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Buenos noches, oh senor, Senorita see ya later, Buenos noches, bye-bye.
Bye-bye, so long, farewell, Bye-bye, so long, sayonara, Bye-bye, au revoir, auf wiedersehen!

It turns out that the majority of households in Chicago, even in the most troubled neighborhoods, are living with what we might term moral authority.But the city suffers from a Tyranny of the Minority, and a Tyranny of the Disengaged. From those who’ve make the news a parade of dismay, dysfunction, and death; and those who’ve switched the dial. It’s an unreality show made all too real every day, in Chicago. It’s made worse by a political class detached from constituents, and more focused on the accretion of power. – Matt Rosenberg

I do believe there may be hope, though it’s too late for me. As soon as I wrap up some business I’m taking myself and my work to the burbs where it’s quiet and safe. This is where I am today, right now Friday March 3, 2023

I woke up Wednesday morning 3/1/2023 and Betty X posted an old quote from me on social media. I was flattered. It was the best part of the day but a nice thing to read when I logged in. It truly means a lot to me that after decades people still pay attention to my writing.

The post below I received from Amy A. Election night, Tuesday Feb 28th at 752PM. The poles had closed and Lori Lightfoot conceded defeat. Amy is great about sending me happy thing like this text. This was very early. LL had over 85% of the city vote against her. Of course the next day she blamed it on race and gender. In one of the move diverse cities in this country where the last election for Mayor came down to two women of color is not what I called racist or sexist. She did this to herself. I went to sleep in a good mood, slept well and woke up listening to Dan and Amy of 560AM as I do every morning and fed the cats and made my coffee with a smile. Lori Lighfoot let downtown turn into the vacant wasteland where criminals rule that it is now Don’t let the media fool you. People are afraid to go downtown and to ride the CTA. I am. I never go underground anymore.

I’ve been very busy with work and I’ve been exhausted. I had my home clean last Friday afternoon while I was working which really helped. I spent the weekend running errands again. Grocery shopping on two sides of town and a hellish trip to the laundromat that was so overcrowded that I had to take my wet ash home and hang around the housed to dry which took two days. I haven’t actually been out since the afternoon I saw “M3GAN” with “Beans” aka Melanie Harley the psychiatrist. Tonight I was supposed to be in Indianapolis with friends but MegaBus has cancelled all trips to Indianapolis. They will service other parts of the state and from experience who can blame them. That bus depot is a fucking nightmare. Fuck it, as far as my life is concerned so is the city. I always refer to the 3.5 years I called it home as “doing time”

Even in my ward where I wasn’t aware there could be a runoff it was between my favorite and the person I supported Kim Walz and Angela Clay. A few weeks ago I sent Ms. Walz a letter and I think I’ll share it at the end of this rant.

This is exactly the type of petty bs that burns me up. Not 1 hour before I took this photo walking home there were only Vallas and Walz signs in that yard on my street. I return to take a photo and in that short amount of time someone put Clays sign in front of Walz. They had to have gone over the gate. Same in my yard they kept stealing the Vallas signs so I put them in my windows. What happened to respect?
I’m pretty pumped to see Jeff Givens and his band Saturday night. That and eating before show at El Chile which I discovered when Stev and I saw I LOVE RICH at the Montrose Saloon last summer. I haven’t been out in awhile. Last time was seeing M3GAN with Melanie Harley in January.

Last night Thursday 3/2 Amy A. came by to color my very very silver hair. Aside from being a great musician (Mary’s Window/The Joy Thieves) she’s an accomplished cosmetologist, world renowned in fact. She’s also a fantastic person to have as a friend. She came up the stairs and in the door and I was playing Louis Armstrong’s “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen” and I popped open a bottle of champagne and we toasted to the defeat of Lori Lightfoot behind my living room windows were Paul Vallas signs are displayed. We talked a lot before she got to may hair and then we came to the conclusion that she’d be joining me for the Jeff Givens show at the Montrose Saloon and then to carol’s, neither place has she been to., which is strange being that her home is sandwiched between both venues. Hopefully I’ll have photos and tales to share.

