So, all in all, today was a wonderful day. The weather wasn't too shabby in terms of temperature. It was gorgeous outside with the bright sun and blue skies. But the weather doesn't really matter to me. What matters is that we the community cleaned up some of Milwaukee. It looks so much better than before.
I am very happy to have been a part of this project today. Like I said earlier, it felt so great being involved. While we were cleaning, we had a few community members who weren't involved come up to us and asked us what we were doing. We told them "beautifying the community". The residents sounded happy by that news and said next time they were going to help. I think that's great.
I think that this story can apply to other areas of Avondale (east of Central Park, north of Belmont) and other neighborhoods like Logan Square, Hermosa, Irving Park, etc. Quite frankly, I consider this to be a success story on Beat 2523. It's great to see the community so involved in a neighborhood where at one time (more or less last year) it was in a downward spiral. It was on the verge of utter destruction, if you ask me. But us at the CAPS meetings/Neighborhood Association meetings put a bit of a stop to that. We started to call police for nearly everything, we talked to the businesses on Milwaukee Ave. about serving the drunks and today, we cleaned up the street.
But this battle to better this part Avondale ain't over yet. Not by a long shot. We still have lots of work to do. However, you know what? We're getting there. It's getting better slowly but surely. The drunks are getting less and less places to congregate at. And we are tackling the places where they're known to be at. More people are getting involved and the cops are helping us. Today, I am confident and I proudly say that things are going to get better in this neighborhood if we continue to care this much about our community.
In my 16 years and eight months of living in this part of Avondale, I have never seen such a dedicated group of people. Even when our neighborhood was really nice in the 90's, we didn't have this kind of dedication. So I want to send a BIG thank you out to our group, especially Colleen (our Beat Facilitator) for all of your great work in making our neighborhood safer for all. And, of course, a big thanks to our fine boys (and girls) in blue who work for CPD that have to put up with the criminals each and every day.
I want to say that, we should never give up on our neighborhood. We should continue to make it better for all, and I have the greatest faith that we will. Also, for other areas in Avondale and Logan Square, people, start doing the things our group does and your area will become better. Just look at our group for an example.
In conclusion, again, I send a big thank you out to everyone involved in today's work. Next time, I think that we'll only have more people and better results. And, thanks to the owner of Dunkin Donuts for the free coffee and sandwiches!
Here's photos of today's project:
This is Milwaukee Ave. and Haussen Court after we cleaned the intersection. Does it look better than before?
Residents painting the garbage can at the SE corner of Milwaukee and Haussen.
Supplies used to clean up the garbage cans.
Milwaukee Ave. just north of Avers after the clean-up. Notice how better cleaned the sidewalks are?
The intersection of Milwaukee and Hamlin after the clean-up. Those black garbage bags are the ones we used. I'm told by the alderman's staff that they'll be picked up either tomorrow or Monday.