It takes an effort to raise a village

President's Message by Mary Szpur

I would like to reflect on East Village Association's accomplishments over the last year:

Thanks to the efforts of our webmaster Steve Rynkiewicz, EVA has joined the 21st century and has a website! What a great pleasure and immense help it has been to have a constantly updated online website: www.eastvillagechicago.org.

Thanks to Marjorie Isaacson for her assistance in helping with the initial setup of the EVA website and for helping set up the evachicago discussion group on Yahoo! Also thanks to her for her help with many EVA issues, this year and for the last 20 years.

Thanks to Scott Rappe for his careful analyses of complex architectural, zoning, planning and development issues that the Planning, Preservation, and Development committee he heads dealt with this past year. These included: proposed Walgreens development of the former Pizza Hut site at Division and Ashland (a very important issue EVA is still working on), proposed development at Chicago and Winchester, development of the Bear Stewart site at 1025 N. Damen Avenue, landscaping issues on Division Street, and various other developments. Without Scott's expertise, our committee would be bereft.

EVA's relationships with aldermen Manny Flores and Scott Waguespack have been strengthened and nurtured by Greg Nagel, in his excellent service as EVA's aldermanic liaison.

The August EVA barbecue was a huge success, resulting in increased membership, due to big efforts by Greg Nagel and other members of the board and membership. Thanks to all who participated.

The 1st Ward was chosen to help pilot the city's blue cart recycling program, and many volunteers in East Village helped to implement this important program, which is very successful.

Important community issues such as local postal service problems, the liquor moratorium, and mass transit were discussed at EVA monthly meetings.

We have had some interesting and important speakers at recent EVA monthly meetings: 13th District Police Commander Christine Kolman, Executive Director of Wicker Park & Bucktown Chamber of Commerce Paula Barrington, Executive Director of West Town Chamber of Commerce Kara Salgado, 1st Ward Alderman Manny Flores, 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack and 1st Ward Streets and Sanitation Superintendent Manny Gonzalez, plus U.S. Postal Service mangers, local business owners, Walgreens staff, and city recycling program staff.

EVA's membership committee made some important inroads in tracking membership and reaching out to potential new members.

Finally, many thanks to the EVA officers who served faithfully over the last year: Brian Thompson as vice president, Julie Rudloff as treasurer (Julie has served as an officer for the last few years and deserves a big thank you!!), and John Sekowski as secretary (John has also served as an officer before — thanks!).


Update: Grateful thank you to Brian Roman, EVA newsletter editor

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