Where's the village? We moved here a year ago because Oak Park is an engaged community that pays attention to schools, to its housing stock, and to planned development. After living on the Northside of Chicago, we grew tired of going to sleep in a neighborhood and waking up in a new block of condos.
I don't think it is any secret that what has turned around our downtown shopping district is the renewal that took place at the Lake Theatre a few years ago. However, retail success is a fragile thing. Customer buying habits and retail comfort levels are built over many years.
Reading a letter to the editor that mentioned the volunteer work that occurs at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School (GBMS), I knew I had to chime in on the impact that these programs have on our students. There are two programs in particular which I think are good examples of what is great about Oak Park.
We are all well aware that, for the first time in over 50 years, a majority of elected officials sitting on the Oak Park village board were not slated by the Village Manager Association. What's not clear yet is how the fledgling organization?#34;for now called the New Leadership Coalition?#34;that slated the winning candidates is going to carry on relations with the new majority.
Ah, summertime! A season for working less, going to baseball games, enjoying picnics, hanging out at the pool and, of course, going on vacation. So, where are you going this year? Not, where are you going in terms of a geographical destination, but where are you headed in terms of becoming a more balanced, whole person?
RACIST SCUM: Breathes there an Oak Parker with soul so dead, who never to himself has said, "I love diversity?" Of course not. Nonetheless, there are racists among us who joined white flight out of Austin, making that neighborhood slide into rack and ruin.
For me, it was Myra Koehler. And I wondered when I took my older son's hand in mine for that walk on the first day of first grade?#34;and again, when my younger son and I took that same walk three years later: Who would be their Myra Koehler?