Thousands are being deported without a chance to appear before an immigration judge.
The 15th Ward: Daley Support Slips as Demographics Shift
Much has changed in this Southwest Side neighborhood since then. Black and Latino families moved into homes and apartments left behind by whites. But Kulys stayed, and says it doesn't bother him that most of the residents who walk along West 69th Street, between Western and California avenues–"known as Lithuanian Plaza–"are African American.
Those demographic shifts may reveal part of the reason why Mayor Richard M. Daley hasn't gained many fans here. In fact, the 15th Ward is the only black ward in which Daley's vote totals declined between the 1989 and 1995 Democratic primaries.
The precincts just east of Marquette Park, which had no black residents in 1980, tell the story. Daley earned an average of 81 percent of the votes here in 1989. In 1990, the neighborhood, which includes parts of Chicago Lawn and West Lawn, was about 41 percent white, 39 percent black and 18 percent Latino.
By 1997, the population was 19 percent white, 53 percent black and 26 percent Latino, according to census projections by Claritas Inc., an Ithaca, N.Y.-based market research firm. In 1995, Daley's share of the vote dropped to 45 percent.
Juanda Brown said she understands why. Though she served as club president for the 6900 block of South Rockwell Street in the early –˜90s, Brown, an African American, said she now plans to move. Residents of all races no longer keep up the neighborhood, she said, and Daley could have stopped that from happening.
"We had a nice block club going; people came to meetings," said Brown, who has owned a two-flat here for nine years. "I would walk up and down, talk to people about picking up the bottles and cans. –¦ Then people gradually started to talk about moving out."
The Daley camp cites $21 million spent on the ward's streets, alleys and sidewalks. "In five years, you will not recognize the Marquette Park community," said Kulys, who supports the mayor. "It will not be Lithuanian, it will not be Irish, it will not be Italian. But it will be upper-middle class."
Some of the ward's aldermanic candidates aren't so sure. As many as 14 will appear on the Feb. 23 ballot: Ted Thomas, president of Chicago ACORN; Milton H. Jenkins, an associate pastor; Clauzell Tyler, public school teacher; John Burys, self-employed publisher; Carlos James Hemphill Sr., consultant; Cleveland S. Webber, specialist in natural healing arts; Bernetta Pearson, registered nurse; Bernard C. Robinson, Cook County juvenile correctional officer; Dorothy Cooks, a nurse; Joseph H. Shaw, Chicago police officer; and Tommie Grayer Sr., retired.
Candidates C.L. Clay and Richard D. Taylor did not respond to the Reporter's request for interviews.
On Jan. 28, a jury convicted Alderman Virgil E. Jones of accepting $7,000 in bribes during the federal Operation Silver Shovel corruption probe. While he automatically loses his seat, he can legally remain on the ballot, said Tom Leach, press secretary for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. Leach said Jones can voluntarily remove himself from the ballot. If Jones wins, Daley will pick his successor.