Thursday, November 8, 2012

Direction - communication & cooperation

Chatham community area
Worlee had recently alerted me to news that another community organization is about to emerge in Chatham called Re-Unite Chatham (RUC). My first reaction to this was between aren't two neighborhood organizations enough or is this more "turf wars"?

Well RUC's stated purpose was to not engage in "turf wars" and to get grants for community development. When you think about pursuing community development grants should be the niche of another Chatham organization, Chatham Business Association (CBA).

It's great to see a new neighborhood organization arise in Chatham hopefully with differing ideas on how to revilatize the community. There definitely needs to be solid vision to keep this particular community special.

Currently there are two main neigborhood organizations in Chatham, and both have lineage. The Greater Chatham Alliance (GCA) have held major monthly meetings during their existence (they have had a meeting on Wal-Mart, ward remap, hosted forums for Aldermanic and State Representative candidates, a forum with Gary McCarthy, etc) had once been known as the Wabash-Indiana-Michigan Block Club. They have definitely made a mark during their time in existence.

Also there is the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council (CAPCC) who also have lineage since the 1950s or earlier as the organization still had whites in it during the time of racial transition and they accepted Blacks into their membership. Their organization goes block by block as it goes from sub-area to sub-area. They are known for meetings regarding a pawn shop that would've opened on the site of the former Chatham Pancake House.

My point in noting those two organizations is that they bring something to the table. They're able to get people out for whatever their subject matter are. GCA is able to get the big ticket meetings and CAPCC has an organization that seems to allow smaller areas to organize. Besides CAPCC has called people to sub-area meetings.

Only time will tell if RUC will bring anything of value to the table. Perhaps having various community organizations in Chatham isn't entirely a bad thing. The question we have to ask now if there is any communication or cooperative between the different groups?

We already have one example of one groups' mission overlapping the other. Can any community survive having competing organizations with overlapping missions, but without having some form of cooperation or communication between the various groups?

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