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Austin Coming Together | LISC Chicago New Communities Network QUALITY-OF-LIFE PLAN 2018

AUSTIN
FORWARD. TOGETHER.
STEERING COMMITTEE | PLAN PHASE, 2017-2018 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Steering Committee for the Austin Quality-of-Life Plan was the governing body of the planning Introduction 2
process. Steering Committee members mobilized their networks to participate in three community summits,
co-led working groups, and oversaw the planning process.
Issue Areas
Annette Wilkerson Mildred Wiley Terry Redmond Athena Williams Stephanie Bell Community Narrative 6
1300 N. Long Block Club Austin Community Action South Austin Neighborhood West Cook Homeownership HOPE Community Church
Council, Institute for Association Center Economic Development 8
Cassandra Norman Danielle Dixon
Nonviolence Education 12
South Austin Neighborhood Sharon Hartshorn Allen Van Note Westside Health Authority
Association Natasha Smith-Walker South Austin Neighborhood Austin Community Action Housing 16
Kenneth 'Butch' Campbell
Project Exploration Association, Friendship Baptist Council, Greater Austin Public Safety 18
Crystal Bell (decd.)
Church Development Association
Ella Flagg Young Elementary Bradly Johnson Peacemakers Coalition Youth Empowerment 20
BUILD, Inc. Vanessa Stokes Crystal Dyer
Deborah Williams Nate Washington (decd.) Civic Engagement 22
600 N. Lockwood Block Club Gone Again Travel
Habilitative Systems Inc. James Bowers Peacemakers Coalition
Local Civil Rights Attorney Tom Drebenstedt Dollie Sherman
Maretta Brown-Miller
Chicago Park District,
and Business Owner Galewood Development Austin Coming Together, Focal Project: 10
Committee 600 N. Lorel Block Club Chicago Avenue Corridor
Friendship Baptist Church Ruth Kimble
Austin Childcare Providers' Marvin Austin
Network Bethel New Life
Focal Project: 14
Emmet School
IMPLEMENTATION LEADERSHIP

Implementation of the Community Narrative Education Housing Youth Empowerment


Quality-of-Life Plan will Co-Chair Co-Chair Co-Chair Chair
be led by the Chairs and Briana Shields, Briana Janeé Natasha Smith-Walker, Project Athena Williams, West Cook Carmen Scott, BUILD, Inc.
Co-Chairs of seven task Arts Exploration Homeownership Center
forces. These individuals are Co-Chair Co-Chair Co-Chair Civic Engagement
responsible for mobilizing Kenneth Varner, Healthy Crystal Bell, Ella Flagg Young Allison McGowan, Community Chair
community leadership, Schools Campaign Elementary Resident Deborah Williams, Habilitative
partner organizations, Systems Inc.
Co-Chair
and other resources to Economic Development Public Safety
Charles Anderson, Michele
implement the actions of Co-Chair
Clark High School Co-Chair
the Quality-of-Life Plan. Jerrod Williams, Community Bradly Johnson, BUILD, Inc
Resident
Co-Chair
Co-Chair Marilyn Pitchford, Institute for
Thomas Gary, Community Nonviolence Cover photo: Residents form a prayer circle at the beginning of a February 2017 block clean-up organized
Resident by West Side resident and activist Marseil Jackson.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY INTRODUCTION

CENTRAL AVENUE

Austin is becoming a powerful community of civically engaged GALEWOOD AMUNDSEN PARK GALEWOOD CROSSING
residents, responsive and accountable institutions, and highly
NORTH AVE
collaborative private, public, nonprofit and faith-based leaders.
Northern Gateway

Out of that power, we will create:


• Support for our youth and a high-quality cradle-to-career education system A symbol of a united Austin: Central Avenue Corridor
M TOWN L TOWN

• Economic revitalization for and by Austin Central Avenue represents a unifying and supportive spine through
Austin. It connects the neighborhoods and districts that together
• Safe neighborhoods for all ages make up our community, from Galewood Crossing in the north through
shopping near Midway Park and Austin’s historic downtown, past CHICAGO AVE
• A revitalized community spirit built on our cultural and recreational assets
Columbus Park and on to The Island in the south. Some appear on Local Shopping Corridor
MIDWAY
• A vibrant real estate market that supports homeowners and affordable housing official city maps and some do not, but all are important to us.
PARK BRACH’S
When discussing Austin’s main thoroughfares, many people think of
our east-west corridors: Madison and Lake streets, Chicago and North LAKE ST

avenues, the Eisenhower Expressway. These have become paths that


Town Center
Austin is ready to make great strides. Our first We have hundreds of blocks of well-maintained often help people move through Austin on their way to Oak Park or CENTRAL
AUSTIN
ever community Quality-of-Life Plan sets out a housing, national historical landmarks, and resources the Loop, instead of to our community. Local leaders are working
comprehensive strategy to restore Austin and to like the Austin Town Hall Park and Cultural Center. to revitalize Austin’s east-west corridors and renew them as vibrant
create something new. To reach our goals, we are We are an “urban suburb,” connected to downtown commercial districts, and this plan includes such projects as well. MADISON ST
creating deeper relationships and working together and to nearby towns via commercial corridors and
We also propose that Central Avenue can complement these efforts Art and Culture District
in a coordinated way like never before. public transportation. Central Avenue is truly central,
connecting all the parts of Austin, from North Avenue by becoming Austin’s Main Street, connecting some of our community’s COLUMBUS
The largest community area in Chicago, with the strongest assets. A healthy Central Avenue Corridor consistently PARK
down south of the expressway.
second largest population, Austin contains many branded from the north to the south will serve as a unifying presence, Lorem ipsum
SOUTH AUSTIN
neighborhoods, each unique but interconnected. both supporting and illustrating a thriving and united Austin.
290

