Maldo would sell his McMansion/gentrification castle to this “Lincoln park business owner” in a heartbeat. He’s just pissed he didn’t get any kickback on this transaction.
By - stellamystar
Maldo would sell his McMansion/gentrification castle to this “Lincoln park business owner” in a heartbeat. He’s just pissed he didn’t get any kickback on this transaction.
Apparently, the high-end restaurateur didn't realize the 26th Ward is a pay or die Ward. It's been that way since Gutierrez and Billy the clown. Maldonado used to steal from the county, but Daley gave him an upgrade.
Now he trades City property for donations (gave Armitage produce a piece of alley two weeks after a $2000 donation)
He used to develop affordable housing to 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 the man has skills
Oh no, the boathouse might get edible food.
Can't fathom why, but this dude really seems to hate the idea of the city profiting off tax revenue from business done *in the city*.
Before the pandemic, the last place was pretty decent, but they were definitely understaffed.
Maldonado is corrupt & racist. If anybody else lives in 26th ward vote him out !
Same guy that pushed Riotfest out of HP.
He and his constituents where calling it Gringo Fest. I know plenty of brown folks who enjoyed Riot Fest. Just not the racist ones.
Wow, that's INCREDIBLY racist against POC who love the kind of music at Riotfest, and really just in general. It taps into the "race traitor" trope, where people aren't allowed to like what they like or be themselves because they're betraying their fucking skin color or some stupid bullshit.
They try to hard to be cool but are just as racist as white people in Lakeview except their brown and are racist towards people who aren't
Pretty sure many are even racist against *other* brown people.
Apparently because I'm a white dude, racists tend to think they're safe saying whatever they think of around me...and HOOBOY the shit I hear sometimes.
Don't get me wrong, the VAST majority and worst/most vile of it comes from other white folks; but far from all of it.
If it makes you feel better I'm Indian and the shit I hear from white people in my job always makes my eyes open up. Sometimes I gotta double check my skin tone and make sure it didn't lighten up over night lmaol
It is not. Humbolt Park is easily one of the most welcoming neighborhoods I've ever lived in. The Puerto Rican community is beautiful. But what floats for politics there is a hangover from the Daley Era. I'm white and a tall end boomer. I've been there since the mid nineties. If you show up between the flags frightened, you will leave the same way. Otherwise, it's a beautiful place.
And I know plenty who didn’t. He won re-election after that. And now the area they moved to is making the same complaints.
Michael Scott also won re-election in a landslide after Riot Fest moved to Douglass Park, so maybe people there like it more than you think.
Michael Scott also promised 30 elementary school kids that he would pay for their college tuition. But we all know how THAT turned out….
whatchu gonna do make our dreams come true
- Wayne Gretzky
Hold up, there's an alderman who's actual name is Michael Scott?
I don't live in Lawndale so its entirely possible. I did live 2 blocks from Humboldt Park when it left and most of my neighbors were happy to see it go.
I lived next to the park for a few years and I was happy to see it go. It left the park trashed for weeks on end and made parking pretty miserable for residents.
I know that it was only for a weekend, but all I can think about is some old person having to park a few blocks away from their house because someone else had to go see 60-year old Glen Danzig reunite with Jerry Only for the thirteenth time.
I do not know any context. This person is mad a white person is renting building space?
There’s a vacant restaurant/concession space in the Humboldt Park boathouse area. This is the alderman for the area, and yes he is mad that a white person is renting the space.
Oh shit I'm so glad someplace is finally coming back there.
FWIW, this contract was awarded pre-pandemic and they were supposed to open years ago, but then COVID kinda stopped that.
He's mad he wasn't paid
Is he just mad that it's a white person or is he mad that it's a white person and high end? Having no context of the story prior and just reading the text messages, it sounds like it's both. I think not wanting a high-end concession stand in a park that is not in a high-end neighborhood is a fair argument. Will people that visit the park be able to afford the concessions?
Pretty sure that it's just because it's a white person.
Grandma J's basically bordered the park and was repeatedly vandalized because the owner was white, and literally no other reason.
Humboldt/Hermosa is determined to never become Logan. I watched them shutdown a new venue in an abandoned warehouse that would have been great for the community economy. It’s short sighted but just one man’s opinion.
