Broad Shoulders Update

news and information for cmun dev advocates in metropolitan Chicago

Police & Community Partnerships in L.A. Housing Projects

LA's Community Safety Partnership has been covered by a variety of media outlets including NPR and The New York Times Magazine. I happened upon it while changing channels via a recent episode of the HBO program "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel." One of the segments was on the Watts Bears kids football team. The Watts Bears youth football and track program is open to children living in the Nickerson Gardens, Imperial Courts, and Jordan Down public housing developments. Police athletic programs are nothing new. Many cities have such programs. But it turns out that the Watts Bears are just one component of the Community Safety Partnership developed by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) and the Los Angeles Police Department. In 2011, HACLA and the police department implemented a community-engaged policing strategy in four public housing communities in the Watts neighborhood: Nickerson Gardens, Imperial Courts, Jordan Downs, and Ramona Gardens. The Watts neighborhood has the greatest concentration of public housing in the city and each development had been marked by deep-rooted gang problems, drug sales, and crime.

Written by Rooflines

April 9th, 2015 at 2:00 pm

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Solar for the People

So this story started off sounding so promising. An affordable housing complex put solar panels on its roof! Also, it's affordable "community solar," meaning you can invest in a piece of it for $150 (instead of, say, $10K to buy your own array, or minimum $500-$1400 in other joint solar investments) and earn a return in lower energy bills as you share in the electricity the panels generate. You'll at least break even in five years. The article is pretty gushy about it—this is about the "real sharing economy" and following Naomi Klein's dictum that "the people who got the worst deal in the old economy should be the first in line to benefit in the new economy." Splendid--some of the returns of the solar revolution going to folks without the resources to put up solar themselves. I'm all for that. But then I realized the "community" part and the where it's located part didn't seem connected. Somewhere buried down at the end of the article is a concern that seemed to me to be a fairly big point—none of the people living in the building have bought in. In fact, none of the residents of Capitol Hill Housing's 48 affordable housing properties have. Even $150 is probably a bit much for them to put up just because it's the right thing to do, since the return is fairly slow.  That sounded bad to me—I actually started writing this post as a disappointed, "gee that doesn't sound so great after all" post.  But then a I poked a little further and found that one of the crucial points wasn't mentioned in the first article at all—after the initial 5 year investment period, the solar array will be donated to the affordable housing nonprofit that owns the building to "reduce the long-term operating expenses of affordable housing." Now we're talking! Community investment, a modest return, locally sourced parts and labor, increased distributed capacity attached to the grid—and eventually reduced utility costs specifically for affordable housing. That could be a pretty great model. What do you think? Would you host a project like this on your roof for benefits starting in 5 years? (Photo credit: Flickr user WildEarth Guardians, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Written by Rooflines

April 8th, 2015 at 1:00 pm

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The Role of Municipalities in Supporting Family Wealth-Building

How might a municipality leverage its resources and influence to better support its families? Hawai'i County, specifically the Office of Housing & Community Development, has leveraged its influence to bring partners together to address that issue, and supports the Ho'owaiwai Network as a vehicle to deliver programs and services to the community. As mentioned in a past post, ho'owaiwai is a Hawaiian word that broadly translates to a vision of wealth that is more than financial, and encompasses relationships with family, place, and culture. The Ho‘owaiwai Network convenes government, service provider, private, and community partners to sustain and expand support that will increase the financial stability and genuine well being of Hawai‘i Island families while building and strengthening the communities in which they live and thrive.  Its intent was to realize outcomes at three levels:

Written by Rooflines

April 7th, 2015 at 3:04 pm

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Municipalities Leverage Resources to Support Family Wealth-Building

How might a municipality leverage its resources and influence to better support its families? Hawai'i County, specifically the Office of Housing & Community Development, has leveraged its influence to bring partners together to address that issue, and supports the Ho'owaiwai Network as a vehicle to deliver programs and services to the community. As mentioned in a past post, ho'owaiwai is a Hawaiian word that broadly translates to a vision of wealth that is more than financial, and encompasses relationships with family, place, and culture. The Ho‘owaiwai Network works to sustain and expand supports that increase the financial stability of Hawai‘i island families while building and strengthening the communities in which they live. Its mission is to realize outcomes at three levels:

