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The Mechanics

LGBT Fri Feb 27 2015

Transgender Teens Face New Struggles, Options

themash.com

By Laura Bartusiak, James Wendt & Maddie Mathie

Naperville North junior Adam Beaty sat in the back of a classroom with a group of friends giving him a pep talk. A teacher who knew Beaty before he transitioned to male stood at the front of the room.

"I was terrified. My heart was racing and I was like, 'This is going to go horribly,'" Beaty said. "I went up and I was like, 'So, about the name and everything.'"

But before he could finish his sentence, the teacher asked Beaty his preferred name, to which he responded, "Adam." Today, Beaty identifies as male, but he was born female.

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Mechanics / Comments (0)

Civics Thu Feb 26 2015

When the Room Is Small and You Stink

Thumbnail image for Civics by Ramsin CanonWhen he aped his mentor Bill Clinton in his inauguration speech, one could guess that Rahm Emanuel would be going to an old playbook that may not work for him in the long run.

Rahm Emanuel may have unwittingly learned a lesson from his days in the Clinton White House, specifically during his central role in the passage of NAFTA: If the big money is behind you, it does not really matter how harmful a policy is. The effects will be diluted enough that you can market whatever narrative you want and drown out the rabble. The NAFTA campaign was a well-financed sales job, meant to convince the country not only that something bad was good, but that plenty of "jus' folks" were all for it. The "selling" of free trade was among Emanuel's greatest accomplishments. This was followed up by taking on the all-mighty welfare lobby with support from the rich and powerful. He helped end welfare as we know it.

But beating labor and the poor in the 1990's with big business behind you might give you an over-inflated understanding of your political prowess.

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Ramsin Canon / Comments (0)

Election 2015 Wed Feb 25 2015

16th Ward Goes to a Runoff

By Manny Ramos

16thward.jpgCurrent 15th Ward Ald. Toni Foulkes was able to secure about 44 percent of the votes in the 16th Ward municipal election, while Stephanie Coleman seized about 36 percent of the vote, sending the 16th Ward into a runoff.

"You always want to win the first time," Ald. Foulkes said, "However, I got my troops behind me, and we're excited." Foulkes thinks she has a good chance in winning the municipal runoffs. "If you look at my last race we had 46 percent of the votes in the general, but we walked away winning with 69 percent."

Ald. Foulkes chose not to run in the 15th Ward because the new ward map moves 40 percent of her constituents into the 16th Ward. She was expected to possibly fall behind to Ald. JoAnn Thompson, but Thompson passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 10.

Stephanie Coleman, daughter of former 16th Ward Ald. Shirley Coleman, is in a position to make a push. Coleman, 27, is one of at least seven Millennial candidates running for City Council. She is attempting to follow the footsteps of her mother, but looks to appeal to the youth and young adults.

Sadly, this runoff is not due to new ideas of a younger generation facing an experienced veteran. No, it is due to the poor voter turnout that was the 2015 municipal general elections. There are roughly 1.4 million registered voters in the city of Chicago. The voter turnout on Tuesday night floated at about 33 percent, significantly lower than the 2011 elections.

Some believe the frigid temperature had an effect on voters coming out; others say it is because of higher early voting numbers.

Ald. Foulkes disagrees with that latter. "People really need to come out and vote," she said. "It is very important, people always tell me they are going to vote, but never do."

Mechanics / Comments (0)

Stump Connolly Fri Feb 20 2015

Stump Connolly Reporting In: Chuy's Valentine

Chuy Garcia's Valentine's Day began and ended with a kiss, and included 10 campaign stops in between. The object of his affection: his wife of 38 years, Evelyn.

Stump Connolly, chief political correspondent of The Week Behind, will be covering the Chicago mayoral race with his new pocketcam and offering periodic video reports exclusively on Gapers Block as the campaign unfolds.

Stump Connolly / Comments (0)

Election 2015 Thu Feb 19 2015

Why is Willie Wilson Polling So Well?

