The 3rd Annual Austin Power of Life Saturday morning 5k run brought thousands to Chicago Ave + Mayfield. It wasn’t just about the race, but to bring attention to the economic renewal underway on the westside of Chicago.
The pre-race celebration landed on the first day of fall with a righteous 81-degree forecast. Austin’s two Aldermanic council members Emma Mitts, Christopher Taliaferro along with colleagues and friends took the moment to spotlight massive projects underway in the area. 2018 will see the city invest $130M in and around the neighborhood. A new Public Safety Training Academy for police and fire departments on Chicago Ave. Also, the next phase of Chicago’s Smart Lighting Project will replace all street lamps with LED fixtures that use less energy. Through the Minority Business Enterprise Participation Plan, 27% of the project will be awarded to neighborhood business.
Austin POWER of Life (People Organizing Wealth +Organizing Resources) hosts the run every year. Their conversation with the mayor relayed a simple message about the community; it needs businesses and an infusion of capital.
Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has run this race the last three years. During the celebration he took the local media in attendance to task for the stream of negative images directed towards people of color. “We want the media here to know that the vision you portray of Austin is not the people that make up Austin.“
The Mayor emphasized the importance of the having a vested interest in Austin via The Neighborhood Opportunity Plan and Retail Thrive Zone. “You cannot be what you cannot see, and that’s the reason we want to make a commitment to Austin. When every child looks at the city they should see it’s power, energy, optimism and sees it as his/her home. But if they see this city as a separate city and don’t see their future, we can never be what we need to be.”
State Rep Camille Lilly, Cook County States Attorney Kim Fox, State Representative Lashawn K. Ford, Senator Don Harmon and owner of Austin’s Sankofa Cultural Arts Center, Malcolm Crawford all participated in the run.
This event was about much more that running a race for the notion of good health, it’s about empowerment , vision and Austin not being represented by violence.
The stories the media chooses to tell are not the stories taught around the kitchen table at night. We know this all to well and the time to change that narrative is long overdue. Making sure that the rest of the city knows what we know in our heart should be a priority.
-The 5K started on Chicago Ave & Mayfield, headed south down to Race, east over to Menard then back down Chicago Ave to Cicero Ave.
-The opening ceremony included Miss. Junior Pre Teen Illinois, Demira Scott singing the national anthem.
-Winning time for the 3.1 mile race was 20 mins, 14 secs.
-The $29M Minority Business Enterprise Participation Plan for the next phase of Chicago’s Smart Light Project includes a commitment to half of their employees being ex-offenders.
- When Power of Life engaged Mayor Emanuel about empowerment opportunities to the Austin community, he response was that he has a vested interest in every Chicago community and that you are knocking on an open door.
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The 2017 Austin POWER of Life 5K Walk/Run is taking place on Saturday, September 23rd. With more than 1,000 people expected to attend, we are anxiously awaiting this special event in support of those impacted by diabetes.
Packet pick-up will be held on Thursday, September 21st and Friday, September 22nd from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm at Hope Community Church located at 5900 West Iowa Street, Chicago IL 60651 [enter via Mayfield entrance]. Only individuals that registered before 12:00 Noon on September 20th will be eligible for packet pick-up on Thursday and Friday. If you are unable to pick up your packet on either date, packets will also be available for pick up on race day beginning at 7:30 am.
RACE DAY INFORMATION
The Austin Power 5K Walk/Run Steps-Off at 8:30 am at the intersection of Chicago Avenue & Mayfield [just off the major intersection of Chicago Avenue & Austin Boulevard]. A pre-race assembly will begin at 8:00 am. Post-race activities will begin immediately following the start of the Austin Power 5K Walk/Run.
General street parking is available in the area. Public transportation is suggest. Depending on your travel direction, please contact the Chicago Transit Authority [888-968-7282 | transitchicago.com] or PACE [800-606-1282 | pacebus.com] for travel instructions.
Race Course Map
Please visit the Austin POWER 5K website to view the course map. www.AUSTINPOWER5K.com.
If you have any questions, please contact AAABNA at 773-626-4497 or HOPE [Helping Our People Excel] at 773-921-2243 or email us at: 2017AustinPower5K@gmail.com.
To further assist and continue the success of the Thrive Zone program, we will be providing city services to your local communities through satellite offices. These satellite offices will include services from the Department of Buildings, Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, and Department of Public Health. The purpose for this neighborhood outreach is to give small businesses and property owners within the Retail Thrive Zones an opportunity to discuss their specific projects with the city departments. Many of the conversations are regarding Business Start Ups, Business Licensing, Building Permits, Food Safety Regulations, and Health Inspections, among others.
We will be hosting the satellite office in the Austin Community on Thursday, September 28th
AAABNA @ SANKOFA CULTURAL ARTS AND BUSINESS CENTER,
5820 W. Chicago Ave.
Consultations can be scheduled through Mary O’Connor by emailing her at mary.o’firstname.lastname@example.org, however walk-in appointments will also be available.
2018 Roof & Porch Repair Program
A grant program for income eligible Chicago homeowners to make repairs on their roofs or porches. Interested parties must register in a lottery for a chance to apply for funds.
