CHICAGO — South Side aldermen are turning to the old proverb "in unity, there is strength,” and say more can be done for their area if they stand and work together.
They held a town hall meeting Monday to help promote the area and seek the input of their constituents.
The hope is to work together for a common goal.
“We are coming together in unity and that’s the common theme,” 16th Ward Alderman Stephanie Coleman said.
The inaugural Englewood Summit was held at Kennedy King College and hosted by five council members whose districts encompass all or parts of the southside Chicago neighborhood.
In recent years corporations such as AT&T, Chipotle, Starbucks and others have made investments in the area to help spur economic development and create economic opportunities that have been lacking in the area for decades.
Coleman and her colleagues welcome more dollars to the community by any entities that qualify as good community partners.
On the agenda was how to develop more commercial corridors and bring some downtown TIF money to the area.
The summit is also about bringing people together in proactive ways to work with police, instead of reacting to news of tragedy.
“We are getting together when disparities happen but now we are getting together to improve our community and that should be commended,” Coleman said. “And have a more focused discussion as a relates to the Inglewood West Inglewood Corridor.”
“Too often, just like in our families, we only come together for the bad times,” Alderman Ray Lopez said. “Often we see our families just at funerals. Well this is not a funeral. This is the rebirth of our neighborhood!”
For local resident Carl Murray, its long overdue to fulfil the dream of the Civil Rights movement of racial and economic prosperity.
“Like downtown, we would like to see the Englewood area linked with jobs, children playing, reading, studying, with libraries, grocery stores,” he said. “Great things like that.”
Coleman said the number of future summits and their locations will go will depend greatly on public feedback.