone to apply through the health insurance “marketplace” or to apply for Medicaid, in order to comply with the legal requirements of the Affordable Care Act. 

YOU MUST BRING: government issued photo ID, income verification, and SSN’s for all who will be covered on your plan. 

WHY? Most Americans must have health coverage in 2014 or pay a penalty on their 2015 taxes. If you don’t have coverage, you’ll pay a penalty of either 1% of your income, or $95 per adult ($47.50 per child). If you don’t enroll by March 31, 2014, you can’t get private health insurance inside or outside the Marketplace until the next open enrollment period starts (probably November 2014). You’ll be uninsured and be charged the 2014 penalty. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Elected School Board!

Please - CONTACT YOUR ALDERMAN BEFORE THE FEBRUARY 12 COUNCIL MEETING, urging them to vote both the ordinance for an elected school board referendum out of committee and to place it on the November 2014 ballot. 

Also, check out the LSC (Local School Council) fact sheet below to learn how to help schools in your neighborhood.