Building bridges with other groups that call West Rogers Park home has had a twofold payoff for us. It has amplified our voice, thus allowing our Alderman, Debra Silverstein to make a more compelling case for needed public improvements, which together with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other city officials she has brought to fruition. And it has helped us to establish meaningful relationships with those with whom we share our neighborhood. In unity there is strength.
Working beyond the “borders” within WRP has been a key to our success.
We also have benefited from looking outward, working beyond our neighborhood and political borders. Engaging in collective action with the Peterson Park Improvement Association. Meeting with the past and current mayors of Lincolnwood, Jerry Turry and Barry Bass and other Village officials. Connecting with key leadership in Skokie, including Chief of Police Anthony Scarpelli.
Mariyana Spyropoulos, President, and David St Pierre, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District have been invaluable partners in enabling us to overcome roadblocks to neighborhood improvement. Kurt Summers, Treasurer of the City of Chicago, with his priority of visiting every neighborhood, helped us during his time in WRP to extend our reach into the community.
And this is only a sampling of the other city, state and national elected and appointed officials with whom we have engaged.
Borders can either be barriers to collaborative action, or they can provide a new vantage point for broadening perspective and enhancing cooperation.
While the name Jewish Community Council of West Rogers Park may convey to some that we work in isolation as a Jewish organization that is constrained by our location within the city of Chicago, we have demonstrated that achieving our full potential requires breaking down the barriers that divide us.
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