Registered Community Organizations (RCOs) are the most localized way to engage in one’s community. Part community association, part organizer, believe it or not, your local RCO has power to shape debate on a variety of issues facing your neighborhood. Want a new park or community garden in your neighborhood? Talk to your RCO. How about if you’d like to organize an fundraiser or a social event in your area? Engage with your RCO. What about if a new building is proposed for your area? The community meeting about that building is organized by your RCO.
once the tallest building in the world (left) next to a stunning new counterpart (right)
To the Honorable President B. H. Obama:
Your personal history as a community organizer in Chicago gave many an urban planner pause and hope that your presidency would bring renewed focus to our neglected cities. The announcement of the creation of new Urban Affairs White House office had many, including myself, hopeful that your presidency would lead us into a new era where our federal government would no longer see American urbanity exclusively through the lenses of housing, infrastructure & education. Federal policies have often been myopic and detrimental towards our urban cores. One need not look further than the slum clearings of the 1950s and 1960s to see bad urban planning often led by architects and sociologists with their own cultural viewpoints eschewing dense urban streets for green lots dotted with anonymous high rises. As you are aware from your time in Chicago, these public housing high-rises exacerbated urban decline.