Meet Buena Park Neighbors Communications Director Gene Tenner

I am currently the Communications Director for the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters which represents 33,000 union men and women in the northern two-thirds of Illinois and a portion of Iowa who swing a hammer for a living. I publsih a magazine, a couple of weekly email newsletters and two websites. I also do videos, webinars, advertisng and public relations.

As an avid cyclist I ride a three-wheeled trike between 5,000 and 6,000 miles year-round, including daily commutes along Chicago’s lakefront … polar vortexes included. I have never missed a commute due to weather.

I am an activist who serves humanitarian and political causes:

To advocate for the Sudanese in Illinois who have fled Southern Sudan and Darfur is one of my most rewarding experiences. I give Sudan presentations at churches and community groups with my Sudanese friends on the problems facing them in Darfur, South Sudan and the United States.

My son Sean and I work together on Sudanese issuses and the Abolition Institute which seeks to end slavery in the west African nation of Mauritania.

As a founding member of Bike Uptown it is our goal to advocate for calmer Uptown streets for walking, biking and using transit. I am a Positive Loiterer (gather as a group on drug-selling corners, so the gang bad guys go elsewhere) and facilitate CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy) meetings; both work together to create safer neighborhoods.

My photography chronicles Chicago’s lakefront through my daily rides. My photo website is

I also paint on water. Ebru painting is the ancient Turkish art of painting on water. The mineral-pigment paint is manipulated on water, and then the image is transferred to paper.

I am one of a handful of artists from around the world who has mastered the Spanish Wave style of Ebru painting. You can view these paintings here:

I just self-published my first photo-book on the history of my Chicago neighborhood: Sweet Home Buena Park.


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