Tag: President Trump

After DACA’s End, A Fresh Round of Anxiety

Monday, September 18, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Community members at a Sept. 8 informational meeting at PASO-West Suburban Action Project in Melrose Park. | Alexa Rogals/Wednesday Journal 

President Donald Trump’s recent decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a policy implemented in 2012 by President Barack Obama, has many community members in Proviso Township worried, anxious and preparing to push back.

Continue reading “After DACA’s End, A Fresh Round of Anxiety”

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PMSA teacher apologizes for anti-DACA Facebook post

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

A Proviso Math and Science Academy teacher has apologized for a Facebook post in which he said undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children should “go back.” The post ignited a furious response from current and former students at the Forest Park school.

Continue reading “PMSA teacher apologizes for anti-DACA Facebook post”

PASO to Host DACA Community Meeting in Melrose Park, Sept. 8

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Demonstrators during the Sept. 5 protests in downtown Chicago against Trump’s decision to end DACA. | Paul Goyette 

The Sept. 5 decision by President Donald Trump to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) — a program enacted by the administration of former president Barack Obama that shielded nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation — has prompted demonstrations across the country.

Continue reading “PASO to Host DACA Community Meeting in Melrose Park, Sept. 8”

In Maywood, A Congressman Takes Stock of Republicans

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Davis Maywood Town Hall 2During a town hall meeting he hosted on Aug. 14 at Council Chambers, 125 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood, U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-7th) gave a dire assessment of a political climate controlled by Republicans and lorded over by President Donald Trump.

“We probably are in the worst position that we’ve been in in a long time,” Davis said, referencing the Democratic Party’s minority status in most statehouses and in Washington, D.C.

Continue reading “In Maywood, A Congressman Takes Stock of Republicans”

Maywood Trustee Takes Back His Support of Pro-Immigrant Resolution

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Last month, Maywood Trustees Ron Rivers, (far right), and Melvin Lightford, (second from right), expressed regrets over voting on a resolution supporting immigrants. But the village had already sent the letter off to President Donald Trump and other high-ranking state and federal officials. | Michael Romain/VFP

Thursday, April 13, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Last month, Maywood Trustee Ron Rivers asked his board colleagues if they could rescind their support of a resolution that they unanimously passed on March 21.

Rivers referenced a March 27 announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that doubled down on previous threats made by President Donald Trump to withhold federal funds from cities who go against the president’s mass deportation orders.

Sessions threatened that the justice department would deny cities that adopt sanctuary ordinances federal law enforcement grants.

The motion passed by the Maywood Board of Trustees calls for the state and the federal government to “support immigrants in the United States of America.”

Unlike sanctuary city ordinances passed by municipalities like Oak Park and, most recently, Berwyn, Maywood’s resolution does not call for village officials to defy federal authorities in any way when it comes to immigration or other matters.

According to Village Manager Willie Norfleet, a certified copy of the resolution had already been mailed to President Trump, Gov. Bruce Rauner, Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Danny K. Davis by the time Rivers told his board colleagues about his change of heart.

“I would like for the board to reconsider the motion we passed to send letters to the president and [other officials],” Rivers said during a March 29 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee meeting. “With this notification, I wouldn’t want to put a bull’s eye on our back,” said Rivers, adding that the board hasn’t “asked our citizens how they feel about this.”

Trustee Melvin Lightford seemed to agree.

“In combat, I have enough sense not to put a target at my back,” said Lightford. “Why shake the bush? Just leave it alone.”

Trustee Michael Rogers reinforced his earlier position when a sanctuary city proposal was first introduced by Trustee Isiah Brandon in February. At the time, Rogers said that he would not vote for any ordinance that would put the village at odds with the federal government, but added that the village should nonetheless take a stance in support of immigrants.

“I was careful not to put forward a motion that could be construed as not being in compliance,” Rogers said. “We sent a resolution that urged federal officials up the line to think about what they’re doing and how it affects [people]. It is not a feel-good thing. It is a thing you should do. You should tell your president how you feel about something.

“There is no penalty for expressing your opinion,” Rogers said. “The penalty that the Attorney General is talking about is being in defiance of the law or executive order that was passed.”

Rogers said that if enough municipalities sent similar letters to state and federal officials, “[those officials] would change their tune.”

Brandon said that he stands behind his original proposal for a sanctuary city ordinance in Maywood, an idea that village officials have said they’re still vetting.

“I still stand behind the idea of having a welcoming city,” Brandon said. “And to those who choose to operate in fear, I can’t take that role. Our community is one that is very diverse and we need to let those individuals who are in the immigrant community know that we stand with them.”

“We’re making a large commitment. I have no problem with the label welcoming city,” said Rivers. “I understand we’re all immigrants and we do welcome diverse citizenry but by the same token, I take a stance of why would we put a bullseye on our back?” VFP

P A I D  A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Easter Egg at Empowerment

Maywood to Discuss Sanctuary City Ordinance at Tonight’s LLOC Meeting, March 15

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

The Maywood Board of Trustees will consider adopting either a “Sanctuary City” ordinance or a “Welcoming Resolution” at a Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting tonight, Wednesday, March 15, 7 p.m., at Council Chambers, 125 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood.

Last month, the board directed  village attorney Michael Jurusik to provide information on the legislative proposals at the insistence of Trustee Isiah Brandon, who referenced Oak Park’s recent passage of a “Welcoming Village” ordinance.

In a March 8 memo, Jurusik recommended that the village hold a discussion on whether or not to adopt “a ‘Welcoming Resolution’ that expresses support for immigrants.”