Written by Rooflines

April 7th, 2015 at 3:04 pm

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Funston girls at Project Exploration Spring Break Engineering Camp


Motorola Mobility Partners With Project Exploration for Spring Break Engineering Camp

Weeklong Immersion in Product Design and Engineering for 24 Girls From Funston Elementary

Chicago — Monday, April 6th – Friday, April 10th, Project Exploration (PE) and Motorola Mobility will implement a STEM Engineering Exploration Camp for twenty-four 6th–8th grade girls at Logan Square’s Funston Elementary School, with support from the Logan Square Neighborhood Association. Women from Motorola Mobility will mentor the girls, leading engaging hands-on activities focused on product development. Topics will include research, design, prototype creation, and marketing. Using the engineering and design principals they encounter, participants will invent and design their own unique products, and create presentations that highlight their usefulness.

The program includes field trips to Motorola Mobility’s headquarters at the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. The program will culminate on April 10, 2015 when students will pitch their product design to Motorola executives during a “shark tank” style presentation.

"One of the Motorola Mobility Foundation's biggest initiatives is to increase access to STEAM curricula, so it’s very exciting to introduce girls in the community to STEAM skills and career paths. We’re delighted and honored to partner with Project Exploration for the upcoming Spring Break Engineering Camp." – Eve Bills, Motorola product manager

Project Exploration programs at Funston are provided in partnership with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, and include Sisters4Science (a weekly afterschool program where girls meet a variety of female scientists), and the upcoming 2015 Summer Science Camp.

Says LSNA’s Lissette Moreno Kuri, Director of Community Learning Centers: “The Logan Square Neighborhood Association is very excited to offer our young girls a program that introduces them to positive role models, stimulates their minds, and encourages them to think about science careers. We here at LSNA cannot over emphasize the importance of community partners like Project Exploration to strengthening our community, and we hope that our partnership continues to grow in other Logan Square schools.”

By providing girls with a nurturing environment to encounter science, the program aims to encourage them to:

  • Develop higher self-esteem about their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and decisions
  • Understand the roles that contribute to research, product management, design, and engineering
  • Improve their communication skills through the process of sales, marketing, and informing others about their product

In recognition of their achievements, girls who complete the program will earn digital badges.

For more information, please contact: Project Exploration: Syda Taylor, staylor@projectexploration.org Motorola Mobility: Monica Hauser, mhauser@motorola.com Logan Square Neighborhood Association: Maria Trejo, mtrejo@lsna.net Funston Elementary (LSNA): Amy Agosto, eagosto@lsna.net


Written by Logan Square Neighborhood Association - Latest news

April 6th, 2015 at 6:00 pm

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Intergenerational Housing-The New Sharing Model?

Last month, I wrote a piece on intergenerational collaborations, specifically a small program that brought teenagers to a retirement home to tutor senior residents on use of the Internet. Also mentioned was a senior housing development in Connecticut that enables residents to work in the building’s ground floor day care center. This intentional mixing of old and young in social environments is not new in the United States, but it is growing more common, as it becomes ever clearer that both groups learn valuable lessons from the other, and the perceived “communication gap” between the two may, for the most part, be made up (or at least exaggerated). With regard to housing, it is also ever clearer that designing new models that mix the young and the old is becoming necessary, as affordable housing options for both groups don’t exist on the scale needed (Shelterforce's upcoming Aging issue discusses these challenges), and some programs are creating viable options.

Written by Rooflines

April 6th, 2015 at 1:00 pm

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Chicago 2nd Ward runoff debate



2ND WARD RUNOFF CANDIDATES TO DEBATE MARCH 24

Candidates in the Chicago runoff election for 2nd Ward alderman will face off March 24 at Columbus Elementary School. 1003 N. Leavitt St.

Crain’s Chicago Business political editor Greg Hinz and Chicago Tribune reporter Hal Dardick will moderate the forum.

