Sunday, March 03, 2013

Chicago alderman orders Salvation Army to stop feeding the poor in his ward--UPDATED

See my update at the bottom of this post.

Chicago's Uptown neighborhood, which is mostly covered by the 46th Ward, has had a large homeless population for decades. The North Side ward is represented by Ald. James Cappleman. The Democrat and get this--social worker--is kicking the Salvation Army food trucks out of his ward that feed the homeless.

Mark Brown reports in the Chicago Sun-Times:
Cappleman gave the social service agency one month to find a new North Side location — outside his ward — before ceasing operations, said Capt. Nancy Powers, who oversees the Salvation Army's homeless program in Chicago.

"He decided he felt the unit was pulling homeless into the area, and he does not want us to feed them," Powers told me.
This ought to clear up any lingering doubts as to Cappleman's motivation in seeking to close the Wilson Men's Hotel, one of the city's last two cubicle hotels, the subject of several recent columns.

He's obviously decided to rid the 46th Ward of unsightly poor people — with a not entirely dissimilar approach to the one he has employed to disappear pigeons.
The alderman says he's fine with the Salvation Army dispatching his fellow social workers in his ward, but not the food trucks. Powers dismissed that gesture, telling Brown that the trucks are a calling card so her organization can promote its other services, such as substance abuse treatment. The Salvation Army operates food trucks in four other city locations--but none of those are on the North Side.

Chicago is messed up on so many levels. For starters, there are too many alderman--50 of them. That number should be cut at least by half. And the individual legislators have too much clout. Chicago's alderman are intoxicated by power--which partly explains why 29 of them have been convicted of crimes since 1972.

Here's my idea: Have Cappleman introduce a bill in the City Council that boots the Salvation Army food trucks out of the 46th Ward--and if the Council approves, see if Mayor Rahm Emanuel signs it.

Last year Emanuel said that Chick-fil-A, whose CEO is a family-values conservative, didn't reflect "Chicago values."

Just what are "Chicago values?"

Oh, can you imagine the nationwide howling that would occur if Cappleman was a Republican?

For more on Cappleman and pigeon napping click here. And click here to learn about the evil social worker's battle against the Wilson Men's Hotel.

UPDATE 7:20pm CST:

The Salvation Army isn't backing down.

From Brown in the Sun-Times:
Upon further consideration, Salvation Army officials have decided to defy instructions from Ald. James Cappleman (46th) to quit feeding the poor in his ward, which he now denies he ever gave.

Buoyed by encouragement from other social service providers and city officials, the Salvation Army’s Capt. Nancy Powers said Sunday the charity will continue to send its mobile food truck into Uptown in an effort to help the homeless.

Cappleman responded by issuing a statement accusing Salvation Army personnel of storming out of a meeting he had requested to discuss "new approaches to assist those who are chronically homeless who live in parks and under the viaducts."
But after my column appeared online, Powers said she was flooded with calls and emails urging her to stand up to the alderman.
Good for her.

UPDATE March 4:

Cappleman has issued a long, long statement, in which he accuses the Salvation Army of storming out of a meeting with him.

But Brown is very skeptical of Cappelman's response.

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Anonymous said...

Just in case you want the real truth:

Anji said...

Just in case you want to parrot the alderman's speaking points, go to his response. I'll paraphrase it...I'm soooooooooo concerned about the chronic and longterm homeless, I'll start by getting rid of this truck that feeds them (and hope they will follow behind it to my fellow alderman's ward next door). Kind of like the Pied Piper. Every time an alderman opens their mouth, it should also include a laugh track showing disbelief.