Columbus Park Gateway


THE ISLAND

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 ustin Quality-of-Life Plan Executive Summary Introduction | 3
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY INTRODUCTION Key Assets and Plan Partners

Mars Chocolate
ARMITAGE AVE

As Austin’s population went from majority white to Laborers Union AMC Classic

HARLEM AVE

OAK PARK AVE

NARRAGANSETT AVE

AUSTIN AVE

CENTRAL AVE
Training Center Galewood Crossing 14
majority African American, services and attention by Amundsen

LARAMIE AVE
Park
GR
the City of Chicago receded. The housing bubble and

CICERO AVE
AN
DA
VE
resulting recession hit our community hard.
Walmart
NORTH AVE
Yet things are changing in Austin. Thousands of
residents have stayed in the community, invested in FAITH CENTERS COMMUNITY SERVICES
their homes, their blocks, and their neighborhood.
LaFollette
The population has stayed relatively steady since Great St. John Bible Church Park

2010, and neighbors have started small groups to help Westside Health Authority
DIVISION ST
local kids or clean up empty lots. Social service and Austin Childcare Bethel New Life Campus
Providers’ Network
advocacy organizations are working in concert like YOUTH BUSINESS & ECONOMIC
never before, and the City of Chicago has invested in Freedman Seating DEVELOPMENT DEVELOPMENT
Hope Community Church
major restoration projects.
Sankofa Cultural Arts and Business Center Former Laramie State
New Moms/VOCEL Bank Building Institute for Nonviolence Chicago
Because I Care
To create this plan, we launched an unprecedented Gone Again Travel
CHICAGO AVE Austin Health Center
Austin Village Chicago -
effort to bring together and create synergy among SSA #72

local leaders. That steering committee founded seven Fraternite Notre Dame
COMMUNITY LIBRARIES
working groups that met regularly over nearly a year Mars Hill Church Austin Community & Family Center PARKS & GARDENS
Original Providence Baptist Church
to address the issues in this plan. We held one-on- State Farm St. John’s Church
By the Hand Club
LAKE ST
one meetings with local stakeholders, presented at West Cook Homeownership Center KINZIE ST
Tolten Peace Center PCC Wellness
community meetings and held three public forums Prevention Partnership
Kingdom Baptist Church
Third Unitarian Church
with hundreds of participants. As we move forward
Glen and Connie Kehrein Austin Center for the Arts
together, we are building a new Austin, by our Rock of Our Salvation Church
Circle Urban Ministries
El Palais HEALTH & WELLNESS ARTS & CULTURE
Bu-sche
St. Martin De Porres Church
community and for our community. MacArthur’s Restaurant West Side
15th District Police Station The Peace Corner Learning Center
MADISON ST
Former Emmet School Site Truth and Deliverance Ministries

Friendship Baptist Church


JACKSON BLVD
Austin Senior Satellite Center Project Exploration
STEM Learning Center HIGH SCHOOL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
BUILD, Inc.
Columbus Assumption Greek Habilitative
Park Orthodox Church Kidz Express Systems
HARRISON BLVD
Loretto Hospital Austin Chamber of Commerce Worldvision Warehouse

290
Austin Coming Together -
Chicago Austin Community Hub
Studio City

Dudek and Bock


ROOSEVELT BLVD

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 ustin Quality-of-Life Plan Executive Summary Introduction | 5
ISSUE AREA I COMMUNITY NARRATIVE

We will revitalize the image and spirit of Austin by promoting assets such as our historic OUR MEASURES OF SUCCESS: NEARLY HALF
OF INDEPENDENT
housing, creating a healthy community and building a more robust environment for local 1. Increase the ratio of positive 48%
GROCERS DO NOT 52%

