City Sticker Runner-Up Doesn’t Want Design Used Amid Controversy

CHICAGO (STMW) — Another Chicago city sticker bites the dust.

Resurrection High School senior Caitlin Henehan, who won the city’s annual vehicle sticker design contest by default last week after Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza pulled the winning design because of concerns about gang symbols, has requested that her sticker not be used in the face of “unwanted media and public scrutiny and criticism of her artwork that soon followed,” Mendoza said in a statement Saturday.

“While our daughter truly enjoyed participating in the design contest and was proud to see Chicago select her as the first runner up, what should have been a happy accomplishment in her life has now turned sour,” Caitlin’s parents, Marty and Maria Henehan, said in a statement issued by Mendoza’s office.

The Henehans could not be reached for comment, but in the statement they said they had met with Mendoza about the matter.

Kristine Williams, Mendoza’s spokeswoman, said the family was reacting to anonymous criticism online about Caitlin’s colorful design, which showed Chicago’s first responders as caped superheroes flying beyond the city skyline.

Last week, Mendoza pulled the design of the original winner, 15-year-old Lawrence Hall Youth Services student Herbie Pulgar, saying Pulgar’s heart and hands design could be “misconstrued as containing gang symbols.”

Pulgar and his mother tearfully denied that the design was anything other than the young man using his artistic talent to try to improve his life.

Mendoza also admitted that tears had been shed in the clerk’s office over the decision and that she would personally give Pulgar $1,000, the amount of the savings bond for the contest winner.

The sticker will now be designed in-house, a process that won’t delay the printing and distribution of the stickers, Williams said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Ryan

    That is a shame. Expressing artistic creativity can be offensive because it could be construed as gang signs. I don’t know about you but how many gangsters throw up heart signs with their hands.

    They aren’t normally spreading love…

    How prepared are you?

  • Marcus

    There was nothing wrong with this girl’s design. I’m glad she gets to keep the prize money.

    • Roberta Waker

      What girl? A BOY designed the original design and he will get to keep the prize money. The GIRL is the runner up and she doesn’t want her design used. PERIOD.

      • Jack

        Did you read the story or listen to the news? The runner-up is a girl and she gets to keep the money, too.

  • The real James Hamilton

    Shame on the City all the way around for having a contest that invites this sort of thing. Shame on the city for even mandating people to have a sticker on their car, and Shame on Chicago for an unconstitutional unlawful tax. Typical in the way the Government gives but when it sees the grass on the other side it wants to take back. Just ask the American Indians how it feels to be given a small piece land that was already theirs then taken back. This Government is a tyrant and it’s practice never stops.

    • Jack

      And obama is trying to increase it’s tyranny.

  • Roberta Waker

    Why not use the original design by Pulgar and just remove the hands from the sticker? It’s a beautiful sticker and eliminating the controversial “hands” will make it work quite nicely.

    • Jerry

      Roberta I’m sorry but you sound like those people who say take the surprise out of the happy meal. Just because you don’t like it means no one can have it. i agree that the city is wrong here

  • Joey

    This is another example of how shameless the Chicago Police Department behaves. All of this is going on because of a blog with whining and complaining by Chicago’s finest. It would take a lot of time for me to trust CPD after this insidious bullying against a kid who clearly did not draw any hands displaying gang signs. Only an idiot believes otherwise.

  • Design Controversy Won’t Delay City Sticker Sales « CBS Chicago

    […] The runner-up, Caitlin Henehan, had her design picked to replace Pulgar’s, but she later decided she didn’t want her design used either, because the drama over the entire co… […]

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