Candidates in the April 7 election are the top two vote-getters in the six-way Feb. 24 primary race

  • Brian Hopkins - former aide to Cook County Commissioner John Daley.
  • Alyx Pattison - lawyer, local school council representative , former aide to Rep. Jan Schakowsky.

The format will allow open-ended questions with follow-up, as well as direct questions between the candidates. Propose questions for the panel at debate@eastvillagechicago.org.

The event is sponsored by the East Village Association, the Noble Square Home Owners Association, the Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association and the Wicker Park Committee.

Ward boundaries stretch from Lake Shore Drive to Oakley Boulevard and Huron Street to Wrightwood Avenue. Mayoral candidate Robert W. “Bob” Fioretti is the incumbent.

Bring your neighbors: The debate will start at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. Parking is available in the school lot across from the entrance. Please enter the building on the west.

CAN TV will be covering the event live. It will be seen on cable channel 27 and streamed at cantv.org/live.

Check your registration status, find your voting place and learn about early voting at the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners website.

Written by Webmaster

April 6th, 2015 at 3:38 am

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Chicago 2nd Ward runoff election forum video



There's a runoff election April 7. If you watch TV, you've might have heard about the mayor's race. But if you live in the 2nd Ward, mail carriers bring daily reminders about the aldermanic runoff.

Candidates Alex Pattison and Brian Hopkins squared off March 24 at Columbus Elementary school, in a debate moderated by the Chicago Tribune's Hal Dardick and Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business.

Thanks to CAN TV for video of the event, and to principal Wendy Anne Oleksy, organizer Steve Niketopolous and EVA co-sponsors the Noble Square Home Owners Association, the Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association and the Wicker Park Committee.

Photos from the event are on the EVA Facebook page.

If you haven't voted in the redrawn ward, look up your polling place.

Written by Webmaster

April 6th, 2015 at 3:33 am

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EVA Monday: Energy update, police staffing


Free energy advice will spark the conversation at Monday's East Village Association meeting.

Outreach coordinator Malory Giraldo will discuss Elevate Energy's free assessments to save energy and water. They're available to two-flat and apartment building owners, along with rebates and grants for energy improvements.

The nonprofit also administers ComEd’s Residential Real-Time Pricing, which prices electricity by the hour for homeowners to save at off-peak periods.

CAPS coordinator Molly Murray will answer questions on police staffing, an issue in Tuesday's mayoral and aldermanic runoffs. Chicago Police hiring has barely kept pace with retirements, and remaining officers have been working more overtime.

The West Town Chamber of Commerce is circulating a petition seeking to retain foot patrols on Division Street and Chicago Avenue. The two beat officers often are assigned to other beats.

The meeting starts at 7pm in the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott.

Written by Stephen Rynkiewicz

April 6th, 2015 at 3:28 am

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East Village history, for the record


Catherine Garypie and Gladys Anselmo review photos destined for the Chicago History Museum.

In its 30-plus years, the East Village Association has generated a substantial paper trail: Countless letters to city officials tell the stories of everything from graffiti paint-outs and crime watches to landmarking and tree plantings. And there were barbecues, holiday parties and protest marches. It's quite a history.

But it was also likely to have disappeared into obscurity. Organizing these files is a formidable task, and the documentation was scattered in the basements, attics and garages of various former officers.

Early EVA outreach on the Pizza Hut corner at Division and Ashland.

Now, that history will be available in perpetuity to future researchers of urban development, as part of the archives of the Research Center at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St.

The Research Center is interested in East Village’s role in citizen action movements and community and neighborhood life, saving the Goldblatt's Building (now the West Town Branch library at 1625 W. Chicago Ave.) and helping start a community land trust (the Frankie Machine garden at 1800 W. Haddon St.).

Records of our work on these and other issues will join the over 22 million Chicago and U.S. history artifacts in the Research Center collection.

Board members spent time organizing these materials for the Research Center to evaluate. Many thanks!

Written by Marjie Isaacson

April 6th, 2015 at 12:17 am

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