Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Election! Party! Meeting!


Tomorrow's a big day for Bridgeport Alliance!  Our annual election is at 7pm in the Community Hall at First Trinity (643 W 31st St.).  We'll also be having our monthly meeting--in fact, November's and December's, rolled into one.

But wait, there's even more!  After the meeting, there's a party!  We'll be celebrating the return of the 31st St. bus.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Here Comes the Bus!


Bridgeport Alliance is proud to announce that its efforts have been met with partial success!  As announced by Alderman Patrick Thompson earlier today, the Chicago Transit Authority has agreed to reinstate the 31 bus line on an experimental basis.  

This victory comes after three years of work by Bridgeport Alliance, which has organized many meetings and events to both raise awareness and push decision makers to reinstate the 31st Street route.  Our 2014 lobbying trip to Congressman Dan Lipinki’s front door—we found him gardening—was particularly spirited.  See our photo petition here and our Bike and Rolls along the route here.  

Recently, building an alliance with North Side activists by forming the CTA31/CTA11 Crosstown Bus Coalition was particularly powerful.  The support of Aldermen Patrick Thompson (11th Ward), Ameya Pawar (47th Ward), and Michele Smith (43rd Ward) has also been pivotal.  


Stay tuned for more information about a celebratory party!



We would like to thank the Crosstown Coalition, the aldermen, and the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community for being our staunch allies.  Especially, thank you, people of Bridgeport and Chinatown, for your fighting spirit.

Information on the specifics of the pilot route is incomplete, so let’s keep up the activism!  Please check back to our blog for more on this exciting development in the coming days. 

PLEASE RIDE THE 31ST STREET BUS!




For a DNAinfo article, click here.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

General Meeting: October 29


This is what democracy looks like: zombie costumes.  For the treat of local activism without any of the tricks, come to BA's general meeting on Thursday at 7pm in the Community Hall at First Trinity (643 W 31st St.).  Nothing's scarier than a world without social justice!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

North and South Sides unite for better busing!



The CTA31/CTA11 Crosstown Bus Coalition has made waves!  Riding a rising tide of support, the group—made up of allied activists from the 11th and 47th Wards—packed the house at the Chicago Transit Authority’s October 14th board meeting.  The diverse crowd ranged from Chinatown senior citizens to Aldermen Patrick Thompson and Ameya Pawar. Most were clad in distinctive yellow t-shirts declaring their passion for reclaiming public transportation in Chicago (see picture).
Mr. Deng, leader of the Pine Tree Senior Council, said, “I am so proud to represent the Chinese community to express our need of the #31 bus. I will continue to fight until they give us a satisfied response.”
Alderman Thompson of the 11th Ward spoke about how extensively the 31st Street corridor has change since the 1990s, when the route was cut.  The thriving business district at 31st and Morgan, plus the construction of beautiful new harbor and park facilities at the 31st Street Beach, mean that restoring the route makes good sense. He requested a feasibility study or test route extending from Ashland Avenue to the Museum Campus.
Of course, our political and crosstown allies have only made Bridgeport Alliance’s position stronger.  As Ruby Pinto, president of Bridgeport Alliance, said, “In both the 11th and 47th wards, we deserve better. It's a joy to unite with our friends to the north in such an important effort.”



Sunday, September 27, 2015

People Power: Mark Your Calendars


Are you a Chicagoan who cares about public transportation?  Please join Bridgeport Alliance and its allies in the 31/11 Crosstown Bus Coalition, which is fighting for restored bus lines on the North and South Sides.  We're turning out as many folks as we can to the CTA's October board meeting.  Arrive at 9:30am at the CTA Headquarters (567 W Lake St.) on October 14.  If you're in Bridgeport and you need a ride up, message us.

Bonus:  Free t-shirts!

Be there or be walking (instead of riding).  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Bridgeport Alliance General Meeting: July 30

BA's next meeting will be on Thursday, July 30, at 7pm in the Community Hall at First Trinity.  Yep, it's hot and sticky outside, but if injustice doesn't stop, why should we?

