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.