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November 12, 2018 




The Federal Housing Administration's Role in Segregating and Cutting Off Mortgage Financing for Black Families in Chicago, 1934-1960
This article takes a look at the Federal Housing Administration’s role in creating the dual housing market in Chicago, in which most Black people were confined to older segregated areas of the City and deprived of mortgage financing.  There have been many articles and books on the FHA’s discriminatory policies and redlining practices, and about the Contract Buyers League case, which challenged FHA’s practices. What this article adds is a discussion of some additional provisions of FHA’s Underwriting Manuals. It also collects research and evidence from many sources summarizing the impact of FHA’s discriminatory policies in Chicago.

In addition, the article presents testimony of several FHA officials given in the CBL case about the Chicago office’s redlining policies and practices, and it presents the results of a study conducted by a CBL team that analyzed where FHA insured mortgages in Chicago in 1960 and 1961.


Sunday, November 11, 2018
Custodian Finds Gun on Roycemore School Grounds
On November 7, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. Evanston Police responded to Roycemore School located in the 1200 block of Davis St. for an incident of a gun found on school grounds.
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Schakowsky statement on the ousting of Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Today Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky released the following statement after President Trump ousted his Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with Matthew Whitaker a day after the midterm election ...
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Unofficial Election Results Nov. 7
Both local referenda approved: the binding increase in the real estate transfer tax and the advisory referendum to preserve the Harley Clarke mansion.
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
No Firm Decision on Budget, But Fire Station 4 Inches Toward Safety
City Council members at the Nov. 5 Special City Council meeting indicated some of their preferences for and opposition to certain specific items in the proposed City budget for 2019, but they took no action – not even straw votes.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Ethics Board Finds No Violations in Ald. Simmons Matter
After going through a bumpy procedural process, on Oct. 24 the City’s Board of Ethics held a hearing and reached a decision on Misty Witenberg’s 177-page complaint alleging that Ald. Robin Rue Simmons committed ethics violations. Ms. Witenberg is one of five people who ran for Fifth Ward Alderman in the April 2017 election.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
OPAL Says Budget Cuts Target Most Vulnerable Residents
Citing proposed cuts in the City’s Health & Human Services Department (HHS), the Parks, Recreation & Community Services Department, and the Mental Health Board, members of Organization for Positive Action and Leadership (OPAL) said on Oct. 18 they are concerned that City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz’s draft budget for 2019 will impact vulnerable Evanston residents the most.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Council Extends City Manager's Contract
Wally Bobkiewicz, who has served as Evanston’s City Manager since 2009, received the green light for another year from City Council last week. 
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
James Park Litigation Near $2.8 Million So Far This Year
According to the City, it has spent just under $2.8 million in legal fees and expenses in the first nine months of 2018 on the James Park environmental litigation. The total fees and expenses spent on the matter thus far exceed $6.2 million.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Referendum on the Harley Clarke Mansion
The second referendum question on the ballot is advisory only. That is, the results will express the opinion of voters but not mandate any action on the City’s part.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Referendum to Increase Real Estate Transfer Taxes
On July 24, City Council approved a referendum question that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot and ask voters to approve a graduated increase in the real estate transfer tax. Currently, the transfer tax is $5 for every $1,000 of the sale price of real estate, or fraction thereof. The tax is paid entirely by the seller. For example, if the sales price of a house is $300,000, the transfer tax is $5 x 300 = $1,500.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Is the 2019 Budget Equitable? 'Yes' and 'No' Says Equity Officer
The budget is both equitable and not equitable, Dr. Efiom said, but the twofold bottom line is that there is not sufficient data to know and the City has no definition of equity.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Board Finds Alderman Rainey Violated Ethics Code
On Oct. 25, the City’s Board of Ethics held a hearing on a complaint filed by Mary (Lori) Keenan and Clare Kelly that alleged that Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, engaged in various conduct that violated the City’s Code of Ethics. The Board took jurisdiction over five claims.
(1 comments)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Pushback Over Proposed City Budget Cuts
The tension in the air over drastic budget cuts proposed by the City Manager appeared to mount, as residents and later, aldermen, gave voice to their fears and beliefs about the future of the City at the Oct. 22 City Council meeting.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Tug of War Over Youth and Young Adult Program Changes
