When people ask me how things are going in West Rogers Park, I naturally focus upon the good news: the new Magenta Sister Stores on Pratt & California; the just-announced plan for a new North Town Branch of the Chicago Public Library on Pratt & Western; the new park that will transform and beautify the corner of Devon & McCormick, and the new signage at Kol Tuv and Tel Aviv Bakery. Other things are in the pipeline. All real. All good.
Then the conversation usually defaults to what can be done about Devon between California & Kedzie, which is not yet good enough.
With the Streetscape upgrade of the lighting and sidewalks and the addition of benches and other beautifying elements to the avenue, thanks to the effort of Alderman Debra Silverstein, the time to leverage those changes is now.
What can we do about the boarded-up former cleaners at 3024 W. Devon that has become a dismal symbol of abandonment? What about the vacant double store just west of Citibank at Devon & California, with dirty and torn paper covering the windows, one of which is shattered? What about the stores for rent whose owners are not actively marketing their shabby-looking properties and in some cases obstructing progress? And what can be done to find new businesses willing to relocate to Devon?
The answer to the challenges we face on Devon is to redouble our efforts by broadening input and involvement from the community. And that is just what we will do in the days and months ahead.
Do you want to be part of a constructive movement to make a difference? Join us in a sustained effort to work with Alderman Silverstein and other like-minded officials and residents to transform this section of Devon once and for all.
YES, COUNT ME IN. I WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE ON DEVON!