Alderman Jason Ervin owes Lawndale an apology

“My wife and I are committed to continued service of our community, and we shall move forward.” (Alderman Jason Ervin/Chicago Sun Times)

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Alderman Jason Ervin. (Chicago Tribune)

Alderman Jason Ervin (28th Ward) was appointed to fill an aldermanic vacancy in January of 2011. In February of that year he was elected. For three years Jason Ervin supposedly served his community, which encompasses North Lawndale.

Lawndale is the place where dreams go to die. 

Jason Ervin, like his predecessors, and career state and federal legislators, did nothing in three years to change Lawndale. No one cares about Lawndale, Englewood, or other devastated and impoverished areas of Chicago.

Large parcel of vacant land in Lawndale. (Peter V. Bella)

Large parcel of vacant land in Lawndale. (Peter V. Bella)

Lawndale's location and history demonstrate it is the perfect area for rapid economic development and growth. The north and south ends of the area are perfect for manufacturing, warehouses, industry, and light assembly plants. Lawndale sits directly west of the Loop, making transportation to and from downtown corporate offices easy. Lawndale has rail capabilities. I-290 runs through the heart of Lawndale.

In between the two former commercial and industrial areas sits a residential area, rife with future employees.

South Greater Lawndale, where the Little Village and Heart of Chicago neighborhoods lie, is blossoming with development. (Peter V. Bella)

South Greater Lawndale, where the Little Village and Heart of Chicago neighborhoods lie, is blossoming with development. This is due to alderman and other politicians who demonstrated vision and leadership. They worked to bring businesses to the area.

But North of Cermak road is a whole different world. Politicians there are not leaders. They are devoid of vision.

Lawndale, once a thriving commercial, industrial, and residential hub, is suffering the effects and devastation of poverty, massive unemployment, crime, and neglect.

Lawndale suffers from apathy. The apathy of politicians like alderman Jason Ervin. This apathy is over four decades old.

Jason Ervin hit the news recently over his 2012 bachelor party. The party included strippers gyrating, jiggling, and giving lap dances to attendees. It also included a person with a video camera. The video was made public this week.

Jason Ervin was forced to acknowledge this and apologize. This was fortunate. No one asked him what he is doing to improve the lives of the people in his ward. No one asked him what he was doing to bring industry and commerce to all the vacant land in his ward. No one asked him what he was doing to bring jobs to his ward. No one asked him anything of substance.

There are those who claim Ervin should be left alone over the stripper debacle. "Boys will be boys." "Who doesn't have strippers at a bachelor party?" "For someone or others sake, let the guy have a lap dance," and on and on.

Funny, most of the people who defend the bachelor party do not live in Lawndale. All that I have seen on social media and some news media are white.

It is a good bet none ever wandered through Lawndale, now or decades ago. If they had, they would sing a different tune. Lawndale has not changed with the rest of the city. It remains a stagnant fetid pool of poverty, crime, and hopelessness.

While Jason Ervin was enjoying the pleasures of those costly strippers, his constituents were suffering the indignities of multi-generational poverty, multi-generational unemployment, and multi-generational hopelessness.

It appears the only jobs Jason Ervin brought to Lawndale were temporary. They were the strippers employed for his bachelor party.

Alderman Jason Ervin owes the people of Lawndale an apology. He should apologize for being no better than his predecessors and the rest of the apathetic politicians who represent Lawndale.

 

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