to negative stories about SELL FRESH


arts and culture. Austin PRODUCE
1 acre in Austin: 521 residents
2. Retain or increase the number
1 acre in Chicago: 205 residents
STRATEGY 1 STRATEGY 2 STRATEGY 3 of families with school-age
youth
Invest in local arts and cultural spaces. Increase the number of authentic images and Create environments that foster health and Each acre of park space
• Create local arts and cultural centers, while stories portraying the Austin community. wellness in the community. 3. Increase life expectancy in in Austin serves 2.5X the THESE GROCERS TEND TO BE CONCENTRATED
leveraging our historic buildings, which serve • Bridge the gap between how residents’ experience • Improve our parks and vacant spaces, increasing Austin zip codes
residents as compared to IN THE NORTHERN SECTION OF AUSTIN
the entire community. Austin and how local, regional and national media residents’ access to healthy activities.
the rest of the city. Source: Fresh Moves audit of 25 independent grocers, 2011
• E stablish public/ private partnerships that support outlets reflect them.
• Increase the local choices for healthy food options—
and expand existing funding for arts and culture. • Create a new social media campaign, led by youth, from grocery stores to local restaurants and schools.
• Activate our school spaces to provide options with images, stories and conversations that reflect
• E stablish a network of proactive, trauma-informed
for student, resident and traveling arts fairs, the many interesting and important facets of life
programs.
programming and activities. in Austin.
• Build our sense of community by engaging residents
Key Potential Partners: Catalyst Circle Rock, Austin Town
Hall and Cultural Center, Austin College and Career Academy,
• Create materials that brand and market Austin and
all it offers to residents and visitors.
in activities that enliven our blocks with green space. 3 to 1:
Chicago Children's Choir, AMFM, Christ the King College Prep,
St. Angela School, Chicago Austin Youth Travel Adventures* Key Potential Partners: Austin Talks, Austin Weekly News,
• Lead a campaign for a ballot initiative to establish a
new community mental health center in and for our
Ratio of negative stories about Austin to positive
The Austin Voice Newspapers, BUILD, Westside Health
Authority, Austin Chamber of Commerce, Choose Chicago,
Chicago Architecture Center, DCASE, Prevention Partnership
community. stories in 2017
Key Potential Partners: Chicago Park District, Park Advisory
Councils, Block Clubs, Catholic Charities, SANA, CANA PCC
Wellness, Chicago Market, CLOCC, Oak Park River Forest
Food Pantry, Austin Community Food Co-op, Greater Chicago
Food Depository, BUILD, Chicago Public Schools Network 3,
Chicago Teachers Union, Restorative Justice Hubs, Austin
Green Team, St. Angela, St. Anthony Hospital, Habilitative
Systems Inc., Westside Health Authority, Loretto Hospital, The “Empress of the Queen
West Side United/Rush
Annes” is one of four homes
in Austin from before 1895 by
acclaimed architect Frederick
Schock, all designated Chicago
Landmarks

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 ustin Quality-of-Life Plan Executive Summary * For complete list of partners and resources, view the full version of the Quality-of-Life Plan at austincomingtogether.org/QLP. Community Narrative | 7
ISSUE AREA I ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

We will create economic revitalization in Austin and by Austin. We will support new and OUR MEASURES OF SUCCESS:

existing local businesses, entrepreneurs, and the workforce; improve our commercial corridors; 1.  Increase the number of strong
blocks of occupied businesses
and attract new investment to build a stronger, more dynamic local economy. with a clear cultural identity

2. Improve walkability score


STRATEGY 1 • Expand and support local resources like boot camps • Collaborate with other neighborhoods in Chicago in Austin $159.5 million: $14 million:
Improve transportation infrastructure to and apprenticeships in high demand economic that have grown their local economy to learn from 3. Increase opportunities Annual amount spent outside Annual amount spent in
and through Austin. sectors such as advanced manufacturing in key their experience.
for paid training and
sectors, healthcare, and building and trades. of Austin by local residents Austin from people outside
• E stablish a process to catalogue current resources, • Work with Austin’s council members to ensure local apprenticeships at local
• E stablish a new Manufacturing Training Center in stores and restaurants are clean and safe. businesses
on retail and eating out the community at beer,
organizations and people working on infrastructure
projects in Austin. Austin to serve the West Side.
• Expand the boundaries of Austin’s Retail Thrive
wine and liquor stores
4. Decrease the supply/demand
• Engage an expert in urban infrastructure as a • Support existing and create new entrepreneurship Zone to encompass more of the community’s
gap in Austin's spending
community consultant, so Austin is prepared when development programs, so Austin becomes a place business areas.
power
plans that will impact our community are proposed where someone with vision and hard work can build
• E stablish a “Shop Local” initiative to keep more of
or possible. their own enterprise. 5. Attract new anchor
our own spending power in the Austin economy.
commercial operations and
• Invest in beautification and signage for Austin’s Key Potential Partners: Manufacturing Renaissance, Jane
Addams Resource Corporation, St. Joseph Services, Catholic • Educate investors and lenders on the commercial
increase diversity of overall
32 percent of jobs in Austin pay less than $15,000
commercial corridors to create an attractive and Charities, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago opportunities and incentives in Austin.
walkable neighborhood environment. Federation of Labor, World Business Chicago, Bethel New Life
• Use our industrial heritage and other land as sites
commercial mix in Austin a year, and 75 percent pay less than $40,000.
Key Potential Partners: Westside Health Authority, CMAP, Great for a new generation of advanced manufacturing
Cities Institute, City of Chicago, Austin Chamber of Commerce
STRATEGY 3 and build facilities and resources to support these The median household income is $31,634.
Build the local economy and small businesses to opportunities.
STRATEGY 2 improve community wealth and self-sufficiency. Key Potential Partners: Bethel New Life, IFF, Chicago Community
Train and develop local workers and entrepreneurs. Loan Fund, CMAP, World Business Chicago, Civic Consulting
• Explore bringing in new local restaurants, grocery Alliance, City Colleges of Chicago, Metropolitan Planning Council,
• Connect existing programs that prepare residents stores, and housing with the co-op model. local elected officials

for well-paying jobs and careers, such as workforce • Develop materials about opportunities in Austin
development and entrepreneurship trainings. and reach out to commercial enterprises, including 55 percent of Austin
national and regional commercial anchors.
residents over age 16 are
not in the labor force

