Thursday, November 12, 2015

LSEA Meets Tuesday November 17 6:30 pm at 2837 W. Armitage

The next general meeting of the LSEA will be:

Tuesday, November 17th at 6:30pm.  
2837 W. Armitage (new location for St. Luke’s Logan Square)

We’ll continue planning for the 3rd annual “Las Posadas” event (to be held on Sunday, December 13th at 1:30pm).

Please join us!

Related posts

Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance plans for October, November, and December (2014) will focus on our housing advocacy, culminating with posada events in December.

(See Looking Ahead: Posada Planning for December )

On the heels of a December 10, 2013, community meeting that brought over 400 people out to demand an immediate opening of unused units to people in need of housing, on Saturday a coalition of churches, community organizations, and residents associations will hold a holiday Posada -- a Latin American traditional re-enactment of the search by the parents of Jesus for hospitality -- that does double-duty dramatizing the plight of people left in the cold by Chicago housing policies.

(See POSADA 2013: Is there room at the inn at the CHA’s Lathrop Homes? on the Remedy for Violence website.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

IMPORTANT MEETING: LSNA Housing and Land Use Committee - June 9

Logan Square neighborhood in Chicago

The Housing Committee of LSNA (Logan Square Neighborhood Association) meets Tuesday, June 9, at 6:30 pm at the St. Sylvester Rectory, 2915 W. Palmer.

The agenda is likely to include:

* engaging LSNA members in our Bloomingdale corridor stability campaign this summer and beyond

* next steps toward a stronger local policy for affordable set-side units in new developments

* one next step in our Lathrop Homes campaign

* some ideas for growing our committee & increasing our effectiveness.

Please email us to confirm your participation! Thanks!

John McDermott

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

LSEA Monthly Meeting - June 2015

Look at all the beautiful, justice-minded people
coming together via the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance
to organize on behalf of the common good in our community in May!

Members of Kimball Avenue Church, Humboldt Park United Methodist, San Lucas UCC, and St. Luke's Logan Square came together in May for food, fellowship, and to continue the work of the Logan Square Ecumencial Alliance.

More to come in June!

NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 -- 6:30 p.m. -- at Nuestra Señora de las Americas (Logan Blvd. & Francisco).

Thursday, April 16, 2015

LSEA Joins #Fightfor15 on April 15 in Chicago

Following on our Palm Sunday action ("Palm Sunday 2015: "We Who Are Many Are One: From the Lord's Table to Every Table"), members of Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance joined with other ARISE Chicago participants and allied organizations to join in the #Fightfor15 march on April 15, 2015.

The protest in Chicago was one of hundreds of actions demanding fair wages for low-wage workers, held throughout the US and worldwide.

See "Thousands Shut Down The Loop In Largest Ever Fight For 15 Demonstration" in Chicagoist.

Here are some pictures of the day in Chicago:

Thousands mustered on the UIC quad on a perfect spring day.
Buses brought participants from neighborhoods throughout the city.

The Dignidad Statue

The ARISE Chicago contingent joins the march. (The top of the
Willis Tower -- near the march destination -- can be seen in the distance.)

The march on Jackson was massive and joyous.

It was exciting to see the #Fightfor15 signs against the backdrop of the
Chicago Board of Trade at LaSalle and Jackson - "headquarters" of the
Occupy Chicago protests several years ago.

Fittingly, the closing rally took place alongside the McDonald's in the
courtyard next to the Chicago Board of Trade at LaSalle and Jackson.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Palm Sunday 2015: "We Who Are Many Are One: From the Lord's Table to Every Table"

Pastors and parishioners Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance congregations
taking the "Fight for 15" message to the Logan Square Memorial on Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday -- March 29, 2015 -- following weeks of preparation by means of devotions and discussions by member congregations of the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance, in close collaboration with ARISE Chicago, LSEA held its 4th annual Palm Sunday public witness for justice. (Links to previous years' events are provided below.)

Following worship services at their respective churches, the congregations braved light rain, wind, and dropping temperatures, in order to process through the neighbor and converge on the Logan Square Monument.

Fight for 15 -- Lucha Por 15

There was a joint service of Holy Communion (see full text of service in English and service in Spanish is provided below), including testimony from local workers.


The group then marched the short distance to the Logan Square McDonald's, carrying "Fight for 15" signs and banners, and singing.

MARCH-ing in the light of God . . . !

