12 Months, 12 Pictures, 12 Stories: August

One of the most important lessons from the 2010 Census became clear in 2011: a Latino baby boom means that one-third of children under the age of five in the city are Latino.

Sometimes we tell stories with pictures; other times, there’s no better measure than data. Chris Groskopf and Brian Boyer of the Tribune’s excellent Web apps team created this map of Chicagoans less than five years old. Each dot is a single child. It accompanied a story about the tremendous rise in the Latino population in Chicago: “One out of every three children under 5 in Cook County now come from a Latino ethnic background,” Antonio Olivo, William Mullen, and Lolly Bowean reported in August. Last week, Ben Joravsky talked to Adolfo Mondragon, a 35-year-old public interest attorney, Yale and University of Chicago grad, and Back of the Yards native running for state senate.

They moved to an apartment at 1718 West 44th Street, one of those old tenement buildings. By the time my parents got there most of the Lithuanian and Polish people who had lived there were gone. My dad his whole life worked as a punch press machine operator at a steel manufacturing company. My mom worked on the assembly line cutting chickens in a poultry-processing place. She gets up at three, one of the hardest working people I know.

[snip]

I started buying classical music using the money I made from selling beer and soda in Douglas Park. I convinced my parents to buy me soda and beer and I would sell it to people who were watching the softball games. I would give most of the money to my folks, and they’d give some back to me, which I used to buy these classical music tapes that I found in catalogs. I kid you not, I ordered 100 cassettes. I still have them, all the famous composers—Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn. Nothing too heavy. I didn’t discover Mahler until high school.

By the time I got to high school, I knew about 100 classical pieces by heart. Discovering that music made me appreciate all the other music. It opened up the world to me. Music was my first window to the world outside me.

2011 was dominated by Rahm, Daley, and Blago, but this is probably the most important long-term political story of the year, as the city winds up for a very expensive ward remappingand a smaller city council?

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