Justin Carmien chiming in
Toni and her daughter Jennifer ( in another pic here ) are among the top chiefs of the northside of Chicago and have been some of our best friends since meeting upon opening the shop 12 yrs ago!
If I didn't have GER already, we would have a restaurant together for sure!
Logan, Brian, Jatto, Devin, & Bob
Brian and buddy Terry
Food waste in USA is 200 lbs per person annually. The methane (a worse greenhouse gas than Co2) created in landfills is greater than all of USA animal agriculture combined. We can easily and quickly change this now! With just a bit more inspired leadership.
We will not be reinventing the wheel, as countries like France have already been doing this for years - including every individual and business in their country.
Here is a definitive source for anyone seeking more information on the need for sustainability https://www.iucn.org/
Violence, criminal and otherwise is greater when people do not have jobs -
we can create all these jobs doing something great for our shared environment!
Neonicotinoids pesticides are causing colony collapse in our vital pollinator bees - butterflies and birds are also greatly threatened, in other ways.
Having a lawn was a British status symbol invention - it announced to one's neighbors that the owner of the home was wealthy enough to not have to grow crops in front of their home to feed pigs and chickens in the rear of their home.
I think we can all now agree that biological diversity is far more important,
as a needed good for the earth and our selves. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/25/the-insect-apocalypse-our-world-will-grind-to-a-halt-without-them
As Alderman, I will use menu $ to subsidize anyone who wants to convert more land to native species of wildflowers & grasses, as well fruiting trees and bushes, berries, grapes, etc. Native species are also far more drought resistant.
As a kid growing up in rural Illinois, near the Mississippi river - we ate volunteer wild concord grapes, raspberries, mulberries, strawberries - it would be fantastic to have more Chicago children and adults able to have that same experience in our city parks or via vacant lots converted to community gardens.
In Chicago, as well as all other major American cities - we are experiencing our people drifting into worse mental health conditions - community gardens will not solve all these issues but it as good as anywhere else to start - anything to disconnect people from unhelpful TV or social media addictions - teenage girls have suffered the most in downward trajectory of good mental health outcomes, which most academic authorities have linked to overuse of social media.
These two programs alone will not solve climate change though they provide a great next step - they ennoble & educate children and us all about our connection to the natural world - we can also do these programs for not much in the way of expense.
Our govt. covid response of lockdowns, crushed one million small businesses nationwide - it was also the largest transfer of wealth upward in human history.
Tax breaks, ie. vacancy subsidies need to be changed for unmotivated landlords. After 3 to 5 yrs, it really should be called vacancy fraud. We all suffer because landlords over price their storefront spaces and sit and wait for years hoping to land a national rental client. These huge national corporate owned entities remove near 70 cents locally on each dollar spent here in their businesses - locally owned small businesses keep that same 70 cents in our local economic community.
I am excited to work with other Alders to change this - these vacant spaces are bad for us all. If a building owner doesn't want to work to have an actual tenant, esp. a locally owned small business - they really need to sell the building to a landlord that is motivated to be part of the solution. Although art work in vacant storefronts is VERY NICE - we need more than just that in vacant storefronts. That same tax break subsidy for being vacant could be changed into a tax break, section 8 type voucher for renting at affordable enough rent that for example, an artist could live in the storefront, while using a section of the front of the space for a gallery. There are plenty of creative people ready to expand on any of these live / work ideas - could be a small accountant getting started as well - the possibilities are endless and real.
These rental contracts could be 1 yr at a time / so that landlords could be free to not renew if they get a tenant willing to pay a lot more, closer to their asking rates. The main point is keep our commercial corridors alive !
More lively and bustling communities teaming with life and activity equals greater safety in any community - bad guys with guns are never seeking more eye witnesses.
As Alderman, I will have one evening per week called "ask the Alderman" for those who want to chat about any issue or idea but have difficulty scheduling a week day daytime appointment - this arrangement would be a deli style number and then waiting in line or coming back after seeing your number
and where u will be inline : )
I will also offer one night a month for a town hall open forum.
As far as on keeping an open mind about out of the box ideas, to eventually REDUCE our property taxes paid by renters, landlords, homeowners, and property owners alike, instead of so much interest $ given to giant multi national banks -
check this out
Also these guys book "The new Chicago way"!
Really great stuff these guys
figured out by comparing us to all the other major American cities.
Growing up below the poverty line can indeed crush much of the life out of some and cause a whole host of lifetime problems. But for some of us who did, it fosters a deep questioning of how things are done and how they could be done differently to benefit more people. This is a guiding star in the how and the why of Green Element Resale - we help out our donors by being there for a greatly needed service and helping them honor their loved ones former possessions, esp. when they procrastinated and were not able to get scheduled for a larger charity to do their pickup in time. We are helping our customers get good quality items at a very reasonable price - and every dollar spent at our store ( and on any resale items anywhere - antique malls, etc ) enormously benefits our shared environment - by avoiding virgin resource extraction
and manufacturing pollution and of course by ultimately avoiding landfill & incineration. All of this good, thus giving people the ability to save their $ for more pressing needs or just have some more $ to take some time off work!