In the Logan Square McDonald's

When they reached the McDonald's store, they marched around and then into the store, where the pastors read from a letter to the company: "As people of faith, we know that the workers’ struggle for raising their wages to $15/hour is just, that the struggle for collective bargaining rights in the workplace is righteous. We are here to show that no person should have to live in poverty, and that we must work together to ensure everyone has a seat at the table of God’s abundance." (See full text of letter below.)

The assembled group committed to participate in the "Fight for 15" global day of action on April 15, 2015.

See Chicago Tribune:  "Churchgoers urging higher minimum wage march into Logan Square McDonald's"

See The New York Times: "Movement to Increase McDonald’s Minimum Wage Broadens Its Tactics"

See Progress Illinois: "Fight For $15 Movement Calls For 'Fast' From Fast Food Restaurants Over Safety, Wages"

Lots more photos of the day by Frank James Johnson in this Facebook album.

In the Logan Square McDonald's

Letter delivered by LSEA pastor to McDonald's - March 29, 2015 (Palm Sunday)

McDonald’s Store
2707 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647

To whom it may concern,

We are here as pastors representing the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance (LSEA) and the affiliated congregations. LSEA is a group of social action-oriented congregations and organizations in the Logan Square area. We are members of this neighborhood and want what is best for all people here. This Palm Sunday, we are marching, praying and singing to call to light the inequality that exists in our neighborhood, state, country and world. We are not here against you, for we know the pressure you are under every day to cut costs, but we are here standing with workers in their struggle against the corporate model of business that forces so many into poverty. As people of faith, we know that the workers’ struggle for raising their wages to $15/hour is just, that the struggle for collective bargaining rights in the workplace is righteous. We are here to show that no person should have to live in poverty, and that we must work together to ensure everyone has a seat at the table of God’s abundance.

We hope you will join us and so many others in living out our faith as people created in the image of God.

Know that our prayers are with you always.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Paula Cripps-Vallejo
Humboldt Park United Methodist Church

Rev. Liz Muñoz
Nuestra Señora De Las Americas

Rev. Erik Christensen
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square

Rev. Bruce Ray
Kimball Avenue Church

Rev. Marilyn-Pagán Banks
San Lucas United Church of Christ

Pastor Andrew Rindfleisch
San Lucas United Church of Christ


March 29, 2015

Having gathered for worship in their separate locations, participating congregations willdepart from their various sanctuaries following the sermon and collection of the offering.

Each congregation will process from their starting place to the Logan Square Monumentcarrying bread and wine (or grape juice), any special offerings collected to supportARISE Chicago/Interfaith Worker Justice, palm branches and other signs.

Congregation will plan to arrive at the monument as near to 11:30am as possible. As congregations arrive, song leaders will invite newcomers to join in simple songs andchants in English and Spanish.

Once all the congregations have arrived, the service will continue with a blessing of thegifts of those who have labored to bring food to our common table, those whose labor is undervalued, along with the elements of bread and wine.


God feeds us with the presence of Jesus Christ.


After the table is set, the assisting minister may lead the following prayer.

A Let us pray.

Holy God, we give thanks for your saving love made known to us in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Bless these gifts that they may bring life on earth as in heaven; in Christ’s name we pray.




P Dear friends, we are going to Jerusalem with Jesus.
C He is our pardon, our healing, and our peace!
P We will suffer the trial with him, resisting evil.
C With him, we will walk the path to life.
P But come first to the table where there is food for the journey.
C With hearts full of joy we come,
P Giving thanks to God, our maker and offering our praise!


We are right to praise you, faithful God!
You answer sin with grace;
you guide our wayward steps toward home.
You are mending for the broken,
safety for the poor, belonging for the outcast,
strength for the weak, and pardon for the sinner.
You reveal your kindness in every sorrow,
your mercy even in death.
All your creatures see your works;
they sing your steadfast love.
We too declare your wonder and graceas with angels and saints we sing:


Holy, holy, holy, Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.


Now, O God, we remember Jesus.

A brief silence.

P He fasted and prayed; he was tempted and tried.
C He relied on you for everything.
P He was obedient to you and scorned by the powers of this world.
C He confounded the haughty and gave hope to the humble.
P He was betrayed and deserted.
He died between thieves and was buried in a borrowed grave.
C You gave him new life. He lives even now, our healer and friend.
P He loved us well, loved us to the end, and loves us still.
C Even on the night of betrayal, he ate supper with his friends.

