This is a picture repeated every night for many of Chicago’s Homeless. This person put a large sheet over their body and changed their pants on a street corner in Chicago’s West Side. Right out in public. To listen to Mayor Daley, you will get grossly underestimated homeless statistics. Chicago Citizens were told only 24 homeless downtown and 958 citywide. This is nowhere near my estimate of over ten thousand homeless in Chicago. Unlike the Daley Administration, I am underestimating these numbers. I hope you when you see Daley’s friends pilfering millions from taxpayers, while living like royalty, you demand better conditions for the homeless. It is going to be very cold in Chicago this year, please donate money to help our poorest citizens. Forget the Olympics in Chicago, lets tackle this issue first. Photo by Patrick McDonough.
4 Replies to “Mayor Daley's Chicago Homeless Citizens”
Dear Mr. McDonough, I am very happy you are shedding a light on this issue. Winter is coming soon and people die in the winter cold in Chicago. Daley hides these statistics. Please donate to the Chicago Red Cross and Catholic Charities. Thank you again Mr. McDonough.
If only the homeless were registered to vote, they’d at least get some help during the weeks and months leading up to the next election.
Is there some impediment to those without a home address registering to vote?
Isn’t the only requirement for voter registration proof of identity and citizenship?
If only my bald buddy Frank C was here he could keep me warm at night.we both can steal the spotlight.Besides I heard he likes black women anyway!!!!!YEEEHAAAWWW GO FRANKIE!!!!!
How reform-minded City Hall critic became a cozy insider
ALLISON DAVIS | Foe of Daley I, now ally of Daley II — caught in glare of unwanted spotlight
November 11, 2007
BY TIM NOVAK Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org
As a young lawyer, Allison S. Davis was a City Hall outsider.
He criticized Mayor Richard J. Daley over the 1968 riots. He worked to integrate Chicago neighborhoods. And he fought to elect judges based on legal ability, not political connections.
Why didn’t City Hall stop him?
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Prove mold gone, judge says Today, Davis is a consummate City Hall insider.
He’s a loyal ally of Mayor Richard M. Daley, who appointed Davis to Chicago’s prestigious Plan Commission. Davis has gotten deal after deal from the mayor, helping to make Davis one of the city’s top developers. And Davis has forged strong ties to the Daley family, doing deals with one of the mayor’s nephews and giving legal business to Daley & George, mayoral brother Michael Daley’s law firm.
Now, Davis finds himself in the glare of an unwanted spotlight.
One of his business partners, William Moorehead, recently began serving a four-year prison sentence for stealing more than $600,000 from at least 13 federally funded housing projects he managed — including two buildings that he and Davis co-own. During the period Moorehead has admitted he was stealing the money, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned, he lent Davis $100,000 — a loan that has drawn scrutiny from federal investigators, though Davis hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing.
Another of Davis’ business partners, former top political fund-raiser Tony Rezko, is set to stand trial in February on charges he demanded kickbacks from companies seeking state teacher pension business under Gov. Blagojevich, a friend of Rezko.
Davis serves on a separate state pension board — the Illinois State Board of Investment — that also has been under federal investigation. Davis was appointed by Blagojevich, on Rezko’s recommendation.
Davis, 68, declined repeated interview requests for this story. His spokesman asked that questions be submitted in writing. Davis then submitted written responses to some of them.
Over the last decade, Davis and his partners got lots covering several city blocks from City Hall. They paid a total of more than $7 million for some of those lots. But they got many for free.
‘He likes to make money’
Davis and his partners — including his sons Jared and Cullen — have gotten more than $100 million in taxpayer subsidies to build and rehabilitate more than 1,500 apartments and homes, primarily for the poor. His deals include a massive redevelopment of the Chicago Housing Authority’s notorious Stateway Gardens, across the Dan Ryan Expy. from Sox Park.
It’s a lucrative business. Davis and his partners have made at least $4 million in development fees over the last decade.
Still in the works: With Daley nephew Robert Vanecko, Davis is redeveloping another CHA project, along Chicago’s south lakefront. Their fees have not been disclosed.
As Davis has become one of City Hall’s favored developers in the last 10 years, he also has become a major political player. He has donated more than $400,000 to dozens of political campaign funds. His top beneficiaries include Daley, Blagojevich and Sen. Barack Obama, who worked for several years as an attorney in Davis’ law firm.
The evolution of Davis from City Hall critic to insider might seem unusual, but not to old friends and associates.
“Does any of that surprise me? No,” said Robert Bennett, former dean of the Northwestern University Law School, who has known Davis since high school. “He’s an ambitious guy. He likes to make money.”
Returns from Africa in ’67
Davis grew up in Hyde Park, home to the University of Chicago. His father, also named Allison Davis, was the university’s first African-American professor and was pictured in 1994 on a commemorative U.S. postage stamp.
Davis attended three high schools: Cushing Academy in Massachusetts, the University of Chicago Lab School and Hyde Park High School.
He has a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College in Iowa and a law degree from Northwestern University.
After law school, Davis and his first wife moved to West Africa, where he worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development, coordinating smallpox-eradication efforts and vocational training in Mali.
The couple returned to Chicago in 1967, at the height of the nation’s civil rights struggles. Davis took a job as a lawyer for the Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council, a civic group often at odds with the late Mayor Daley over slums and integration.
By 1969, Davis, then 29 and a lawyer at a small firm, co-authored a report, titled “Dissent In A Free Society,” that criticized City Hall’s refusal to issue parade permits to protesters who rioted during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
“No one can accurately appraise the extent to which denial of peaceful expression resulted in violent confrontation,” said the report, written for the Chicago Citizens Commission to Study the Disorders of Convention Week.
