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Who will be the next Chicago Housing Authority Commissioner?

It's time to play that wonderful, wacky game show: Who will be the next Chicago Housing Authority Commissioner?

You might not have noticed, but there are a heck of a lot of seats open on the CHA Board of  Commissioners. Three to be exact! We're all waiting with bated breath to see who the mayor appoints to these seats. Okay, "we" is a little bit of an exaggeration. Maybe it's just me.

This week, I'll be exploring who those people might be and what that might mean for the future of our fair city.

But first me introduce you our band of merry souls, the current Board of CHA commissioners:

Chairman Martin Nesbitt

Martin Nesbitt - Chairman. President of the Parking Spot and VP of Pritzker Realty group. BFF and basketball buddy of our 44th president.

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Commissioner Hallie Amey

Hallie Amey - Call her Ms. Amey. This is how we do it in public housing. You call everybody Mr. or Ms. unless you are their momma. Ms. Amey is a resident and leader from Wenthworth Gardens. You know you've done something good in the world when Ms. Amey stops a meeting to tell you she's proud of you.

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Dr. Mildred Harris

Dr. Mildred Harris - Ordained minister and head of God-First ministries. Leads "Centering Thoughts" at the start of every board meeting, which is sort of like an opening prayer with no prayer. It usually means we have to stand up and wiggle, which I find thoroughly enjoyable in a long meeting.

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Commissioner Michael Ivers

Michael Ivers - Former clergy member. Ivers has spent his life ministering and advocating for the West Side of Chicago. Has very, very white hair.

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Commissioner Bridget O'Keefe

Bridget O'Keefe - Attorney and former Lakefront planning director for the city. Very smart, especially about money. Usually gives me the stink eye during committee meetings.

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Carlos Ponce - Contrary to this picture, Ponce is almost always wearing a bow-tie. He is exceedingly polite, and always has a question during meetings, which is often delightful, and occasionally terrible, depending on how long I've been sitting in my chair. Routinely makes comments on what the "media" (read: red-head in the second row) should be covering.

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Commissioner Sandra Young

Sandra Young - Chair of the Tenant Services committee. Longtime leader at Ida B. Wells and now resident at Oakwood Shores. Works with children in an after-school program. She wears a lot of red, which suits her. (all photos courtesy CHA website)

So that's who we have. But we recently lost two commissioners and the Illinois Housing Authorities Act (an excellent read, I assure you) requires a total of 10 bodies on the board for Chicago. So who will these three lucky ducks be? And what happened to the other three sitting ducks?

Stay tuned! All these questions, and MORE, will be answered. Okay, maybe not answered... But educated-ly guessed at and speculated on, for sure.

(Correction: My first edition of the story stated that Mike Ivers was a clergy member, but I stand corrected. He is a former clergy member, and have updated the blog to reflect that. Sorry!)



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frankalready said:


thanks for staying on them! i feel better knowing that the red head in the second row is on it.

elizavid said:

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Thanks for the summarization and background. I figure if somebody in government is giving you the stink eye, you're probably doing or saying something very much needed. Looking forward to the next installment!

lizjoyntsandberg said:

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Yeah! Way to make public housing exciting and accessible to those of us not at the heart of the scene! Keep it coming Megan!

Megan Cottrell said:


Thanks, guys! I appreciate the encouragement. Let me know what I can do better. Keep reading and clicking!

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