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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Building a sustainable and enhanced community

Originally posted at The Sixth Ward on May 16, 2008 this is a description of the neighborhood surrounding Shedd Elementary and Harlan High School is only around the corner on Michigan.

From the March 2008 issue of the Roseland Heights Community Association newsletter. I really like how this piece has some history written into it:
For years we were here, growing, taking pride in our neat, safe homes, building a community based on common values, traditions and dreams for our children. We were here before Harlan High or Shedd Elementary schools were built, bot schools of quality and harmony. The Dan Ryan was built: we saw a terminal erected; Chicago State came and took root. We were striving, hopeful, growing, looking forward to, we thought, a stronger more viable community. But circumstances of time and changes in urban living and the state of the economy have brought about some harsh realities.

We face the changes of foreclosures, neglected homes, and a denser population of people has arrived. While passing through some are looking for opportunities to commit crime, litter, peddle, loiter, or exhibit inappropriate and unacceptable behavior-some of these activities are evident within our community as well. We find our community faced with a few families at a loss, lacking in social skills, uninterested and disrespectful to our way of life predicated on a higher standard. Some of our youth are restless, without positive direction, spirit and uninterested in pursuing an education. Our children are in harms way, victims of gang intimidations and violence.

Thought discouraging to acknowlege, what goes on in our community affects everyone, because anywhere and at anytime "we" or a neighbor can become a victim. Yet, all is not lost or hopeless, We need not become another black community lost. We have the opportunity to work for change, to holdfast to the belief that there are some things we can do, beginning with standing up for our community. There is no one else. It is our responsiblity.

As a community we should come together with purpose and spirit, mindful that we have integrity borne of history and tradition. You have made an investment here. Why allow your property value to decline or accept a lesser quality of life? Together we can make this community what it has always been and was meant to be with a legacy we must pass on. Know that where there is will, there is grace. RHCA represents all that the community stands for: community values, concerns, and making things better for all of us since 1957. You can contribute to the effort by attending our next meeting, joining your community association bringing your check or money order payable to RHCA.

Gloria Offord, President
A good call to action don't you think. Apparently she took over for the previous association president who retired apparently during the middle of his term. I suppose this is Ms. Offord's inaugural address of sort. According to the newsletter she was just elected in February.

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