P On the night before he died for us,
Our Savior Jesus Christ took bread,
and when he had given thanks to you,
he broke it, and gave it to his friends, and said:
“Take, eat: This is my Body which is given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.”
As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine,
and when he had given thanks,
he gave it to them, and said:
“Drink this, all of you:
This is my Blood of the new Covenant,
which is poured out for you and for allfor the forgiveness of sins.
Whenever you drink it,
do this for the remembrance of me.”

P Holy Spirit, come! Make all things new.
C Bless this bread which you have givenand human hands have made.
P Let it become for us the bread of life.
C Bless also this cup, fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
P Let it become for us the cup of salvation.
C Bless us also who eat and drink,
that in this sharing we may know the living Christwho is with us now, and to the end of the age.

P Nourish us by these gifts to be willing servants of your worlduntil the new age [or, kingdom] comes, and every creature beholds it.

We pray in the name of Jesus, who taught us to say:


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.


P We break this bread to share in the Body of Christ.
C We who are many are one body, for we all share in the one bread.


When giving the bread and cup, the communion ministers say

The body of Christ, given for you.
The blood of Christ, shed for you.

and each person may respond


The ministers commune either after or before others commune.



P Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace"
C Amen.


The assisting minister leads with the following prayer after communion.

A Let us give thanks!

C Thank you, merciful God,
for gladness in this bread and cup,
for love that cannot die,
for peace the world cannot give,
for joy in the company of friends,
for the splendors of creation,
and for the mission of justice
you have made our own.
Give us the gifts of this holy communion —
oneness of heart, love for neighbors,
forgiveness of enemies,
the will to serve you every day,
and life that never ends.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.


Testimony by fast food workers and staff from ARISE Chicago.



Habiéndose reunido para el culto en sus santuarios separados, las congregaciones participantes saldrán después del sermón y de recoger la ofrenda. Cada congregación iráen procesión de su templo hasta el Monumento de Logan Square llevando pan y vino(o jugo de uva), las ofrendas especiales recopilados para apoyar ARISE Chicago / Interfaith Worker Justice, ramas de palmas y otros signos.

Las congregaciones han acordado llegar al pie del monumento a las 11:30 AM, o lomas cerca posible. A medida que lleguen las congregaciones, los líderes de cantos invitarán
a los recién llegados a unirse en canciones simples y cantos en inglés y español.

Una vez que todas las congregaciones hayan llegado, el servicio continuará con unabendición de los dones de aquellos que han trabajado para traer alimentos a la mesacomún, aquellos cuyo trabajo está menospreciado, junto con los elementos del pan y vino.


Dios nos alimenta con la presencia de Jesucristo.


Puesta la mesa, el ministro asistente puede comenzar con la siguiente oración:

Santo Dios , te damos gracias por tu amor salvífico, dado a conocer en la vida, muerte y resurrección de Cristo. Bendice estos dones aque puedan traer vida en la tierra como en el cielo; en nombre deCristo oramos.



P Queridos amigos, nos vamos a Jerusalén con Jesús.
C ¡Él es nuestro perdón, nuestra sanidad, y nuestra paz!
P Sufriremos la tribulación con él, resistiendo al mal.
C Con él, caminaremos por el sendero de la vida.
P Pero primero vengan a la mesa donde hay comida para el viaje.
C Con corazones llenos de alegria venimos.
P Dando gracias a Dios, nuestro creador, y ofreciéndole nuestras alabanzas.


¡Es justo alabarte, Dios fiel!
Tu respondiste al pecado con la gracia;
guías nuestros pasos descarriados de regreso a casa.
Tu eres restauración para los quebrantados,
seguridad para los pobres, refugio para los marginados,
fuerza para los débiles, y perdón para los pecadores.
Tú revelas tu bondad en cada pena,
Tú nos demuestras misericordia incluso en la muerte.
Todas tus criaturas ven tu obras;
cantan de tu amor incesable.
También nosotros declaramos tus maravillas y tu graciaasí con ángeles y santos cantamos:


Santo, santo, santo es el Señor, Dios del universo.
Llenos están el cielo y la tierra de tu gloria.
Hosanna en el cielo.
Bendito el que viene en nombre del Señor.
Hosanna en el cielo


Ahora, O Dios, recordamos a Jesús.