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 ustin Quality-of-Life Plan Executive Summary Economic Development | 9
FOCAL PROJECT: CHICAGO AVENUE CORRIDOR

IDEAS
SPECIFIC PLAN ACTIONS THAT WILL
GUIDE REDEVELOPMENT ALONG CHICAGO
AVENUE ARE:

Community Narrative
• 1 .1 Create community arts and cultural centers
Chicago Avenue is one of Austin’s primary thoroughfares that can once again • 1 .2 Build a public/private partnership to

CENTRAL

PINE

LONG

LOREL

LOCKWOOD

LATROBE

LARAMIE
support and expand existing funding for arts
become a main shopping district in our community and a draw for residents •3
 .1 Improve our parks and vacant lots and use
and visitors. Streetscape enhancements and other public and private investments the sites for healthy activities
•3
 .2 Promote healthier food choices across
can develop a vibrant, sustainable and safe business corridor. Austin
A C D

CHICAGO
outlining potential ideas and options for the former
Laramie State Bank and other locations rather Economic Development B

than final recommendations. Determining specific • 1 .3 Invest in beautification and signage


for Austin’s commercial corridors
improvements to the streetscape and sites along
•3
 .4 Work with aldermen to improve local 0’ 200’ 400’ N
Chicago Avenue will continue to bring together
residents, local businesses, elected officials and businesses
outside experts. •3
 .5 Expand Austin’s Retail Thrive zone STREETSCAPE ENHANCEMENTS CDOT PLANNED IMPROVEMENTS DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES: FORMER LARAMIE STATE BANK SITE
CHICAGO AVENUE

Improving Chicago Avenue is an example of how • 3 .6 Promote community engagement and Raised Landscaped Planter Parking Restriping A Mixed-Use Building C Makers / Artisan Space:
outreach around a “Shop Local” initiative Curbs (Existing Parking Lot) 1-Story 15,000 s.f.
strategies from across this Quality-of-Life Plan
• 3 .7 Educate investors and lenders on the Repair Sidewalk Condition Pedestrian Refuge Island 3-Story (28,000 g.s.f) Shared Outdoor Space
work together to create comprehensive change. with Rehabbed Bank
commercial opportunities in Austin New Roadway Lighting/ 1st Floor Retail: 6,000 s.f.
As roadway lighting is enhanced, for example, new Banners Existing Pedestrian Parking: 19 spaces
ue today 2nd-3rd Floor: 24 units
Chicago Aven (Existing Overhead Lighting
Refuge Island
750 s.f./unit
light poles can include high-quality metal identity Housing
Wires to be Removed) D Rehab Former Laramie
signage of local landmarks like Austin’s Town Hall and •4
 .1 Preserve and invest in vacant buildings Bump-out at Side Streets
Parking: 23 spaces
State Bank
fabric banners commissioned from local artists. Curb Repair Sidewalk Condition Opportunites for
This zone from Central to Laramie is a part of the bump-outs can create mini plazas for outdoor seating Public Safety Landscaping, Public Art B Repurposed Garage Building
New Roadway Lighting/ and Seating Areas • 8,800 s.f.
Soul City Corridor, establishing an African-American • 3 .1 Create art/design showcase opportunities
for local restaurants or areas for positive loitering, Banners
• Restaurant with Outdoor
cultural identity along Chicago Avenue. The Quality- helping to reclaim safe public space. This section of • 3 .2 Launch beautification projects that create (Existing Overhead Lighting Dining Plaza
of-Life Plan seeks to support this effort, supporting pride in the neighborhood Wires to be Removed)
Chicago Avenue can be a demonstration to better
local and black-owned businesses to thrive in the market the available commercial space and pursue • 3 .3 Promote community engagement
corridor. healthy food businesses or potential spaces for opportunities for local institutions
Two design charrettes during the process to create community arts and cultural organizations. • 4.1 Organize events that reclaim parks and
this plan identified initial physical opportunities to other public spaces
meet the community’s goals for the corridor,

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 ustin Quality-of-Life Plan Executive Summary Focal Project: Chicago Avenue Corridor | 11
ISSUE AREA I EDUCATION

Our local educational system and partners will provide the services, opportunities and OUR MEASURES OF SUCCESS: 2/3 OF EARLY-
support to help all our students stay on track, enrich their education and serve their needs, 1.  Increase level of enrollment LEARNING
within Austin community 24% PROVIDERS HAVE 76%
from early childhood through high school to job and career readiness. schools from early childhood SPACE TO ENROLL
to high school MORE CHILDREN