ONE DAY LOTTERY REGISTRATION
9a.m. to 5p.m, Thursday Set, 14, 2017
online at www.cityofchicago.org/roofandporch
or call 311
The lottery drawing will take place in late October at the Chicago Cultural Center
78 E.Washington St. Results will be posted online the following week.
Unity, Commitment, Transparency, Collaboration and Action are the values of the Austin Quality of Life Plan.
The entrance to our neighborhood at Chicago Ave and Cicero was the scene for State Rep La Shawn K. Ford’s 4th Annual Stand For Peace Street Dedication.
When I approached Mandela Road around 1030a on a perfect Tuesday morning the neighborhood had completely filled the plaza entrance to Westside Health Authority. Chatting with La Shawn one thing you notice immediately is that representation of black culture is an important topic for him. Although Cook County is home to more blacks than any other county in America, you don’t see many Chicago streets named after people of color.
This annual Mandela Road street dedication was inspired by the unanimous decision of the United Nations General Assembly in 2009 to recognize International Nelson Mandela Day. This year’s celebration was made even more significant by the unveiling of the Dr. Martin Luther King Chieftain statue.
15th District CPD Commander Betts made it a point to address what it means to be an active citizen when expressing his concern toward to police efforts against violence. “ When we find youth with weapons they are never waterlogged or rusty. These firearms are kept in good condition. It means they are being stored in neighborhood homes. If you know illegal weapons are being kept in the home, you must contact authorities to help get these guns off the street!” says Mr. Betts during the rally.
The spirit of the Austin neighborhood was on display as community leaders took time to share their latest initiatives as well call the village to action. The theme over the course of the next two hours was the importance of gaining a collective voice to achieve to success we all wish for Chicago’s largest neighborhood.
10 neighborhood groups partnered to make the event a day to remember. The Good Neighbors Campaign Youth Division Cheerleaders kicked off the day’s activities. Everyone from Westside Health Authority COO, Quiwana Bell to Chicago Department of Planning’s Mark Roschen made an appearance at Mandela Day.
Austin’s newest resident, Jamaica Grill catered the event. Their next location will reside at 5241 W. Chicago Ave. The Retail Thrive Zone Grant Recipient worked with AV72 Chicago’s own Yemisi Dinkins on the grant. In addition to her economic development + finances roles at WHA, Ms Dinkins led efforts for the first SSA (Special Service Area) designation for Austin Village. Yemisi works with Department of Planning to maximize their impact in the SSA.
A beautiful display of what a neighborhood should feel like was in the air at the corner of Chicago Ave and Mandela Road on this day. During a UN speech Mandela once made a proclamation for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s injustices. “ It’s in your hands now. ”
We of course can’t change the world until we first decide to change ourselves, and there is an incredible amount of work ahead of us. One thing is certain, and this multi-race, multi generational gathering was reminder that, we as a village will get more done working collectively as one voice.
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AV 72 Chicago began Phase One of the Austin Beautification Initiative recently. It’s a partnership with the Westside Health Authority Youth Employment Division + the Good Neighbor Campaign. All three teams combined outreach efforts to local business and property owners.
Chicago artists are just are excited about AV 72 Chicago’s energy regarding the value of key retail properties in the area.
The 2017 Call For Artist Campaign was an application process where Chicagoans could submit their work for public display. The goal here is to create a series of rotating art installations that will swap boarded up windows and doors with commissioned works of art.
A cohesive appearance will be brought along the corridor using these art selections as the conduit. Selected pieces will also be printed on vinyl banners to be displayed through out the area.
Youth Ambassadors connect with local business owners during daily briefings to leverage resources and determine the most effective ways to improve the Chicago Ave corridor. This year’s artists theme is ‘Black Culture and Community’ There are centers throughout the world, both ancient and modern that have resulted by descent from the movement of black people.
As AV 72 Chicago is home to Mandela Road, submissions that incorporate cultural representation across continents were encouraged. The process values uniformity not monotony; while separate pieces were submitted, they needed to be unified under a central theme.
In the coming months WHA will partner with Austin Coming Together’s Vanessa Creightney Stokes on an art installation program at Chicago Ave + Mandela Road. Vanessa is the Managing Director of her family’s Photography Foundation. Her dad, Dorrell Creightney opened Chicago’s first black owned photo studio. The rich family archive has over 300,000 photos. After art exhibitions in River North and Wicker Park the family is excited for an exhibition in Austin.
These locations are in the Phase One zone of the Austin Beautification Project.
1.Second to None Barber Shop
2. Chicago Public Library Austin Branch, 5615 W Race.
3. Healing Temple Chicago 4941 W. Chicago Ave.
4. Courtesy II Livery, 4950 W. Chicago Ave.
5. The Promise Church of Chicago 4821-23 W. Chicago Ave.
6. Alderman Mitts of the 37th Ward 4924 W. Chicago Ave.
7. City Sports 5430 W. Chicago Ave.
8. Family Dollar 5410 W. Chicago Ave.