Friday, July 1, 2016

Greater Chatham Initiative

VIA The Chicago Neighborhood

I think it starts with a laudable goal:
Local officials [June 29th] are kicking off a multi-year, $1.5-million-plus campaign to restore some of the glitz to Chatham, a once-prestigious African-American neighborhood that lately has been going through a difficult period.

The Greater Chatham Initiative—which will include Chatham, as well as the nearby Auburn Gresham, Greater Grand Crossing and Avalon neighborhoods—is designed to "set them on an upward path in the 21st century economy . . . enhance these communities as places of opportunity and choice," according to a statement released to me in advance.

The money will go into programs to rehab and sell now-troubled apartment buildings, attract middle-income homeowners and operate a new local workforce center that will train and place residents in existing jobs.
And two major Chicago politicians are backing this effort publicly:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Chicago) Wednesday to announce an initiative to improve a handful of communities on the South Side, including Chatham, Auburn Gresham, Greater Grand Crossing and Avalon Park.

The two — joined by community leaders, aldermen and other partners — announced the launching of the Greater Chatham Initiative, a collaborative effort to strengthen those South Side communities.

They met at the Chatham Studio Movie Grill, 210 W. 87th St. The main focus of the initiative is to drive investment in those areas and generate neighborhood redevelopment and economic growth.
I've been somewhat interested in seeing what can be done to further invest in Chatham and here's hoping that in the next 5 years we will see some progress. I especially would look forward to seeing 79th Street spruced up in the future. It needs it and can be a wonderful commercial thoroughfare for the community.

One thing I would like to see is more entrepreneurship. Training the workforce is good, but anything to revitalize Chatham should involve entrepreneurs. Chatham has a strong history of that and is dotted throughout the community.

BTW, here's one opinion on this worth noting which is Worlee's through his Concerned Citizen's of Chatham.

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