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Collaboration, Not Criticism Gets Results


This week trees were planted in the new park being developed at the corner of Devon & McCormick.  Equipment and much of the infrastructure has already been installed.  The ground has been graded. What was once an embarrassing eyesore will soon be an attractive gateway to West Rogers Park.

At the end of next year we expect to be able to say the same thing about the new Northtown Branch of the Chicago Public Library that is slated to open in December, 2018 at the corner of Pratt and Western.

It is worth reflecting on how changes like this happen in a community.

We are living in an era of extreme partisanship marked by unrelenting negativity.  It seems as if the thought of different factions working together toward a common goal is unattainable.  Many candidates for office attack the very government that they aspire to lead.

With a Masters in Public Administration, a PhD in Government and decades leading non-profit organizations, I have a different view.  

JCCWRP is a voluntary organization, funded by individuals, organizations and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.  We receive no support from the city of Chicago, but it is through collaboration with the city that much of our success to date has been achieved.  And the city is most responsive when our voice is amplified by our working with a broad base of other groups.

None of us individually or collectively build parks or libraries. The city does. 

It is our collaborative relationship with our Alderman, Debra Silverstein and through her with the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Public Library that we have been able to improve our community.  And it is through that working relationship that we will continue to make progress by transforming the needs that our constituents identify into tangible results going forward.

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