Literal community building – Roosevelt Square initiative

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It’s simple and profound. Simple things are often our most overlooked and, yet, most profound, aspects of our lives. The holiday of Thanksgiving is thankfully also largely non sectarian and devoid of commercialism. The idea of being thankful as a quality of our internal disposition toward life is an attribute that the major spiritualities of the world all emphasize, but one often overlooked by many practitioners.

I am very grateful for all of the people, and there are very many, in this community who have helped grow Connecting4Communities into something fun, meaningful and, I hope, rewarding for all involved this first year of its existence.

We intend to continue to have a positive impact on two issues in our community that are critical to making this a vibrant, healthy and fun community. One, of course, is gaining guaranteed access to academically excellent primary and secondary public education for all the children in this area. The other is making the Roosevelt Square development truly transformative and one that realizes the ideals of HOPE VI.

We are fortunate to live in a community dominated by a large academic institution of higher education and one that is moving in very positive directions on many important fronts. The Chicago campus of the University of Illinois contributes in many ways to our community, economically, socially and culturally to name just a few. The UIC has helped C4C grow; they have helped the Marcy-Newberry Association in their mission; and they provide many cultural activities of which residents can partake.

On the subject of universities, at the end of October we gave a tour of the Roosevelt Square site and other Chicago communities that exhibit excellent urban planning and design to nine very bright University of Notre Dame seniors in the School of Architecture, who were accompanied by the Executive Director and Director of Design of the University’s Center for Building Communities, along with an accomplished Chicago architect who is a personal friend of leadership team of the Center. Check out the conceptual work the Center for Building Communities did in the nearby town of Wheaton. Wheaton Community Presentation It’s a large file so give it some time to load on your computer.

St. Ignatius College Prep. provided the transportation followed by a tour of their remarkable institution and a lunch. St. Ignatius College Prep, which began as a university, exhibits the finest aspects of the Catholic Jesuit order of service and education. We can all be thankful that this incredible and historic institution is part of our community.