Tag: Eugene Moore

Maywood Does Thanksgiving In the Generous Style of Eugene Moore

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Shavonne Henry, who organized a Thanksgiving Day dinner in honor of former Cook County Recorder of Deeds Eugene “Gene” Moore. | Michael Romain/VFP

moore_iiiThursday, November 24, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Crowds strolled in and out of the lower level of Maywood’s Second Baptist Church, 436 S. 13th Ave., today during a Thanksgiving feast fit for a man who, when he was alive, was known throughout Cook County for his gift of giving.

Eugene “Gene” Moore, the first African American to represent the 7th District and a former Cook County Recorder of Deeds, passed away in June, but relatives and supporters of the late political powerhouse are making sure that his legacy doesn’t die with him.

“Back in the day, when he was a state representative, he used to feed the homeless,” said Shavonne Henry.

Henry, along with her mother Sue, decided to replicate Moore’s largesse during a dinner held at Moore’s longtime church home this afternoon. Henry said she and her mother corralled a committee of people back in the summer to start planning the dinner. Most of the food, which anyone who showed up at the church could eat freely, was donated by community members.

“After he passed, I sat at home and God gave it to me to do this,” Shavonne said. “I put it on Facebook to see what would be the response and it’s been nothing but good things happening ever since.”

Henry said the event was particularly targeted to senior citizens and those who may not have a family to go to. But, regardless of your personal story, Henry said, if you showed up,  you had a right to eat.

“Gene didn’t care who you were,” she said. “If somebody walked in the door, he said, ‘Feed them!’ Because you never know if you’re going to be on the other side of the table. I just wanted to bring that back.”

For two of Moore’s grandchildren, Chase and Cheyenne Moore, (pictured below left), who were raised by their grandfather, today’s dinner was particularly resonant.

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“Shavonne brought the idea to me back in August or September and asked me how I felt about it and said do we think we can pull it off,” said Chase. “She got our blessings.

“I used to go with him all the time when he would serve people in Maywood on Thanksgiving,” he said. “The homeless, the less fortunate would come out and we’d serve them food and give them canned goods. We did it every year until he became recorder.”

“This has been a hard year for me losing my grandaddy and my great-grandaddy [Eugene Moore’s father, who died in January], but seeing how people appreciate him makes me really, really happy,” said Cheyenne. “I think about my grandaddy everyday. Me and my brother miss him everyday. This is really the first time we’ve been on our own.”

Both Cheyenne and Chase, in addition to the Henrys, have pledged to keep the tradition going, with Shavonne noting that she’s looking into planning a similar feast during the Christmas holiday.

“We have to keep this going and keep giving back,” said Chase. “What people need to understand is that our grandfather never did this because he was a politician. He really loved Maywood. If he were alive, he’d be here on one leg, in a wheelchair, sick, whatever. He wouldn’t miss this for anything.”

“He loved this town and this church so much,” said Cheyenne.

Now, said Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins, it’s up to the town to show that love in return. The mayor noted that, in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, the village handed out more than 300 turkeys to numerous local food pantries. It’s an annual tradition that’s a fixture in the budget. 

Those 300 free turkeys were on top of the nearly 400 distributed by the Maywood nonprofit PLCCA and several dozen, donated by a local business, that were distributed by the Maywood Police Department.

Thursday’s dinner in honor of Eugene Moore shows that they’re acts of kindness that keep on giving, the mayor said.

“What we’re doing is reliving his legacy, because he did it for the people,” she said. “Gene was a people’s person.” VFP

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Maywood Family Fest A Hit for Local Vendors, Entertainers

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There was dancing, bingo, prizes and much more during last weekend’s Maywood Family Fest. | Shanel Romain/VFP

there-was-bingo-and-prizes-during-last-weekends-maywood-family-festWednesday, September 21, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr. stood in Maywood Veterans Park on last Sunday, basking in the Gospel sounds of the group Chris & The Network. The choir was among at least seven lineups that took the stage during the last day of the Maywood Family Fest, which took place over three days last week from Sept. 16 through Sept. 18.

“We spent around $20,000 on this event and I’m assuming we may be slightly over that amount, but the exchange was well worth it,” Norfleet said.

