Washington Park residents told: Olympics could mean jobs for youth
Published: Friday, March 13, 2009
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
The Washington Park Olympic Coalition walked through a "26-point plan" that is essential in order to get support from Washington Park residents for the Olympics if they come to Chicago in 2016. The April 4 meeting was part of an ongoing series of meetings on this topic held on the first Saturday of each month. Cecilia Butler, President of the Washington Park Advisory Council, narrated this two-hour event in the Washington Park Fieldhouse on 5531 South King Drive. Marcus Wolfe, a Chicago 2016 Next Generation Leadership Advisory Council member, also joined her.
The main focus was to have Washington Park residents understand that their involvement in the group is necessary to make sure all of their needs are met before the 2016 Olympics change the neighborhood.
"We (residents of Washington Park) have to become one," Butler said. "We have a commitment and we have a right to make sure our people are taken care of," she continued.
One of the 26-points included the necessity to get the youth involved and trained for jobs that will be offered during the Olympics. Butler believes youth is the future of the 2016 Olympics and the event will encourage them to stay in school and want to get involved in such an amazing process in Chicago.
"We are doing what we are doing for the young people, the kids that aren't graduating from high school," Butler said. "I want to try and convince them to go to school. We can get them into city colleges for free and they can think about what they want to do in 2016. I have nothing else to sell them," Butler said.
A recurring theme at this meeting: If residents do not get involved now with the 2016 Olympics process and just complain about the possibility of the event coming, they will be left on the outside. Wolfe believes it is important to get inside the organization and make changes while they have the chance rather than watch with no action.
Some of the concerns mentioned by residents at the meeting included: property tax increase, zoning, eminent domain, and preservation of their community.
Butler and the rest of the Washington Park Advisory Council are still in the process of making sure all topics of the "26-point plan" are discussed and evaluated based on the best interest of the Washington Park residents.
Washington Park Olympic Coalition meetings take place the first Saturday of the month at the Washington Park Fieldhouse from 9a.m. to 11a.m.
For more information or involvement in the Washington Park Olympic Coalition call (773) 493-0754, email email@example.com, or visit http://www.hydepark.org/parks/washington.htm.