He said that his firm, Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, would not make a recommendation on how the board should actually vote on the matter.

“Several municipalities have adopted, or are considering adopting, sanctuary ordinances,” Jurusik wrote.

“These ordinances typically direct municipal employees and agents to not take a person’s immigration status into account, and to not comply with requests from the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (‘ICE’) to detain undocumented immigrants longer than need for municipal purposes.”

President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from municipalities that don’t comply with his orders on immigration.

The villages of Melrose Park and Forest Park are currently considering similar ordinances. And last month, the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 school board passed a welcoming resolution supporting immigrant families. VFP

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Maywood Looks to Make Washington Blvd. Pothole-free by 2020

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Washington Blvd., above | Google Earth || Bottom left: The street during roadway improvements made between 2nd and 9th Ave. in 2015. | File

Saturday, March 4, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

During a March 1 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting, the Maywood Board of Trustees unanimously voted to direct village staff to apply for a county grant that could be the first step in a last push to finish resurfacing a remaining stretch of Washington Boulevard that’s badly in need of repair by 2020.

That grant preparation and talk of other street improvements are in anticipation of an infusion of federal infrastructure funding that might be available in the future.

Although village officials didn’t go into details about when, or in what specific form, that federal funding would come, local officials nationwide are positioning themselves for a possible infusion of cash in the wake President Donald Trump’s election. During his campaign, the president promised to deliver a $1 trillion dollar infrastructure plan.

According to policy experts and pundits, however, the president hasn’t publicized any details about the plan since taking office. Late last month, the New York Times editorial board wrote that “Republican sources sources told the news organization Axios […] that the White House wouldn’t unveil an infrastructure proposal until 2018.”

Local officials, however, are still taking steps to prepare for federal funding whenever, and however, it comes available.

During the March 1 meeting, Maywood officials said that they plan to seek $200,000 in county grant funds to spend on the design phase of a major Washington Blvd. enhancement project, which would make the project “shovel-ready” in the event that federal funding starts trickling down.

The grant is an aspect of the long-term transportation plan adopted by Cook County — the first in 75 years. After the plan’s adoption, the county’s Department of Transportation and Highways formed an $8.5 million pool of funds that would “cover the cost of planning and feasibility studies, engineering right-of-way acquisition, and construction associated with transportation improvements sponsored by local and regional governments and private partners,” according to the program’s website.

The program, also called Invest in Cook, is designed to help fund improvements that “are consistent with the five priorities” outlined in the county’s transportation plan, including the prioritization of modes of transportation that are alternatives to automobiles and the enhancement of the Cook County region’s “role as North America’s freight capital.”

During the March 1 LLOC meeting, Assistant Village Manager David Myers said that he and his staff attended a workshop on the county grant and an informational session on grant opportunities held recently in Bellwood and sponsored Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (1st), whose district encompasses most of Maywood.

Washington Blvd. is under village jurisdiction and is classified as a federal urban route, which means that it qualifies for federal funding. The resurfacing of a portion of the roadway, from 2nd to 9th Avenues, was completed in 2015.

Village officials said that it would cost an additional $3 million to complete the rest of Washington, from 1st to 21st Ave., that still needs to be resurfaced and enhanced. The federal government would pay around $1.2 million of that total. Officials said that they’ve been unsuccessful in prior attempts to secure funding for the much-needed improvements.

Myers said that Washington is a thoroughfare that connects multiple suburbs. One key criteria in the list of qualifications for the county grant is that the proposals benefit the region and not just a single municipality.

Myers added that the possible addition of a bike lane along Washington Blvd. could position the village to receive “extra credits” for being consistent with the county’s transportation priorities for the region, which include making infrastructure more amenable to alternative modes of transportation.

Other roadway priorities 

Myers said that village officials identified two other roadways in Maywood that might qualify for county funds to help pay for capital improvements. The roads — which include 19th Ave., from Oak St. to Madison St.; and Madison St., from First Ave. to the Des Plaines River — represent areas that are among the most concerning for village officials.

“The first thing on my list was Madison, from First to the bridge,” said Myers during last week’s LLOC meeting.

The total cost of that improvement project total more than $730,000, with around $550,000 coming from federal sources, village officials project.

Mark Lucas, an engineer with the village’s contracted firm Hancock Engineering, said that the village could secure a significant portion of funding for the Madison St. improvements from a grant from the North Central Council of Mayors and the Madison St. TIF fund. If the village can secure federal funding, construction on that stretch of road could be completed by next year.

The other problematic stretch of roadway, 19th Ave., from Oak to Madison, would cost over $2 million to fix, according to village officials. The federal government would cover around $1.2 million, with the village chipping in just over $800,000.

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A stretch of 19th Ave. in Maywood. | Google Earth 

Lucas said that 19th Avenue, which is currently designated a local roadway, could qualify as a federal urban route, opening it up to federal funding. The process, however, could take  up to 18 months, he said.

Village officials said that they recommended that Washington Blvd. be considered for the Invest in Cook grant, over the two previously mentioned capital projects, because “a major factor holding the project from proceeding is having a dedicated source of funds to complete it,” Lucas noted in a Feb. 22 memo.

“I am 100 percent on board with the Washington corridor,” said Trustee Isiah Brandon at the March 1 LLOC meeting.

“I think it makes sense,” he said. “It will be a long time coming for that particular area. It goes along with the completion of all those other major corridors like Madison and St. Charles. So many times, I hear people say that you know when you’ve reached Maywood, [while] driving down Washington Blvd because of the potholes you hit. We’re almost there, let’s finish the work.”

Myers said that village officials are currently working on the county grant, the deadline for which is March 15. VFP

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