Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mailbag: Reader Support for Alderman Proco Joe Moreno

(Note: To prevent scroll fatigue, we are hosting the bulk of responses received in response to last week's Q&A with First Ward Aldermanic Candidate Deborah Lopez here on SoW

As a long time resident of the first ward (it's northern most part) I have been pleasantly surprised by Alderman Moreno's response to our concerns.

Be it gangs, traffic issues and general improvements, Moreno has taken a very proactive approach to the issues.

The accessibility of Alderman Moreno and his staff has been unparalleled in the 27 years I've lived in Chicago. Looking forward to seeing him re-elected for another term.

J Blaauw
Fairfield Ave.
Chicago, IL


Streets of Wicker,

Having just read your Q & A with 1st Ward Candidate Deborah Lopez I have to ask Who is this person ?

Deborah Lopez has a campaign office 2 blocks away from Goethe Elementary School where our child attends. I have yet to meet or talk to anyone who has met Lopez. She clearly hasn't been paying attention to what is going on in the 1st Ward.

She mentions that Alderman Moreno hasn't done much since taking office. Since Alderman Moreno took office he has hit the ground running.

Every community event that I have attended in the 1st Ward Alderman Moreno seems to be there.

-Haas Park Fundraiser at Fireside Bowling Alley
-Metronome Fest on Milwaukee Ave.
-Quencher's Saloon Fundraiser for Friends of Goethe School
-Indoor Farmer's Market at Congress Theater
-Naveen's Fundraiser for Maplewood Park
-CAPS meetings
-Greater Goethe Neighborhood Association meetings
-Goethe Fall Festival (he sat in our dunk tank to help raise funds for supplies for our school)
-Block Parties followed by more block parties.

Just to name a few. These are things that matter in our end of the 1st Ward. I talk to people in other parts of the 1st Ward and they report the same thing. This man and his office are everywhere, all of the time. Where has Lopez been ? I don't even see her canvassing the area. Daily I walk children to and from school. Weekly, I am at neighborhood meetings. Where is Lopez ?

Moreno has improved the 1st Ward via public outreach.
-Giving out thousands of backpacks w/school supplies and organizing Back to School information booths at the Congress Theater. Families stood in a massive line down Milwaukee Ave. on that hot sticky day to receive needed services.

-Text message services are now available through Moreno's office to help remind residents about street sweeping.

-Makes the Alderman's office more accessible by having weekend satellite offices.

-Gets the word out about local events via Internet

Moreno has closed down an illegal nightclub in our area and massage parlors of questionable nature.

He introduced the Taxpayer Protection Ordinance

These are just the things that I can remember. There's no way to keep up with this guy's energy. I want to know where he keeps his energizer batteries.

What the heck does she mean that he hasn't done much ?

Personally, I first heard about Moreno 4 years ago when he was seeking local education options for his daughter. He did not select Goethe because it was not close enough to his home and therefore was not the right choice for his child. He choose an option closer to his home and got involved in De Diego's Local School Council. The founding members of Friends of Goethe School bid him well.

I have lived in the area for 19 years and owned a house for 12 years. Who is Deborah Lopez and what has she done for the 1st Ward ?

Elise Doody-Jones

As posted to Alderman Joe Moreno on Facebook 2/4/11 regarding your interview of candidate Deborah Lopez:

OK, so I not only read the interview, I went to her website. Deborah Lopez doesn't have a clue as to the needs of the 1st ward, or any idea as to the multi-faceted responsibilities of the position she is running for! From her comments, i...t sounds like she has an "us and them" mentality about the ward instead of viewing it as a whole. An indication of how she would behave if she had even a chance of nipping at your heels in this election.

I would LOVE to get in her face to repudiate her comment about you!

She's obviously not spent much time near the ward office or she would be familiar with the needs filled by you and your office. I've personally watched you take the time to work with and assist a homeless woman one day when I was at the office. I was truly impressed by your compassion. You always take the extra step that makes the difference between someone who is just "filling the job" and someone who is truly dedicated. You've made yourself personally available to any constituent who needs assistance.

