Photo caption: Doris Lewis
City getting ready to reduce law enforcement responses to mental and behavioral health problems
Saying she has had enough, retired Chicago Public School teacher Doris Lewis on Sunday, September 10, said she is going to file an injunction against migrants who were relocated from the Second District police station into the Lake Shore Hotel, located across the street from where she has lived for 50 years, creating a nightmare for nearby residents.
In an exclusive interview with the Chicago Crusader, Lewis vowed to file an injunction against the migrants, who were sleeping inside and outside of the Second District police station prior to being relocated to the Lake Shore Hotel, 4900 S. Du Sable Drive. The hotel is within walking distance of the Chicago lakefront, in a community of expensive rental properties and homes. Lewis described her life living in proximity to the migrants as being “sad.”
Specifically, Lewis said the migrants are “all over our property. They sit on our benches. Their children ride their bikes all over the grass. It’s just bad. Our privacy and security have been very much compromised.”
Lewis said while the media talk about families moving into the nearby hotel, those she sees are allegedly single men.
“They are out all times at night 3 a.m., 4 a.m., 5 a.m. in the morning. They are smoking dope. You can smell it a block or two away. It’s just bad,” she said, explaining that it makes her feel very uncomfortable.
“I have lived here 50 years, and I have never felt uncomfortable about walking around the building like I do now. Last night, they were on the property, and I called the police twice.”
Lewis said she waited outside for police to arrive for 15 minutes, to no avail. When she went back upstairs and called the police again, she said they told her there were some shootings and that is why they didn’t come.
“When you call the police, they don’t show up,” she stated. “Every now and then I see the Chicago police come by or the University of Chicago police, but they should not be coming on to our property.
“I am not sleeping right at night. I go out, but a lot of the people here are senior citizens. They are afraid to go out, but I am not going to become a prisoner in my home,” Lewis said.
“I never thought in my wildest imagination that I would be living under these conditions,” she said.
Giving Mayor Johnson a grade of “F-,” Lewis disputed the mayor’s count of 300 migrants placed in the hotel. “It’s 375 people that they brought over here. She noted further, “They have not been vetted,” questioning the backgrounds of some of the migrants.
Lewis objects to the migrants being placed in a “stable, safe community right on the lakefront where I pay thousands of dollars to live here, and they live over there free of charge. It’s a mess.
“If you walk through the area, there are a lot of cars with Texas license plates. They have been driving up here to stay with their friends and relatives. I don’t think the city has an accurate count of these migrants because they are still coming in,” said Lewis.
Accusing some of the migrants of panhandling, Lewis said, “A couple of my neighbors have been confronted by them asking for money. There have been break-ins around here. Last week on Lake Park some cars were broken into.”
However, police have not linked the smashed windows of 20 cars in the 4900 block of South Lake Park to the migrants. The car windows were smashed, but nothing was stolen from inside the vehicles, according to police.
Lewis said the migrants “are all over Hyde Park and even in the Kenwood community. They are going through the garbage. It’s sad over here,” said Lewis. Alluding to the leadership of Chicago’s first Black mayor, Lewis said, “Mayor Washington would not have done this to the Black community. Why didn’t they send them to the hotels on Walton or Oak Street?
Besides criticizing Mayor Johnson for moving the migrants near her home, Lewis blasted the Black aldermen for going along with him. She blamed the closings of 50 schools a decade ago on Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “They are not representing us,” Lewis said referring to Black aldermen.
Referring to Texas Governor Greg Abbott who continues to bus migrants to Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Denver and Washington, D.C., Lewis said, “They are targeting Black Democratic mayors. It’s about the Democratic Party trying to secure its votes in 2024. That’s why they are pushing to get their visas and work permits,” she alleged.
“In some Black communities in Chicago, the unemployment rate is 50 percent,” said Lewis. “The city didn’t do a damn thing to help them. Black women sleeping under viaducts, and you bring people in here who are not even legal citizens? You need to get them out of this community. How dare they disrespect the Black community like that.”
When told that Father Michael Pfleger said some migrants were taken from outside the Lowes store on 87th Street and told to clean some houses and were only given a “couple of bucks,” a situation Pfleger equated to “slave labor,” Lewis said, “I don’t know if that is true or not. Until Black people are taken care of, I don’t care.”
However, Representative Danny K. Davis (D-7th) agreed with Pfleger, who called for a system to prevent paying slave wages, and the possible replacement of Blacks making $16 an hour with $5-an-hour migrant workers. Davis said there should be stiff fines for those violating labor laws.
“Ever since we were dragged here, we have fought for everything we got. I started with Medgar Evers when I was 14 years old in Mississippi,” said Lewis. “I am going on 80 years old. Go back to your country. They come here and they have an arrogance about them.
“This country has given them the impression that they can say and do anything to Black people and that is what they are doing. I will be damned if I’m going to be hurt by one,” she said.
“Don’t roll up to me asking me for money. Stay off my property. The police are not upholding the law. They come and are sympathetic to the migrants. Send them to the rich white people.”
Mayor Johnson said last week that maintaining the migrants is costing Chicago $50 million a month and that soon the migrants will be moved into winterized base camps with large tents that could hold 1,000 migrants.