Thousands are being deported without a chance to appear before an immigration judge.
1994 Year In Review: The year in race, poverty and Chicago politics
Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
It was white male voters who walloped the Democrats in the Nov. 8 election. For the first time since 1955, Republicans control both houses of Congress. Locally, Republicans dominate both houses of the Illinois General Assembly for the first time since 1973.
Yet the middle class revolt of 1994 came amid signs of prosperity: The economy has grown 12.1 percent since April 1991; inflation was just 2.7 percent last year; and the state's unemployment rate is at a 20-year low. Just what do these people want?
Much has been said about how rich and poor fared during the 1980s. But the middle class benefited little from that economic expansion, and many middle-class workers saw their incomes decline.
And things have gotten worse. Between 1989 and 1993, the wages of college graduates fell 1.2 percent. Last year, the economy grew 4 percent, but the median household income dropped 1 percent.
While the poorest have been hit the hardest, now the middle class is feeling some pain, and that's where the votes are.
The Republicans captured their frustration. Until middle class incomes increase, the electorate will be "very volatile," as the experts say.
It was not a good year to propose a tax increase.
The Year in Review
Jan. 16 Jews are "sucking our blood in the black community," Khalid Muhammad said in a Nov. 29, 1993 speech, according to an excerpt published by the Anti-Defamation League in a full-page advertisement in the New York Times. Muhammad, a top aide for the Nation of Islam, also said about Pope John Paul II: "Somebody need to raise that dress up and see what's really under there."
Jan. 23 The Rev. Jesse Jackson condemned Muhammad's speech and called for Minister Louis Farrakhan to respond, in an interview with the Times. Many other black leaders denounced the speech, including Benjamin Chavis, then executive director of the NAACP.
Jan. 24 "They are trying to use my brother Khalid's words against me to divide the house," Farrakhan said. "They want to use some of our brothers, and some of our brothers are willing to be used."
Jan. 24 Alderman Ambrosio Medrano (25th), chairman of the City Council Committee on Housing, scheduled hearings on allegations that scattered-site public housing were concentrated in Latino neighborhoods. Medrano, who had criticized U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez's oversight of scattered sites when he chaired the committee, later canceled the hearings.
Jan. 27 During the night, five Jewish institutions in West Rogers Park were set on fire or vandalized. Three men, ages 17,18 and 20, were charged with arson in connection with the fire at the Chicago Community Kollel Institute for Advanced Torah Studies, 6506 N. California Ave. The blaze caused more than $150,000 in damages. "I never came face to face with something of this sort," said Rabbi Moshe Francis, the school's dean. "I've always heard of anti-Semitic incidents happening in other places, but when you experience it, then you will never forget the pain."
Feb. 1 Police found 19 children alone and "living in squalor" in an apartment at 219 N. Keystone Ave. "Not in Calcutta, in Chicago," President Bill Clinton said later. Six "Keystone" parents were found guilty of child neglect on April 22.
Feb. 2 Muhammad's speech was "vile in manner, repugnant, malicious, mean-spirited and spoken in mockery of individuals and people...," Farrakhan said in announcing Muhammad's firing. "I stand by the truths that he spoke," he added.
Feb. 10 A Cook County Circuit Court judge upheld the firing of former police Commander Jon Burge for "physically abusing" a suspect in a 1982 murder of two police officers. The judge also upheld the 15-month suspensions of two other detectives.
Feb. 14 After the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit, a federal judge barred police sweeps at the Robert Taylor Homes public housing complex. Mayor Richard M. Daley later said, "Why doesn't the ACLU go there and patrol?"
Feb. 27 About 4,000 people attended the Nation of Islam's annual Savior's Day celebration. "If I have to compromise the truth to be your friend, then to hell with your friendship," Farrakhan said.
Feb. 28 Chicago Bulls fans booed Scottie Pippen during an 89-81 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, prompting him to say, "Person- ally, the only thing that's depressing is that in my seven years, I've never seen a white guy get booed in the Stadium."
March 22 Black women are more likely to have low birth-weight babies than white women, even if the women have the same education and income, according to a study by Dr. James Collins of Children's Memorial Hospital. Other studies have shown that genetics is not responsible for the difference. The weight differences may be caused by stress from racism, he said.
March 27 Noting that the budget for the Illinois Department of Transportation was $4.9 billion compared to $672 million for the Department of Corrections, Cook County State's Attorney Jack O' Malley asked, "Where are our priorities?"