STRATEGY 1 • Provide convenient programs at schools that STRATEGY 4 2. Increase college and
help parents tutor and support their children workforce preparation course
Improve and expand access to quality early- Increase student enrollment in Austin
academically. options for elementary and
childhood programs. neighborhood school.
high school students Neighborhood schools lost about
• Increase training and educational opportunities for • Create outreach and clear communications to • E stablish a high-quality high school International a quarter of their students from BUT MOST NEED HELP
the staff at early-childhood providers, making the parents so they understand what services and Baccalaureate program, as well as other options for 3. Increase number of high- GETTING FULLY ACCREDITED
2013 to 2017
field more desirable and effective as a workplace. agencies for their children are available at the students with different academic interests. quality enrichment and
school. supportive options for at-risk
• Help existing early-education providers become • Review curriculum program needs and collect
• Empower parents to be leaders in their children’s youth
accredited and more deeply prepared for child current data to create profiles of all local schools.
development. schools and join and support their Local School
• Expand dual-credit programs in our schools that 4. Increase the number of Austin
Council.
• Increase the services for children with special needs allow a student to earn college credit in a high schools offering wrap-around
Key Potential Partners: Kids First Chicago, Community services
in quality early-education programs.
Organizing and Family Issues, Catholic Charities, St. Joseph
Services, Chicago Public Schools Parent University, Westside
school course.
There are 8,687 open slots across Austin’s
• Work with the Chicago Public Schools to align • Improve communication and marketing from 5. Increase parent access to
curriculum for seamless transition to kindergarten.
Health Authority,d POWER PAC Westside Branch
neighborhood schools so they are on a level playing social services and resources elementary and high schools, which equates to a
field to attract incoming students.
Key Potential Partners: Austin Childcare Providers' Network,
Illinois Department of Human Services, New Moms, VOCEL, A STRATEGY 3
Key Potential Partners: Kids First Chicago, Austin Coming
at local schools
loss of $41.5 million from local school budgets
House in Austin, Truman College, PCC Wellness, United Way of
Increase student access to wrap-around services. Together, Chicago Public Schools, Austin CAC
Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago Public Schools
• Implement the Community School Model in Austin
schools.
STRATEGY 2
Increase parents’ involvement in their children’s • E stablish a proactive, healing network of trauma
education. informed programs, teachers and staff in our 20% of third graders
schools. in Austin elementary schools
• Ensure that parents understand what is expected of
• Implement restorative justice practices school wide met or exceeded reading scores
their children in school.
for all staff and students.
ACROSS THE DISTRICT: 32%
Key Potential Partners: Westside Health Authority, St. Joseph
Services, Catholic Charities, BUILD, Chicago Public Schools, CPS AUSTIN THIRD GRADERS: 20% OVER 10% LOWER
Network 3, Chicago Teachers Union, Resilience, Restorative
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 ustin Quality-of-Life Plan Executive Summary Justice Hubs, Mt. Sinai, UIC Jane Addams College of Social Work Education | 13
FOCAL PROJECTS: EMMET SCHOOL

IDEAS
SPECIFIC PLAN ACTIONS THAT WILL GUIDE
REDEVELOPMENT OF THE EMMET SCHOOL
SITE ARE:

Community Narrative
•2
 .2 Expand and support local resources like
boot camps and apprenticeships in high
Madison and Central is one of the most important intersections of Austin. demand economic sectors such as advanced
Planners and architects helped scope some options,
and confirmed that redevelopment at this intersection

PARKSIDE

CENTRAL

PINE
The architecture and history of Madison Street make the site a gateway to manufacturing, healthcare, and building and
can achieve many Quality-of-Life Plan strategies. The
trades
Chicago, and Central Avenue is a spine that connects the many smaller •2
 .3 Build a new Manufacturing Training Center
site could be an opportunity for a new Manufacturing
A Training Center, and other workforce boot camps and
neighborhoods that compose Austin. in Austin
apprenticeship programs. Commercial use from retail
•2
 .4 Invest in entrepreneurship development WASHINGTON to light manufacturing is also a possibility, whether
At the heart of the location is a unique opportunity: charrettes during the planning process: the need to
programs through traditional or co-op models proposed in the
the redevelopment of Emmet School. One of the provide comprehensive community services and the
community’s key institutions, Westside Health opportunity to use the arts to engage and empower •3
 .1 Incorporate the co-op model for local plan. Beyond economics, youth gathering and arts
Authority, has negotiated site control for future use of the community. restaurants, grocery stores and housing spaces could also play a part.
the building. Urban design can improve Madison and •3
 .2 Attract major commercial anchors C
Central in other ways too, connecting key sites such • 3 .8 Build facilities and resources to support the
as Catalyst School’s new performing arts center and new generation of advanced manufacturing
the Frank Lloyd Wright home on Central, for example. MADISON AND CENTRAL: STREETSCAPE
Emmet School
Development can include infill housing on nearby Youth Empowerment D NEARBY ASSETS ENHANCEMENTS
Redevelopment
vacant lots, a space for events such as a local farmers’ • 1 .2 Create physical places where youth can A New Catalyst Neighborhood Gateway/
market, and a more pedestrian-oriented streetscape. gather and community-based organizations Auditorium Seating Opportunity
can offer services B Grocery Store Repair Roadway Surfacing
Westside Health Authority and other Quality-of-Life
•2
 .3 Establish programs to build personal MADISON Raised Landscaped Median
C Walser House
Plan leaders agree that it will be important to listen and professional career development and Raised Landscaped Planter
to direct community voice as formal redevelopment entrepreneurial training B
D Frank Lloyd Wright Curbs
Home
plans are crafted because collaboration among many Repair Sidewalk Condition
Austin stakeholders will be required for its long-term Infill Street Trees
sustainability. Two primary themes emerged from New Roadway Lighting/
Banners
MONROE (Existing Overhead Lighting
day Wires to be Removed)
ol to
Emmet Scho

