No Service Here

by Kathy Powers

April 30, 2018

Where will we go

To get our food stamps?

Where will we go?

Follow the rules.

 

Where can we go to?

Where is the person

Who tells us if we live or die?

 

When did this happen?

We got no notice.

Why did this happen?

We need some answers.

 

Is there an answer

In our new chaos

That tells us if we’ll live or die?

 

Where do we go?

How will we get there?

We have no bus fare?

How can we go?

 

Pushed to the edge of

Chicago’s west side

Six miles across the city

 

Where does the truth lie?

How can we live?

How will we die?

Tell us why!

 

Tell us where!

Tell us how!

Tell us why!

Tell us why!

The State of Illinois moves the site of the Department of Human Services office in Uptown from the far northeast side to the far northwest side. This make State human services inaccessible to many beneficiaries.

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Sunnyside, Morningside and the Darkside

no-trespassing

 

no-playground
Sunnyside, Morningside and the Darkside

by Kathy Powers
September 28, 2016

 

 

Mr. Cappleman, where’s our people now?
The students, parents, teachers?
The children on the climbing bars
The homeless in the tents?

Mr. Cappleman, where’s our voices now?
The laughter, cries and cheers?
The poor men’s cry for justice
The song of unity in home?

Mr. Cappleman, where’s our morals now?
We shred and tear for bits.
You smile and then you take our tents,
You take our choice to live.

Mr. Cappleman, where’s your dignity?
Mr. Cappleman, here’s our dignity!
Mr. Cappleman, here’s our respect!
Mr. Cappleman, where’s your respect?

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last-tent

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How to Address your State, Gov. Rauner Style

Serious

  1. First, try and smile when you have a hostile audience. Do not pause often for thunderclaps that will not happen.
  2. Secondly, keep an extremely serious tone throughout the address, even though you know that you will not factually mention change; just spin the important issues that you will not resolve.
  3. Talk in a homey type of speech by droppi’ the ‘g’s on all ‘ing’ words. This will ensure easy acceptance for uneasy information. The crowd will love this homegrown approach!
  4. Mention as many priority buzzwords like “good education,” “mental health,” “community health,” “criminal restoration,” and “good jobs.”
  5. NEVER, EVER even imply any state responsibility for any of the priority initiatives.
  6. Tell the legislators to pass your bills instead of askin’ them. This is very important to stay in total control of the law writin’ process.
  7. Slam the unions in any way possible, even namin’ names like AFSCME to blame the state’s fundin’ inadequacies on them. Name names of offensive unions. Be sure and use statistics to support the idea that mighty, greedy unions break the budget. Do not mention how you will not sit down with the “AFSCME” union to negotiate a fair contract. Take a snipe at teachers’ unions without mentionin’ their names because they are not in your jurisdiction!
  8. Do not address the closin’ of the state colleges and universities, closin’s of community health centers or any of the state’s accumulated faux pas presently in play. Do not address how the state will pay back the community for services already rendered.
  9. NEVER admit blame!
  10. Only propose revenue raisin’ in terms of income taxes. Show how you think that graduated income taxes are a good idea of yours.
  11. Ignore the underwhelmin’ response by your audience. They will learn, in time.
  12. Get off the stage as quickly as possible.

What the Hunger Strikers Want for Dyett High School

In an age when cities cut public school funding, students’ families and supporters say, “No more. We will die before we accept your neglect of public schools.

After over two weeks of starving, the hunger strikers wish to negotiate a great plan. Here it is.

DyettRFP_DyettGlobalAndGreenTechnologyHSProposal

August 19, 2014 Time log Alderman Cardenas Hearing on Chicago Mental Health Clinic Closures

 

1:00 Doors to Chambers open. Witness slips filled in and collected.
1:15 Bechara Choucair starts CPHD powerpoint presentation.
2:43 Alderman Fioretti cuts off Choucair.
2:56 N’Dana stated that most of Choucair’s statements are false.
3:13 Alderman Cappleman gave jail discharge services a black eye.
3:35 Heather O’Donnell says mental illness safety net is broken due to systemic stigma.
3:42 Client interrupted hearing before her turn
3:50 Mark Heyrman says city, county & state need to transition discharges from jail and police should not be mental health taxi services.
4:02 Chattel start testifying.
5:55 Kathy Powers just asked for an official apology from the city for the harm they inflict on persons living with mental illness.
7:37 Hearing adjourned.

