Community economic development is a big topic in Chicago. Everyone is talking about how to revitalize communities and their commercial corridors while also creating family supporting jobs. It is no wonder then that Jeff Bartow, along with Meghan Harte from LISC, Perry Gunn from Teamwork Englewood, and Carlos Nelson from Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation were invited to speak on this subject to the City Club of Chicago on May 31st.
In his presentation, Jeff outlined SWOP’s work as part of the Southwest Corridor Collaborative (SWCC); an initiative sponsored by LISC Chicago to promote economic development in Chicago Lawn, Englewood, and Auburn Gresham. He talked about the need to redevelop the old Sears store at 62nd and Western to create shopping and service opportunities for the community while also providing jobs for residents. Most importantly, Jeff spoke of the need to build human connections between community stakeholders so that they can do the organizing needed to make plans into reality. It was a lively panel discussion with lots of back and forth between all the presenters. Everyone left with a lot to think about and with some clear cut ideas on how to improve the economic conditions of Chicago’s neighborhoods.
You can find a video of the City Club of Chicago presentation here.