Several residents questioned the motivation behind breaking up the division (See story by Larry Gavin on this website.) Paul Barker said, “The attitude seems to be, ‘If it ain’t broke, let’s break it.’”
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
In City Budget Talks, Hints of Property Tax Increase
For the first time in this budget season, City officials spoke of the possibility of a property tax increase.
(1 comments)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Economic Development Committee Hears Special Service Area Requests
The City’s Economic Development Committee advanced three items concerning Special Service Areas (SSAs) to City Council at its Oct. 24 meeting; representatives from two of those SSAs presented their annual reports and discussed their 2019 budgets as well.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Push-Back on Both Sides of the Dais Over Proposed Budget
The tension in the air over drastic budget cuts proposed by the City Manager appeared to mount, as residents and later, aldermen, gave voice to their fears and beliefs about the future of the City at the Oct. 22 City Council meeting.
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Tug-of War Over Youth and Young Adult Program
Paul Barker said, “The attitude seems to be, ‘If it ain’t broke, let’s break it.’”
Saturday, October 27, 2018
OPAL Says Proposed City Budget Cuts Will Impact Vulnerable Residents the Most
Members of the Organization for Positive Action and Leadership (OPAL) said they are concerned that City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz’s draft budget for 2019 will impact vulnerable Evanston residents the most.
Monday, October 22, 2018
Delay in Request to Build a Road Through Tenth Hole of Golf Course
The Board of Commissioners has just received word that Item #47 (File #18-1090) – the item concerning Cook County’s request for an easement on District-owned land along the North Shore Channel in Wilmette – is being deleted from the Board agenda and will not be the subject of action at tomorrow’s meeting.
Thursday, October 18, 2018
City Manager's Proposed Budget Slices Something From Nearly Everyone
Nearly every aspect of an Evanstonian’s quality of life will be diminished.  Funding for the City’s Mental Health Board, Youth and Young Adult Services, victim services, cultural arts and public health education will be curtailed or eliminated. Residents who wish to drive or park in Evanston will likely have to pay more, possibly making Evanston’s business districts less attractive. Residents who use Uber or Lyft to get around and those who rent their homes on a short-term basis may find they are paying higher fees.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Reaction to City Manager's Proposed Budget
The most unpopular proposals, judging only from comments at the recent City Council meeting and formal and informal conversations with residents, are those to close one fire station, to  split the Youth and Young Adult Division (see separate stories), to eliminate cultural arts funding and to discontinue operations at Gibbs-Morrison Cultural Center
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Ethics Board Finds Jurisdiction Over Two Complaints Against Alderman Rainey
On Oct. 16, the City’s Board of Ethics unanimously held that it had jurisdiction to hear two complaints alleging that Eighth Ward Alderman Ann Rainey violated provisions of Evanston’s Ethics Code. The Board did not hear evidence on either complaint and did not make any ruling on the merits.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
'Cascading' Impact of Closing a Fire Station
Not only is Station 4 Evanston’s smallest station, it is the only one serving the southwest side of the City.
(1 comments)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
The Proposal to Split Up the Youth and Young Adult Programs Division
By all accounts the City’s Youth and Young Adult Programs Division has received high marks. In a recent survey, residents were asked to “select the 10 programs that you believe to be the most important for the City to provide.” The Youth and Young Adult Services Department ranked second highest out of a list of more than 50 City programs.
(1 comments)

Thursday, October 11, 2018
Flag Now Flies Over Fountain Square
Unfolding the American flag from its military triangles, Commander Brian Beatty of Technical Sergeant Snell Post 42 fastened it to the pole’s rope and hoisted it to the top of the flagpole on Oct. 13. This was the inaugural flag-raising in Evanston’s redesigned Veterans Plaza and Fountain Square.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Harley Clarke Update: No Access For Advocates, State Park a Possibility
Aldermen at the Oct. 8 City Council meeting approved one motion and rejected another made by their colleague Seventh Ward Alderman Eleanor Revelle to allow certain parties access to the Harley Clarke mansion, 2603 Sheridan Road, in anticipation of next week’s Preservation Commission meeting
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Flurry of Changes in Snow Routes, Snow Emergency
City Council on Oct. 8 adopted changes that will affect winter parking if there is an accumulation of 4 inches of snow. The changes involve the definition of a “snow emergency” and some modifications in the City’s snow routes – those streets that form the main arteries of commercial and residential traffic.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Many Easy Items On The Oct. 8 Agenda
With a $7.4 million deficit on their minds, aldermen at the Oct. 8 City Council meeting sailed through several agenda items without significant disagreement, questioning more for wanting clarification, it seemed, than for edging toward disapproval.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018



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