Sunday, October 14, 2012

Englewood: 'Not just a charity case,' residents say - Medill

64th & Halsted in 1955 - Englewood as it was!

Englewood: 'Not just a charity case,' residents say
Google “Englewood” and the results are news articles about violence, murders and gangs. Community members are working to rebrand Englewood as the thriving neighborhood it once was.

“Most people when they think of Englewood they think of the poverty, they think of homelessness, they think of the gangs,” said Asiaha Butler, president and co-founder of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood.

Butler said she wants people to know there are residents who are educated and have great jobs and haven’t turned their backs on the community. She added the focus on the community is often on the unemployed and homeless, but there are taxpayers working hard to improve the area.

During the 1850s the intersection of 63rd and LaSalle was known as “Junction Grove“ because of the thriving railroad industry. In the 1970s the community was home to a large shopping center that was the site of parades, concerts and radio broadcasts.

The panelists said community members are trying to relive those eras through civic engagement and empowerment. Volunteers are registering residents to vote, creating art pieces to display in vacant retail shops and cleaning up trash-filled lots. 
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