I just read an article yesterday morning about how confusing it is that the Chicago alderman are serving their new constituents, based on the 2015 remap. And not the constituents who elected them. And what a nightmare some Chicago residents are facing when trying to sort out a municipal problem!
In the case of Second Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti, that means he can't even sort out his own problems. His entire ward, as we all know, was gerrymandered out from under him--including his house--and split into four other wards. And the new Second Ward is now on the north side.
But yesterday morning he was back in his "old" ward, all involved in the big ribbon cutting for the new Student Life Center at East-West University. In fact, everyone seemed to be involved from miles around: Congressman Danny Davis and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, for starters. And they all waxed poetic about the beautiful new uber-urban college building--containing such things as a gym, lots of dorm rooms and a beautiful rooftop venue with views in all directions, a view that's hard to believe it's so breathtaking. Alvarez said she thought her office view was good--until she saw the East-West one.
It sure didn't seem like two-and-a-half years since the groundbreaking at 9th and Wabash, a groundbreaking which brings East-West up to three buildings--all connected--to serve its students. Many of whom are first generation college-goers. A point not lost on any of the speakers in the new auditorium of the building, where everyone seemed to be thrilled that East-West, a 30-plus-year-old-year academic institution with guts and drive was expanding to serve the ever-increasing student population of the South Loop. Those heading the university are go-getters, everyone said in their own way; that was the gist of the speeches.
East-West owns a parking lot across the street from the new building, too. And there were a few jokey references to building there, sooner or later, to expand the resources of the school. But building there would block out the view of the backside of a building of toney condos.
I suspect when that particular little item reared its ugly head--pie in the sky for the moment and all in good fun, Fioretti said this to himself about the fight that is bound to ensue: "glad I'm outta here."
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