 

My Testimony on 2/21/14 at Stean-Cassidy-Cassidy Town Hall

My name is Kathy Powers. I am on the Steering Committee of the Alliance for Community Services and on the Board of Northside Action for Justice. I live with bipolar illness since the age of 11. I thank goodness that I have Medicare and Medicaid.

I sincerely believe that the four-drug limit be abolished. I take 20 different medications a day. If I had to choose only four of drugs on my list, I would have to choose losing my kidneys, thyroid, gi tract, perennial rhinitis, chronic pain that goes along my five back fusions, liver, suffer parkinsonian symptoms, suffer movement disorder symptoms that involve me biting my mouth spasmodically, lose control of my diabetes and/or risk my psychiatric welfare. When the rules change for dual-eligibles (persons with Medicare and Medicaid benefits), the reality of a medication limitation looms closer every day.

When the well-intentioned prior authorization process was added, there was some hope to obtain sufficient medication. Unfortunately, the prior authorization process yielded unworkable results. Persons at my C4 drop-in center had their medications denied. The reasons for the denials included “denial because it is denied,” “denial because it was already approved.”The latter denial of medication caused my friend to cut herself from head to toe in total frustration and spend a lengthy hospital time to heal from her physical wounds while she received her needed medication. The authorization process is broken and dangerous.

When one takes medications as I do, this situation effects dental health. I have three teeth left on the bottom of my mouth and I’m missing four teeth on the top (show). This lack of teeth causes me to choke a great deal when I eat, makes it almost impossible to chew. I need dentures, at least on the bottom, so I will stop choking, but I can’t afford them and can’t find any assistance to get them. I’ve been known to choke on liquids and solids, and now I have an unnecessary risk for heart disease because of my poor dental health.

Since prescribed medications prevent medical emergencies, hospitalizations and lower doctor visits, I think Congress would be wise to consider the cost savings by removing the limit on medications allowed, just as an economic boost to the Medicaid economy. As far as dental health goes, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is at risk for cardiac disease or a choking emergency or death because of lack of dental care.

Thank you for your time.

Northtown/Rogers Park Mental Health Clinic Funeral

Northtown/Rogers Park Mental Health Clinic Funeral

On Monday, July 16th, 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Howard and Paulina Streets, the handful of mourners included ex-clients of the Northtown/Rogers Park Mental Health Clinic, members of the Northside Action for Justice, and well-wishers who grieved for and laid to rest a casket symbolic of the clinic at its former home at 1607 West Howard Street. The tear-stained mourners hung a wreathe inside the door of the building to remind the community of its significant loss. The mourners were too grief-stricken to celebrate the ceremonial ground breaking of a four million dollar project for Howard Street beautification that Alderman Joseph Moore staged during the funeral.

The Rogers Park Business Alliance and Alderman Joseph Moore hosted a ceremonial ground breaking for decorative street lighting, stamped crosswalks, landscaped planters and 68 new trees with tree grates priced at $4,000,000. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, State Representative Kelly Cassidy and representatives from Howard Street Special Service Area #19 and the City of Chicago Department of  Transportation also attended. The politicians’ group convened at the Willye White Park Fieldhouse, 1610 W. Howard, to greet the park’s new supervisor, Jerry Wallace, and enjoyed a complimentary breakfast, courtesy of Pete’s Grill.

Alderman Moore did not acknowledge the mental health clinic’s group, but Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky personally acknowledged the clinic’s mourners, stating hope in upcoming ACA (Obama’s health plan).

Sadly, street beautification trumps mental health.

–Kathy Powers
7/18/12

–John Powers, Photography

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