While we empathize with Ms. Dina Elenbogen's experiences in the "Rogers Park Diary," February 25, and share her concerns, we feel her story may leave some with a distorted impression of our community. We offer these facts about Rogers Park and the area around the 1300 block of Greenleaf Avenue:
--According to the December 15, 1993, Chicago Sun-Times and the January 21, 1994, Chicago Tribune Rogers Park has a crime rate lower than the Fullerton and Belmont neighborhoods and Evanston.
--In May of 1992, our police district was chosen as one of five prototype neighborhoods for the community policing program, Chicago Alternate Policing Program (CAPS), where the police and citizens work together to identify and solve crime. One of the major reasons we were selected for the program is our community's high degree of citizen organization and involvement.
--There was one shooting at the "el" more than a year ago. But an 18-year-old student who grew up safely in a building on Greenleaf was shot to death outside of the Davis Theatre near Lincoln and Lawrence while visiting about six months ago. It can happen anywhere.
A new, expanded Osco store is planned for the former Jewel Food Store on Morse Avenue and efforts to attract a full service grocer to the area continue. The revitalization of Morse Avenue is a top priority with DevCorp North (our newly formed business development group). Also, Morse Avenue (natural) Food Store has reopened.
--The Sheridan Road Development Plan has received funding approval and will be implemented in the coming years. This will be a boon to the entire Rogers Park lakefront area and Greenleaf Avenue.
--The vast majority of residents on Greenleaf (some here since the 1960s) have no intention of leaving. We walk (not run) home at night. We organize cleanups and beautification activities. We enjoy our beautiful lakefront and our tree-lined streets. Unlike some neigborhoods, we do not have to call out the National Guard when the Bulls win a championship.
Yes, there are problems in Rogers Park, but we have 30 neighborhood organizations working to solve them. One may choose to leave one's neighborhood "for other enclaves of false security" as did Ms. Elenbogen. Or one may choose to stay and work on building and sustaining a community. We choose the latter.
Loyola Neighbors Block Club