A recent poll for the mayor's race shows Mayor Rahm Emanuel polling at 49.2 percent, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia at 23 percent, Willie Wilson at 14.4 percent, Ald. Bob Fioretti at 8.6 percent and William "Dock" Walls at 4.9 percent. The only really surprising part of this poll is Emanuel polling above 40 percent since quite a few polls showed him polling below that.

The big question people have is, why is Willie Wilson polling higher than Bob Fioretti?

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Monica Reida / Comments (1)

Police Tue Feb 17 2015

Chicago Organizers Seek Police Torture Reparations

ReparationsNow1.png
"People's Hearing" on reparations for survivors of police torture at the Chicago Temple. (Photo by Emily Brosious)

Hundreds of people gathered at the Chicago Temple (77 W. Washington St.) Saturday afternoon calling on city council to pass a reparations ordinance for survivors of Chicago Police torture.

Organizers with Amnesty International USA, Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, Project NIA and We Charge Genocide billed the event as a "People's Hearing" on the impacts of police torture and the need for reparations.

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Emily Brosious / Comments (0)

Stump Connolly Mon Feb 16 2015

Stump Connolly Reporting In: Get Out & Vote

Early voting has begun, and Election Day is only eight days away. To celebrate, we accompanied the mayoral candidates on one of the great rituals of Chicago politics — el stop campaigning — set to the tune "Get Out and Vote" by Milwaukee's own Johnny Standley.

Stump Connolly, chief political correspondent of The Week Behind, will be covering the Chicago mayoral race with his new pocketcam and offering periodic video reports exclusively on Gapers Block as the campaign unfolds.

Stump Connolly / Comments (0)

Op-Ed Wed Feb 11 2015

An Ode to the Appointed Chicago School Board Members

By Dave Stieber

Let's just get the following truths about the Chicago School Board out of the way:

  • It is appointed by the mayor and not elected by the people of Chicago. It is the only school board in the entire state of Illinois that is not elected.

  • It closed the most schools in the history of the United States.

  • It allows our neighborhood schools to be criminally underfunded.

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Mechanics / Comments (0)

Aldermen Tue Feb 10 2015

What Happens in the 16th Ward Election After Thompson's Passing?

JoAnn Thompson, Chicago 16th Ward AldermanAld. JoAnn Thompson (16th) died Tuesday morning from complications from a heart-related ailment and attendant surgery. The Sun-Times article speaks to Thompson's background, overcoming homelessness and alcoholism to become one of Chicago's most surprising aldermen.

Thompson had been locked in a difficult reelection campaign, most notably with Ald. Toni Foulkes (15th). Foulkes was drawn out of her district by the last redistricting, leading to a rare situation where two incumbents were challenging one another.

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Phil Huckelberry / Comments (0)

Stump Connolly Mon Feb 09 2015

Stump Connolly Reporting In: William "Dock" Walls, the Wild Card

William 'Dock' Walls is the wild card in the mayor's race. A single-digit finisher in his first two attempts to win the mayor's office in 2007 and 2011, he forcefully inserted himself into the Chicago Tribune debate and speaks to the issue of "Two Chicagos" in the others. So we accompanied him last week to the South Side to see the neighborhood where he grew up and talk with some of its residents.

Stump Connolly, chief political correspondent of The Week Behind, will be covering the Chicago mayoral race with his new pocketcam and offering periodic video reports exclusively on Gapers Block as the campaign unfolds.

Stump Connolly / Comments (0)

Feature Fri Feb 06 2015

Goethe, Floyd, Rahm & Me

This is a story of life, love, and property damage. It is a story involving crystallized water, piled some 19 inches deep. The story forces us to confront greed, manipulation, logistics, and physics. The characters include the legendary and the ordinary, from Rahm Emanuel to a bus driver whose name we'll likely never know.