April 18 About the proposal to move the city's public housing residents to the suburbs, Daley said: "I mean, that's where the jobs are going. The demographics are changing. Basically, the population is shifting. It's shifting to the suburban area and jobs are in the Northwest suburban corridor. You take these factories-they need to work up there. They can't haul them through buses anymore. Eventually, they're going to have to live there. It's a fact of life." He added: "My father always fought the Gautreaux (scattered site) decision because it only dealt with the city-only poor people in the city. ... It had nothing to do with the metropolitan area."
May 4 Security guards from New Life Inc., a company linked to the Nation of Islam, began patrolling the Rockwell Gardens public housing complex.
May 6 Yielding to community pressure, the Chicago Transit board voted to reopen two Green line stations in predominantly black neighborhoods when the L line renovation is completed in 1996. Community residents protested the CTA's decision to close permanently the West Side Laramie and South Side Harvard stops.
June 1 Riverdale village officials declared June Community Unity Month. In May, eight blacks claimed they were beaten during routine traffic stops by Riverdale police. Officials also announced the formation of an advisory committee to review minority hiring.
June 6 F.H. Paschen Construction Co. agreed to hire eight black construction workers after 40 protesters shut down work on the Roosevelt Road bridge. Police said the demonstrators blocked traffic, but Eddie Read, president of Chicago Black United Communities, said, "Maybe the trucks stopped because they saw a bunch of black people who had an excellent complaint and they were willing to honor that complaint."
June 9 A press conference to release a report by the Mayor's Youth Development Task Force was scheduled to be held near the Cabrini Green housing complex. When activists attended to confront Daley about a lack of community involvement, Daley abruptly did not appear, leaving task force members to confront angry protesters, including community activist Marion Stamps. "I am not a big chicken," the mayor said later.
June 14 Chicago Housing Authority Chairman Vincent Lane announced a plan to privatize public housing in 10 years. "It's a continuation of trying to get government out of the housing business because I think we screw it up."
June 17 President Clinton endorsed Lane's proposal to demolish CHA high rises.
June 21 The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued CHA benefits director John D. Lauer over pension fund losses totaling more than $17 million. Two days later, Lane disclosed that the agency's inspector general had discovered up to $15 million wasteful and corrupt practices by the agency's purchasing department, police and outside security firms. "I can't set the moral tone for employees," Lane said.
June 22 By a 14-3 vote, the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved construction of a new Cook County Hospital.
June 28 Mayor Daley criticized the Clinton administration's health care reform proposal, saying, "The key is jobs. ... If you have universal health care coverage, does that mean employers lay more people off?" Daley added that more important issues were being neglected. "What happened to welfare reform?" he asked. Congress "passed a crime bill a couple of months ago, and it seems like they went to Korea or something. I can't figure this out," he said.
July 11 Chicago Board of Education officials disclosed that the board would have a $50 million surplus at the end of the school year. Board member Ashish Sen said the surplus should be applied to the 1995 deficit, expected to be $290 million. "We need to have the opportunity to show prudence and that we can meet the General Assembly halfway." But board President D. Sharon Grant said, "There's nothing this system can do that does not aggravate legislators."
July 12 The Illinois General Assembly ended its session, approving Gov. Jim Edgar's plan to reform the state's Medicaid system by adopting a managed-care program.
July 19 The Chicago Urban League announced that it had won $544,000 in contracts from the city and the CTA to recruit minority workers for the Green Line renovation and other city projects. The contracts called for the league to subcontract some of the recruiting to four groups, including 21st Century VOTE, which would have received about $40,000.
July 22 Five minorities were among the 114 Chicago police officers promoted to sergeant. Defending the exam used to select the officers, Daley said, "I flunked the bar exam twice. I had to keep studying harder and harder and harder. I passed it the third time."
U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush said the test was biased: "Daley may not feel a moral responsibility to eliminate discrimination but he has a legal obligation to do so."
Former Southwest Side Alderman John Madrzyk (13th) said, "I've heard some minorities, blacks specifically, saying, 'We need black officers in black areas.' Then let's gerrymander the police districts like we did the congressional map and put all the black officers in black areas, all Hispanics in Hispanic areas and all whites in white areas and everybody would be happy."
Aug. 2 While Daley criticized the role of 21st Century VOTE in the Urban League contract, the mayor's forces on the City Council Finance Committee approved it. Several black aldermen left the committee meeting before the vote was taken, leaving Aldermen Toni Preckwinkle (4th) and Larry Bloom (5th) to oppose the contract. Seven white aldermen voted in favor.
Aug. 3 At the City Council meeting to approve the Urban League contract, Daley forces switched sides and supported an amendment that barred 21st Century VOTE's participation. Bloom, who introduced the measure, said, "I'm doing their dirty work for them."
