Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tomorrow's Tribune will include endorsements for Wards 21-30. I've been endorsed by the Tribune.

24th Ward: We had hope for Ald. Sharon Denise Dixon after she was elected four years ago. That hope has evaporated. Final straw: She's suing the Chicago police over her 2009 arrest on DUI charges. Voters may have a hard time sorting through a mind-boggling 18 candidates here, including former Ald. Michael Chandler. The best choice is community development consultant Valerie Leonard, a Northwestern University business school graduate who would bring a wealth of financial expertise to the job. She founded Lawndale Alliance, a community group that's focused on affordable housing, community development and quality schools. So many development hopes have been dashed in this West Side ward. Leonard has the smarts and doggedness to see them through. She will be a leader on education and jobs.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Vote for Me Early Between Now and February 17

Good evening. I am writing a note to remind those of you who live in the 24th Ward to vote for me early between now and February 17. You may go to Douglass Library, located on the corner of 13th and Homan, between 9 am and 5 pm Monday through Saturday. Punch 56 if you want to see the 24th Ward fixed.

If you or someone you know, wants to cast an absentee ballot, click onto this link for further instructions and download the application. http://www.chicagoelections.com/page.php?id=169

Send completed applications to the Board of Elections. When you get the ballot, punch 56 to see the 24th Ward fixed.

Thank you for your vote. I look forward to serving you as your next Alderman.

Ad-Early Voting

Come to My Budget Town Hall Meeting

Come out to my budget town hall meeting on Tuesday, February 8, 2011. We will discuss the budget, including the general fund, the capital budget, the 24th Ward menu, TIFs and participatory budgeting.

Flyer-Budget Town Hall

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

City Braces for Severe Winter Storm to Hit Chicago
City Officials Maintain that Public Safety is Primary Concern

February 1, 2011 News Release

Mayor Richard M. Daley, city officials this afternoon provided the latest update regarding preparations for the impending snowstorm.

“The National Weather Service has issued a ‘blizzard warning,’ for our area, which remains in effect until 3 p.m. tomorrow,” said Mayor Richard M. Daley at the OEMC press conference. “As has been reported, we may be potentially dealing with a storm of historic magnitude, the likes of which we have not seen in decades. This means very large amounts of snow falling very quickly in waves and extremely strong winds, especially near the lake front.”

We urge residents to exercise common sense during the storm. Whether you’re commuting to work or shoveling snow, please be careful. We want to assure everyone that the City is doing everything we can to respond to this storm and we are as prepared as we can be for a storm of this size and scope,” said Mayor Daley. “I want to make clear that our first priority is public safety. We need to ensure that our major streets are clear and that emergency vehicles can get through.”

“The City of Chicago continues to track the path of the winter storm bearing down on the area,” said Jose A. Santiago, Executive Director, Office of Emergency Management and Communications. “The forecast from the National Weather Service remains the same in terms of the timing of the storm and the dangerous weather conditions expected to accompany the storm.” Santiago said:

Snowfall started afternoon, between 1 and 4 p.m. We expect to receive 1 to 2 inches of snow per hour

The worst snowfall should arrive between 9 p.m. this evening and 5 a.m. tomorrow morning.

During this time, snowfall is expected to be in the range of 3 to 4 inches per hour. Winds are expected to increase to 40-50 miles per hour inland, and 50-60 miles per hour near the lake

In addition, lake effect snow will start Wednesday morning and may add up to an additional 6 inches of snow

Total accumulation in the City is expected to be as much as 1 ½ to 2 feet

In addition to snow, a Lakeshore Flood Watch is also in effect this evening to Wednesday afternoon. Thirty to 40 mile per hour winds with gusts up to 60 miles per hour at the shore is expected to create 14 to 18 foot waves with occasional waves up to 25 feet

The City has activated the Emergency Operations Center. The Emergency Operations Center will be staffed with representatives from all key city departments, and remain open as long as necessary.

In addition:

The Department of Streets and Sanitation is prepared to use the whole fleet of 274 Snow Trucks and 120 garbage trucks with quick hitch plows, to clear main routes and Lake Shore Drive as effectively as possible.

Due to safety concerns, Chicago Public Schools has canceled classes for tomorrow.
Chicago Public Schools has cancelled all after school programs yesterday including elementary and high school sports, driver’s education, extended day preschool (22 locations/700 students), and Park District/CPS after school programs.

All Central Office employees, principals, assistant principals, lunchroom managers, engineers, custodians and security personnel are required to report to school. Teachers, paraprofessionals and other staff will be excused. All administrative personnel in Area Offices will be required to report to work.

