LOGAN SQUARE — Fed up with the notion that “gentrification is inevitable,” Logan Square activists and their supporters are planning to march through the neighborhood in an effort to be “part of the solution.”
“Development without gentrification is possible with the right policy tools,” said Christian Diaz, housing organizer for Logan Square Neighborhood Association, one of the organizations putting on the march.
Set for 5:30-7 p.m. Oct. 23, the march is expected to draw more than 600 activists and supporters — roughly the total number of replacement public housing units the city promised to build after tearing down Lathrop Homes combined with the number of demolitions Logan Square saw last year, according to Diaz.
“Families are more important than profit. We are tired of the Mayor and elected officials ignoring solutions to gentrification. We want elected officials to do better for people of color,” the event page reads.
“Join us and be part of the solution. It’s now or never for an inclusive and diverse Logan Square.”
Diaz said one of the primary goals of the march is to reach new political leaders leading up to the mayoral and aldermanic elections.
“There’s going to be a new mayor and we want to send a message directly to whoever becomes mayor of Chicago that this is a really important issue — not just in Logan Square, but to people throughout the city who are wondering: Do we belong here? Do we get to stay? The displacement we’ve seen is appalling,” he said.
Another goal is to encourage policymakers, both new and old, to come up with solutions to the displacement problem plaguing Chicago communities like Logan Square.
“We’re marching for solutions, and one of them is equitable transit-oriented developments. The project at Emmett Street is one [example],” Diaz said, referring to the years-long push to get an 100-percent affordable housing development built on the parking lot next to the Logan Square Blue Line station.
In the last 15 years, Logan Square has lost more Hispanic residents than of any of the city’s 77 community areas, according to the most recently available U.S. Census data.
Between 2000 and 2014, about 19,200 Hispanic residents moved out of Logan Square, a 35.6 percent decrease, according to the data.
Over that same period, the white population in the neighborhood increased by about 10,340 residents, a 47.6 percent increase.
Some 35 local organizations are slated to participate in next week’s march including Diaz’s Logan Square Neighborhood Association, the Center for Changing Lives, the Chicago Teachers Union, LUCHA, Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance and Somos Logan Square.
The march will start at Milwaukee and Sacramento avenues.
Diaz encouraged any and all residents to join in.
“This march is for everyone. Everyone — regardless of race and income — deserves to have a stable home,” he said.