There were pony rides, dozens of musical acts spanning numerous genres — from Jazz to Hip-Hop to Latin — food and drinks (including jerk pizza, fresh lemonade and gourmet popcorn) from local vendors and wares from local entrepreneurs like Maywood-based catering company Three Dudes and a Chick (whose owners said the fest was their first public catering event since they started their business) and S’tash Access.

District 89 board member Regina Rivers manned S’tash’s pitched tent, where stylish satchels, sunglasses and a silver mermaid necklace were on display. Rivers the S’tash is the brainchild of her daughter and granddaughter, Yvonne and Adrianna, the latter of whom studied fashion, design and marketing.

“She was born and raised in Maywood and has always been in involved in events that are happening in Maywood,” Rivers said of her daughter.

The fest was also an opportunity for Maywood native Tatym Cole, 14, one half of the duo The Future, to showcase her talents.

“We’re basically two talented kids trying to make it somewhere and change the world,” Cole said as she and her performing partner Keon Logan, 16, prepared to take the stage.

“If anybody is going to make a change it might as well be us,” Cole said, echoing the name of their popular song “We Need Change.” One YouTube video of the song that was uploaded about a month ago has already garnered more than 6,500 views.

“They only make inspirational music and the song they’ve got out right now is epic,” said their manager Liana Grays.

An epic moment during the three-day event was the honoring of the late Eugene “Gene” Moore, the former Cook County Recorder of Deeds, the 7th District’s first black state representative and former Proviso Township trustee. Moore died in June from prostate cancer.

“Gene Moore loved Maywood and he loved Proviso East High School,” said Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins during the ceremony. “He didn’t miss any of the games. He traveled on the highway to the games … If we could get that kind of commitment to our town, we could move forward.”

Sue Henry, Moore’s cousin, former office manager and longtime friend, recalled the late politician’s generosity.

“We were always involved with trying to help the community,” Henry said. “Gene would have me help some of everybody, no matter where they lived. He was always trying to do for his fellow man. If someone came up and asked him for $20 and he didn’t have it, he’d say, ‘Sue give me $20.'”

Maywood trustee Isiah Brandon said that he and a group of supporters have started the process of naming the 1300-1400 blocks of South 11th Avenue, where Moore was a longtime homeowner, after the Maywood power player.

“We’ve had no incidents, just a lot of good conversation, people chatting and enjoying themselves,” said Norfleet. “This is exactly what the title says, ‘Maywood Family Fest.’”

In cased you miss it, take a look at some video footage of the three-day event that participants produced here. VFP

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The County’s Honoring of Eugene Moore Full of Irony and Pathos

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A screenshot of Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough’s appearance on Chicago Tonight earlier this month. The Recorder of Deeds office, for decades occupied by either Yarbrough or the late Eugene Moore, pictured below, could consolidate with the county clerk’s office by 2020 if voters vote in favor of the measure on Nov. 8. 

gene_moore_rgbSaturday, August 27, 2016 || By Michael Romain || OPINION

It took some searching, but we finally tracked down the Cook County Board of Commissioner’s resolution honoring the late Cook County Recorder of Deeds, longtime Maywoodian and lifelong Proviso East Pirate Eugene “Gene” Moore.

Moore died on June 14 from prostate cancer. The next month, during a July 13 meeting, the county board voted unanimously on the resolution, which cited Moore’s contributions at the local, county and state level. You can read the full resolution underneath this post.

UPDATE: Moore’s old office (still) faces threat of consolidation 

Some may have noticed the irony in honoring the life of a former Recorder of Deed’s a month after the board acted to allow voters to decide on Nov. 8 whether or not the position should exist.

If a majority of voters decide that it shouldn’t, the recorder’s office (which includes its thousands of jobs and roughly $13 million budget) will be folded into the larger county clerk’s office.

The current recorder, Maywoodian Karen Yarbrough, a cinch for reelection in November, will be allowed to serve out her 4-year term before the consolidation takes full effect.

In June, Commissioner John Fritchey’s proposal to allow voters to decide on whether or not the office should be eliminated passed 10-5 (with two commissioners absent).

All five no votes came from the board’s African American commissioners, one of whom, the 1st District’s Richard Boykin (who represents Proviso Township), suggested that the measure represented an “all-out attack on black elected officials.” David Orr, the current county clerk, is white.

