A community rising against gentrification and leaders disavowing violence show some of the positive motions happening here in Humboldt park, notes community newsletter La Voz del Paseo Boricua.
Some hints of a bustling civil society, public spheres in action:
October 19-20th, religious leaders will organize with Ald. Billy Ocasio to march on Humboldt park and hold an overnight candlelight vigil against gun violence in the neighborhood. The demonstration is dubbed EX 20:13, in reference to the bible verse where God gave the commandment, Do Not Kill.
"The greatest threat to our lives isn't terrorism or radicalism in the Middle East or some far away land; it's the church's failure to take a firm stance against violence here..." says Rev. Wilfredo de Jesus in La Voz.
Hundreds of demonstrators are predicted to be on tap, urging greater gun-control laws and faith conviction to change cultures of violence. It's refreshing to see moral outrage made into good public policy, even though Chuck Heston (Moses) would disapprove.
November 3, Humboldt Park Empowerment Partnership’s Housing Team will host the first affordable housing summit with various community groups. Residents have complained that rising rents and property taxes along with pressure from developers are prompting longtime residents to clear the way for gentrification.
It's similar to the debate in Madison, where residents are complaining about city-funded condo development in Allied Drive. Sure, owner-occupied housing allows residents to put a larger stake in their communities than a often transient rental market. But moving poorer populations doesn't make sense in the long-run if you want to transform a neighborhood for the better.
Getting Back to Humboldt... If the city wants to ameliorate the quality of life in an area, try replacing the ubiquitous Dunkin' Doughnuts, liquor stores and Cash Stores with colleges and financial planning centers.
Mayor Daley's addiction to TIF-funded condos leaves longtime residents in the same rut, only relocated somewhere else.