On Tuesday nights, the Chicago Media Bowling League takes to the lanes at the legendary Fireside Bowl. Gapers Block fields a team in the league, and I happen to be on the team. The main reason I am on the team is because I have my own ball. His name is Floyd.

Yes, this is a story about a bowling ball, and yes, this is also a story about a mayoral election. First, though, this is a story about a city and a snowstorm.

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Phil Huckelberry / Comments (0)

Election 2015 Fri Jan 30 2015

Aldermanic Candidate Gets Industrial-Strength Endorsement

Martin Atkins in Maureen Sullivan campaign ad

Industrial music pioneer Martin Atkins has lived in Chicago for 15 years. A drummer for everyone from Public Image Ltd. to Nine Inch Nails to his own Murder Inc. and Pigface, the Bridgeport resident is now drumming up support for Maureen Sullivan, a candidate for 11th Ward alderman to replace retiring Ald. James Balcer.

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Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Stump Connolly Mon Jan 26 2015

Stump Connolly Reporting: Willie Wilson at the House of Hope

Last Monday, Jan. 19, Willie Wilson held a Martin Luther King Day rally at the House of Hope on 114th Street in Pullman. Wilson had predicted that over 12,000 people would turn out; the crowd was more like 500. A procession of ministers took the stage to support Wilson's bid for mayor, and the candidate once again offered up his Sermon on The Stump about Moses warning his people not to return to the land of Egypt. But the highlight, as always, was the gospel choir from Wilson's syndicated TV show "Singsation!"

Stump Connolly, chief political correspondent of The Week Behind, will be covering the Chicago mayoral race with his new pocketcam and offering periodic video reports exclusively on Gapers Block as the campaign unfolds.

Stump Connolly / Comments (0)

Stump Connolly Fri Jan 23 2015

Stump Connolly Reporting In: A Long Day in the Life of Bob Fioretti

His day begins with phone calls at 5am and often doesn't end until midnight. From el stops to "Fridays with Fioretti," we followed mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti last week to see what a typical day on the campaign trail is like for the 2nd Ward alderman.

Stump Connolly, chief political correspondent of The Week Behind, will be covering the Chicago mayoral race with his new pocketcam and offering periodic video reports exclusively on Gapers Block as the campaign unfolds.

Stump Connolly / Comments (0)

Economic Development Thu Jan 22 2015

New Chicago Microlending Initiative to Aid South Side Businesses

CNIMFG.JPG
Obama cabinet members met Monday at Ain't She Sweet Cafe in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood to announce a new microfinance initiative on the the city's South Side. / Photo courtesy of SBA

Small Business Administration (SBA) administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet was in Chicago Monday to announce a $750,000 investment in Chicago Neighborhood Initiative's Micro Finance Group (CNIMFG) -- the latest federally approved microlender serving Chicago's South Side area.

"CNIMFG is committed to bringing affordable microfinance solutions to low-income individuals or small business owners who do not have access to traditional sources of financing," said Erica King, CNIMFG's Vice President of Lending.

Continue reading this entry »

Emily Brosious / Comments (0)

Feature

Goethe, Floyd, Rahm & Me

By Phil Huckelberry / 0 Comments

This is a story of life, love, and property damage. It is a story involving crystallized water, piled some 19 inches deep. The story forces us to confront greed, manipulation, logistics, and physics. The characters include the legendary and the ordinary, from Rahm Emanuel to a bus driver whose name we'll likely never know. More...

Civics

When the Room Is Small and You Stink

By Ramsin Canon / 0 Comments

When he aped his mentor Bill Clinton in his inauguration speech, one could guess that Rahm Emanuel would be going to an old playbook that may not work for him in the long run. Rahm Emanuel may have unwittingly learned... More...

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Classroom Mechanics Oral History Project



About Mechanics

Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
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Editor: Monica Reida, mr@gapersblock.com
Mechanics staff inbox: mechanics@gapersblock.com

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