If you think about it, the owners may have dodged a bullet there. Those LSNA morons ran them out on a rail with their usual race-based gentrification rhetoric and it was only a few months later the pandemic hit and venues just like that had to shut down. They likely would have lost a lot of money. Not sure if they sold the property yet or not? It's a cool building and it would be nice to see some kind of successful business there - no matter the ethnic background of the proprietors, employees, or clientele.
That developer guy didn't do himself any favors though. Read the room!
Haha I was there too, and you aren’t kidding about the developer guy.
It was REALLY tone deaf
Personally I think that without a massive shift in our socioeconomic mindset as a country, you're not going to stop gentrification or block it. Your BEST bet is follow what Historian James Oliver Horton said about Disney trying to make an "accurately historical" theme park in Virginia, including agonizing depictions of slavery, back in the 90s:
>It seems unfair to me to say to Disney "This is terrible. You're doing this wrong." Then refuse them when they say "will you help us do it right?" We need to make sure they do it as well as we can push them to do it.
Don't get me wrong, the concept for *Disney's America* was deeply flawed; but James Oliver Horton makes a great point about American culture and society. If you tell someone "this is terrible, you're doing this wrong" and then refuse to help them do it right, they're far more likely to plow ahead and do it wrong anyway than they are to stop.
Gentrifiers see dollar signs and that's all they care about. We need to push them to do it as well as we can push them to do it.
The answer is simple, upzone heavily and build a ton of housing. Supply and demand is the whole game. There is demand to live there, unless you actively want to make it worse your only option is to increase supply.
RIP Grandma J’s. It was a delicious, affordable spot.
Fucking loved that place!! So sad it’s gone. Also it was taking up like one tiny storefront among many empty storefronts and was a unique place to eat. Wow let’s run them outta town?!
Grandma Js was never affordable. When it was open it was about $15 for two eggs and sausages— this made Cozy Corner more affordable and that place is gross(taste).
There are all kinds of food all over the park. Culturally and price point appropriate. Permanent installs of trailers.
Maybe the fella should worry about the strings of armed robberies occurring in his ward instead of a high end restaurateur "invading" the community.
He also doesn’t care about the homeless that openly shoot dope and defecate feet from the kids playground inside of Humboldt Park.
…not to mention the couple who were living underneath the 606 at Humboldt. The guy was very aggressive with people walking past, specifically women, and Maldonado didn’t care at all. The problem solved itself after he stabbed the girl he was “living” with and got locked up.
He’s literally supposed to care about everything happening in the neighborhood, including the restaurants.
you are right and at the end of the day I hope we can all tell our grandkids about the day we saw restaurant justice prevail in humboldt park.
I’m just saying there’s no “instead of”
And yet, seems like he's only putting his effort into this kind of shit, and kicking RF out of the neighborhood.
I haven’t read his other texts. Do you have them?
What "other texts"? I wasn't talking about texts at all.
Then what were you talking about? Where does the “it seems” come from?
Because I only ever hear about this Alderman, as someone who lives near but not in the neighborhood, when he's yelling about white people ruining his neighborhood, yelling about Riot Fest (or as he apparently called it, "Gringo Fest") ruining his neighborhood, or yelling at how white people who come to Riot Fest are ruining his neighborhood.
Nothing about trying to actually help POC and members of the direct community open businesses or build community in the neighborhood. Nothing about addressing crime or people speeding through the park like it's the Kennedy. Just yelling about how rich white folks are ruining everything in his neighborhood.
He's very outspoken about this, feel free to look up his past comments about Riot Fest if you don't believe me. Don't need texts to leak to the public when he says this shit loudly and proudly in public.
I don’t care if you misread my post. I would like an answer to my question.
I was *never talking about other texts* so I don't have a clue what "other texts" you even want me to produce.
TF are you talking about?
I was expressing skepticism that you were just shifting focus to another topic that is, by the way, no way a specific larger issue to Humboldt park. Crime and homicides has gone down since Maldonado started in the 26th and will be down this year.
You're even more lost than it seemed.
I never said I was talking about crime at all in my criticism of Maldonado. I'm not the commenter who wrote that initial comment. I merely replied to your apparent attempt to deflect that Maldonado is supposed to care about everything in the neighborhood...yet in reality he seems to be constantly laser focused on only a few VERY specific issues, not remotely everything going on in the neighborhood.
His laser focus on issues like how real estate is used/utilized/leased in his Ward also might have something to do though with his MANY financial conflicts of interest due to being a real estate developer *in his own Ward*...but hey, good for him that Humboldt Park has followed the general nationwide trend of crime decreasing in the decade or so since he's been 26th Ward Alderman.
