Saturday, February 12, 2011

State antiviolence effort raises eyebrows on West Side

State antiviolence effort raises eyebrows on West Side

This can't be good.
Some community leaders on Chicago’s West Side don’t like the way Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration is doling out funds in a $31 million program to combat Chicago-area youth violence.

They wonder why aldermen are involved and why the pastor of Ald. Deborah Graham (29th) is getting the biggest grant in the city’s Austin neighborhood.
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Here’s the thorny part. Instead of putting out an open request for proposals, the state asked individual Chicago aldermen to recommend the lead agencies. Shaw says that saved time and will help get the services out faster.

But an alderman’s role in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood has led to some stark accusations. “It’s business as usual,” says Mary Russell Gardner, who’s running in the 29th Ward aldermanic race. “Award my friends that helped me, and Kibbles ’N Bits for everyone else.

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