Design a Logo for Reclaiming South Shore for All!


As Reclaiming South Shore for All (RSS4A) ramps up for next year’s city elections, we need a logo to help people recognize us in the community as we host various events and engage our fellow residents. With that in mind, we’re holding a logo design competition open to all South Shore residents, especially youth.  You could design our logo – and win a $100 gift card prize!

We want a logo that:

  • Can be used in a range of sizes, from small thumbnails to large posters
  • Looks good in black & white,  in print, as well as on computer screens
  • Is inspired by some of the following themes: power, community, water (Lake Michigan), politics, pride, history, future, change
  • Is designed by a South Shore resident (youth encouraged to submit entries)

Entries should be submitted to, and must be sent no later than 11:59pm CST on Sunday, April 20 (deadline extended). All submissions become the sole property of RSS4A. No more than three entries per person.

Designs will be evaluated by a panel of judges who will select the finalists, which will then be put to an online vote on our email list, website, and Facebook group.  The winning design will be unveiled at our Coffee Talk with Mayoral Candidate Amara Enyia on April 26, and the winner will receive a $100 VISA gift card.

Please spread the word about this contest using this shareable language:
Design Reclaiming South Shore for All logo! Enter by 4/20, $100 prize for winner to be unveiled 4/26.

Local School Council Elections April 7 & 8

South Shore High School (new)

You’ve got a stake and voice in how neighborhood schools are run!  Show up  at your local school and vote during the Local School Council election.  Among other things, LSCs control how the school’s budget is allocated.

Cruise on over to our Facebook group to see some posts about candidates who are in the running.  All candidates running, or their supporters, are invited to post up to three times prior to the election day.

Elections for Elementary School LSCs will take place on Monday April 7.  High School LSC elections will take place on Tuesday April 8.

You can use the CPS School Locator to find your neighborhood schools.  You can only vote at a school located in your community, or where you have a child enrolled, except for citywide magnet schools (any city resident can vote).  Parents and community members may vote for up to 5 candidates for LSC (including both Parent and Community Member candidates). For more info on LSC voting, but not from a South Shore perspective, visit Center Square Journal.

Learn more about what LSCs do on CPS’ website.  You can also learn more details about LSC election processes here.

Chicago Tribune editorials about South Shore Dominick’s

Dominick's closing at 71st & Jeffery

This past weekend, the Chicago Tribune ran a series of editorials addressing the closed Dominick’s at 71st & Jeffery, and efforts to replace it.

University of Chicago economist Allen Sanderson, a proponent of free markets, argues that subsidies for grocers aren’t the answer.  The underlying problem, he claims, is poverty, and the lack of good education and jobs.  Investments to address these problems in the short term (direct aid to families) and the long term (better schools and economic development) are key.

Whether or not there are subsidies in play (and this seems unlikely, since the TIF district that includes the site was drained to build the new South Shore International College Prep), the city has been actively involved in trying to fill this last vacant Dominick’s.  Deputy Mayor Steve Koch and 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston were appointed to the citywide task force to replace Dominick’s locations – which we heard last week, from fellow task force member Janette Wilson, has only met twice.  Koch and Hairston write that they have nonetheless had productive conversations with grocers, are trying to help prospective tenants come to an agreement with the plaza owner, and hope to have a deal announced soon.

South Shore’s closed Dominick’s would not be getting this kind of attention – and the neighborhood’s desire for a high quality full service grocer would not be known – if it weren’t for the efforts of many concerned citizens, convened by the Planning Coalition to address the issue.  Planning Coalition leader Val Free writes about the many often overlooked reasons why a grocer should choose to locate in South Shore, as well as the struggle to alter public perception of the neighborhood.  Though poverty and crime are issues, they should not define South Shore, which is a diverse neighborhood with many assets.

This work has brought hundreds of South Shore residents together, and it’s not too late to get involved – just watch this space for future meeting announcements, and connect directly with the Planning Coalition via their website or Facebook.