Cold drinks shall be had!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Death, Poverty, and Chicago's 1995 Heat Wave

You might be uncomfortable during these dog days of summer, but do you remember the deadly heat wave twenty years ago?  Check out this fascinating interview with sociologist Eric Klinenberg about how over 700 people came to die during one week in Chicago.  Race, class, and gender, as well economic history, all worked together to create the kind of social isolation that kills senior citizens.

Please consider checking in on your elderly neighbors on hot days this summer.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Statement In Response to Recent Violence in the 11th Ward

Recently an attack took place in Taylor-Lauridsen Park in the 11th Ward of Chicago. 

Members of our community were deeply saddened to hear of the attack that took place in Taylor-Lauridsen Park. In these times of great inequity and disparity, many of our neighbors are facing immense struggles and frustrations. Budget cuts, increased poverty, lack of transportation, and decreased funding for public education and other services all take their toll on the lives of our neighbors and our families. All of these hardships are related to larger systemic racism, economic inequality, and corporate greed.

We at Bridgeport Alliance believe that we must strive to look past our fears and differences and make an effort to see each other as friends and partners in shaping the world we want to live in. In the face of this tragedy we hope to foster a much needed discourse about the ways in which structural racism hurts us all. 




Monday, May 25, 2015

Bridgeport Alliance General Meeting: May 28

BA's next meeting will be at 7pm in the Community Hall at First Trinity.  We know spring is in full swing, but we're looking forward to seeing you!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Meeting: April 30

BA's next general meeting will be at 7pm in the Community Hall at First Trinity.  See you Thursday!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Remember: Clean and Green for Bridgeport Tomorrow!

Don't forget to turn out for the Palmisano and McGuane Park Advisory Councils'  Fourth Annual Bridgeport Clean and Green.  It's Saturday, April 18, 2015, between 9am and 1pm.  Children are welcome, but they must be accompanied by adults.

Your checklist:

  • Tools and bags will be available. 
  • Gloves will be available, but the organizers would appreciate more. 
  • Bring your reusable water bottles, sun protection, and work-appropriate shoes and clothing. 
  • Breakfast snacks served!
Contact: Maureen at 773-719-6655 with questions.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Vote Today!

This is just a reminder about Chicago's most exciting election in a generation! It comes to a head today, so please remember to vote.  If you've got questions or need to find your polling place, please visit the Chicago Board of Elections website here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Groucho for Mayor!



April Fools, at least about the Groucho part.  This is just a reminder that April 7, 2015, marks the mayoral runoff election for the city of Chicago.  Don't forget to head to the polls to choose between candidates Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and Rahm Emanuel.  If you're a citizen of the 11th Ward, two candidates for alderman, Patrick Daley Thompson and John Kozlar, will also be on the ballot. 

Questions about voting or about the candidates?  Follow the links below. 

 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Setting the Record Crooked: Emanuel Again Takes Credit for Activists’ Work


Back in November 2014, Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel aired a commercial taking the credit for shutting down the coal-fired power plants that were poisoning the South Side. But community groups, including Bridgeport Alliance, fought back—we, not Emanuel, are the folks who battled for ten long years to close the plants. Bridgeport Alliance released a strong position statement and joined several of its allies in front of the mayoral office for a press conference to set the record straight.



In his usual style, Emanuel hasn’t let the objections of the citizens of Chicago stop him. In March 26’s mayoral debate, he was at it again: “Let’s take the neighborhood of Little Village that Chuy’s represented for 30 years. Working with community leaders, I finally closed the coal plant that was there spewing pollution.” His challenger, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, laughed and responded, “You single-handedly closed it? People worked on it for 10 years before you were ever elected. You were still in Washington. . . . Before the mayor ever moved into Chicago right before he ran for mayor, people worked in Little Village, in Pilsen and in Canaryville and Bridgeport to close the coal-burning plants. They protested. They testified. They signed petitions. . . . He’s grandstanding. He’s trying to claim credit for work that he didn’t do.” 

Bridgeport Alliance would like to clear the air once again. It's the citizens of Chicago—residents of the neighborhoods, not city hall—who make up the city, and we fight for our rights, and for rightful recognition. We object to Emanuel's appropriation of our work. As our chair, Ruby Pinto, says, "Grassroots organizing is about forming relationships with the people around you and creating a powerful community. The connections that were made during the fight to close the coal plant remain in place today." But, she notes, "I look forward to standing with my community no matter who the next mayor is."   

