Southside's This-Far-By-Faith Reports on CMAP'S 2012 GO-TO-2040 Community Process
Concerned residents and community activists of Greater Englewood, Woodlawn, and Washington Park turned out in force to the first of the 2012 series of community-located regional planning meetings, hosted by Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) on its GO-TO-2040 Master Plan for the Northeast Illinois Region, inclusive of Cook County neighborhoods. The meeting was held Saturday morning, January 28th past at Woodlawn's AKARAMA Community Center, 62nd and Ingleside. City of Chicago agency officials, regional non-profit functionaries, and local Aldermen also joined the meeting to ostensibly discuss CMAP'S process for building "Green Healthy Neighborhoods."
Brandon Johnson, Executive Director, Washington Park Consortium and Rev. Jacques Conway, Executive Director of Teamwork Englewood, urged the gathering's grassroots activists and concerned residents to stay integrally involved in CMAP'S regional planning process. They encouraged community forces to continue consistently raising their representative voices at the CMAP planning table on what the above Southside communities should look like economically, politically, environmentally, and culturally going forward to 2040.
Despite the intircate web of social challenges the Southside neighborhoods represented at the AKARAMA meeting, many speakers pointed to such signs of hope as the recent relocation of Kennedy-King College and the Washburn Cullinary Institute complex at the intersection of 63rd and Halsted, the Grove Park redevelopment project around Woodlawn's Cottage Grove thoroughfare, the Wood Street Urban Farm initiative at 58th & Wood, and the the Urban Junction project of Washington Park.
Going forward, a series of 2012 tri-monthly community planning meetings are slated beginning March 31, when Washington Park's Coppin AME Church (56th & Michigan) will host a second planning session focused on neighborhood economic development within the framework of CMAP'S Northeastern Illinois Regional Plan toward 2040.
For more information contact Ms. Samantha N. Robinson, AICP, Associate Planner, CMAP.
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