[Voices of Cabrini raw: City Hall Demonstration]

Footage for the documentary "Voices of Cabrini." Shot between 1995-1999, it documented the Cabrini Green redevelopment project proposed and carried out by the city of Chicago. This tape includes footage of a protest and press conference inside City Hall.

00:03Copy video clip URL Joe Shuldiner, head of CHA: “Cabrini is not a good community as it is, it is not safe, sustaining the status quo is not acceptable…if you had the money, why wouldn’t you create a new unit? This is not about destroying roots…I don’t think we should spend tens of millions…to perpetrate the same kinds of isolation because this is a turf war…Fixing buildings wouldn’t make a difference here.”

2:45Copy video clip URL Interviewer asks Shuldiner why he thinks it’s a turf war. Shuldiner: “Whether you’re a resident leader or a local elected official, y’know, you don’t want to have delusion of your constituents…and people are rightfully afraid of change…This is risk taking and they don’t trust us…we have built in a lot of protection for the residents. The resident have refused to get off dime one…they ignored the original plan which said it was a 3-for-1 market…I think it’s a mistake to build  500 units of public housing in one place.”

5:24Copy video clip URL Interviewer: “What’s the difference between CHA [Chicago Housing Authority] before you came to Chicago and now?” Shuldiner: “Before you had a total dysfunctional housing authority that provided no service, had no budget…had no internal integrity, basically was not really helping residents. We’ve cut our staff 20% and balanced our budget…”

06:15Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of Cabrini from a distance with Chicago skyline, more shots of high rises and skyline.

13:33Copy video clip URL Rapper, end credit music – Peter Geller a.k.a. KSO G.

17:49Copy video clip URL Cora Moore, local advisory council president of Cabrini, shows some of the buildings that are to be demolished. They start at the back of 1158 N. Cleveland. Moore: “This is the next building they want to demolish. The plan was they were supposed to rehab all the units.” They walk around to the front. Jenner School demolition.

19:48Copy video clip URL Moore: “This building here, what I’m trying to show you on the other map, behind you, with the space, was 1157/1159 Larrabbee. Over there, by that school, was 1117/1119 Cleveland. This building here is 1158 Cleveland…” She describes how CHA moved tenants out initially for a rehab and then blocked them from coming back in. They try unsuccessfully to walk into the vacant building.

21:26Copy video clip URL Moore: “You see that building right there? That’s 1150/1160 Sedgwick, the remaining building they want to tear down.” She points out several buildings, like the future police station and school, and notes that only 100 tenants live in a 19 story residence.

24:51Copy video clip URL They stand outside an apartment building, 1150 Sedgwick.

26:16Copy video clip URL They walk into 1150 Sedgwick. They are stopped before they enter the elevator. A security officer stops them and asks them to sign in.

28:11Copy video clip URL Video from outside the same apartment. Young boys stand around Moore.

28:34Copy video clip URL Cut to Nancy Davis. She introduces herself: “Hi, I’m a resident of 1150 N. Sedgwick. My name is Nancy Davis. I have two questions to ask toward housing: Why would they wait until a set date of December 20 to ask us to move out of housing in the dead set of winter? My second question is: We was understood we was to get low income housing, but in the process all that is going up are for working families only. Where are our units?”

29:23Copy video clip URL Cut to a hallway outside individual apartments, facing unit 805.

30:08Copy video clip URL Cut to Moore walking down a stairwell. No audio.

30:22Copy video clip URL Video from inside Pandora Meadows’s unit. Her grandmother [?] laments about how CHA promised to build new units for residents, but failed to meet said promise. Meadows: “It’s good for you for a while, you don’t have no place, this place used to be beautiful, real nice, now…they can have it.”

31:46Copy video clip URL Another woman comments on gentrification, relations with the police, and building upkeep: “Our children are being corrupted, our families are being destroyed, we are decent human beings and we just don’t like it. By the time your child reaches a certain age, you look around and somebody else got your child and they’re going away with it.” They continue describing the failings of Cabrini and the CHA.

33:45Copy video clip URL Pandora Meadows: “Every night I go to bed I pray that somebody hear me, help me, help me and my children and the rest of the poor people that’s here. That’s what my hopes are, cause it wasn’t supposed to be like this…”

35:30Copy video clip URL Another Meadows: “I don’t mind moving. I’m tired of the people, the system, everything. Nothing is like it used to be. It’s getting worse, worse, worse, and I cannot live like that. I need piece of mind…”

36:24Copy video clip URL Cut to Cora Moore. She talks about struggling for Cabrini and outlines her main goals: “My main goal is to open the eyes of the people in the city of Chicago and let them know that Cabrini Green residents need a place to stay, soon…” Other goals include education, security, and employment. She says she is tired of the gang violence.

