2012 was an eventful year in Uptown and our block club was busy with a number of projects to improve our community and make connections with neighbors, local businesses, the alderman and the City. We’re really proud of what we accomplished and have great plans for 2013.
The spring began with a membership (http://www.gwna.wordpress.com) “meet and greet” at the Driftwood on Montrose. We met many neighbors (and their dogs!) over a beer and learned about their concerns for the neighborhood. Public Safety remains a major issue and GWNA members are working with Alderman Cappleman, the Chicago Police, and property managers through the CAPS program to pinpoint and report crime when it occurs, keep an eye on problem buildings and attend court hearings when arrests are made and evictions are in the works. Hard work and persistence by GWNA members have resulted in a number of successful prosecutions of known troublemakers in our community.
Wilson L Station Reconstruction Project coming soon
The upcoming $213 million Wilson L station reconstruction project will dramatically change our neighborhood. Graceland Wilson Neighbors created an extensive survey (http://gwna.wordpress.com/wilson-el-station/#survey) to find out what Uptown residents wanted to see with regard to safety, convenience and amenities in and around the new station. More than 525 residents completed the survey (thank you!) which was presented to the CTA and the alderman in October.
The most important issue was safety, with a secure, well-lighted station surrounded by vibrant retail shops and restaurants at the top of most respondents’ lists. Safe, short access to the Wilson L platform via a Sunnyside entrance was another priority. Members of GWNA’s board also met with the local managers from both Target and Aldi who said they also support a safer, closer entrance to the Red Line station for their employees and shoppers.
The CTA hosted a community meeting at Truman College this fall where we found out that the CTA also favors an entrance on Sunnyside along with a refurbished entrance on the north corner of Wilson and Broadway. You can read more about the Wilson L Station amenities that could include a restaurant/coffee shop and international food mart and check out the renderings by visiting . We’ll also continue to participate in conversations with the Alderman and CTA and report on its progress on our website.
GWNA Efforts to Improve Public Safety
We’re especially proud of our GWNA member’s efforts to make our neighborhood a safe, great place to live. Thanks to our members who have worked very closely with Dana Fritz from the alderman’s office, we have identified three neighborhood residents whose behavior has been violent and destructive. Eviction proceedings were initiated. One tenant has moved, another scheduled to leave in January and the third tenant will be back on court this week. We’ll continue to focus on public safety and welcome new members with new ideas on how to make this happen. If you’re not already a GWNA member, check our membership form and details at gwna.org (http://www.gwna.wordpress.com) .
GWNA 2012 Accomplishments
We’re going to toot our horn right now and recap all that we’ve accomplished in 2012. Hope you’ll join us soon and make 2013 an even more remarkable year.
* Created and presented the GWNA menu money survey for public improvements like streets, alleys, lights
* Designed, promoted, and presented the Wilson L Station Reconstruction Survey to CTA and alderman
* Met with Target & Aldi’s management to discuss Sunnyside L entrance
* Supported three key eviction cases in our neighborhood
* Requested new tree plantings on Sunnyside by Magnolia
* Hosted Clean & Green
* Hosted an ice cream social event in the fall, which will be moved to July in 2013.
* Hosted third annual Kids Halloween on the Sunnyside Mall
GWNA Looking Ahead to 2013—More Members, We need you!
Save the Date for GWNA Membership Event: We’ll be kicking off 2013 with a general meeting and get-together on January 17 at The Spot on Broadway. It’s a great way to meet your neighbors, find out what’s going on in Uptown and become a member of GWNA yourself. Watch this space (http://www.gwna.wordpress.com) for more details.
Join us for a our Membership Event!
4437 N. Broadway
Thursday, January 17^th
6 to 8 pm