Red Eye: Chatham residents stand up for community in wake of violence
|Via The Chicago Neighborhoods|
In any event three people you should know in that piece. You should know Jahmal Cole who wrote this great book about Chatham titled The Torch of Decency, Rekindling the Spirit of Civic Organizations. And of course recently he's been hosting events often holding court at the Whitney Young Branch of the public library. He believes the issues of Chatham involves a lack of role models and intends to do "positive loitering" to help Chathamites take back their community.
There's also one of the founders of Fleck's Coffee - Zuli Turner - who says that Chatham isn't a lost cause. Not only does she own the coffeehouse located @ 343 E. 79th St, she also owns and operates a daycare center Young Achievers Academy @ 520 E. 79th St. I'm sure many of us would agree with that sentiment.
Finally Alderman Roderick Sawyer's chief-of-staff Brian Sleet who gave a great real estate advertisement for Chatham:
As for Mr. Cole you should check out his new project My Block*My Hood*My City lately he's been visiting city parks - referred to ask 12 Parks in 12 Weeks - as part of this project. Recently he's been to Cole Park which in recent years has also been the site of a few incidents of gun violence.Brian Sleet, chief of staff for Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), whose ward includes Chatham, said crime is confined to a few blocks. "The majority of Chatham is still a very safe, very positive area," he said.
Challenges for Chatham include lack of food options and transit-oriented development. The neighborhood needs a facelift because it looks the way it did in the 1950s, but the vibrant storefronts are now gone, Sleet said.
"The community is not under siege. It's really a great location. While there are some actual challenges, the majority of Chatham has a lot of good things going on and is moving in the right direction," Sleet said.
Also check out this infographic from Red Eye some statistics about Chatham. Also be advised that while the community area is a vast swath of area, the neighborhood itself is much smaller than depicted in the infographic as in general the boundaries are from roughly 75th Street to 87th Street north & south and Cottage Grove to the Dan Ryan east & west.