Life other than work has pretty much been mundane, as far as a social life, since the first of the year. But that is all changing sooner than later. ANGEL is playing in a few weeks and I get to see Bob for a night and eat at Asadora’s then in April is EXXXOTICA followed by the big camping trip at the end of May. So other than work I’ve been orchestrating these other events as I do

And WOW, I’m the only employee in the state of Illinois since we went remote. I’m getting used to it and do not miss the commute at all, though I do miss the company of my co workers.

Sunday is an all new PodCast and maybe some fun reflections from the long night before. – AZ

from a 46th Ward Resident Thu, Feb 2, 7:43?PM

Dear Ms. Walz,

My name is Alex and I’ve been a resident of Buena Park on North Kenmore since 2005 and at the same address since 2007. As you can imagine I’ve seen a lot of residential improvements and construction on the 4000 block of N. Kenmore Ave. The area has also gone through some impressive upgrades, including Mixed-Use Development along Sheridan and Broadway, a few by my first employer in Chicago, David Gassman. I’ve also, when time allows, done my best to be part of the local community by occasionally doing clean up at Montrose bird sanctuary and fundraising /canned food drives for the former Lakeview Pantry when it was on N Broadway.

I’ve also experienced a few stretches of unemployment and hardship and thanks to the amenities of our Montrose Beach offers to provide entertainment and activity and the generosity and charity of the Lakeview Pantry before it was renamed Nourishing Hope, I was able to eat and eat very well. And then the access to the Chicago Public Library and the internet resources it offers which helped me find employment with the firm I’ve been with since 2018. Luckily, unlike many others, I had the kindness and understanding of my landlord who permitted me to pay back my late rent.

The 46th ward will soon see an entertainment boom with the opening of the new Double Door on Wilson. When it was in Wicker Park it hosted many national as well as international acts and local acts other nights. The Rolling Stones also performed a surprise show there. Being in such proximity to the Riviera and The Aragon Theaters I’m sure you can picture the changes its opening will create.for the area and the businesses As for myself, I’ve been a part of the music industry most of my life. As a radio and club DJ, magazine publisher and editor, concert promoter and now podcast host so I write to you to express a few concerns.

First of all, I do plan to leave in late 2023 and move to the Geneva and St Charles region if all goes well. If the company who I currently work for had not gone remote after a year of COVID I would never even consider the move. As of now I am the only Illinois resident employed by the staffing firm where I serve as a recruiter. The owners have moved to Florida and local employees have found other employment or moved to Indiana or Michigan. The other consideration was my podcast having access to a variety of guests, either regional or passing through while on tour. There is a thriving entertainment scene in the St Charles area where I attend more national act concerts than I do in my own city. My biggest reason for my desire to relocate, like many others, is due to crime and safety. The reason I am so involved with the race for Mayor and Alderperson of the 46th ward is I want this to be a better place to live for my neighbors and if I am unable to make the relocation I desire and the same if I am to remain.

I have attended the two most recent forums where you stood out not just due to policy but you were very attentive to the other candidates running for office here in the 46th Ward. You watched their delivery as it was noticeable as the others were taking notes and not seeming to pay attention to the replies of the others responses. It is very obvious in photos and videos of the events. I’d met Marianne Lalonde when she was running 4 yrs ago and expressed my concerns at the time and this was just prior to COVID. Last Saturday I had a chance to converse with Patrick Nagle when Paul Vallas visited my neighborhood. I was also able to have a nice conversation with Mr.Vallas as well as former States Attorney Anita Alvarez.

