Friday, December 26, 2008


After years of delays and wrangling with the Chicago Park District, work on the new Gale Park field house was finally nearing completion in June. An announcement by Ald. Joe Moore (49th ward) that a new Chicago Boys and Girls Club facility might move into the new field house and oversee programming, caught the Gale Park Advisory Council and many community residents by surprise.
Negotiations to bring the youth organization into the new community center had been ongoing since April 2007. Park advisory council members said they had not been informed of the proposal until several weeks before the community center was scheduled to open.
Community residents quickly mobilized and circulated a petition signed by more than 400 Rogers Park residents to keep the community center as a public space. In July, 75 community residents marched to Moore's 49th ward service office, where they plastered the windows with copies of their petition and signs stating, "Say no to Joe."
In the end, community residents prevailed. The Chicago Boys and Girls Club withdrew its proposal. Moore, in a carefully worded e-mail to constituents, wrote "park district officials simply did not have the stomach for a fight and decided instead to pursue a significantly scaled down version of the original Boys and Girls Club proposal."
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1 comment:

Jim Kepler said...

Congratulations for organizing rapidly, gathering widespread support, and presenting the case coherently and firmly. A job well done!