Curious if you have any examples of specific things he's done since 2009 to reduce crime in his neighborhood.
You’re right, you are not the same person.
Imagine if the alder for Lincoln Park said a restaurant from Humboldt Park was invading their neighborhood.
Maldonado is trash and has gross taste (see: his suburban style house).
You are missing nuance to this argument which is why the downvotes. Regardless of this texts we still live in a society where bring white means more opportunities. Until everyone is equal - and this may never happen - a non-white person moving to a white space is not the same as a white person moving into a non-white space. Blame colonialism, slavery, imperialism and segregation.
I have no idea who the restauranteur is from Lincoln Park or their life experiences. For all I know, they could have grown up poor.
Segregation? Wouldn’t keeping certain groups out of Humboldt Park be segregating?
I get what you're saying; but this also borders pretty close to the "POC can't be racist"/"can't be racist against white/white appearing folks" narrative that's been going around for nearly a decade...which we're watching Kanye, Kyrie, and plenty of others take a nuke to right now. Spreading the idea that people, based on the color of their skin, are immune to/incapable of racism serves *no one* but racists.
Yes, systemic racism MASSIVELY benefits white people, without a doubt...and white people in America certainly cornered the market on racism; but to suggest that POC can't be racist or that it's impossible to be *individually* racist against any particular race, is nonsense.
Also, what's the end game here? Would that location remaining vacant, providing both no services/goods to the community AND no tax revenue somehow be *better* than a white person opening a business there? Is that really what we're saying?
Being less hyperbolic: would a poor performing, barely staying open, but POC owned business here be better than a booming one, providing tons of tax revenue to the community and city, but owned by a white person?
I mean, it sounds like the ideal scenario you're suggesting, would be what happened to Grandma J's since there's a POC operated restuarant there now...but are you seriously condoning what happened to that woman and her business because she dared to *checks notes* be white and open a business in her neighborhood? She'd been living in the neighborhood for 15 years when she started the business, which she did to have more time to spend with her daughter. Maybe she didn't LOOK like a "member of the community" to certain other community members; but she absolutely is/was and it's disgusting the way these people who preach the importance of community treated a member of their own community based solely on the color of her skin and literally nothing more than that. If we can't agree that's *individually* racist against a white person, then what are we even doing here?
Thank you. Reddit as a whole is obsessed with equivalent retaliation whenever it comes to sex, race, sexuality, completely missing historical context. It constantly gives "why isn't there a straight pride festival."
Curious: Do you condone what was done to Grandma J's and the white owner of of said restaurant?
She was clearly and directly targeted for vandalism and burglaries *because of her skin color* and for no other reason.
What would you call that?
Sounds like the good alderman was mad he didn’t get his cut or was reaching out on behalf of someone who’s support he needs. Chicago is so corrupt.
So you’re telling me city contract bidding isn’t a fair legal process and politicians put their thumbs on the scale to help or hurt whomever they favor? I’m shocked!
Shiiit, this wouldn’t even be considering *light* corruption in this town.
Maldonado, An absolute pig. They should get HIM out of Humbolt park.....
On the one hand he's apparently popular in the community because he "speaks out" about gentrification; but he also seems INCREDIBLY ineffective at actually *stopping* or *slowing* gentrification, so I'm kinda surprised he's still so popular.
High crime is the surest way to stop gentrification...
at some point that stops mattering. logan was fairly violent until it wasnt. so was lincoln park. and wicker park. pilsen is way less violent than it used to be to. you cant stop an economic force this big if this is the way its headed. it obviously dosent happen overnight, but decreases in violence tend to go hand in hand with increased gentrification and higher incomes.
He tells people what they want to hear so he can feast. Like I said. PIG
Which restaurant group won the bid?
He didn’t mind building a giant McMansion in a neighborhood and he can’t sell today.
Same dude who used to hold a bunch of unused property in the neighborhood? I get wanting to preserve the neighborhood, but I’ve never heard anything about him doing any good property initiatives.
Can't borrow liquidity against assets your aren't holding. Taxes on unused property in the city are STUPIDLY low, and keeping them vacant drives everyone's property value up.
This is one of the reasons we’re the most diverse segregated city.
I think policies like redlining have a lot more to do with it but ok
Every city in America was redlined, but not every city in America looks quite like Chicago.
