Late U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill could have been looking at the opportunity for impact we currently have in West Rogers Park when he coined the now-famous dictum: “All politics is local.”
Just this past Monday, Alderman Debra Silverstein convened a well-attended community meeting to introduce plans for the new state-of-the-art public library with 30 senior housing apartments to be built on the northwest corner of Pratt and Western. West Rogers Park is one of three city neighborhoods slated to receive a new library through a Chicago Public Library-Chicago Housing Authority co-venture, and WRP is the first of the three slated for actual development.
Ald. Silverstein acknowledged the important role played by the members of the community who collected more than 2000 signatures on a petition in support of a new library. JCCWRP is proud to be a founding member of the LEARN coalition that coordinated this effort.
As the project moves forward, many issues need to be resolved: provision for adequate parking; criteria for resident selection; nearby commercial development to accommodate residents; design, safety and environmental concerns for the new structure, and design and programming for the library itself.
We will remain an active member of LEARN to ensure that the needs of our community are met.
Can one voice affect such an outcome? Doubtful. Can many speaking out collectively make an impact? Undeniable.
Ald. Silverstein emphasized that future community meetings will be called to solicit input. Your attendance is crucial. Bring your friends, relatives and colleagues with you.
In the long run, becoming activists on behalf of our community is the most important voter turnout all.
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