Proponents of the referendum, who include the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board, say getting rid of the office will save county taxpayers around $1 million. Some proponents also say that it’ll just be one less county hothouse of graft and patronage hires watchdogs will have to worry about.

Yarbrough, however, has noted that the cost-savings don’t really amount to much and  the projections may and may not be reliable, since the county board hasn’t really studied the issue.

Yarbrough has also argued that she’s already found millions in cost-savings during her tenure and that the recorder’s office provides certain services, like mortgage fraud prevention tools, that will wither if they’re placed under the clerk’s jurisdiction.

Regardless of the arguments, however, it seems that the referendum to consolidate the offices is likely to pass, a prospect that even Yarbrough’s allies have acknowledged.

Earlier this month, two commissioners who opposed the binding referendum introduced a measure that would call for the referendum question to “be limited to studying the concept of combining the offices” instead of actually combining them, the Chicago Tribune noted in an Aug. 2 editorial.

That measure failed and Fritchey’s referendum stands. Since then, Yarbrough has laid out her arguments against consolidation on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight.

In June, she told the Daily Herald that the recorder’s office, which basically keeps the county’s land records, isn’t laden with patronage hires like it had been in the past (another ironic and subtle invocation of the former recorder?).

That’s not to say there hasn’t been smoke.

In 2013, Yarbrough came under fire from the county’s inspector general and at least one board commissioner for what appeared to be the recorder’s violation of the county’s ethics ordinance barring the hiring of family members and friends.

Yarbrough’s office maintained that they had followed proper protocol and that the employees in question were hired because of their qualifications.

Beyond the allegations of patronage hiring, and the counterclaims made by the recorder; beyond the arguments for or against the existence of the office; one issue of particular resonance to people in Proviso Township, and in Maywood in particular, is that the office that has anchored two of this village’s major political personalities, one of whom has gone on to greater rewards, may be annihilated in several years.

We could be approaching the end of an era. And perhaps the beginning of a new one. What for some people translates into tax savings, for others translates into a loss, an abyss, the end of a world and/or the opportunity to create one anew. For whatever it’s worth. Good, bad or indifferent.

Now, be it resolved 

“PROPOSED RESOLUTION IN MEMORY OF FORMER COOK COUNTY RECORDER OF DEEDS EUGENE “GENE” MOORE WHEREAS, Eugene “Gene” Moore was born on July 19, 1942 in Baltzer, Mississippi to Sara Ella (“SE”) Burrell and Joseph Moore; and WHEREAS, Gene Moore moved to Maywood, Illinois at an early age;

and WHEREAS, Gene Moore graduated from Proviso Township High School in 1960, and attended Otero College in La Junta, Colorado on a football scholarship until an injury ended his football career;

and WHEREAS, Gene Moore was elected to his first political office, Commissioner on the Provisio Township of the Provisio Township Board of Trustees, in 1988; and WHEREAS, in 1999, Gene Moore was selected by the Democratic Party of Cook County to fill the role vacated by our current Secretary of State, Jesse White, as the Cook County Recorder of Deeds;

and WHEREAS, Gene Moore would later run for a full term and win the office of Cook County Recorder Deeds in a landslide;

and WHEREAS, Until his retirement in 2012, Gene Moore made many innovative changes and brought the Recorder of Deeds’ Office into the 21st century; and WHEREAS, Gene Moore created the “Property Fraud Unit” by joining forces with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court;

and WHEREAS Gene Moore served on numerous boards including: The Boys and Girls Club of West Cook County, The Proviso-Leyden Council on Community Action, the John C. Vaughn’s Scholarship Fund, and the Community Economic Development Association;

and WHEREAS, Gene Moore peacefully left this natural world on June 14, 2016; and WHEREAS, Gene Moore is survived by his children; DaWanna, Natalie, and Eric; his siblings: Barbara, Anise, Freddie, and Michael; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren;

and WHEREAS, Gene Moore was instrumental in starting and furthering the careers of many Cook County community leaders.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the President and the Cook County Board of Commissioners, on behalf of the residents of Cook County, do extend their deepest condolences and most heartfelt sympathy to the family, friends, and associates of Eugene “Gene” Moore;

and NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a suitable copy of this Resolution be tendered to the loved ones of Eugene “Gene” Moore as a means of communicating our deep respect and reverence for his commitment to public service and the people of Cook County.” VFP