Berwyn touts gay growth

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By Dan Haley

Editor and Publisher

Just how gay is Berwyn? Determinedly and proudly gay, we'd say after reading a press release sent out Monday by the Berwyn Development Corporation.

The release was accompanied by a picture of Mayor Robert Lovero riding a float in last week's Pride parade in Chicago and touting the city's sponsorship of Northalsted Market Days for the seventh year.

Oak Park's southern neighbor has been actively marketing itself for several years now as an affordable alternative in the urban/suburban niche pioneered by Oak Park. It's "Why Berwyn?" campaign is visible on billboards, in social media and in marketing materials targeting younger and affluent Chicago residents. And borrowing a further page from Oak Park, Berwyn has specifically targeted gays as potential homebuyers.

Seems to be working, too. The release cites a study by the Williams Institute at UCLA listing Berwyn as the third ranked city in Illinois for same-sex couples per thousand households. It places just after Oak Park and Evanston.  The release cites census statistics showing that from 2000 to 2010 Berwyn had a 41 percent increase in gay households. 

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