By Michael Gecan
An established neighborhood organizer outlines how to opposite the fifty-year decline in social mobility and financial growth.
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Extra info for After America's Midlife Crisis (Boston Review Books)
Major corporations fled Chicago’s failing downtown and moved to DuPage’s open spaces and tax-friendly towns. Workingclass homeowners on the West and Southwest Sides of the city sold their bungalows and bought ranch houses, Cape Cods, and new town homes in Wheaton and Naperville and Downers Grove. Families troubled by the city’s public schools happily sent their children into shining new facilities and well-equipped classrooms. County government prided itself on its lean budgets and effective service-delivery.
EBC built 3,000 new, affordable, owneroccupied homes on the vacant acres there, and is constructing 1,500 more as we speak. In the South Bronx, another IAF group, South Bronx Churches, michael gecan built one thousand homes starting in 1986, while other efforts led by Father Lou Gigante and Mary Daily built or renovated thousands more. Common Ground created 2,000 units of housing for formerly homeless people, giving them shelter, services, and an alternative to the streets. 2,000 more are now in development.
Today, our home, along with thousands of others, is abandoned. A state social service center fills the old electronics plant. Tootsietoy’s products are mostly after america’s midlife crisis made in China. And the parish church and school have closed. In that pleasant synagogue meeting space, with the last of the new McMansions going up across the street, with 60,000 more workers commuting in to DuPage each day than commuting out, with the local football teams on the rise and the SAT and ACT scores still high, I suggested that perhaps the county had hit its own high-water mark and that without clear-eyed re-evaluation, it was poised, as Chicago had been in the mid-1950s, for decline.
After America's Midlife Crisis (Boston Review Books) by Michael Gecan