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The Localist Revolution


David Brooks, author, former op-ed editor for theWall Street Journal, and politically moderate commentator who writes forThe New York Times, in his July 20 column, laid out the rationale for what he believes is a resurgence of localism.

Brooks notes that, “Success is not measured by how big you can scale, but by how deeply you can connect.”That,“...people are happiest when their lives are enmeshed in caring face-to-face relationships, building their communities together.”

The years that I have had the luxury to volunteer my time and expertise as President of the Jewish Community Council of West Rogers Park have given me the empirical evidence to know that Brooks is on to something.

For five years before retiring and returning to Chicago and resettling in Pittsburgh, I ran a legacy organization, The Jewish Federations of North America, based in NYC.With over 150 Jewish Federations in the USA and Canada as constituent members, policies and programs aimed at effecting change, even if adopted nationally, were not always implemented locally.

What a contrast to being back in West Rogers Park, where we can work face-to-face with those who create change: Alderman Silverstein, and through her with those who are charged with responsibilities in governmental areas of importance to us, including The Chicago Public Library, The Chicago Park District, and The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District; local merchants; Jewish Federation, Jewish agency and congregational leaders; our neighboring municipalities; other organizations based in WRP that meetvarious needs in our community, and the key ingredient, concerned residents who want to make a difference.

At my stage of life, I find it a kick to apparently be doing something trendy.

Helping to facilitate change locally, right here in WRP.

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