Added Jul 10 2014
I used to live in Logan Square. But then the Guy moved in & we ended up closer to Avondale. But I still love LS and it makes me think very very hard about my relationship to the very rapid changes happening in the area.
I want to share a conversation I had with a really nice young woman who worked in a shop. And then I want to ask a question of the community.
We were talking about how the neighborhood has been changing and our different feelings about it. As a woman of color, I shared my own conflicting feelings - I'm part of the new folks moving in, but also I feel it important to keep this neighborhood accessible for everyone. As part of the business community, she felt it important to support the revitalization of the community but as a resident, she was also feeling bad about the displacements and that there seemed to be a growing tension between 'them' and 'us' (however we defined that binary.)
I felt we were going somewhere so I asked, 'Well, what if local businesses could signal that all the cool new stuff was also meant for the people who have been living here, too?'
She didn't know what I meant. I said, 'Well, it's little things. Like your Welcome sign. What if it was also in Spanish? And what if you could carry local stuff from crafters and artists in the area who reflect heritage of folks from the neighborhood? Or what if there was a way for local businesses to partner with the alderman to create a summer jobs program for local teens? What if there was a way we could actually create a neighborhood for everyone, not just the M Fishmans? What if there was a way to stop Logan Square from becoming broville and just make it more inclusive??'
She said, 'I never thought of that.'
And so my question: Are folks interested in figuring out how to build a community that works for everyone in it? Cuz I can't be the only one sort of disquieted by how 'cool' Logan Square is. (And I was about to delete this post as soon as I wrote it, but whatever.)