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CHA Local Advisory Council Elections

CHA Local Advisory Council Elections will take place on January 22
poll watchers needed
CHA Local Advisory Council Elections

Since the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) is going ahead with their plan to change the face of Chicago's public housing even though they are short on money the elections on February 22, 2002 will play a key role in the next steps of the CHA' s plan.

The Local Advisory Councils (LAC) are the ones CHA is depending on when they call for more demolition, without their signature there won't be any further steps. The last elections in 1998 were everything but fair. Names of people who had already moved away from the development appeared on the lists of eligible voters. No to speak about the names of passed people. With these soviet style elections the CHA made sure that their interest weren't touched to go ahead with their plan, which is to demolish all high rises and to introduce their current residents into a mixture of mixed- income neighbourhoods and to send them with a section-8 voucher to the open marked. No one knows what the CHA sees an open marked if no one is filling the current gap of about a 140 000 affordable units, which are needed by people with an annual income of about $ 20 000. Where shall people go who make about $ 6 000 ?
Mayor Daley supports the current plan, which is funded with $ 1. 6 billion in federal money but will leave a gap in 2006, when all the high rises should be demolished and the CHA says will start to build or rehab the 25 000 replacement units for their residents. In the past CHA has demolished 9 300 units, while on the other side there are just 790 new units built and 330 family apartments, 750 scattered sites and 1 000 senior units got rehabbed. This year more than 4 000 units are planned to be demolished, 1 500 families shall relocate, 920 of them into the private market. The number of new units which shall be build in 2002 are around 100.

There is more to that than just the failing ambitions of the CHA to serve their residents with fair housing options. No one really talks about the non lease holding residents of the CHA, which are not included in the CHA 10 year plan, but are likely to be more than 10 000, some suggest they might reach the 20 000 mark. These are people, mostly women with children, like all the other resident, who doubled or even tripled up with their neighbours or relatives, who got thrown out because of CHA' s unfair "one strike and out" policy.

Eventhough CIS (Citizens Information Service of Illinois) is refusing to give out the actual list of CHA's eligible voter, so that poll watchers can control what the election judges are deciding, there is still a need to make sure that these elections are not a flash back from those of 1998.

Everyone is welcome to join the following call:

Volunteer to Poll Watch for

Please join a number of university and religious organisations in a poll-watching project to insure fair elections for the CHA local advisory council positions. The residents elected to these positions play an important role in the redevelopment plans for public housing in the City.

The Citizens Information Service of Illinois is organising the election process. The commitment involves attending one poll watcher's training session and spending a few hours on Election Day, Tuesday, January 22, 2002 at a polling place.

The poll watcher's training sessions will be held on January 14th, 15th, and 16th at 6:30 pm at the Hayes Community Center, 4859 South Wabash. In order to participate, you need only attend one of these sessions. If you are interested or need more information, please call Danielle Smith at 312-996-6671 or email Danielle at msakua (at)



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