Update: For more info or to volunteer your time to organize this event, please email email@example.com
A reader writes in:
Good afternoon UU,
While I would consider the June 7th rally somewhat successful, I have a feeling that the location of it put many who were interested in participating off from attending. I heard from quite a few people that did not attend the rally because they felt that it was going to be a hostile, anti-Shiller crowd.
I’d like to propose the following, a joint block club “peace march” that would start in one area of Uptown, and collect marchers along the way. The final destination would be in an open field/park area where perhaps we can have a large joint block club party. I am a member of the Argyle/Winmore Block Club. When I first moved to Uptown almost 4 years ago, our block club hosted a huge block club party on Kenmore that featured a live band, games for the kids, dancers, a martial arts demonstration and free food sponsored by the local restaurants. Hundreds of people attended our block club party, and the theme was our block club theme ‘Pride of Place’. It was extremely successful, and diverse.
This event would require a lot of volunteers and work to pull off, we would need donated tables, and food, and people willing to serve food, set up and clean up. We would need permission to use open park space to pull something like this off. However, I think it will be a fantastic way to unify everyone in Uptown, in one huge group and show the unsavory element of our community that we are all unified in our stance that drugs, gangs and shootings are not welcome in Uptown.
A march like this would be very public and draw a lot of attention. People would feel comfortable joining in as we would be marching from one area to the next. Because the destination would be neutral, no one group would be feel polarized and concluding with a party would encourage people to meet their neighbors and discuss the issues at hand.
-We could invite Aldermans of participating wards to speak on their plans to keep moving Uptown forward
-We could invite Kathleen Boehmer and CAPS officers to attend and speak on ways we can help keep Uptown safe
-It would provide local restaurants an opportunity to draw customers by letting them sample their food for free, thus boosting business
-It would be an excellent media opportunity to draw attention to a Chicago city that quite frankly, I think is completely ignored by the media.
One good place to start might be Truman College. It’s somewhat centrally located, and they have the land space as well as tables we might be able to use. Or we can see about utilizing public park space by the lake, perhaps Margate Park?
I would be willing to donate my time in setting something like this up, as well as doing the PR to draw media attention as I have experience doing PR. Of course, I will need A LOT of help. We will need people willing to be leaders to step up to the plate to make this happen.
Given that this will take time to set up, my suggestion is to host this in August.
If you can please post this as a possible suggestion to readers of UU, I would appreciate it.