Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and Mayor Lori Lightfoot say they are organizing a series of community engagement events beginning Dec. 14 and continuing in January as the next steps in the INVEST South/West initiative.
The initiative is intended to leverage resources from public, private and nonprofit sectors to revitalize commercial corridors in 10 South and West side neighborhoods.
“INVEST South/West is bringing together government, businesses and community groups to make coordinated investments in 10 neighborhoods, reversing decades of disinvestment on Chicago’s South and West Sides, and driving inclusive growth in commercial corridors throughout our city,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “We will create economically dynamic communities if we make these investments with residents, not for residents, which is why my administration wants to hear feedback from individuals who live in these neighborhoods.”
Each event will include a broad overview of the initiative, performances by local artists, and an open house with planning exercises for each community area, youth activities and food from local chefs. City staff will also provide information to entrepreneurs on the application process for DPD grant programs, including the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund and the Small Business Improvement Fund.
The family-friendly events are organized by DPD and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). The schedule is listed below.
Englewood, Auburn Gresham and New City
11 a.m. to 2 pm, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019
Kennedy-King College, 6301 S. Halsted St.
Humboldt Park, Austin and North Lawndale
11 am to 2 pm, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020
Kehrein Center for the Arts, 5628 W. Washington Blvd.
Quad Communities, South Shore and South Chicago
11 am to 2 pm, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020
Gary Comer Youth Center, 7200 S. Ingleside Ave.
5 to 8 pm, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020
Pullman Community Center, 10355 S. Woodlawn Ave.
The city says INVEST South/West is a three-year initiative to align private investment alongside more than $750 million in public funding to re-activate neighborhood cores on the South and West sides that have historically served as focal points for pedestrian activity, shopping and services for local residents.