What happens in Austin or Galewood affects Oak Park in many ways, including public safety and property values. Like multiple liquor stores on West Madison, the proliferation of pawn shops around North Avenue and Narragansett are part of the continuing degradation of a commercial street that once served the needs of the middle-class residents to the north and the south. More and more, North Avenue west of Austin resembles North Avenue east of Austin. It’s time to stop and reverse this trend.

Concerned residents should attend Ald. Deborah Graham’s meeting to discuss EZ Pawn on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 6:30 p.m., at Galewood Community Church, 1776 N. Narragansett in Galewood. Whether or not you attend, please let her know how you feel about the issue: Call 773-261-4646 or email ward29@cityofchicago.org.

ABC Bank of Chicago owns the strip mall where EZ Pawn wants to open. Please let the bank know how you feel as well. Sam Scott, chairman, 312-604-1100, sscott@abcbank.net. Colette Loesher, president, 773-854-2900, cloesher@abcbank.net.

Finally, North Avenue is also state Route 64, which means it also should be the concern of state Senator Harmon and state Representative Lilly. Please also let them know your views.

Judith Alexander

Oak Park

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