Monday, February 14, 2005

Sun-Times' Washington blames Tillman for Slow Development in 3rd Ward

In today's Chicago Sun-Times, Laura Washington lays the blame for the lack of development along 47th street at Alderman Dorothy Tillman's feet:
Tillman, the longtime alderman and committeeman of the 3rd Ward, is the political boss of 47th Street. And a black history icon. . . . 47th Street runs through the heart of Tillman's ward. More than two decades ago, she inherited a shell of a neighborhood blighted by urban renewal, poverty and crime. And while there are some signs of progress, there are also signs of shame. . . .

Over the years, Tillman has put aldermanic holds on dozens of properties. Many of the vacant lots in her ward lay fallow today because she has chosen to hold up the city-owned land for the proper time. Her cast-iron grip on that land has crippled development that might have blossomed into jobs and hope long ago. . . .

Ironically, her most passionate crusade is rooted in the msot excruciating era of black history. Tillman has led a national effort to force the kings of commerce who profited from trading slaves to make reparations to their ancestors. . . .But history, especially the African-American kind, deserves as much passion from black leaders who get stuff done for those in need in the here and now.

Whether you roll or you stroll, today's 47th Street ain't the way it's supposed to be.

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