Aug. 11 U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds said the Chicago police and state's attorney's office were investigating whether he had a sexual relationship with a minor in 1992. Reynolds, who defeated former Rep. Gus Savage in the 1992 2nd District Democratic primary, said, "This (investigation) illustrates ... if you are an African-American male you are always vulnerable. ... If I were a white congressman with the same background, would this have happened? I think not."
Aug. 13 The Police and Fire Committee of the City Council held hearings on the sergeant's exam. Committee chairman Alderman William M. Beavers (7th) told Pat Hill, president of the
African American Police League: "While you are here talking, you need to be having an injunction filed if you want to get some remedy. You didn't have nothing until you came here and what you get from here you can take it and file a lawsuit."
Sept. 12 Parents of about 100 children attending the predominantly Latino Richard J. Daley Elementary School, 5017 S. Hermitage Ave., began a 16-day boycott of classes, refusing to have their children bused to another school in Englewood, 26 blocks away, because of crime.
Sept.15 After a $4 million renovation, the Dickson Mounds Museum in downstate Lewistown reopened, without a controversial display of the remains of 237 Native Americans.
Sept. 19 Public housing officials reduce the number of scattered-site units proposed in predominantly Latino Northwest Side neighborhoods from 734 to 624.
Sept. 21 Nearly 200 black and Latino Chicago police officers who were passed over for promotion to sergeant filed a federal lawsuit, alleging that the city's promotion policy is discriminatory.
Oct. 6 During a meeting with the editorial board of the suburban Daily Herald, State Senate President James "Pate" Philip, a Wood Dale Republican, blamed a caseworker for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services for improperly handling the Keystone Avenue case. "Of course, she was a minority," he said. "Her boss was a minority. It's probably a terrible thing to say, but I'll say it: Some of them do not have the work ethic that we have. Secondly, they don't tend to turn on their fellow minorities. I don't know what you do about that, but it's kind of a way of life."
Oct. 10 "I don't think there is a need to apologize," Philip said. "I reported what people who worked in the department said. I reported it as how it was told to me by employees." He added: "If we had as much heat on this caseworker as they had on me, then maybe something would have been done about those poor kids."
Oct. 11 Leaders of Chicago's Mexican American community met to discuss how to increase their community's influence. "The Latino coalition isn't working for Mexicans," read a letter circulated by meeting organizers.
Nov. 28 Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe, a West Rogers Park synagogue, observed Hanukkah in a new temple, one year after their original synagogue was destroyed by arsonists. "Anti-Semites have tried to destroy us, and we overcame that, and built bigger and better," said Rabbi Shmuel Notik, the congregation's executive director.
Dec. 20 U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun endorsed Daley for re-election. "I'm speechless. It blows my mind," activist Lu Palmer said.
Election Year 1994
"Grab your life vest and life raft." –"Alderman Edward M. Burke
"There's not a dime's worth of difference between the Republicans' policy and Daley's policies on crime, jobs, education and economic development." –"U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush
"I don't think the people of Chicago have anything to fear." –"Gov. Jim Edgar
"Give us two years, we'll show you that it's good news for the city of Chicago." –"Incoming Speaker of the House Lee A. Daniels, an Elmhurst Republican
A Republican for Mayor
Republican candidate Nino Noriega, describing a dinner in which he claimed opponent Larry Horist asked him to withdraw: "He is a white supremacist. That I deduced from the conversation we had. I picked up the tab and walked out."
Five candidates will run in the Feb. 28 Republican mayoral primary, the most since 1931, when a Republican was mayor.
"I don't think she helped our cause. I didn't support her in the primary." New Minority Leader Michael J. Madigan, who was ousted as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dawn Clark Netsch. Netsch became the first woman to win an Illinois gubernatorial primary, and then lost to Gov. Jim Edgar in one of the most lopsided races in state history.
Jan. 22 Jacqueline B. Vaughn, 58, president of the Chicago Teachers Union from 1984 until her death.
July 12 Rev. George "Ed" Riddick, 61, pastor of Blackwell Memorial AME Zion Church and senior vice president of Operation PUSH.
Aug. 16 Cecil A. Partee, 73, member of the General Assembly from 1957 to 1977. He was the first black to be Senate president. Appointed Cook County state's attorney in 1989, he was defeated in a 1990 special election.
Oct. 11 Samir Odeh, 43, co-founder and executive director of the Arab Community Center on the Southwest Side.
Nov. 24 Clotee McInnis, 72, Cabrini Green activist.
Dec. 27 Marjorie Stewart Joyner, 98, businesswoman and a co-founder of the Bud Billiken Parade.
--Illustrations by Jim Flynn. Written by Tom Corfman, with research by Mary Abowd, Jody E. Campbell, Danielle Gordon and Michel Schwartz, using articles from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.