WEST SIDE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION RELEASES UPDATED QUALITY OF LIFE PLAN
11/7/2018, noon | Updated on 11/7/2018, noon
West Side Community Development Organization Releases Updated Quality Of Life Plan
BY KATHERINE NEWMAN
The North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council (NLCCC), in partnership with LISC Chicago and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, recently held a community meeting at the Old Saint Patrick’s Auxiliary Auditorium, 625 West Adams St., to unveil an updated Quality of Life Plan for the entire North Lawndale community.
The NLCCC is a group of residents, community- based organizations, and community institutions that all came together to achieve one common goal which was creating a comprehensive plan to improve the quality of life in North Lawndale.
The recently released Quality of Life Plan, entitled North Lawndale: The Next Chapter, contains eight chapters that detail the work of 13 subcommittees which include housing, economic development, workforce development, transportation and infrastructure, technology, GROWS (green, open space, water, and soil), arts and culture, health and wellness, public safety, education and youth development, sports and recreation, communications, and capacity building.
Three of the greatest needs that came out of the plan were a need for workforce
development, economic development, and improved public safety, according to Tameeka Christian, program officer for LISC Chicago who oversaw the Quality-of-Life Plan in North Lawndale.
“There is a very high unemployment rate in North Lawndale and if you go to the workforce development chapter in the plan, you will see that the goal is, over the next 5 years, to get 5,000 people connected to a job,” said Christian.
When it comes to economic development, there is a need for a local grocery store in North Lawndale. Adding a grocery to the community will improve the quality of life for residents and act as an anchor for the future rebuilding of commercial corridor in the neighborhood, according to Christian.
“Then there is public safety. We have a high rate of shootings here in North Lawndale and the public safety committee is taking a different approach to change that by providing street interventions with individuals out in the community to learn how to better prevent shootings and also to look at how they can build better relationships with the police department,” said Christian.
The North Lawndale Quality of Life Plan was created with the hopes of changing the narrative surrounding the community from violence and poverty to peace and prosperity.
Over the last two years, residents and stakeholders have been dedicated to working together to get this plan implemented and several early action initiatives have already resulted in millions of dollars being invested in North Lawndale.
“For the long term, the plan provides a blueprint for those that want to invest in the community. It provides an opportunity for people to be able to look at the Quality of Life Plan, find something that aligns with their interests, and support it. The plan is a living document of course because the needs of the community change as the community progresses but I think it also serves as an anchor document,” said Christian.
For years to come, the plan will be a resource for the community and a blueprint for developers, investors, and small business owners.