As hard as we all work to pay taxes and rents - we need to continue to have an Alder who will be a very careful steward of that hard earned $.
Harry Osterman has done a very good job and we were lucky to have him for these last 8 yrs, I look forward to all the counsel and advice he can give me, when a majority of you 48th ward folks choose to hire me as your next Alder! Harry and Dan have been great ombudsmen for us in the 48th ward to the city . Let's keep expanding on their good work altogether! We need to keep our ward moving forward to do as much good for as many as possible on a daily basis! Also, I don't know anyone who doesn't like Conrad or think he hasn't done a very good job as our local head of streets and san! I have seen local firemen and CPD officers become on the spot social workers for people experiencing mental health crisis - we have more than numerous Chicago civil servants to admire in the 48th ward of Chicago.
We need to get public school kids caught up - two years of zoom education failed many public school children and young people - we will soon have a crisis of high school drop outs if we do not get on this right away with whatever extra tutoring is needed to catch them up.
This article is great for parents and teachers alike
I deeply admire all those who dedicate theirs lives to education, my public school teachers of my youth were /are some of my greatest touch stone mentors and i often wonder how much harder my life would have been without them.. I also greatly admire all those parents (such as one of the other 48th ward candidates) who have stood by public education and stayed there with it, participating in any way they could / can to help make it better.
While thinking outside the box - how about we take a look at what concepts work best in private education and see if we could bring some of those into public schools? Concepts created by Waldorf, Montessori, NCA, etc. So many sources of educational wisdom to be admired all around us everyday!
It's a huge factor in rising city wide crime rates ( although murder is down ) carjacking, armed muggings, and theft including home invasions, are up. All this increase makes people want to leave the city ( many already have ) and the exodus will get worse if we do nothing about crime and homelessness. We can see it first hand as a small retail business - we experience people entering our business while being completely unhinged at a greater rate than any prior year in our business history. Something has to change! We are currently down around 900 police officers, being a police officer is a very tough job and with all the critique of police, it's now tough to find new police and officers who want to stay. I am not running on defund the police - I personally attend CAPS and can see daily what a tough job policing is - I am continuously amazed by the composure of CPD officers, as they have to daily deal with humanity at it's near worst. I look forward to hearing from the new civilian police board and hope they will be thoughtful and fair in their assessments. None of us want any repeats of situations like https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/15/us/anjanette-young-chicago-police-settlement.html
or other big policing blunders. If you don't know any CPD officers personally, I strongly suggest you make an effort to do so - I now personally know dozens, and they are ALL among the best people I know.
Overdose / Fentanyl poisoning is the highest cause of death for people aged 18 to 49 currently in the USA - this a horrible tragedy - I personally have lost dear family and friends to addiction / substance abuse - it's pain that you are forced to carry for the rest of your life, anyone who has lost a loved one understands this. Yet other countries do much better by actually spending a fraction of the resources on helping addicts rather than the drug war keeping drugs illegal thus helping drug cartels stay rich and powerful. Portugal is an excellent example - they redirected their efforts into actually helping addicts and have seen overdose deaths go to nearly nothing by comparison. They changed course in 2000, and have since seen great success. We need to catch up to their example - saving tax money and lives at the same time.
My Father, who was very hard working & saint like, took his own life during his 2nd divorce when I was eleven, I was one of the last people to see him alive - I have lived first hand my whole life with how important mental health is - my oldest sister has dealt with her own personal psych issues most of her adult life.
Community gardens will not solve all our mental health challenges, but again let's start somewhere! Pharmaceutical are not the answer for everything either !
Also there is some very exciting and hugely promising clinical research treatment work happening with PTSD and other sorts of traumas that can often lead into substance abuse and mental illness. That treatment work is happening with psychedelics as outlined in Michael Pollan's brilliant book https://michaelpollan.com/books/how-to-change-your-mind/
Chicago has many shuttered former public school buildings that were rehabbed. These same buildings need to be activated and could be converted to homeless shelters or affordable housing - preferred to high end rentals. Also the Archdiocese has many vacant buildings that could also be converted quicker and easier and more cost effectively than building new buildings. Just rehabbing these buildings also provides some good jobs while teaching and learning about adapting and the re-envisioning of older buildings for new purposes other than high end rentals or condos. When Alderman, I will have very good advice coming from Alder Harry Osterman, One Northside Chicago https://www.onenorthside.org/ and any others who have been involved in making affordable housing happen!
If anyone would like to try to begin to understand how sometimes "affordable" housing becomes enormously expensive, laden with huge giveaway subsidies, sometimes making the "affordable" cost many times the market rate for the same unit of housing, just read our local newspaper, News - Star. It's a great source for those of us who appreciate fearless
I bring this subject up about the sometimes high tax and rent payer cost of affordability,
not to BASH the whole govt sponsored program, but to point out that we should be getting a lot more for our hard earned money!