Based on the expectation of record snowfall and high winds during this storm, The City Colleges of Chicago made the decision to close all facilities, including the District Office downtown, at 2 pm today. Classes will resume Thursday, February 3rd.

There will be no classes or event at any CCC facility on Wednesday, February 2nd, including our two restaurants.

The FIVE daycare centers will be fully staffed today until the last child is picked up this evening. We operate daycare centers at Malcolm X College, Daley College, Truman, Olive Harvey and Kennedy-King College. Essential personnel will be at all of our facilities regardless of the weather.

CTA buses and trains will operate on a regular weekday schedule; however, CTA will run longer trains during the day to accommodate riders who decide to leave work early due to the storm. Normally, after rush hour, the CTA reduces the number of cars in each train.

The City’s six warming centers located within our Community Service Centers will be available to provide emergency, temporary shelter and supportive services for our most vulnerable residents. In addition to the Garfield Center, we will extend operations of two centers, North Area and King Center, to offer 24-hour assistance beginning tomorrow at 7 a.m. through Thursday at 5 p.m. All other centers will be open during regular hours of operation.
Additional Resources

· Residents are encouraged to sign up to receive extreme weather alerts via phone, text and/or email from the Office of Emergency Management (OEMC)
· Go to www.alertchicago.com and click on “Notify Chicago.”


· On Wed., Feb. 2, the only Early Voting site in Chicago that will be open will be at the Election Board offices at 69 W. Washington St. on the Lower Level from 9 am to 5 pm. Visit the Board of Election website here.

City Officials Discuss Snowstorm Preparations

Currently, airlines at O’Hare are reporting delays of 30 minutes or more and have canceled over 1,300 flights today to minimize delays and stranded passengers. Over the next few hours, most of the airlines will stop operating flights at O’Hare for the remainder of the evening. Three more international flights may be arriving at O’Hare this evening.

At Midway, airlines have canceled operations for the remainder of today.
Most of the airlines at O’Hare have indicated they will have limited or no operations tomorrow.

City officials also issued the following reminders:
Drivers need to slow down and yield to emergency vehicles, including police vehicles, fire trucks,ambulances, and snow plows.

Landlords are reminded that they are required to provide heat for tenants at 68 degrees during the day and 66 degrees at night.

Any resident suffering without heat or in need of shelter should call 311 immediately for assistance or transportation to a warming center.

With more than 4,000 beds available in 60 shelters across the city, and the capacity to add more beds as needed, there is no reason for anyone to sleep outdoors or in a cold house or apartments
Residents can also use Police District Stations and Fire Stations as safe havens from the cold and snow.

Check on the well being of relatives, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly. If you can’t check on them yourself, then please call 311 to request a well being check.

Additional Resources

Residents are encouraged to sign up to receive extreme weather alerts via phone, text and/or email from the Office of Emergency Management (OEMC)Go to www.alertchicago.com and click on “Notify Chicago.”


On Wed., Feb. 2, the only Early Voting site in Chicago that will be open will be at the Election Board offices at 69 W. Washington St. on the Lower Level from 9 am to 5 pm. Visit the Board of Election website here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I've Been Endorsed by the Chicago Chapter-Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

I am deeply honored to have been endorsed by the Chicago Chapter-Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. I have included an excerpt from their website to give more background on them and who they represent.

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists consists of members from seventy-seven international and national unions with forty two chapters across the country. CBTU seeks to fulfill the dream of those Black trade unionists, both living and deceased, who throughout this century have courageously and unremittingly struggled to build a national movement that would bring all our strengths and varied talents to bear in the unending effort to achieve economic, political and social justice for every American.

The basic objectives of the CBTU are reflected in its activities and projects:

•Improve economic development and employment opportunities for black workers.

•Work within the framework of the trade union movement to provide a voice and vehicle for greater black and minority participation.

•Increase union involvement in voter registration, voter education and voter turnout projects.

•Organize unorganized workers.

•Actively support civil rights and civic groups working to improve living and working conditions in the black community.

•Increase effective political alliances between labor, churches and the general community.
CBTU will continue to support job training initiatives and programs aimed at reducing the black youth unemployment rate, which consistently hovers around 50%. Recognizing the correlation between youth unemployment and education, CBTU chapters continue their support for the public school systems and oppose reduced funding for educational projects and programs, particularly those involving inner city schools.

CBTU will continue to work for protection of consumers from escalating price increase for the four necessities of life: food, energy, housing and medical care, the areas where inflation hits hardest. We oppose cutbacks in social programs, health, welfare, aid to the cities and support services for the disadvantaged until they are replaced with full employment and other necessary safety nets.