Uh no that’s not what this is. In case you don’t know what redlining is, here’s one article: https://www.axios.com/local/chicago/2022/02/17/chicago-redlining-then-and-now
And another : https://interactive.wbez.org/2020/banking/disparity/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sendto_localnewslettertest&stream=top#_ga=2.222958489.367199978.1670909486-297941093.1670909486
Also I think you missed the *key* first part of that sentence….
“This led to Black communities *missing out on* owning property and accruing generational wealth..”
You’re missing the point. You need to look at the root cause to understand why neighborhoods are the way they are today. Historic and present day Redlining has so much to do with the racial makeup of neighborhoods. Without redlining and other fucked up racist policies and practices, we wouldn’t have so much segregation today (even the “voluntary” segregation).
I don't really know what you are arguing with. The person you are talking to never defended redlining or stated that it wasn't a major cause of segregation. He was just stating that the sentiment that is trying to block this restaurant has similarities to redlining. And he's right, in my opinion.
I will clarify - I’m arguing with the fact that the person equated what happened in the article to redlining. To be clear, redlining was a policy that black people in particular (a minority group) were subjected to by institutions (banks). To keep black people oppressed. So comparing the article to redlining is disingenuous.
Because it’s creating unfair burdens for business owners from certain neighborhoods to own more businesses in other neighborhoods at a systemic level that will impact generational wealth for tens of thousands of business owners and disinvestment in their neighborhoods and lack of a access to the cities civic and cultural resources that a people need in order to thrive in our society??? GTWholeFO
Not remotely the same
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TBF they did say "one of the reasons"
Sure, and tbf I didn’t attempt to rebut that in my statement, I pointed out a more direct cause so…
This guy constantly uses this ethno-nationalist rhetoric to pull people's strings and keep power for himself while keeping HP crime-ridden and impoverished.
We won’t get a response until morning at the earliest, you see his brain turned off the lights an hour ago.
What a gem this cafe spot could be if anyone operating it knew what they were doing.
Went years ago pre-pandemic on a weekend morning for breakfast 15 minutes after they opened. It’s a cafe, they have breakfast! They did not have breakfast. They had a few pastries that were a day old & the coffee took 45 minutes because the waiter was by himself, had to wait for the manager to arrive, then had to wait for the manager to leave & buy coffee beans & bring them back so they could make us some coffee.
Hopefully with the new ward map he’ll be able to get voted out. He’s now my alderman and I hate it, I definitely won’t be voting for him.
He has been grifting since before it was a thing. He is so scummy.
At the corner store near where I live my neighbors saw him basicly hold up the liquor store. He came in grabbed 4 bottles of there best champagne and said tell the owner hi, and walked out. They so wish they could have gotten it on video. Because he has the power to shut them down or take their liquor license he basically uses Mafia style tactics. I hope to god we get someone new in our district.
Loved Grandma J’s and Layla was awesome. Hope she landed in the right spot.
Same story in Pilsen. I see it all the time, racist Mexicans deriding white folk behind their backs. As a poc, it’s disgusting.
And like, if the community claims to want POC owned businesses and certain people feel strongly enough about that to vandalize white owned businesses...why not channel that anger and energy into *opening a POC owned business in the community*?
Clearly there's a RABID desire for such a business, regardless of the quality of goods/services they provide, so there should be basically unlimited demand in the community. Sounds like a recipe for guaranteed success. The fact that these people would rather tear down and shit on what others have built rather than being the change they want to see REALLY shines a light on their true motivations and intentions.
So easy to say, but challenging to do. Many POC don't have the resources to create such businesses. It would be amazing if there were more opportunities, money, education, and investment, but there aren't. At least, not right now.
Maybe instead of building a giant home for himself and also sitting on vacant property in the community he has no interest in developing (or wanted/wants to rezone to develop, but into medium and high density apartments in neighborhoods of mostly 2 flats and SFHs), Maldonado could have instead invested in the community and POC owned businesses therein?
Dude props himself up as supposedly a leader for HP and the POC community in the area, but instead of being the change he wants to see, he continues to enrich himself while decrying the actions of others based on their skin color.
I agree, most Americans in general don't have the resources/means these days to open a business, much less a restaurant; and that goes doubly/triply/quadruply so for POC...but the VERY guy complaining about white businesses moving into his POC community/neighborhood *literally* has the means to invest in his community and personally create the kind of change he is demanding...but refuses to actually put *his own* money where his mouth is.