Around that time, Davis was among a group of young attorneys who founded the Chicago Council of Lawyers. Its chief aim: to elect judges based on legal skills rather than their ties to the Cook County Democratic Party.
“Allison was a reform-minded lawyer, like me and some other young lawyers,” said Michael Shakman, who sued in federal court and won the landmark Shakman decree outlawing most City Hall patronage.
“He’s obviously moved from one kind of career direction and orientation to another.”
Some of those attorneys joined Davis in 1971 in setting up a small law firm — Davis Miner Barnhill — that focused on civil rights litigation and helping community groups redevelop Chicago neighborhoods. One partner, Judson Miner, went on to become City Hall’s top lawyer, under Mayor Harold Washington. Another firm lawyer, Carol Moseley-Braun, would become a U.S. senator.
And the firm would later attract a young Harvard Law School graduate — the future Sen. Barack Obama.
Among Davis’ first clients were his friends, Leon D. Finney Jr., head of The Woodlawn Organization, and Bishop Arthur Brazier, pastor of the Apostolic Church of God. Finney and Brazier developed Jackson Park Terrace, a 322-unit apartment building at 60th and Stony Island, built with government financing in 1971. Davis lists the project as the first of many low-income housing deals he has worked on as a lawyer, consultant, developer or owner.
Davis soon began getting a string of government appointments. In 1974, Gov. Dan Walker put Davis on the Illinois Capital Development Board, which oversees state construction projects. He got other appointments from Gov. James R. Thompson and Mayor Washington, who named Davis to the Chicago Public Building Commission, a seat Davis held when Richard M. Daley was elected mayor in 1989.
Two years later, Daley appointed Davis to the Chicago Plan Commission, a position Davis held until last January. His fellow commissioners included his high school classmate, Finney.
As he served on the Plan Commission, reviewing major developments, Davis stepped up his own development activities. He was hired by George E. Johnson, the Chicago entrepreneur who made a fortune making Afro-Sheen and other hair-care products and cosmetics for African Americans. In 1994, Davis helped Johnson refinance Island Terrace, a 240-unit, low-income housing building at 6430 S. Stony Island. Johnson gave Davis a 10 percent stake and put him in charge of running the building.
Davis hired William Moorehead & Associates, which managed housing projects across Chicago. Moorehead was a client of Davis’ law firm, and Davis and Moorehead were also business partners in housing deals.
“I admired Allison a lot,” Johnson said. “He was very emotionally involved in the civil rights movement.”
Davis gave up his law practice in 1996 to be a full-time developer and turned to Johnson and his wife, Joan, for backing. They gave Davis $500,000, becoming partners in several deals, but the relationship would sour within five years.
“We made an investment to get Allison started in the developing business,” Johnson said.
“We only had a few black developers at the time. Joan and I and Allison went to the mayor’s office. We wanted the mayor to know that we were interested in Allison being successful in this business,” he said.
Johnson marvels at Davis’ success: “I’m amazed at how much he’s gotten out of City Hall.”
The $100,000 loan
Johnson split with Davis in 2002, after the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department discovered that Moorehead had been stealing from various housing projects — including Johnson’s Island Terrace.
Johnson blamed Davis for hiring Moorehead.
Moorehead pleaded guilty to fraud and other crimes last year, admitting he stole more than $600,000 from Island Terrace and other federally subsidized housing projects between 1994 and 2002 and used the money for personal expenses, covering up the thefts by improperly transferring money from one project to another.
Moorehead had gotten a letter in 2000 from Davis, who said the sale and refinancing of their Evergreen Sedgwick housing project had been delayed for months. “I need to borrow $100,000 from the Island Terrace resources,” Davis wrote in the letter, dated June 15, 2000.
Asked now about that letter, Davis said in a written response: “Mr. Moorehead made me a personal loan. I paid him back with interest six years ago.”
‘Not the good guy’
Moorehead, who is cooperating in an ongoing federal investigation as part of his plea deal, said he would not discuss the loan, on the advice of his lawyer.
After the thefts were discovered, Davis dumped Moorehead’s company and hired another firm to run Island Terrace — Urban Property Advisors, which is run by Davis’ son Cullen, who manages many of his father’s developments.
Johnson sued Davis in 2003, charging that Davis mismanaged Island Terrace, letting the property fall into disrepair and failing to supervise Moorehead.
The case went to arbitration and was settled last year. In the end, Davis had to give up his share of Island Terrace, but Johnson lost his stake in Davis’ companies.
“He’s not the good guy I thought he was,” Johnson said.
A second problem partner
Rezko — Davis’ other problem partner — was involved in two major Chicago developments that Davis supported as a member of the city Plan Commission, even as the two men were business partners.
The first, which came before the Plan Commission in March 2003, involved a housing development Rezko and his partner Dan Mahru went on to build along the Chicago River at Irving Park Road. Davis cast his vote for the project just a month after Rezko had helped Davis win an appointment from Blagojevich to the Illinois State Board of Investment, which oversees pension funds for state employees, judges and legislators.
A year later, in March 2004, the Plan Commission approved Rezko’s proposal for the South Loop’s largest vacant property, 62 acres at Roosevelt and Clark.
Rezko wanted to build stores and hundreds of homes on the riverfront property, with $140 million in city subsidies. The deal ultimately collapsed shortly before Rezko was indicted on unrelated charges.
Before Davis voted to support Rezko’s deals, he said he checked with the city’s Law Department about whether his relationship with Rezko posed a problem.
“I raised that issue with the corporation counsel at the time,” Davis said, “and was advised that it is not a conflict and I do not need to abstain from voting.”
At the time Davis voted for those Rezko projects, the two men had a deal with the city to build three homes on formerly city-owned land, or face the prospect of having to give back the land.
They only built two homes, but the city hasn’t moved to retake the land. One of those homes ended up going to Davis’ son Cullen.
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