We pledge to work in coalition with organized labor and other allies whose mission is consistent with these objectives.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Who Will Make the Best Candidates Candidates?

The North Lawndale Community News is carrying a story this weekend focusing on the IVI-IPO endorsements. I am deeply honored to have been included representing the 24th Ward. http://www.nlcn.org/?q=node/30

Friday, January 14, 2011

Handouts from Public Health and Safety Town Hall Meeting

I thank everyone who was able to attend our town hall meeting on public health and safety on January 11th.

Here is a testimonial from Dr. Shemuel Israel.

"I enjoyed the town hall meeting very much. Gatanya's info on public benefits is so valuable and Dr. Henderson's lecture on public health in North Lawndale was excellent. We applaud the work of the Dept of Public Health as they funded some of our work in the community. And Valerie, no other candidate in the 24th Ward is doing what you are doing to bring awareness and empowerment to our community."

Here are copies of the handouts.

Agenda-Public Health and Safety Meeting
Public Health and Safety Town Hall Meeting

Guide to Public Benefits

Candidates' Responses to Tribune Questionnaire

Here is a link to candidates' responses to questionnaires for all races, including Citywide offices and aldermanic races. You can click onto the links to read our responses. To the best of my knowledge, there are only links in instances where the candidates responded.http://elections.chicagotribune.com/editorial/

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Experience and Heart

As I have been going about the community campaigning for Alderman of the 24th Ward, many people want to know who I am and what I have done. CHECK OUT my Experience and Heart flyer to see some of my accomplishments as they demonstrate my life-long commitment to public service in the 24th ward and elsewhere. As you will see, my heart has always been with the people.
Flyer_Experience and Heart-2-Color 2[1]

Volunteers Needed

We are headed into the home stretch, and we need all hands on deck. We need people to make phone calls, go door to door and host events. If you are interested, please call 773-521-3137.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

24th Ward Talk

I will be hosting a cable television call in show on Fridays, beginning January 21, 2011, going through February 18th. Download the attached flyer for details.
Flyer Talk Show

Reminder-Come Out to My Town Hall Meeting on Public Health and Safety Tonight

I just wanted to remind you to come out to my town hall meeting on public health and safety tonight. The meeting will go from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Carey Tercentenary AME Church, 1448 South Homan. We will have Dr. Cynthia Henderson do a presentation on the health status of the community, and Gatanya Arnic will provide an overview of public benefits, including medical cards, TANF and Link cards. I will share my platform on public health and safety and provide copies of a resource guide to public benefits and local health resources. All are welcome to attend. You may download copies of handouts from the town hall meetings on education and jobs, economic development and technology at http://vote4valerie.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

IVI-IPO Endorsement Provides Momentum to Campaign

Press Release IVI IPO Endorsement

Thanks for Making Me #1

Thanks for making my Online Candidates profile the most popular in the State of Illinois and the United States. My profile has more hits than any other candidate registered on the site, even though some others have been there longer. Check out updates to my Online Candidates Profile.

Handouts from Town Hall Meeting on Jobs, Economic Development and Technology

Press Release-Economic Development Town Hall Meeting Outcome

Jobs, Economic Development and Technology Meeting

The27th Psalm

Jobs, Economic Development, Technology Town Hall Meeting

Chicago Westside Branch NAACP Candidates Forums

I thank Rev. Walter Harris, Pastor of Carey Tercentenary AME Church, for providing information on a series of upcoming candidates' forums for the Mayor and Select Aldermanic races. I will participate in the 24th Ward forum.

Chicago Westside NAACP Candidates Forum Flyer

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I've Been Endorsed by the IVI-IPO!!

Happy New Year. I just received news that I have been endorsed by the Independent Voters-Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO) for Alderman of the 24th Ward. This is a great way for me to start the New Year. God is good!


The IVI–IPO has been in existence since 1944. It has been dedicated to good government activism and an idealistic vision of open, honest government in Illinois through pragmatic means that confront cynicism and corruption with equal force. The organization's primary tools are voter's registration, voter information and candidate endorsement. They also lobby on behalf of governmental reforms designed to open the system and better inform the public on the political process.

The IVI–IPO is a not-for-profit, multi-partisan, independent political organization. Our endorsements reach hundreds of thousands of voters throughout the greater Chicagoland area. Their work on campaign finance and ethics reform in the past and in the present has gotten high marks from all quarters and our commitment to good government is as strong now as it has ever been.

The IVI–IPO Mission Statement

IVI-IPO's mission is to achieve social justice through good government by increasing voter participation and knowledge, by providing a framework for candidate evaluation, and by electing responsive government officials.

You may visit http://www.iviipo.org/2011Endorsements.html to see their full list of endorsements.