As a former rehab contractor - I see great possibility for creating more affordable cost effective housing units through expanding the ability for land owners to have ADUs / Additional Dwelling Units whether that is a converted attic, or garden level units, or a garage conversion, or a backyard shipping container conversion, or a tiny home added to one's property. This enables Mom & Pop landlords new or old to help out with more affordable housing!
Condo associations can also jump in by creating a rental unit or two in previously under utilized spaces! And while we are at it - let's see some new intentional communities created with the tiny house movement!
The visionary plan of Thom Greene and Paul Boyd as recommended by Friends of the Parks
and Loyola University would be a great step forward for expanding parkland and connecting the north south lakefront bike path while protecting lakefront high rises,
esp those of ours in the 48th ward.
Many climate change models predict that our region of the USA is going to become wetter, which most likely means our lake levels are going to return to higher more often - let's not wait til it's too late - we will need federal $ for this project -we are looking at you Jan Schakowsky : ) and senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth. Our state reps / senate / and Governor should also look into this and see what they could chip in, as Chicago provides so much in the way of state taxes, income and sales wise.
Parkland connected - This was a total shame and completely unnecessary - this whole thing was a mistake, Friends of the Parks had a much better site on the south side along the train line
If anyone wants to know why I don't call myself a democrat, even though Bernie is the politician I have by far given the most money to - here it is, this and democrats failure to get us a public option in healthcare and their current war with Russia obsession, over 100 billion to Ukraine now, as our own people & country suffer so many needs. I am a progressive and I lean more libertarian than socialist. Good ideas can come from anywhere!
Here is a sample of my thinking and how we could have
flourished after 2009/10 crash or 2020 Covid debacle crises.
In 2009/10 crash our govt. with our own tax dollars should have given every working American working parent a check for 50K of those making less than 200K (graduated smaller as closer to 200K) and any single person 25K of those making less than 100K ( instead of bailing out big banks ) People who were living on govt. assistance could have received a check for 1K . Everyone else would have paid down mortgages or paid off debts, so banks would have ended up with the money anyway but every American would have been far better off personally. Instead, 5 million homes were foreclosed on, esp black families were very hard hit. I was also in foreclosure with 6241 n. Broadway in 2010, i fought very hard to dig myself out and save the building and the future business. First hand experience is very helpful in coming up with better policy ideas.
The same thing happened again with the covid debacle - some estimates say there was around 90 billion in fraudulent recipients of covid relief $ intended to help small businesses that were very negatively impacted by our govt. lockdown policies. Our govt. should have simply gone into state sales tax records from 2019 and given small businesses perhaps half or more of what they lost due to govt. lockdowns. We were granted less than 30% of what we lost due to the govt. covid lockdown. While 90 billion went out to fraud, and they claim they can't recover it. Companies like Target, Walmart, Amazon were GREATLY HELPED and saw record sales and profits from our govt. locking down small businesses, one million small businesses nationwide were crushed and driven out of business. Driving income inequality to new record heights - all because there was no one in our govt. with an idea as simple and innovative as mine, to just use 2019 sales tax records to make small businesses more whole. There would have been no need to pay banks billions to administrate these tax dollar grants / loans.. Our govt. covid policies were the single largest transfer of wealth to the upper income classes in human history, Trillions went up to them in a VERY short period of time. Driving income inequality to now record heights. https://www.npr.org/2022/12/06/1140823783/a-congressional-report-says-financial-technology-companies-fueled-rampant-ppp-fr
Wouldn't it be great if people spent more time reading books and thinking for themselves about innovative solutions to so many of our societal problems and less time virtue signaling on social media? Another such book and thinker that i can not recommend enough is this one
by Dr. Robert Lustig
Please read it as soon as you get a chance!
Real ideas require context, time, and attention span - I believe people are capable of following and engaging in all three, and remain optimistic about people in general - otherwise I would not be seeking your votes here : )
Current staff of 20 some at GER - including full time, part time, stipend, & volunteers
Total Medicare For All Advocate!
we are all consuming a credit card sized amount of micro plastic per week because our govt. has failed us by letting corporations off the hook on something as simple as a national bottle bill or refilling stations like some European grocery stores have for ketchup, mustard, dish soap, shampoo, etc.
CRITICAL MASS - mid 90's
we started earlier, but this is the oldest pic i could find : )
We are so lucky to have this so close to home!
Check out this great video
Check out this great video
this guy is amazing!
Copyright © 2023 Brian Haag Forward 48 - All Rights Reserved.
… Up on a hill, as the day dissolves
With my pencil turning moments into line
High above in the violet sky
A silent silver plane - it draws a golden chain
… One by one, all the stars appear
As the great winds of the planet spiral in
Spinning away, like the night sky at Arles
In the million insect storm, the constellations form
… On a hill, under a raven sky
I have no idea exactly what I've drawn
Some kind of change, some kind of spinning away
With every single line moving further out in time