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bridgeport Alliance Meeting: March 26

BA's next meeting will be at 7pm in the Community Hall at First Trinity.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Do Something REAL to Help this Earth Day!


Every year, Bridgeport unites to clean up our parks!  The Palmisano and McGuane Park Advisory Councils recently announced their Fourth Annual Bridgeport Clean and Green.  This year we'll be cleaning up Palmisano and McGuane Parks, as well as Halsted St. from 26th to 36th, 31st from Lituanica to Canal, and 35th from Racine to Shields.  It's Saturday, April 18, 2015, between 9am and 1pm.  Stop by the field house on or ask a volunteer for a bag!
 
Turnout in the past has been as many as 100, but this year it could be even more! Children are welcome, but they must be accompanied by adults.

Your checklist:

  • Tools and bags will be available. 
  • Gloves will be available, but the organizers would appreciate more. 
  • Bring your reusable water bottles, sun protection, and work-appropriate shoes and clothing. 
  • Breakfast snacks served!
Contact: Maureen at 773-719-6655 with questions.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bring Back the 31st Street Bus!


A mother and child add their support to BA's 31st Street bus photo petition.
Bridgeport Alliance is excited to announce the relaunch of its 31st Street bus campaign!  We’re looking for volunteers who care about public transportation to help us get the service that Bridgeport needs and deserves.
Since 2011, Bridgeport Alliance and its partners have been working together to lobby the Chicago Transport Authority to reinstate the 31st Street bus.  Though it was eliminated in 1997 due to “low ridership,” many people depended on the route for access to school and work, not to mention the many retail stores along the corridor, Mercy Hospital, and the 31st Street beach.  The elderly, who often are not able to walk the extra blocks to the Archer or 35th Street buses, have been hit particularly hard.
BA brought a lot of creativity to the campaign.  We’ve had a Bike/Roll along 31st Street, photo petitions, and direct actions.  We’ve even tracked down U.S. Representative Dan Lipinski at home to bring our needs to his attention (he was gardening).  In 2014, we won a major concession—the 35th Street route was extended to the 31st Street beach.
But that’s not enough!  The extension doesn’t apply in the winter months, only the summertime.  What’s more, it doesn’t serve the schools, hospital, stores, or workplaces on 31st Street.  It’s an issue of South Side justice, according to BA chair Ruby Pinto.  “The people who live here and the businesses that operate here deserve the same kind of service we see on the North Side. . . . I think that future would be a lot brighter with a 31st Street bus."
Please join us in rekindling the fight for this necessary resource!  As Reverend Thomas Gaulke of First Lutheran Church of the Trinity, who helped has helped spearhead the campaign from its beginning, “We need help in active participation and creativity on this relaunch. How can you help?

Jump in with us!  Bridgeport Alliance meets on the last Thursday of each month at 7pm at First Trinity (643 W. 31st Street), tweet us at BridgeportAlly, or e-mail us at BridgeportAlliance@gmail.com.
 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Can I Vote in a Runoff if I'm Not Already Registered?

Are you a johnny-come-lately who wants to get a piece of the runoff action?

Welcome!  We're glad to have you!

Check out this DNAinfo article about registering to vote in what is has become one of Chicago's most suspenseful elections.  On April 7, the entire city will elect a new mayor from the top two candidates in February's election.  What's more, if you're living in Bridgeport, you can also select a new alderman--the 11th Ward has a runoff, too.

Bridgeport Alliance is looking forward to seeing you at the polls!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Vote Today!

Today the city of Chicago will elect a mayor and city council.  To find the location and hours of your polling place and download a sample ballot, visit the Chicago Board of Elections website here.  The materials are available in a wide variety of languages, including Spanish and Chinese.

The 11th Ward, which includes Bridgeport, will choose its first new alderman in 17 years.  Not sure which candidate fits your bill?  Check out their websites here:

John Kozlar
Maureen Sullivan
Patrick Daley Thompson

Please vote--make your voice heard!








Saturday, February 21, 2015

Early Voting Ends Today!