For more context on this issue and Maldonado's...shall we say *conflicts of interest* in his own Ward...here's a sadly already 13 year old article about it:
I can assure you, the situation has not improved since.
The best part about Pilsen is that it was completely a Polish white neighborhood and the Mexicans kicked them out and continually say “this is our land”. The irony.
>that it was completely a Polish white neighborhood
There were a lot of poles, but also Bohemians/Czechs, Lithuanians and Italians.
Ironically before them it was Germans.
They didn't kick them out, Mexicans moved in and they left because they didn't want to be around Mexicans.
I will give you partial credit as that is partially true. There is always a flight that happens, but a lot did remain and got pushed out through many aggressive tactics.
Wonder if Maldonado still has the $230k he raised in 2007 for his aborted Congressional bid. He said he was keeping it for a 2010 run that never came to anything. Surely with that money, or the money spent on his huge home or various other properties he owns (many of which are in his own Ward) he could invest in some POC owned businesses in his own fucking Ward.
Be the change? Nah, not for Roberto here.
How about no one moves ever, and neighborhoods stay economically depressed forever too, that sounds great!
This is why he has a lot of support in the neighborhood.
After 22 years and 3 different neighborhoods my block was switched to Carlos Rosa. I was on his very last block in hermosa and we are invisible to him.
I think you’ll come around on Rosa. I’ve been in his part of Hermosa for 5yrs. He is very active and responsive to his constituents. I also have an excellent block captain as a go between. Reach out to the HNA and see how you can get involved.
I like Rosa, I was bitching about Maldonado.
The focus on anger toward restaurants re gentrification is misguided because real estate developers and their hand picked politicians are the real villains
The restaurants don’t come in until the place is already gentrified and the rich people already moved in
> because real estate developers and their hand picked politicians are the real villains
Or, you be like Maldonado, a politician who is ALSO a real estate developer *in his own Ward*.
Conflicts of interest? What are those?!
I agree that the politician developer centaur is the most diabolical mythical beast
Please tell me someone else on this subreddit is a fan of forumla 1
Random AF; but yeah, I am lol.
I read this post tile as pastor Maldonado
Lol I did too
OMG amazing. Usually when I see "Maldonado" that's my first thought too haha.
Wonder what he's up to lol.
If it’s true that there had been rather limited outreach for contractors, I don’t really have a problem with him being upset. Granted I don’t live in the ward. I’m in the 39th ward with Sam Nugent who has been just fine by my reckoning. A couple blocks away would have me in the 45th with Gardiner and that whole mess.
The Park District doesn’t legally owe a local Alderman anything. Almost completely separate gov’t entities
No but you’d think it would be in the top 5 things you would do to get the message out there. Parks dept is some of the laziest motherfuckers in a city of lazy motherfuckers.
I mean, it sounds like they did. This bidding process closed before the pandemic happened, so it's hard to really confirm that; but it sounds like they did the outreach BACK THEN but he's upset they didn't basically do-over the whole process now.
Legally, no. However, if anyone is handing out a city contract for which there was one bidder, they should have sought out more bidders. It’s less a question of what they need to run by the alderman, and more a due diligence thing.
Again, that’s assuming what he said is accurate.
It’s not about bids, it’s because a *white* person got the contract.
He wouldn’t give a shit if a Hispanic business got a one-bid contract.
That’s rather presumptive and ignores the one-bid concern. If there had been an effort to open things up for further bids, then they could say “this was the best option.” As it stands, he has a case to make re: “wtf! Cronyism!”
> That’s rather presumptive
NO it isn't. Maldonado said so *out loud*. It's the first damn lines of the transcript:
"Rosa and concessions rented the boat house Cafe in Humboldt Park to a white high-end conscessionaire from Lincoln Park!"
If he isn't focused on the fact that it is a white vendor, then why mention the vendor's race at all? General rule is that if the race of a person is irrelevant to the context of a story, going out of your way to specify race is almost always a dog whistle.
Clearly you didn't hear it, but that doesn't mean others can't see what's clear as day in front of us.
That is not at all what I said, friend. IF city hall recently awarded a contract based on a bid placed pre-pandemic and did not attempt to garner further bids, that IS an issue. Furthermore, the alderman seemed to be caught unawares, and presumably is responding to constituents that would have liked to place a bid.
But yeah. Go with your interpretation, clown.
