La Casita

Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent.Often the story behind a news article is just as (and sometimes more) interesting than the finished product the public reads. This is the story of the time I was interviewed by WGN for my coverage of La Casita in Pilsen.

Adelante Chicago's Lourdes Duarte interviewing me because of my coverage of La Casita in Pilsen

Adelante Chicago’s Lourdes Duarte interviewing me because of my coverage of La Casita in Pilsen

I was at home watching Boardwalk Empire with my sister when I got a phone call from my editor at Extra News. Just as she was about to head out of the office for the day someone at WGN television contacted her and wanted to talk to me about my article on La Casita in Pilsen.

Aug. 16 hundreds of residents from the Pilsen neighborhood showed up in an effort to prevent the planned demolition of Whittier Elementary School’s La Casita field house. The field house served as a volunteer-run community center for meetings, local clubs and classes. It was previously saved by a 43-day long sit-in by community members in 2010. I had covered the original sit-in when I was editor of Adentro de Pilsen.

This year’s attempt to protect the field house wasn’t as successful. About 200 people were outside La Casita the weekend it was finally torn down. Chicago police arrested four women and five men for trespassing when they tried to stop the demolition crew and a sixth man was arrested for criminal damage to a fence at the school.

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