Silencio breve

P Él ayunó y oró; fue tentado y probado.
C Confió en ti para todo.
P Él fue obediente a ti y despreciado por los poderes de este mundo.
C Confundió los altivos y dio esperanza a los humildes.
P Fue traicionado y abandonado.
Murió entre ladrones y fue enterrado en una tumba prestada.
C Tu le diste vida nueva. Él vive ahora, nuestro sanador y amigo.
P Él nos amó completamente, nos amó hasta el fin, y nos ama todavía
C Incluso en la noche que fue traicionado, cenó con sus amigos.

P En la víspera de su muerte por nosotros,
nuestro Señor Jesucristo tomó pan;
y dándote gracias, lo partió,
y lo dio a la comunidad amada y dijo:
“Tomen y coman. Este es mi Cuerpo, entregado por ustedes.
Hagan esto como memorial mío”.
Después de la cena Jesus tomó el cáliz;
y dándote gracias,
se lo entregó, y dijo:
“Beban todos de él:
Esta es mi Sangre del nuevo Pacto,
sangre derramada por ustedes y por todospara el perdón de los pecados.
siempre que lo beban,
háganlo como memorial mío”

P Espíritu Santo, ven, haz nuevas todas las cosas!
C Bendice este pan que tú nos has dado,
y que manos humanas han preparado.
P Que sea para nosotros el pan de vida.
C Bendice también esta copa, fruto de la vid
y de la obra de manos humanas.
P Que sea para nosotros el cáliz de salvación.
C Bendícenos también, que al compartir esta Eucaristía
podamos conocer a Cristo vivo que está con nosotros
ahora, y hasta el final de los tiempos.
P Aliméntanos de estos dones para ser tus fieles servidoreshasta que venga tu reino y toda criatura lo pueda contemplar.

Oramos en nombre de Jesus, que nos enseño a decir:


Padre nuestro, que estás en el cielo,
santificado sea tu Nombre,
venga tu reino,
hágase tu voluntad,
en la tierra como en el cielo.
Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día.
Perdona nuestras ofensas,
como también nosotros perdonamos
a los que nos ofenden.
No nos dejes caer en tentación
y líbranos del mal.
Porque tuyo es el reino,
tuyo es el poder,
y tuya es la gloria,
ahora y por siempre. Amén


P Partimos este pan para compartir el Cuerpo de Cristo.
C Nosotros, que somos muchos, somos un cuerpo,
pues todos participamos de aquel mismo pan.


Repartiendo el pan y ofreciendo el cáliz, los ministros de comunión dicen:

El cuerpo de Cristo, dado por ti.
La sangre the Cristo, derramada por ti.

Y cada persona puede responder con


Los ministros toman comunión antes o después del pueblo que comulga.



P Ahora, Señor, deja que tus siervos vayan en paz.
C Amén.


El ministro asistente dirige la siguiente oración:

A ¡Demos gracias!

C Te damos gracias, Dios misericordioso,
por la alegría en este pan y copa,
por el amor que no puede morir,
por la paz que este mundo no puede brindar,
por la alegría en la compañía de amigos y amigas
por el esplendor de la creación,
y por la misión de la justicia
que nos has encomendado.
Danos los dones de esta Santa Comunión:
unidad de corazón, amor por los vecinos,
perdón a los enemigos,
la voluntad de servirte cada día,
y la vida que nunca termina.
En el nombre de Jesús oramos. Amén .

El Envío:

Testimonio de trabajadores de comida rapida y personal de ARISE Chicago

Related posts

Think back on everything that has happened in the last year. Is it time for things to quiet down? To have a "nice" spring? To sit back and be entertained by the usual presidential campaign circus?

(See Occupy Palm Sunday in 2016)

Previous LSEA Palm Sunday events

Palm Sunday 2012:
Occupy Palm Sunday!
Palm Sunday 2013:
Remedy for Violence

Palm Sunday 2014
What do we want? SALVATION! When do we want it? NOW!

Poster Art: Andrew Willis

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Training the Next Wave of Justice Advocates: "Confronting Pharaoh" with CRS and LSEA

Marc Chagall, Moses and Aaron Before Pharaoh
The Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance (LSEA) is teaming with Community Renewal Society (CRS) to bring training to budding social justice activists in the Logan Square community.

The CRS "Confronting Pharaoh" sessions "train congregations to fight for justice . . . and win!"

