Organization of the Northeast (O.N.E.) Community Meeting with Terry Gabinski

This video was recorded in Uptown, Chicago. It was a victory for the O.N.E’s Community Task Force to have the District Police Commander Terry Gabinski, come to a community meeting. Everyone from the community had an opportunity to voice their concerns on empty lots, vacant burnt-out buildings and crime in their neighbourhood.


0:41Copy video clip URL Cars driving down a street at night. A line of people walking down a pavement in the snow to a building with a sign above entrance way saying “Feb 27”

1:16Copy video clip URL Two women speak to each other. The camera follows closely behind as they enter the building. They enter a lobby room with chairs against the wall. A few people are seated. There is a counter, a notice board, and a clock which shows that the time is 10 minutes past 8. A line of people forms a queue in the middle of the room.

2:26Copy video clip URL The walks through the counter into a back room where there’s a US flag hanging from a wall. The next shot is people seated in rows facing the front of the room. The group is a mixture. of races and genders.

3:44Copy video clip URL Terry Gabinski ( a Blonde white male in a suit) starts taking a register of the names and addresses of the people in attendance.

8:50Copy video clip URL Terry Gabinski asks what happened with Mr. Tony Newman

9:17Copy video clip URL A white woman at the front responds that they couldn’t see him.

9:32Copy video clip URL Terry Gabinski asks what day they went to try see Mr. Newman and to explain the building permit.

9:44Copy video clip URL The woman talks about their experience going to court and asking the judge for help who directed them to see someone else who couldn’t help either.

12:00Copy video clip URL The woman talks about an encounter in the court house, she met somebody who told her Mr. Newman was going to be a buyer, which she knew darn well already.

12:35Copy video clip URL Terry Gabinski adds that Mr Newman is a speculator in most properties and that he’s probably facing a tremendous loss.

13:05Copy video clip URL A woman reports that at the hearing Mr Newman was annoyed and said you cannot tell me what to do with my property. I do not have to sell it. I don’t have to do a damn thing.

13:55Copy video clip URL Terry Gabinski makes suggestions for how he might gain more information regarding the permit.

15:01Copy video clip URL Terry Gabinski reminds the group that regardless of whether it’s a delaying tactic if it’s legal it’s legal. Good lawyers are people who know how to get away with things on technicalities. Either he’s very bright or he has somebody advising him. If it’s a delaying tactic and it’s legal, what difference does it make. Then you’re stuck.

15:55Copy video clip URL A woman speaks about him stopping the rehabilitation of twenty buildings. She asked why he doesn’t sell them, he said he’s going to speculate the neighbourhood property value and labour (costs) before he invests in fixing up the properties.

16:35Copy video clip URL Terry Gabinski says he’ll find out more about that and advises them to speak to their representative to find out what based on law what is possible.

17:20Copy video clip URL In response to two latinx men who point out that their area has been neglected by city planning, Terry Gabinski talks through the rehabilitation project that has taken place, neighbourhood to neighbourhood,

20:37Copy video clip URL They cleared every street with shovels. They did most of the work on the north-south streets because those are the most important traffic streets. Most of the clearing was done in the north. Hopefully they’ll reach the in-between streets. It’s just like your street. We can’t go in and dig out every street.

21:27Copy video clip URL Terry Gabinski sums up his position.

He says he sent a letter to their last meeting explaining his position and read their proposal. On January third, he met with Clark (the city controller) and told him he thinks the proposal is a good idea. They discussed the matters and the complaints that were made. Mr. Shah and Matt (names unclear) wanted to meet with the group. Gabinski was told that they had met with Mr. Daley and Mr. Sharp and Mr. Burson [names unclear] downtown, and that they were available to meet with this group (O.N.E.) at any time in their factories, not necessarily now.

Gabinski assures the group he went far beyond all that – cutting through all of the extra meetings and extra conversations – and went straight to the mayor. Gabinkski told the mayor about the programme which is now being reviewed by Mr. Burse [name unclear] to see if it’s economically feasible, and if it’s a good idea, according to the controller’s office, finance etc.

Gabinski says that because of the disaster they’ve had with the snowstorm, they have to keep up with the removal of snow.

Gabinski says he spoke to the controller for forty-five minutes about the programme, that he says it’s a good idea, whether or not it’s done on an experimental basis in a particular area. They discussed setting precedents, and the vacant lots in certain areas.

Gabinski says he doesn’t believe the group received major objections when they talked to Mr. Sharp, Mr. Burgess and Mr. Dan (names unclear) but that at the time they just didn’t know if the programme would be adapted or what was going on.

The programme proposal is in the hands of the proper people and it’s now being decided upon by the city administration, either they’ll say yes, we think it’s a good idea, or no, we think it’s a bad idea. The recommendation which will likely come in the next week or so, a week or two, at some point in the near future.. Then you’ll be happy or we’ll have an argument, you’ll be one of the two.

26:24Copy video clip URL Gabinski adds that he doesn’t think he needs to come to the next meeting because he’s made his position clear and doesn’t need to explain it again. He has a lot of places to go he’s busy.

Gabinski agrees to correspond with the group the following Tuesday.

27:07Copy video clip URL The people stand and leave the meeting.

27:35Copy video clip URL People on their way out of the meeting are standing outside the building.

One woman talks about a burn-out yard next to her building, which is probably destined for demolition, she doesn’t want them to knock it down, she just wants them to fence it up so people stay out of it. She has made applications to insurance companies in vain.

31:17Copy video clip URL Camera-operator asks a woman how the meeting went, she response that she thinks it was successful but that you get nothing done at these meetings.

31:38Copy video clip URL Camera-operator asks another woman how the meeting went. She says with this case they’ve been to court three times, and to Mr. Minsky’s office [name unclear], they’re were told to get the building permits revoked by Judge Johnson, they went to the building demolition department, who gave them another run-around. They got the building permits, then they’re tolf the permits are no good, so they came here. She says she’s going to go back to the judge and thinks that’ll be the last time before she gives up. She can’t waste her time. They tell you to get involved in your neighbourhood, she says, and you’re trying but you can’t do anything.

32:49Copy video clip URL A woman asks the camera-operator if they know anything about the vacant lots issue, – they (the city) wanted to get the owners of the vacant lots and if you wanted to buy a vacant lot they wanted to make it available. The people in her neighbourhood want to buy the empty lots because the kids are using them to play.




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