You've taken the 'Graffiti blasters' program to a whole new level here in the ward through volunteerism and jumping on the problem before it can spread. Before you took office, we would wait weeks to get the graffiti removed and it would take several requests!

You've not only gotten service requests resolved, but dug deeper to hold the various departments accountable when they have attempted to brush off our requests. You are also working to preempt small problems from becoming larger, more costly issues that the city would need to resolve. THIS is how to bring a lot of budgeting issues under control.

The 'backyard block meetings' we've done have allowed communication directly with you, by the residents. You don't sit in your office waiting for someone to submit a request, you are out here, seeing the issues and addressing the concerns we have first hand! You have helped transform this 'block' into a neighborhood and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished.

You are a driving force in using technology to help make our lives easier with the street cleaning text notifications. You've spent your own money to implement these types of programs to show how they can be used to benefit both the residents and the city.

Your satellite offices have brought the city services TO the people! You are leading by example and under your leadership, the programs in the first ward are fast becoming the norm that the others will have to work to keep up with. You are setting the bar higher and higher which is what this city needs to once again, make the neighborhoods the great place they once were.

As you know, I closely follow what is happening not only in the ward, but in the city council meetings as well. You have started tackling what are some of the 'hidden' expenses and wasteful spending by the city with your proposals. You treat our tax dollars with the same care you would your own money.

If there is anyone who can rightfully claim that they are offering an alternative to "politics as usual" it is YOU! She's talking about being a full-time alderman? How many times have I asked you when you manage to sleep? If you're not attending a gathering for the Humboldt Park Social Services, you're riding the streets with CPD so you can see first hand, what our issues are and how to work at resolving them.

Joe, you have proven time and again, your dedication to the ENTIRE 1st ward and to every aspect of what it takes to keep us growing while having respect for our rich heritage. Deborah Lopez obviously doesn't place much importance on continuing the economic growth and development of our neighborhoods - so the status quo is good enough for her? I talk to people who live all over this city, and they WISH you were their alderman!

Deborah Lopez may be a nice person, but she is NOT what the first ward needs or wants when it comes to representation. It's obvious that she has a total lack of understanding when it comes to our concerns and needs.

Lastly, you and I are the best example of what it means to work in a bi-partisan manner, agree to disagree on subjects while retaining respect for the others opinion. find common ground and erase the lines between politics and working towards a single goal - what is best for the community we love!

Carrie LeJeune


Dear Streets of Wicker--- do you mind showing my comment to Q&A with First Ward Alderman Candidate, Deborah Lopez

To think that Joe Moreno hasnt done much for the ward is ridiculous considering every other publication is ranting and raving about his impact in the first ward through the short time period he has been in office. I am intensely connected with the emerging young art community and a professor at the Art Institute. The large amount of support Alderman Joe Moreno has given to improve the connection between the community and the artists has been successful. You can look at examples such as the Walgreens Mural and the current decrease in graffiti. I believe we should be grateful for an alderman like Moreno to exist

Thank you,
Anna Cerniglia


I found the Q&A with Deborah Lopez to be in direct opposite of my experiences in the first ward. I've lived here long enough to have had four Alderman: Ocassio, Granato, Flores and finally. Joe Moreno. I have been very impressed with Ald. Moreno's response to requests for services and his efforts to really work for the Ward. He has created his own "Graffiti Busters" to remove or paint over graffiti faster than the overworked official "Graffiti Busters," started a texting service to alert residents about street cleaning to prevent costly tickets, set up snow shoveling for residents unable to shovel the sidewalks in front of their properties and has had satellite offices at farmers markets and street fairs throughout the ward. Ald. Moreno was appointed by Mayor Daley not because of political connections, but rather because of history of community involvement. Unlike Ms. Lopez, his background includes part ownership in a small business which leads me to believe he would have a better understanding of the needs of small community based companies, the very kind that make our neighborhoods more livable.

Brian Walter

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