Sunday, May 5, 2013

ORP AKA Silent Sign Holders Versus Joe Moore



Screenshots of Occupy Rogers Park's Facebook page above (who shall henceforth be forever known as ORP). ORP is accusing Joe Moore of being pro-gentrification (aka revitalization) and a school board killer (Rahm Emanuel). They point out that 75 percent of the PB 49 voters are white college educated homeowners (aka wealthy ( wealthy people are multi-millionaires who don't have to work for a living and they don't live in Rogers Park). Is that Joe Moore's doing?

Who is going to care more about infrastructure improvement more than homeowners? ORP  astutely points out the racial disparity in "wealth", home ownership, and education in Rogers Park. How is standing around with placards with all knowing grins in front of the alderman going to change society's problems? This is not a situation unique to Rogers Park.

Please continue reading for more words and pictures

Last edited 8/10/14 7:48 pm

According to ORP neighborhoods are allowed to decline but can only improve up until a certain point; the point they have arbitrarily defined. Gentrification is a class not race issue. Gentrification does expose quite clearly and overtly however the racial disparity in education and income level more than any other process today.

Can an alderman single handedly fix society's problems fast enough to make up for the multiple historical reasons why these inequalities persist to this very day? Should an alderman halt progress in his neighborhood so that others (including suburbs) flourish instead? Birds of a feather flock together for better or for worse. Neighborhoods and suburbs stagnate, decline or improve over time. Which is the fate of Rogers Park?

The Occupy movement has taken bizarre twists, turns and offshoots since their original founding @ Wall Street. The silent sign holding of ORP being the strangest, most disturbing trend of late (soon to be lit up as they are found their own Overpass Light Brigade). All that you need is a catchy radical phrase, a good smirk, someone to take your picture and you are ready to begin your career as a silent sign holder.(Perhaps sign restoration on Chevanston would take off in popularity if the same tactics were taken?)

The term gentrification was coined by Ruth Glass in the sixties (1964 to be exact), when the phenomenon was first noticed in London. Gentrification has been observed ever since white flight (post World War 2). Beginning in places like Greenwich Village in Manhattan, Haight Asbury SF or Near North side (Old Town) here in Chicago.

People returning to the cities throughout America as people grew bored or disillusioned with life in the suburbs. The reinvestment into other city neighborhoods continues when people are priced out of neighborhood previously run down.

According to some groups only certain neighborhoods are allowed to improve or "gentrify". Generally the accepted time frame of gentrification is from 1960's up until the mid-nineties or early aughts? Anything after that is just unacceptable.

Where was ORP when Wicker Park was taking off in the early-mid nineties? Was that okay? And when Lincoln Park's real estate shot up in value in the mid eighties, where was the outcry? Wonder how ORP would feel if the opposite was happening in Rogers Park?

Like RP was in the late seventies, eighties early nineties when David Orr was the alderman?. (interesting side not, David Orr served as mayor of Chicago for one week after Mayor Harold Washington's death) Would they have stood around holding placards with slogans about how section 8 and slum lord housing was ruining the neighborhood?  (Those same people who like the neighborhood as it is at this exact moment wouldn't feel safe enough to congregate at that time.)

There are many places in the city of Chicago where gentrification is in much earlier stages or nonexistent. And there are plenty of other places in the city that need reinvestment besides the far north side. South Shore right now is in the very earliest stages of improvement attracting risk oblivious investors.

Pilsen as well is showing signs of reinvestment too for the risk aware to the risk oblivious. The risk averse stick to Crib Chatter's site and the "green zone". (Three types of investors and neighborhood types in a city, risk oblivious, risk aware and risk averse.)

Why is Rogers Park improving right now? The short answer is capitalism. Real estate agents, investors etc would tell you, location, location, location. Rogers Park has the only true street end beaches in Chicago (you don't have to walk under LSD), a world class university (Loyola), great housing stock.

Its a stone's throw from Evanston (neo-liberal heaven), great public transportation with the "L" and Metra and an eccentric billionaire (who's alma mater is Loyola). How dare it improve? Joe Moore has done a decent job as alderman promoting new businesses and working hard to make it a safer neighborhood.

Its not just Joe Moore's fault that Rogers Park is improving, there are many different factors at work and it is many other neighbors' and businesses' faults as well. ORP can try as hard as they like but demographic shifts that happen over decades nationwide is not something that can be stopped with politics.


Philip McGregor Rogers said...

In regards to participatory budgeting that is voting on a million dollars set aside for fixing up streets and sidewalks etc and this allows the neighborhoods to help decide on how to use that money.

If only homeowners care, well...., that's because they have more of a vested interest.

PB was never meant to be a vote on social programs, so ORP trying to make political hay out of this is total bullcrap. Its about infrastructure.

Philip McGregor Rogers said...

Good quote from a discussion on gentrification in Oakland, Ca

"When white people leave an area it's "white flight" and it's bad and it ruins neighborhoods. When white people move into an area, it's "gentrification" and it's bad and it ruins neighborhoods."

Stanley Katakowski said...

Dang this blog is getting political. Never thought I'd see the gosh darn day.

Philip McGregor Rogers said...

"Right now, it's just Joe's fan base playing Sim City with 1.3 million dollars a year."

Isadora MoonlightLonetree said...

OMG WE NEED A DRUM CIRCLE! This is totes bogus. I had no idea my idea for a drum circle fire pit on the lakefront didn't even go up for a vote. Totes bogus!! PROTEST TODAY IN FRONT OF THE ALDERMAN'S OFFICE!!!!!!!

Isadora MoonlightLonetree said...

PROTEST CANCELLED! OMG why didn't someone tell me the parking lot on Greenview in front of Joe's office didn't have free WiFi? LOL

Philip McGregor Rogers said...

@Isadora, the laundrymat has free wifi though, just wash your clothes at the same time.

Blair Wentworth-McCormick said...

Isadora, please, no drum circle. Drums and caterwauling in front of the Alderman's office will draw in the ORPs like flies on you-know-what. Those out of work, self-proclaimed social activist ORPs are just itching for a venue to march, chant and be angry.

Isadora MoonlightLonetree said...

I wouldn't go near a laundry mat. Clean clothes are totes way too bourgeois.