Two trainings have been scheduled:

Part 1: Saturday, March 14, 2015 (REVISED)
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square
2649 N Francisco Avenue

Part 2: Saturday, April 18, 2015
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square
2649 N Francisco Avenue

Cost is free for members of Community Renewal Society member congregations; $30 per person otherwise. (Questions about CRS membership? Please contact Maria Torres (224) 241-1096

In these two training sessions, participants will:

* Reflect on what the scripture call to "do justice" means for your community.

* Learn more about how your church's ministries affect the world -- and how to make a deeper impact.

* Understand power and what it takes to make real change.

* Build relationships with other leaders ready to take action.

* Create strong teams to act together and create change.

* Identify and develop new leaders in your church.

* Learn to identify the most vital issues affecting your neighborhood.

* Move your congregation into public action to speak truth to power.

Want to tackle the injustices in our communities -- poverty, racism, and education inequality --but not sure how? Attend CRS' JUSTICE TRAINING!

About CRS: "Community Renewal Society is a progressive, faith-based organization that works to eliminate race and class barriers. Founded in 1882, Community Renewal informs, organizes and trains both communities and individuals to advocate for social and economic justice." (More at )

Friday, February 27, 2015

Lent and Palm Sunday 2015: Worker Justice in Logan Square

Sadao Watanabe, "Cleansing the Temple"
Members of the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance plan three events leading up to and including Palm Sunday, 2015:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 -- 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
But What Will We Choose
Location: Ñuestra Señora De Las Americas, 2900 W Logan Boulevard

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 -- 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
The 10 Commandments & Fight for 15
Location: San Lucas United Church of Christ, 2914 West North

Wednesday, March 11 2015 -- 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Luke 18:1-8
The Parable of the Unrelenting Activist
Location: Ñuestra Señora De Las Americas, 2900 W Logan Boulevard

* ALSO: March 11 is the "Day of Action Against the Rauner Budget" - Join other justice activists in a bus trip to Springfield (6 am - 7 pm - breakfast and lunch provided). For transportation to Springfield contact: )

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 -- 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Matthew 20 & Worker Solidarity
Location: San Lucas United Church of Christ, 2914 West North

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 -- 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
The Way of the Cross and Worker Justice
LocationHumboldt Park United Methodist Church, 2120 N Mozart

Sunday, March 29, 2015 -- 11:30 a.m.
Palm Sunday witness for worker justice
Location: Logan Square monument ("the eagle")

LSEA is teaming with ARISE, a Chicago faith-based advocacy organization working to eliminate wage theft and push for passage of living wages for low income workers

LSEA member congregation Kimball Avenue Church will have a "Lenten Compact" entitled "Not Lovin' It: Fast Food Fast for Worker Justice." Throughout March, 5% of Sunday offerings at Kimball Avenue Church will be donated to ARISE.

LSEA member congregation St. Luke's Logan Square will collect it's monthly Justice Offering on March 8 on behalf of ARISE.

Other speakers and bible study leaders: West Side Health Authority, Rev. Liz Muñoz of Ñuestra Señora, Rev. Marilyn Pagan-Banks and Pastor Drew Rindfleisch of San Lucas UCC.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

LSEA supports Parents for Peace & Justice

February 8 - Community gathering with Parents for Peace & Justice
HPUM pastor Rev. Paula Cripps-Vallejo and other community leaders.

Rev. Paula Cripps-Vallejo, pastor of LSEA member congregation Humboldt Park United Methodist, writes:

"On Sunday evening (February 8th) I was honored to gather with Parents for Peace & Justice (parents whose children have fallen victim to senseless violence here in Chicago), interfaith leaders from throughout Chicago, the District 14 Police Commissioner, and other amazing community folks. We are working together for reforms in education, an end to poverty and racism, and all the root causes of the violence that plagues our city. Keep us in your prayers and walk with us!"

More photos and comments on Facebook.

Related posts

Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance's second annual Palm Sunday gathering, in 2013, was focused on all the ways we can work for justice and against violence in our community.

(See Photo Gallery: Palm Sunday 2013 - "I Will Be a Remedy for Violence!")

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Upcoming events on Community-Police Relations

Members of LSEA will be attending upcoming events, and will provide updates and propose follow-on action at our March meeting.

Saturday, February 7, 2015 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - UIC
Racism, Police Violence, and Health "Teach In"

Sunday, February 8, 2015 - 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. - Carpenter's House
United Against Violence , One People One Voice!

Saturday, February 14, 2015 - 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. - Chicago Temple
Rally for Reparations: A People's Hearing

QUESTION: A Central Community Worship Space in Logan Square

Partial street map, Logan Square, Chicago

At our February 3, 2015, meeting, LSEA raised the question:

"Would it be desirable to have a central community worship space in Logan Square"?