February 21 is the last day for early voting in the 2015 mayoral/city council election.  You can find more information on how to vote here

Make your voice heard!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chicago Election in One Week

Don't forget that elections for the city of Chicago take place on February 24, 2015.  To find your polling place and read a sample ballot, visit the Chicago Board of Elections website at http://www.chicagoelections.com.  The positions of mayor and 11th War (Bridgeport) alderman are at stake.  Make your voice heard!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

11th Ward Aldermanic Forum a Success!


Bridgeport Alliance is proud to report that our 11th Ward Aldermanic Forum exceeded our expectations!  Working with six organizations for over four months, we brought all three candidates together to talk about the most important issues facing our community.  Here are some highlights:
  • Turnout doubled our estimates—First Lutheran Church of the Trinity was standing room only!
  • Thanks to the planning and hard word of our crew (not to mention the efforts of moderator Rebecca Berg and timekeeper Chris Kremer), the event went very smoothly and finished on time. 
  • We got a chuckle out of the audience with our final question: “How do you feel about dibs?
  • The event was covered by DNAinfo.com and taped for later broadcast by CAN TV.
 We’re very proud of our members, volunteers, and allies, who came together to embody the kind of grassroots democracy that Bridgeport Alliance stands for. 

Want to vote?  Learn more here:

http://www.chicagoelections.com/en/home.html

Learn more about your 11th Ward candidates here:

John Kozlar
Maureen Sullivan
Patrick Daley Thompson

Learn more about our co-hosts here:
Asian Americans Advancing Justice—Chicago
Bridgeport Pride
Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community
Pilsen Alliance
Raise Your Hand
Roots of Justice at UIC 
 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Format For 11th Ward Aldermanic Forum: Three candidates confirmed


CHICAGO – The Bridgeport Alliance today announced the format for a forum with candidates running for Alderman of the 11th ward. The 2015 election marks the first time in over three decades that an incumbent is not running for the seat. The debate is scheduled to be held January 25 at 3:00pm at First Trinity Lutheran Church at 643 W 31st Street.

“Eleventh ward residents have a clean slate this year,” said Bridgeport Alliance chairperson Ruby Pinto. “During the debate we’re hoping to learn about the candidates and equip voters with the knowledge to confidently cast their ballots on February 24.” 

Each candidate will be given three minutes for an opening statement. Opening statements will be followed by questions that have been submitted by 11th Ward residents. Prior to the forum, candidates were given a list of the topics to be addressed, but not specific questions.

Candidates will have two minutes to answer each question. The event is a forum as opposed to a debate and candidates are encouraged to answer the questions directly.
Questions will be posed in a revolving order so that no candidate is “always first” or “always has the final word.”

To conclude the forum, each candidate will offer a closing statement. After the forum, all are welcome to stay and chat with candidates, enjoy cookies and coffee, and meet neighbors.

Bridgeport Alliance has secured confirmation of attendance from all three candidates vying for the seat including John Kozlar, Maureen Sullivan and Patrick Thompson. The three confirmed candidates have all successfully gained enough signatures to be on the February ballot. 

During the planning phase, Bridgeport Alliance has invited community groups throughout the 11th ward to be co-hosts and submit questions or subjects for discussion during the debate. 

“We’re hoping to turn out a large, diverse crowd,” said Pinto. “The 11th ward is home to large numbers of Asian, Latino and European groups and we want all of them to be able to make informed decisions at the ballot box.”

A voter registration table will also be set up. Volunteers will be on hand to help individuals register to vote. 

Pinto says that the Bridgeport Alliance has secured Chinese and Spanish translators for the debate. “No one should be excluded because of a language barrier,” she said. The debate will also be recorded and made available online after the event for those who are unable to attend. 

In seeking a moderator for the debate, several candidates were vetted. Librarian Rebecca Berg was selected as the moderator for the debate. Berg has helped cull submitted questions and will promote robust discussion on topics important to residents. 

“Our next Alderman has the ability to shape the direction of the 11th ward for years to come,” said Pinto. “Residents have a duty to themselves and their neighbors in February. We’re excited for this opportunity to help set the tone and ensure that the people are heard.”

The forum will be held this Sunday