City of Chicago subsidies continue flowing to The Woodlawn Organization (TWO), the politically connected non-profit headed by Mayor Daley ally Leon Finney Jr., despite the fact that the city's own lawyers keep hauling the group into housing court for code violations at buildings it manages across the South Side. This startling revelation, uncovered by the Chicago Reporter, is the latest controversy surrounding TWO, which has gained an infamous reputation for leaving its affordable housing units in poor condition.
The piece also points out that the open spigot for TWO cuts against legislation passed by City Council earlier this year that forbids city contracts from going to "building code scofflaws." Since January, when the new rules were approved, TWO received
$1.3 million from the in subsidies from the Daley Administration. "Over that same time period," the Reporter
finds, "the city initiated 15 separate legal cases against the South
Side developer for violations including rat infestations, broken
plumbing, leaking roofs and deteriorating porches." A city spokesman said that officials are still writing enforcement rules for the law.
Those rules can't come too soon. Here's Progress Illinois' video from earlier this year of Latasha Thomas, talking about the conditions she and her family dealt with while living in a TWO building on South Kimbark in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood:
When Thomas's story originally broke, Progress Illinois asked why Leon Finney was invited by the mayor to serve on the Chicago Plan Commission, a development advisory body. An updated version of that question might be put thusly, given recent political developments: Will Chicago's next mayor demand accountability from contractors like Finney when she or he takes the reigns of city government next spring?
The city of Chicago's balance sheet is filled with red ink. As Mayor Richard Daley prepares to offer the last spending plan of his long career, aldermen need to articulate new
approaches to city budgeting.
Could Rahm Emanuel, a current D.C. resident, even run for mayor?
That's a question Fox reporter Marla Cichowsk posed to Chicago Board of
Elections spokesperson Jim Allen last week. Here's his response:
candidates are required to live in city of Chicago for at least the
last calendar year. Considering White House Chief of Staff, Rahm
Emanuel, has expressed interest in running for Mayor of Chicago ... I
posed the question: if someone is a registered Chicago voter and owns a
home in Chicago, but currently lives in Washington, DC, can he/she
still run for Mayor? Chicago Board of Elections Spokesman, Jim Allen
said, "that is a legal question... that issue hasn't come up in the
past." Allen then gave me this hypothetical answer: "If there's a
candidate who happens to be serving in the White House cabinet and
maintains a residence in the city of Chicago, it's possible they could
qualify to run for Mayor." [Emphasis added]
For more on a potential Rahm candidacy, check out the original -- The Case Against Rahm -- that we published last Thursday.