At the forums nobody discussed the problem of open air drug dealers in the ward. It’s so very very obvious. I never see anything done about it and in fact I never see a police presence until there is an incident, usually near the newly renovated Wilson CTA Station which is beautiful and a far cry from what it once represented. Lots of drug dealing and muggings. I take my out of town friends to Lucy’s Chicken at Wilson and Broadway for lunch when they come to visit Such a great location and some of the best food that I’ve ever had that is so bad for my health. They are in awe that on 3 or the 4 corners at Wilson and Broadway the drug dealing is blatantly obvious. Another hot spot is right in the plaza where I do my laundry at Wilson and Magnolia. Recently the Three Harmony Chinese Restaurant at that location was closed due to hang and drug activity. See: However after years of complaints the dealers still do business in front of My Place Food Mart 4550 N Magnolia Ave. They walk in with their customers through the store. The customer’s I imagine walk out the back and the dealers return to the front. This activity has been reported as far back as 2010.See:

Finally I do see “occasional” CPD presence at Argyle and Winthrop, Little Vietnam, my favorite part of living in Buena Park/Uptown which is in the 48th Ward. I love the food, culture and shopping. That stretch of Winthrop has so much illegal activity I won’t even ride my bike on that part of the street.

Next is the crime which started to go up as soon as the pandemic shut the city and state down and even before the death of George Floyd. The CTA was a nightmare. It always has been but the open drinking and smoking and walking between trains and its use as a toilet makes it unbedarablemost of the time. But even now, 3 years later Walgreens at Sherian and Irving Park are not permitted to stop people walking out with cases of beer and whatever else they choose. I saw it and was in shock. Spoke to the cashier as we watched it happen and the next day to the manager. I was told that “corporate” told them to not stop this theft. It got so bad last fall they had to put the shopping carts in the storage because people were just loading up and walking out with anything they wanted. Furthermore just 2 weeks ago I spoke with one of the wonders of the new Sheridan Liquor Store across the street that they deal with shoplifting everyday. We all know about the armed robberies and attacks in the area, especially the violence to our seniors. Where are the beat officers?

The only problem with theft I’ve had to deal with as far as property is that I’ve had over 20 bicycles stolen from my third floor back porch which is locked in broad daylight, I had to have the door replaced last year after the lock had been broken so many times that the door just fell to pieces. That’s a lot of bikes for one person. The thieves just have no fear of consequence.

On a positive note I do feel that the ward does a decent job with some affordable housing. I helped a mentally ill friend (your relationship with your brother related to me during the forums) and a few years back I got him into a unit at one of the Flats. A new space with its all new appliances and washer and dryer where he stayed for a few years until he had a relapse mentally. He paid $200 a month for a nice new studio place close to transportation and a library. Flats is only one example. My rent has only gone up $100 per month since I’ve lived here. Others are not so fortunate. Overall I believe the 46th does a better job than other neighborhoods on the northside. But it could be better and the biggest problem is as you know, property taxes.

I appreciate you taking time to read this rant. I have the feeling you’ll have a happy birthday. You do have my support and the support of my friends in this ward. You’re the only one who seems to speak to us as far as policy. You also have the background, experience and the endorsements that we really hope that other voters in the ward are aware of.

I would like to close by telling you that I was very impressed that you were such a big part of Smoke Free Chicago. As a former club DJ my throat and lungs were seriously affected by years of cigarette smoke. There were times I’d do my FM radio show on Sunday nights that I could barely talk due to the allergic reaction I have to cigarette smoke. Not to mention washing it out of my hair and clothing. With that said, I assume you must be somewhat aware of Roger Quick who was Chair of Smoke Free Chicago. Roger led the City Council passing an ordinance that prohibits smoking in public areas. In 2006, he chaired Smoke Free Illinois, a successful effort that banned smoking in public places throughout the state. I was in his employ from 2011 till 2017 as his head of research at Quick Leonard & Kieffer and have a lot of respect for him as a person.

Thank You, my best to your family, good luck and have a VERY happy birthday.

Alex Zander