ADAMS

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 ustin Quality-of-Life Plan Executive Summary Focal Project: Emmet School | 15
ISSUE AREA I HOUSING

We will create a stabilized housing market in Austin, with support for local homeowners OUR MEASURES OF SUCCESS:

and a wide array of affordable housing options. 1. Decrease number of vacant


properties

2. Increase the percentage of 12,670 VS.


19,367
Austin residents who are own their rent their
homes homes
STRATEGY 1 STRATEGY 2 • Build new quality transitional housing for homeowners

Increase the amount of owner-occupied housing Allocate resources in Austin to support renters. populations facing specific challenges, such as 3. Increase number of
stock in Austin by local stakeholders. reentering citizens and women experiencing community based developers
• Ensure that there is easily accessible information
domestic abuse.
• Give local residents first opportunity to purchase about who owns property in Austin. willing to provide affordable
Key Potential Partners: Westside Health Authority, Mercy
40% 60%
homes that have been foreclosed or are otherwise housing OF HOUSEHOLDS OF HOUSEHOLDS
• Expand the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to Housing Lakefront, Heartland Alliance, POAH, Mather LifeWays
owned by the City or financial institutions. build housing in the community. 4. Decrease number of
• Expand programs that help existing homeowners • Promote and expand local use of the Section 8 foreclosures filed and
STRATEGY 4
retain their homes if facing a crisis due to issues Homeownership Voucher Program. decrease property tax sales
such as deferred maintenance, a loss of a job or Decrease the vacancy rate of buildings in
sharply increasing property taxes. • Increase communication and education between our community. 5. Increase number of
tenants and property owners/ management. homebuyers occupying
• Preserve and invest in vacant buildings so they
• Educate families and provide support for the
transfer of homeownership within families. • Become a leading advocate for a local policy agenda return to residential homes. formerly vacant properties In Austin, 16% of all rental units are rented
• Expand pre- and post-purchase homebuyer
to address barriers to accessing affordable housing
for low-income families.
• Expand home-buyer assistance programs at local using a housing choice voucher, compared to
education programs so that buyers are prepared for banks and nonprofit organizations to include down-
financial and other responsibilities of being an owner.
Key Potential Partners: Mercy Housing Lakefront, GADA,
Heartland Alliance, Chicago Department of Planning and
payment assistance programs, credit counseling and 7% across Cook County
Development, Chicago Housing Authority, CIC, West Cook special loan rates.
• Create a new community land trust to buy vacant or Homeownership Center, Westside NAACP
foreclosed properties and keep them affordable for • Increase capacity and awareness of the Home
current residents. Preservation Program, which distributes small
STRATEGY 3 grants to property owners in Austin to help get
• Promote and expand use of the Federal Section
Develop a variety of affordable housing choices their buildings ready for tenants.
8 Homeownership Voucher Program, which
allows voucher holders to use those funds for to serve a wide array of residents. Key Potential Partners: West Cook Homeownership Center,

homeownership. • Develop housing for residents age 55 and over, so


Westside Health Authority, Rebuilding Together
1/3 of Austin homeowners We have a shortfall
of more than 8,700
Key Potential Partners: Hunters Realty, City of Chicago, West they can stay in the community when their working filed for foreclosure at some
Cook Homeownership Center, NHS, Illinois Housing Development years are over. point from 2005 to 2017 affordable homes
Authority, Because I Care, LAF, Center for Disability and Elder
Law, Chicago Housing Authority

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 ustin Quality-of-Life Plan Executive Summary Housing | 17
ISSUE AREA I PUBLIC SAFETY

We will collaborate and create programs that increase a sense of safety, community OUR MEASURES OF SUCCESS:

and quality of life, building a healthy and resilient neighborhood. 1. Decrease number of
non-violent arrests among
Austin youth