38:28Copy video clip URL Cut to a demonstration outside 1161 N. Larrabbee with Marion Stamps, Congressman Bobby Rush, Congressman Danny Davis, and others. There is heavy media presence. Stamps organizes the crowd. Rush calls for Schuldiner’s resignation and says: “Once they get rid of all the poor people, they’re going to go after the middle class…they wanna grab this land.”  Carol Steele – remaining activist in Cabrini.

44:43Copy video clip URL Demonstration march begins with a chant of “Joe Must Go!” Rush to a reporter: “What I’m telling you is that mixed income [housing] is nothing but a scam.”

46:08Copy video clip URL Cut to demonstrators walking down the sidewalk chanting: “Joe Must Go!” Several shots of them walking from Cabrini to City Hall.

49:18Copy video clip URL Demonstrators arrive in front of City Hall: “Cabrini Green is not for sale, ho ho, hey hey!” Marion Stamps organizes the group into a single file line.

53:04Copy video clip URL Video from inside City Hall looking onto the sidewalk at the demonstrators. The demonstrators enter City Hall and continue their protest outside the Office of the Mayor.

55:50Copy video clip URL Marion Stamps opens a press conference and introduces Fernanda Royal, Carolyn Steele, Dean Hampton, Danny Davis, Slim Coleman, and Reverend Charles Corn. Royal [full four minute transcription follows]:

“This memorandum will serve as the Cabrini Green Local Advisory Council’s written and public rejection of any plan that calls for demolition of housing units at the Cabrini Green development in excess of those units proposed to be demolished under CHA’s original Hope 6 Plan.

“The original Cabrini Green Hope 6 Plan called for the demolition of 3 Cabrini Green buildings, the rehabilitation of 1158 N. Cleveland Avenue, and 1-for-1 replacement for those demolished units. At the monthly meeting of the Cabrini Green Local Advisory Council the following motion was made and unanimously approved by members in attendance: ‘The Cabrini Green Local Advisory Council requires that the Chicago Housing Authority honors its commitments to Cabrini residents as outlined in the original Hope 6 Plan, and that any attempt to demolish units not included in the original plan be abandoned.

“The LAC has also been advised by representatives of the Hope 6 planning committee that the revised Hope 6 plans, which include the demolition of 8 additional Cabrini Green buildings and democracy replacement for housing formula was rejected by committeemen representatives at a revised Hope 6 presentation meeting with Joseph Schuldiner on June 26. As you gentlemen are aware, the demolition of 13,019 public housing units replaced with 600 units, 50% to very low income families and 50% to families earning 50%-80% of the Near North median family income, limits families in Cabrini to only 300 units.

“For although the median income for Near North families is $62,317 as noted in 1990 (U.S. Census Reports), median families income for the inclusive Cabrini census tracts 805, 809, and 819 is $4,999, $4,999, and $5,750, respectively. It is therefore, obviously, the revised plan adversely affects the opportunity of Cabrini Green residents to acquire replacement housings in the 50%-80% medium income range.

“The Cabrini LAC also questions statements regarding the cost of rehabbing 1158 N. Cleveland as being excessive, and submit that in its refusal to repair or lease apartments in the building, the Chicago Housing Authority is already practicing de facto demolition, allowing plumbing and electricity problems of potential serious [damages, which?] have been obvious attempts on the part of CHA to break the spirit of the residents of Cabrini Green. The practice of not repairing apartments and thus encouraging vandalism and removing security has thrust the residents into life-threatening situations at 500/502 W. Oak, 1015/1017 N. Larrabbee, 1151/1161 N. Larrabbee, and 1121 N. Larrabbee and other Cabrini buildings as well.

“Finally, Cabrini residents want 1) Implementation of the original Hope 6 Plan. 2) We want the Chicago Housing Authority Board of Commissioners restored. 3) Participation in the process. 4) Immediate building and apartment repairs for all existing units. 5) Maximum 30-day turnaround to rent vacant apartments. 6) Congressional hearing to clarify the intent of the Hope 6 Plan. 7) The option that Cabrini residents relocated to scattered sites or Section 8 units may return to a rehabbed Cabrini unit. 8) A plan for preventative maintenance.”

1:00:24Copy video clip URL Static.

1:00:29Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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