What Orr Did to Us | Letters | Chicago Reader

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What Orr Did to Us

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To the editors:

Before Florence Hamlish Levinsohn canonized Cook County clerk David Orr ["Either/Orr," June 25], she should have spoken to someone who lives in the 49th Ward. As a Rogers Park home owner for 17 years, I have seen this neighborhood deteriorate from a staid, middle-class respectability to a crime-ridden community that houses gangs, prostitutes, drug dealers, and apartment buildings owned by slum landlords.

It is not a coincidence that this change occurred during Orr's tenure as 49th Ward alderman. During that time, a proliferation of halfway houses and substandard housing mushroomed in Rogers Park. Then, while the neighborhood felt under siege by its rising crime rate, Orr moved on to further his political career.

Nor is it a coincidence that the neighborhood has begun to fight back against crime and win now that Orr is gone. As it was explained to me last summer during a community meeting, "We now have to undo what David Orr did to us."

Marcia Froelke Coburn

W. Greenleaf

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