photo of damage courtesy Mary Steenson
The proprietor of the business just east of Coles on 75th has not been a good neighbor. They opposed the painting of the peace mural on the wall (the building owner gave permission), and have parked their cars on that community garden. They have dumped grease and garbage on the garden lot as well. After a verbal altercation between the proprietor and several garden volunteers, the mural was destroyed. Rocks were thrown at it, cracking the plaster badly enough that it all must be removed.
We will discuss and plan a response to this incident during this coming Monday’s potluck community discussion at the garden (see the Facebook event). Neighbors are invited to join.
Keiana Barrett, who will be a candidate for 7th Ward Alderman next year, will be describing the need for a concerted community response to this destructive business (as well as another that has been identified at 76th & Coles). For those who can’t attend, below is a summary of the actions needed.
1) Develop and/or update our phone tree, so we can readily contact each other;
2) Increase our Calls for Service regarding this business. When we witness illegal activity and/or safety violations, please call 311 and call your neighbors to do the same. Remember when you call 311, ask for your SR #. If possible, keep a log of the time of day and other descriptive details of the circumstances.
3) Visit the daycare to see if we can solicit their assistance in this effort (they too may have experienced challenges due to the business practices of this restaurant).
4) Given the fact that this business is located within the footprint of the SSA, we need to contact the South Shore Chamber of Commerce to report our concerns, request information regarding their engagement strategy with this business and encourage increased monitoring by the private security patrol.
5) I will bring Citizen Complaint forms to our potluck on Monday evening, so we can sign on the spot and deliver to the Alderman’s office so they can aggressively engage the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection to launch an investigation into this business. (Keep in mind, before the administrative hearing process, they will pull the calls for service and if they are minimal, it will weaken the case.
6) Our grievance does not just rest with the business operator but the building owner, as well. Therefore, we need to request that the Alderman investigate whether this owner has other properties in the ward, so that slate can be evaluated.