We will take this question up in meetings and other fora in the coming year.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

LSEA Supports Proposed "Keeping the Promise" Ordinance

At our monthly meeting on January 13, 2015, LSEA leaders affirmed their support for the proposed "Keeping the Promise" ordinance, and committed to participate in a press conference scheduled for 9 a.m., Wednesday January 21, 2015, on the second floor of Chicago City Hall.

LSEA member congregations are encouraged to turn out support for this important press conference.

About the "Keeping the Promise" Ordinance

(From the Chicago Housing Initiative website) "The Keeping the Promise Ordinance urges Chicago’s City Council to step in to end the abuses allowed under CHA’s federal de-regulation agreement. . . . According to CHA’s latest financial report (FY2012), the Chicago Housing Authority is sitting on surplus cash of more than $432 million. (To put that in perspective, CHA’s cash stockpile is larger than the whole City of Chicago’s budget deficit for 2014.) . . . The CHA has accumulated this cash surplus by deciding to circulate 13,500 fewer housing vouchers than HUD has funded CHA to provide annually."

Read full details of the the "Keeping the Promise" Ordinance on the website of the Chicago Housing Initiative.

MEDIA ADVISORY - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Residents from the Lathrop Homes and Altgeld Gardens open today's
Chicago Housing Initiative press conference with chants, outlining
the devastation created by the CHA's 'Plan of Transformation', saying
"this will change, by us, for us. Because housing is a human right!"
Mayor, it's time to hold CHA accountable: 
Pass the #KeepingThePromise Ordinance!

For more information:

Leah Levinger, Chicago Housing Initiative

Aldermen urge swift action to stop cold-related deaths, make housing available

On eve of Chicago's annual count of the homeless, City Council members demand hearing on an ordinance that could help thousands access housing with the Chicago Housing Authority; Proposed ordinance would create a local accountability mechanism for CHA

WHO: Public housing residents and community leaders -- and a diverse group of Aldermen including: Joe Moreno (1st), Roderick Sawyer (6th), Ricardo Munoz (22nd), Roberto Maldonado (26th), Ariel Reboyras (30th), Scott Waguespack (32nd) and Deborah Mell (33rd).

WHAT: Aldermen urge hearing on Keeping the Promise Ordinance, on eve of annual homeless count

WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, 9:30 am sharp

WHERE: City Hall, 121 S. LaSalle, 2nd Floor


* 100 people in T-shirts that read "Housing Justice Voter" and “Keep the Promise"
* Large signs with pictures of families on the CHA's waiting list


CHICAGO – January 21, 2015. On the eve of the City’s annual count of the homeless, City Council members will urge Alderman Ray Suarez, Chair of the City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel to call a hearing on the Keeping the Promise Ordinance, which would help over 10,000 more low-income families access affordable housing with the Chicago Housing Authority, at no cost to the City’s budget.

In the wake of recent cold-related deaths of the homeless and extreme weather conditions, Aldermen across the City are growing increasingly anxious about what the upcoming, Jan. 22nd “snapshot” of Chicago’s homeless population will reveal. Last year’s Point-In-Time homeless count revealed nearly 1,000 homeless individuals sleeping on the streets, despite frostbite and hypothermia warnings in place throughout the mid-January overnight count.

Aldermanic support for reform of the Chicago Housing Authority has grown after a Report issued in July by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (CTBA) revealed that the Chicago Housing Authority failed to issue an average of 13,500 available housing vouchers each year over the last five years, instead stockpiling over $432 million in surplus cash between FY2008 and FY2012. The Keeping the Promise Ordinance would increase City Council’s oversight of the CHA, to ensure available funds are used in an efficient and timely manner to help the greatest number of families. At least 15,900 of the families who applied for CHA assistance during the November waitlist lottery are homeless.

Alderman Joe Moreno, the lead sponsor of the Keeping the Promise Ordinance states, “Tomorrow, volunteers across the City will help count the homeless men, women, and children who are sleeping on the streets of Chicago right now. But let’s not just count them, let’s house them! Helping these individuals --- saving their lives---- is within our power as a city, but we can’t do it without getting the Chicago Housing Authority running in a better way. My colleagues and I are committed to that. We are demanding Alderman Suarez hold an immediate Hearing on the Keeping the Promise Ordinance to move this important legislation forward.”