Planning Coalition Town Hall Meeting March 8

March 8 2014 2-page-001

Join the Planning Coalition for a town hall meeting at the South Shore Cultural Center on Saturday, March 8, 1:30pm. We will be responding to the recent news that:
-7 grocers have declined to take over the Dominick’s location on 71st
-Urban Partnership Bank proposes to tear down their building at 71st and Jeffery to be replaced with a drive-thru McDonald’s

We can and we must change the trajectory of developments in this neighborhood.

MLK Rally Video & Photos

Thanks to everyone who rode the bus with us to join with over 2000 other people for the IIRON/People’s Lobby MLK Rally at St. Michael the Archangel on January 19th. The program was inspiring and action-oriented, and numerous public officials pledged to help make important changes in the coming year, addressing economic inequality, mass incarceration, and environmental justice. 7th Ward Alderman Natashia Holmes specifically promised to support a Community Benefits Agreement process for the Lakeside development.

CAN TV produced a video of the program, embedded below:

And a few photos of the event (use the arrows to browse, or check out the full set on Flickr):

Chicago for the People – Freedom Vote Ballot


Election season is upon us.  Who are you going to hire to work for you?

And, what is the work plan you have for them?

Inspired by the Voting Rights Referendum for Trayvon Martin and informed by a number of organizations working across the city for progressive policy changes, the Chicago for the People initiative has created the  Chicago Freedom Vote 2014 People’s Ballot.  The ballot is available online and also as a PDF.

The People’s Ballot is a tool that you can use to stimulate conversation about the future of Chicago in your home, community, school, house of worship, or work place.  This ballot sets forth ideas for changes that support a working democracy that values all citizens by promoting peace and justice. Please use the ballot as a tool to get feedback and generate more ideas about what should be telling our public officials to stand for.  We must give candidates for public office a work plan and this ballot is a step towards doing just that.  

The Chicago Freedom Vote is now in your hands.  You can set up a mock election, host a forum, facilitate a workshop, use it in your classroom, talk about it in a meeting, whatever you can to engage you fellow citizens.  Just be sure to tell us how you are using the ballot on the Chicago for the People website.

The Planning Coalition: Bus Tour & Town Hall Meeting – Saturday January 25


On Saturday, January 25th, join the Planning Coalition, South Shore Chamber, Chicago Architecture Foundation, and the South Shore Docent Council for a special bus tour of South Shore.  Departing from the new South Shore High School at 11am, the tour will feature a focus on opportunities to improve and better market the neighborhood, as well as the usual info on architecture and history. A great way to meet other people excited about the neighborhood and learn to “talk it up”.  Tickets are $25, and available for purchase online here.

After the bus tour, join a town hall meeting to discuss efforts to replace the Dominick’s store, as well as to improve the neighborhood’s PR.  Meeting is from 1:30-3pm at the new South Shore High School.

Celebrate Martin Luther King with Community Action in South Shore

Join us in honoring Martin Luther King’s legacy – by getting involved in your community!  There are numerous ways to connect and make a difference during the weekend leading up to Martin Luther King Day, just a week away.

1. Take a historical and architecture tour of the neighborhood by bus!  Learn about the treasures we already have.  Two departures (9am and 11:15am) will happen on Saturday, January 18.  These tours, coordinated by the South Shore Docent Council, the South Shore Chamber, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation, do not happen often, and seats are limited.  Cost is $25 (to pay for the bus).  Tours have been rescheduled for January 25, with departure at 11am from South Shore International College Prep, 1955 E. 75th Street.  Advanced registration is required.  Email for details, or purchase tickets online here.

2.  Get engaged in the search for our next grocery store.  If you care about the future of the former Dominick’s, please take this short survey.  This will help efforts to recruit a new store that will respond to the community. If you’ve already taken the survey but want to do more, we need your help!  The next meeting of the Planning Coalition, which is leading the effort, will take place on Saturday, January 18, 1:30pm, at 1750 E. 71st Street.

