Vacant Property Board-Up Victory!
In May 2011, Action Now won a community improvement victory in the East Garfield neighborhood. At Maypole and St. Louis there was huge multi-family vacant building across the street from a playground and a block away from a school. The building was not boarded up and illegal activity was going on inside. This building was a big safety hazard for the families living in the area.
By working with Action Now, residents of the neighborhood organized together and held house meetings, went door-to-door encouraging neighbors to call the Alderman and the Buildings Department, had a meeting with the Alderman and contacted the Commissioner of Buildings. About a week later, the building was boarded up with wood panels. A week after that, as a result of pressure from the residents, the Buildings Department contacted the owner of the property, which was a bank, and the bank secured the property with steel panels.
Now neighbors don’t have to worry about crime taking place in the building or their children being in danger because of the illegal activity going on in and around the building. This victory shows that when community members join together they can create real change!
Englewood Community Improvement Victory
In April 2011, Action Now won a community improvement victory in Englewood on 68th and Peoria. There was a large amount of trash and tree debris in a vacant on lot on the block that had become a dumping ground. Teresa Jones, an Action Now member who lives next door to the lot, was worried because the trash attracted rats and the rats were starting to enter her home. She even found a rat in her daughter’s bed!
As Ms. Jones said, “I just want a safe clean place for my children to live without having to worry about rats roaming free in our home or burrowing under the foundation. I am disgusted because I feel like this is happening because this is Englewood and Englewood has a negative reputation and no one seems to care much for it’s residents because of that reputation.” Action Now members organized together with residents in the community and spoke to Streets and Sanitation about the lot being an eyesore and safety hazard. As a result, the trash and debris in the lot was cleared away!