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Neighborhoods Fri Feb 21 2014

Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards Honors Projects, Recognizes Challenges

Chicago is a city with not only a bustling downtown core, but strong, diverse neighborhoods.

That's what over 1,500 civic leaders celebrated yesterday at the Palmer House Hilton. The Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA), now in its twentieth year, has made Chicago's neighborhood development a model for the country to emulate. At the event, leaders recognized successful neighborhood projects of 2013, celebrated a history of community development, and discussed issues that neighborhoods face today.

The event began with a panel moderated by WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and community organizers David Doig, Demond Drummer, and Michael Rodriguez of Pullman, Englewood, and Little Village, respectively, discussed what local and federal governments can do better to make their communities better. Rodriguez began the discussion by addressing the issue of comprehensive immigration reform--"I don't believe we should have second class citizenship."

The organizers questioned the efficacy of the "War on Drugs," explored the unemployment problem plaguing their neighborhoods and the issue of minimum wage.

cnda2014.jpgThey also highlighted positive projects and developments that have occurred in their communities. Drummer, who is part of Teamwork Englewood, explained how his organization taught 25 young people to code this past summer. Doig explained how a national park in Pullman would revitalize the entire Calumet Region while celebrating important aspects of the region's past.

"All communities should be neighborhoods of choice," said Rodriguez, who acknowledged many residents of the Little Village he knew growing up have left the community.

Following the panel was a video, "Twenty Years of Building Community" and the awards ceremony--which were given in 10 categories.

This year's awards went to:

The University of Chicago Arts & Public Life Initiative - The Chicago Community Trust Outstanding Community Strategy of the Year Award ($20,000)

The Resurrection Project- Back of the Yards Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative - The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project ($15,000)

Voice of the People of Uptown and the Chicago Community Development Corporation for Hazel Winthrop Apartments - The Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award ($15,000)

Related Companies for Parkway Gardens home - Outstanding For-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project Award

Just Pay for All Coalition - The Woods Fund Chicago Power of Community Award ($15,000)

Landon Bone Baker Architects for Harvest Commons Apartments - The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, First Place ($15,000)

JGMA for Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy - The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, Second Place ($3,000)

Landon Bone Baker architects for the Jackson at Woodlawn Park - The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, Third Place ($2,000)

Lawrence Benito, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights - The PrivateBank Norman Bobins Leadership Award ($5,000)

Raul Raymundo, The Resurrection Project - The Richard M. Daley Friend of the Neighborhoods Award

Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago (LISC Chicago) initiated the awards ceremony in 1995. The event was chaired by Edward J. Wehmer, Founder and CEO of Wintrust Financial.

 
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