See Chicago Sun-Times, January 21, 2015: "Activists: Use $440 million surplus to ease homelessness" by Fran Spielman.

Related posts

2014 Las Posadas procession at Lathrop Homes
Event in support of affordable housing.
Rev. Erik Christensen, pastor at St. Luke's Logan Square,
leads the singing along Clybourne Avenue.
(Photo courtesy Jeff Lucas)

On the heels of a December 10, 2013, community meeting that brought over 400 people out to demand an immediate opening of unused units to people in need of housing, on Saturday a coalition of churches, community organizations, and residents associations will hold a holiday Posada -- a Latin American traditional re-enactment of the search by the parents of Jesus for hospitality -- that does double-duty dramatizing the plight of people left in the cold by Chicago housing policies.

(See POSADA 2013: Is there room at the inn at the CHA’s Lathrop Homes? on the Remedy for Violence website.)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance (LSEA) -- Christ is alive in Logan Square and Chicago!

Eagle monument in Logan Square, Chicago
The Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance (LSEA) was founded by a group of Logan Square churches in 2012. The initial impetus was a public witness on Palm Sunday 2013 -- "Occupy Palm Sunday!" -- organized by First Lutheran Church, Humboldt Park United Methodist, Kimball Avenue Church, and St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square. LSEA built upon discussions that had been ongoing over a period of years among leaders at these churches about finding ways to work together in the Logan Square Community. 

2013 was a year in which LSEA solidified itself, and in 2014 LSEA really began to thrive.

Regularity and Participation - Continuing a practice we established in 2013, we continued regular monthly meetings (graciously hosted by the Alliance of Local Service Organizations (ALSO) -- which focuses on violence prevention -- at 2401 W. North). By the end of 2014, we recognized a need to expand the monthly meeting to two hours. We have observed that this enables us to work efficiently, and to welcome new participants smoothly into our activities. We saw a substantial number of congregations and organizations participate in 2014 that had not participated in 2013.

In the second half of 2014, we held a "connecting and fellowship" event specifically designed to invite more lay members into participation in LSEA. We plan more activities of this type in 2015, beginning with training to be provided in collaboration with Community Renewal Society (CRS) in February and March.

A goal for 2015 is to even more effectively provide for the participation of a larger circle -- both in terms of number of congregations, and number of participants from each congregation.

Las Posadas procession at Lathrop Homes
Rev. Erik Christensen, pastor at St. Luke's Logan Square,
leads the singing along Clybourne Avenue.
(Photo courtesy Jeff Lucas)
What We Do Well: Public Witness Together - Already by the end of 2013, we were recognizing the special contribution we, as congregations, can make by providing public witness around important social issues. The "Las Posadas" event for housing justice we led in December 2013 helped crystallize this recognition; in December, 2014, we held our 2nd annual "Las Posadas" event for housing justice.
Other public witness by LSEA in 2014 included our 3rd annual public witness on Palm Sunday (focusing on housing justice), as well as several additional events related to housing justice in Logan Square, and a memorial for a member of our community, Ernesto Garcia.

A goal (and a challenge) for 2014 will be: as a larger number of congregations participate in LSEA, we will need to discern the best ways to build on the ideas about public witness that have already begun to take hold within LSEA, as well as be open to new ways of doing this work together.

Logan Square Gentrification Series / Serie de Gentrificacion
Listening to the Neighborhood: Housing Justice and Gentrification - The issues of housing justice and gentrification were already important issues for LSEA in 2013; in 2014 these issues became only more pressing. As indicated above, a great deal of our attention and energy was directed to these issues. Already in January, 2015, we are pleased to be collaborating with the organization Somos Logan Square on a 4-part series of events to educate the public about gentrification.
At the same time we are attentive to a wide range of concerns in our neighborhood, city, region, and country. For instance, in 2014 we sponsored an event in Chicago by a Michigan social justice activist, Rev. Edward Pinckney.

Issue focus continues to be a high priority. We recognize that a degree of focus is essential in enabling us to act effectively.

Listening to Each Other: Being Church Together in Logan Square - As our circle of participants has grown, we have become more and more intentional about making space to listen to each other's stories. We recognize that we are engaged in a joint enterprise, and we are finding more and more ways to be attentive to the true needs as well as the real possibilities of all of our congregations here in Logan Square!

We rejoice in the opportunity to continue proclaiming together in 2015: Christ is alive in Logan Square and Chicago!