Speaking of the Arts District, it only took 35 years of pain, but things are really humming now. New construction at Harrison and Lombard is well along with both work/live townhouses and retail coming right up. An old barrel-roofed warehouse space is being renovated for new uses. And several new food-focused businesses are opening.

This great and convenient neighborhood is finally getting the creative love it deserves. Mostly these are private sector initiatives with small spruce-up investments by the village government. 

 In a moment of national shame at the way the Trump administration has consciously, callously assaulted Hispanic families at our southern border, we can proudly look at the example of Dominican University as a model for inclusion.

With a freshman class that is 40 percent Hispanic, this Catholic institution is practicing its faith in real time, in real life. 

 The VMA held its own celebration last week as it marked its end as a positive political force in Oak Park over most of its six decades. Hard to overstate the good this political entity played in the village — from good government to fair housing, from gay rights to economic development. In a fair-minded assessment, though, Bob Kane, a one-time VMA president, acknowledged the group had worn down. “We needed to be vocal about the next cause and we were not.” The group he said, entered “legend” status which is a hard place from which to make change. 

Does not for a moment diminish its historic place. And its closing only reminds us of the need for leadership that is bold, inclusive and understands complexity.

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