Monday, December 20, 2010

R.A.G.E. (Resident Association of Greater Englewood)

Wow, so many things are happening in Englewood, that I could barely keep up! In my last post, I wrote about having super powers to effectively manage my life and all my commitments within the community. Well as things steadily progress, I think these super powers will soon be put to the test!!

Here are some highlights from the last few weeks....

  • The celebration of both my daughter and my birthday on Nov. 26 (yes she was born on my birthday & is one of the greatest gifts I could have asked for) I enjoyed a fun-filled 90's party in honor of my bornday! It was super fantastic to reminisce about that colorful era!
  • For Thanksgiving, I helped coordinate a turkey giveaway for the "Vote To Eat" campaign with the Lupe Fiasco Foundation in conjunction with Che' Rhymefest - Beautiful experience and I must send a special thanks to Pastor Cross at Englewood United Methodist Church and "Doc" at Chop it Up Barbershop for opening their doors for this effort!!
    My precious daughter and myself on our birthday...
  • Englewood POWER!! Currently working with two extraordinary residents on youth media program (Media-N-Motion) set to launch on 1/5/11 at West Englewood Library
  • Attended about 5 holiday parties-Who doesn't love a great holiday party??
  • Screened Louder Than Bomb -This is a great documentary about young writers competing in a poetry slam...Its a must see and I hope to showcase this throughout Englewood using the Docs & Dialogue forum 
Courtesy Photo from Louder Than A Bomb
These are only a few of the things that went down these past weeks...As many of you know, I devote a lot of my time to "agency based" committees, task forces, councils etc. See post from November for specific details.

Like many residents who want to make a difference or have an impact in the community we find ways to join forces with others who are on that same page. However, the missing link I've discovered, is an Englewood council/committee made up of Residents ONLY.

Now I must admit there are a few such as the Southwest Block Club Federation, New Birth Block Club Coalition, Englewood Collaboration Council, etc., however, I have NOT seen the actions of a POWERFUL organized force of residents making some REAL noise here in the Englewood.  Don't get me wrong we are loud and we do make some noise but not in an organized manner....

Well, take my word for it that will soon change...As I continue to meet these "powerhouse" Englewood residents at many of these agencies table, I am thinking to myself we are the ones who need to unite to make a difference in our community!!

So in my traditional way of TAKING ACTION,  I made the first steps to start getting these residents to the table!! 

Wow, people are really sleep on the assets that live in the boundaries of Englewoood or are either too blinded by some of the challenges we face to see these extraordinary people from this area...

There are some dynamic residents who I personally refer to as the "Experts of Englewood" because everyone is equipped with their very own expertise!! There are folks willing and able to share their expertise to build a "GREATER" Englewood & don't you think its about time for the community at large to see us united?? Well, we are united in R.A.G.E!!

R.A.G.E. - Residents Association of Greater Englewood

As stakeholder, I see first hand how our community is constantly being taken advantage of....What's funny about the name R.A.G.E. is that we all have a some sense of RAGE about the current condition of our community.....

  1. We should feel RAGE about how the TIF dollars are not being used for the betterment of our community!
  2. We should feel RAGE about our current redistricting structures that keeps residents, businesses and political officials divided!
  3. We should feel RAGE about being the last to know about anything happening in our community or at our very own community college!! 
Its time for residents to be heard and demand that the wards in Englewood begin to COLLABORATE or CONSOLIDATE in order to improve the conditions in the entire community!!

Here are a few Greater Englewood facts:
  • Greater Englewood Boundaries consist of 55th North, 75th South, Dan Ryan, East, Hamilton , West and encompasses Englewood and West Englewood
  • There are 6 aldermanic wards and not 1 aldermanic office located within the boundaries of Englewood
  • Over 70, 000 residents live in these boundaries and 31% reside in owner-occupied homes
  • There are 51, 938 registered voters in Greater Englewood and 118 precincts
  • There are over 250 churches in the Greater Englewood community, which is ironic because we are often viewed one of the most violent communities in Chicago

So as you can see, the point of this post is to alert all who reads this that a change gone come for 2011!! Here are some questions you may want to consider....

Could we be more effective if there was a consolidation from 6 to 2 wards in the Greater Englewood Community?

Is a better solution the collaboration of all six wards working together to create an action plan?

Will it make a difference if at least one of the ward offices was located in the community of which it serves?

Shouldn't Englewood residents have a say in the redistricting process of our community?

Where is the sounding board of residents who have a say in how TIF dollars or other $$ will be spent in Englewood?

These are just a few questions from the members of R.A.G.E....So stay tuned for future developments!!

If you are a resident or if you know a resident who lives within the Englewood boundaries defined above...We are looking for reps from the 3rd, 6th, 15th, 16th, 17th, or 20th ward to join this powerful RESIDENT BASED movement!!

 Until next time, TAKE ACTION to CREATE the life you truly desire!!