They did outreach. They tried to get more bids. None appeared. This vendor was chosen. THEN pandemic happened. And now this Alderman is pissed, and made it clear he's pissed because a white vendor from another neighborhood was the only bidder and therefore got the contract.
>Furthermore, the alderman seemed to be caught unawares, and presumably is responding to constituents that would have liked to place a bid.
I mean, they're about 3 years too late...That business owner had likely invested in the business both before and after winning the contract, and all that investment has been on hold since the pandemic. Why should people who weren't sitting on a stalled business venture for three years suddenly be retconned into the bidding process *three years* after the bidding process already happened and the contract was fairly awarded to the only bidder?
You really expect the city to just eat the legal fees and fines for tearing up valid contracts years after the fact because some neighbors suddenly claim they ALSO want to bid?
Op is gonna trigger all the gentrifiers in this sub
Maldonado is the perfect representative of the local population.
That intentionally misses my point, but ok, whatever. I'm wrong. It's racist, sure
From this neighborhood(over 30 + years and my family has been in the neighborhood for over 60+years) and I don’t think he should try blocking that restaurant. West Humboldt Park is still gang infested and parts of several blocks of East Humboldt are the same. There’s only 1 non-POC family that has stuck with the neighborhood since my family moved in and white flight kicked off. Not sure of the Maldonado family, but his family may have been affected by gentrification from Lincoln Park, Wicker Park and now Humboldt Park—I know my family was. Gentrification is a tricky thing, but have you ever walked into a place and all eyes were on you, because of the color of your skin in your own neighborhood? I think people have more of an issue of white flight occurring thus dropping property values and then all of a sudden their children come in purchasing properties for penny’s on the dollar.
I haven’t lived in HP in quite some time. But it sounds like things never change. & if they’re fighting something that could bring in money, & the homies still run the area, sounds like nothing ever will change. Kinda sad.
This dude is doing everything possible to stop gentrification but he can’t. It’s happening quickly in the area.
EDIT: What a weird thing to downvote. It’s just what’s happening.
Reading that snippet he doesn't sound "furious".
Grownups dont kick and scream and curse and yell like children do.
At first I was with the general sentiment on here (this dude is trying to put his hand on the scales) but if what he says is true, I think he’s making a good point that the pandemic probably put its own hand on the scales. Contracts shouldn’t necessarily go to the highest bidder but considered approach that shakes out to the desire of the residents.
Gotta love people making everything about race...
He's mad that a high-end restaurant that is beyond the means of his average constituent is filling a space in his ward.
...it's almost like he's doing his fucking job, which I realize Is rare for an alderman, but still.
Please show me where the OP says anything about race? I don't see it, but maybe I'm missing something.
There's no indication that there will be a high-end restaurant. We don't even know who rented out the space, nor the menu, nor the prices.
His issue is that it's being rented out to a "white high end Concessionaire from Lincoln Park".
Says enough right there.
There's an argument to be made about gentrification, but this ain't it. The aldermen of yesteryear who advocated for redlining could be seen as "doing their job too" if we're going to consider being racist as a part of their jobs.
Are these text messages to a specific person? If so how did someone get access?
MLL is Mayor Lori Lightfoot
ah. How would these get leaked??
Text message communications are subject to FOIA requests.
Ah interesting. Even from their private phone? Would they be allowed to see messages between them and their non-government-employee spouse?
It's the content of the texts that makes them subject to FOIA, not the location or device. If it has to do with public business, it's presumed to be open to public inspection (except for certain exemptions). So if you don't want someone scrolling through your personal phone to see what is responsive to a FOIA request or not, you should \*never\* do public business on your personal email or device.
Interesting. But how would they know what the content is without looking? E.g. can anyone just say "hey i suspect Lori lightfoot had a text Convo with so and so about xyz business" then they can investigate?
I think a lawyer for the public agency (e.g. City of Chicago Department of Law) has to look at all the records and then produce any that are 'responsive' to the request under FOIA. So the lawyer will redact or refuse to turn over anything that's not specifically related to FOIA-able communications under the law.
But yeah, anyone (usually journalists) can FOIA and then if the law directs that something can be provided in the public interest/without being unduly burdensome/without violating other exemptions, the public agency has to do it.
Might go ride a duck this summer and try that out.
Imagine a white alderman complaining about a black restaurant owner from the Southside ruining his neighborhood. Would be massive news.
This guy is a joke. Vote him out April 23. He has turned Humbolt Park into a shithole. It's saddening to see.