3.  Continue the celebration and dialogue about the arts as a catalyst for social justice with a gathering at the Island, a South Shore apartment gallery space, from 6-9pm on January 18th.  Details here.

4.  Join us for a Martin Luther King celebration and public meeting on Sunday, January 19th.  We are co-sponsoring this event with numerous other community groups and IIRON.  It will take place from 2:30-4:30pm at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, at 83rd & South Shore Drive.  Bus pickup will be provided from South Shore (2pm at the South Shore Library at 73rd & Exchange – be on time!), but please RSVP if you plan to attend, and especially if you plan to ride the bus!

With so much going on, we hope you share with us a sense of energy and optimism.  With your involvement, we can make change for the better, build a strong community, and celebrate Martin Luther King in a way he would have appreciated.

Mayor announces task force for Dominick’s transition

The mayor is today announcing members of a task force to market and transition Dominick’s stores in the city of Chicago. 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston (whose ward contains the South Shore Dominick’s) has been appointed to the task force. We note a relatively small number of activists and organizers, so we in South Shore will have to continue to organize ourselves in order to make our voice heard in the process.

Please plan to attend the meeting on Saturday, January 28th, 1:30pm, 1750 E. 71st Street, where we will be discussing next steps.

Full press release about the task force below:

The task force will work to ensure smooth transitions of those stores that have been purchased by other grocers and to aggressively market those that are still unaccounted for. At the Mayor’s direction, the task force will focus on three critical issues: the specific sites with the vacant Dominick’s stores and the associated economic impacts of the closings; ensuring access to fresh food and vegetables in key areas; and protecting and supporting workers who are affected by the store closings. Specifically, the Task Force will be consulting with building owners and/or their representatives, gathering local market data, finding and approaching likely prospects in the food industry, and hosting tours/creating marketing materials/engaging brokers (as appropriate).

Members of the Task Force are:

  • Steven Koch, Deputy Mayor, City of Chicago.
  • Andrew Mooney, Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development, City of Chicago.
  • Ald. Leslie Hairston, 5th Ward.
  • Ald. Joe Moore, 49th Ward.
  • Ald. Patrick O’Connor, 40th Ward.
  • Rev. Dr. Janette C. Wilson is an attorney and community advocate focusing on education and neighborhood economic development. Rev. Wilson is Assistant Pastor of Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church and serves as the Executive Director of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.
  • Jorge Ramirez, President, Chicago Federation of Labor. Prior to becoming president of the CFL, Ramirez was Executive Director of UFCW 1546 which represents the workers at Dominick’s grocery stores in Chicago.
  • Steve Powell, Secretary Treasurer, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881. Powell is also an International Vice President of the UFCW. UFCW represents thousands of grocery store employees across the Chicago area.
  • Mike Mallon, Principal, dkmallon, a food industry consulting firm. Mallon is a former VP at both Jewel/Osco and Dominick’s.
  • Joel Bookman, Principal, Bookman Associations, a community development consulting firm. Bookman is a former director at LISC/Chicago and Executive Director of North River Commission, with specific expertise in neighborhood retail development.
  • Craig Chico, Executive Director of Back of the Yards Council. Among other endeavors, the Back of the Yards council works with merchants and industrial companies in the Stockyards area.
  • Carlos Nelson, Executive Director of Auburn Gresham Community Development Corporation. Nelson has been very instrumental in the redevelopment of the commercial area along 79th St., and has also been involved in the development of the new Wal-Mart that will begin construction in the neighborhood in the spring.
  • Frank Petruziello, Principal, the Skilken Company. Petruziello is the major force behind the development of the Shops & Lofts project at 47th and Cottage Grove, a mixed use development that includes a neighborhood Wal-Mart store.
  • Angel Gutierrez, Vice President of Community Development and Outreach Services, Catholic Charities Chicago. Catholic Charities Chicago currently operates 16 WIC Food and Nutrition Centers in the city and is introducing other innovative ways to bring fresh produce products to underserved areas.