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

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!