2. Create cross-training in
STRATEGY 1 STRATEGY 2 • C atalogue and promote existing community nonviolence and trauma-
informed practices across
12th: $550 million:
Create high-quality prevention strategies Promote high-quality intervention strategies to engagement programs for youth at schools,
all community institutions
Rank of Austin among Chicago’s Amount spent on incarceration
to build a safer Austin. help at-risk residents and those impacted by the churches and other local institutions.
77 community areas for violent of Austin residents from
• Add more restorative justice activities in the criminal justice system. Key Potential Partners: BUILD, St. Angela School, Westside 3. Increase resident participation crimes per capita
Health Authority, AMFM, Austin Town Hall and Cultural Center, 2005 – 2009, the highest
community, such as peace circles, to help mitigate • Build and promote a trauma-informed network that South Austin Neighborhood Association, PCC Wellness, Austin in programs addressing
Green Team, Territory, Central Austin Neighborhood Association Austin's sense of safety
of any Chicago community
conflict and address injustice and trauma. offers services for mental health, domestic violence,
• Build a greater sense of community and connect housing support and returning citizens.
4. Decrease number of
neighbors with a community website, events and • Create a restorative justice community court to STRATEGY 4 shooting incidents
door-to-door outreach. provide an alternative to incarceration. Establish more safe spaces in the community
• Launch new efforts in our local schools to create • Expand outreach intervention programs that have for youth.
new peer support groups for youth that foster
emotional and social connections.
proven to be effective in breaking the cycle of • Organize events that reclaim parks and other public Local programs like the Good Neighbor Campaign,
violence on our streets. spaces for peaceful and fun uses.
• E stablish new trainings for local police in issues such Key Potential Partners: Institute for Nonviolence Chicago, • Provide young people with more choices of
Austin Reponse Team and Light the Night bring
Catholic Charities, BUILD, Chicago Public Schools Network 3,
as community engagement, cultural humility and
mental health.
Chicago Teachers Union, Resilience, Restorative Justice Hubs,
Jehovah Jireh #1, Outreach Ministry
interesting, engaging activities outside of school. together neighbors to strengthen social cohesion
• Reclaim and restore public spaces to become
• Create programs that engage the community peaceful places that are clearly valued by the
and police officers to repair distrust and build STRATEGY 3 community and welcoming to youth.
relationships.
Increase displays, activities and events of Key Potential Partners: Westside Health Authority, BUILD,
Key Potential Partners: Catholic Charities, CPD 15th and 25th Jehovah Jireh #1 Outreach Ministry, St. Joseph Services, Project
culture and peace in the community.
District CAPS, Institute for Nonviolence Chicago, BUILD, Exploration, The Peace Corner, Chicago Park District, Chicago
Westside Health Authority, Jehovah Jireh #1 Outreach Ministry, • Create art/design showcase opportunities in our Public Library
Austin Coming Together, Circles & Ciphers The City of Chicago spent
community.
• E stablish unique signage and beautification projects 5x more on policing
that create pride in the neighborhood. in 2018 than on mental health and
youth services

18 | A
 ustin Quality-of-Life Plan Executive Summary Public Safety | 19
ISSUE AREA I YOUTH EMPOWERMENT

Austin will have healthier and more engaged youth, able to reach their full potential. OUR MEASURES OF SUCCESS: THE COMMUNITY
1. Increase youth job 44% CHILD POVERTY 66%

and entrepreneurship
RATE IN AUSTIN
opportunities and IS 44 PERCENT
participation

STRATEGY 1 STRATEGY 2 STRATEGY 3 2. Increase intergenerational


community engagement
Increase positive social connections, Prepare youth for year-round employment Expand supportive programs for local youth’s
programming and
communications and information shared among and career opportunities. social, emotional and physical well-being.
participation among CHICAGO’S RATE IS 31%
Austin youth. • Build networks of professionals who can be • Expand access to trauma training for professionals Austin youth
• Involve young people in the leadership of the a resource for our young people. working with our youth in all capacities.
Youth Empowerment Task Force. 3. Increase use of restorative
• Create programs that discuss and foster self- • Expand the network of trauma support service
justice practices
• Create new spaces in the community dedicated to awareness and career-focused thinking. system for youth and families.
youth, a mix of places where youth can gather and • E stablish programs to build personal and • Create new partnerships and collaborations 4. Strengthen ties between
locations where community-based organizations professional career development and between schools, community-based organizations, local public schools and the
can offer services. entrepreneurial training. churches and the Chicago Park District to build community
Key Potential Partners: Austin Coming Together, BUILD,
Chicago Park District, Westside Health Authority, Assata’s
Key Potential Partners: St. Joseph Services, Manufacturing
Renaissance, Chicago Beyond, Youth Guidance, Academy of
a more supportive network.
5. Youth able to advocate for Austin ranks “very low” on the Child Opportunity
Daughters, World Vision, Chicago Park District, Christ the • Create new paths for youth interactions with themselves and identify
King College Prep
Scholastic Achievement, Austin Career and Education Center,
Westside Health Authority, One Summer Chicago, Apple, mentors and role models who can speak directly positive coping mechanisms Index, a measure of 19 indicators around educational,
The Hatchery to youth.
Key Potential Partners: Catholic Charities, Lurie’s Children
6. Increase participation health/environmental and economic opportunity
Hospital, Illinois Caucus of Adolescent Health, CPS, PCC Austin in youth programming
Family Health Center, Rape Victim Advocates, Sister Survivor
Network, Cluster Tutoring, Chicago Department of Public Health
(ReCAST), Chicago Beyond, Friends of the Children, College
Mentoring Experience, BUILD, Chicago Dept. of Family Support
Services, Westside Health Authority

Six in ten young men in 35,736 Austin


our community age 20 to 24
residents are younger
are unemployed and
than 24
not in school

20 | A
 ustin Quality-of-Life Plan Executive Summary Youth Empowerment | 21
ISSUE AREA I CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Sustain collaborative community involvement—from community OUR MEASURES OF SUCCESS:


IN 2016,
65 PERCENT
campaigns to engaging elected officials—so we can bring voices and 1. Increase the number of 65% OF REGISTERED 35%
Austin residents attending VOTERS CAST A
power to the efforts to improve Austin. public schools in Austin BALLOT IN
2. Increase voter registration
AUSTIN
STRATEGY 1 STRATEGY 2 and voter turnout

Empower local voters and elected officials Cultivate local leadership to become more 3. Increase the number of
to be a voice for Austin. effective advocates for our community. students enrolled in civics
• Develop a training for political candidates to engage • Empower, train and prepare parent leaders to courses ACROSS CHICAGO, THE TURNOUT
WAS 71 PERCENT
the community, such as the participatory budgeting advocate on behalf of our community, including
4. Increase the number of people
process. serving on and working with Local School Councils.
attending beat meetings
• Create and sustain voter turnout and ensure that • Identify and train community organizers to create
voters are educated about the most important issues robust community campaigns to garner support and 5. Increase the number of
facing our community, city and state. momentum for this plan’s vision. economic opportunities for
students
• Provide opportunities for students to become • Build a core of organizers between the ages of
civically engaged in local efforts to improve youth
outcomes and become socially active through new
18-35 who can help reach out to Austin younger
population.
Austin is served by three aldermen, two state
high school civics requirements. Key Potential Partners: Austin Coming Together, Westside
Health Authority, Chicago Westside NAACP, Kids First Chicago,
representatives, two state senators, a county
Key Potential Partners: South Austin Neighborhood Association,
Chicago Westside NAACP, Westside Ministers Coalition, Austin
Coming Together, Organizing for Action
POWER PAC Westside Branch
commissioner and one U.S. Congressman

12 of the 17 schools
that serve Austin still had open seats on the Local School
Council (LSC) after the 2018 application deadline

22 | A
 ustin Quality-of-Life Plan Executive Summary Civic Engagement | 23
Lead Agency: Austin Coming Together LISC Chicago Planning Consultants for Design:
Focal Projects: Forward Design
With residents and partners, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Austin Coming Together (ACT) was founded in 2010 by a group of 20 www.forward-design.net
Chicago forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across
community leaders that came together to discuss how to create systemic Teska Associates, Inc.
America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families.
change in Austin. These leaders envisioned a thriving Austin community whose Scott Goldstein Principal
Writing:
actions are driven by the core values of unity, commitment, transparency, Embedded in LISC’s founding, and strengthened over the last two decades, Jodi Mariano Principal
Carl Vogel
collaboration, and action. we are committed to comprehensive community planning. This planning www.teskaassociates.com
process is essential to building the local capacity to effectively connect to the www.vogeleditorial.com
ACT’s mission is to increase the collective impact of its member organizations right resources to achieve fundamental change and long-lasting results in our Brook Architecture
on education and economic development outcomes in Austin. ACT functions Photo Credits:
communities. In the late 1990s, LISC, with leadership support from the John D. RaMona Westbrook President
as the backbone agency for collective impact—guiding a unified vision and Gordon Walek
and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, created the New Communities Program
strategy for Austin, aligning activities of our members to ensure they are www.brookarchitecture.com
(NCP), a groundbreaking, bottom-up, comprehensive community planning Eric Allix Rogers
mutually reinforcing, measuring the shared outcomes of our members, and Alonzo Alcaraz
effort in which LISC supports the development of Quality-of-Life Plans (QLPs)
facilitating continuous communication with the broader community. Axia Development Austin Weekly News
by community leaders and residents in Chicago neighborhoods.
Stephen Porras President Lee Edwards
ACT’s long-term collective strategy is called Thrive 2025. Thrive 2025 In each neighborhood, a designated lead agency brings together a diverse www.axiadevinc.com
outlines four measurable impact goals to achieve by the year 2025. These Alexa Rogals
group of organizations and residents to identify priorities ranging from
include increasing access to high quality early learning, creating pathways to Aaron Fenster
better education, housing, broader job choices, safer streets, new economic
living wage careers, improving neighborhood safety, and stabilizing the housing opportunities and stronger personal finances. LISC invests in, coaches and
market. ACT and its members will achieve these ambitious goals through three champions each effort from the earliest building of local relationships, through
strategic imperatives: 1) enhancing the access, coordination, and quality of plan creation, implementation and continual evaluation.
human services, 2) creating community-driven plans like this QLP that attract
public and private investment and 3) changing public policies that impede As of 2018, 27 QLPs have been created, garnering more than $872M in new
the achievement of our goals. investments aligned in support of community visions in neighborhoods across
the city.

24 | A
 ustin Quality-of-Life Plan Executive Summary
For more information:

AUSTIN COMING TOGETHER LISC CHICAGO


Darnell Shields Meghan Harte
Executive Director Executive Director
Shavion L. Scott Jake Ament
Director of Strategic Initiatives Director, Neighborhood Network
Jose Abonce Jack Swenson
Organizer Program Officer

5049 W. Harrison Street 10 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 1700


Chicago, IL 60644 Chicago, IL 60606
773-417-8612 312-422-9574
slscott@austincomingtogether.org jswenson@lisc.org

www.austincomingtogether.org www.lisc.org/chicago

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