Hello … Hello … Why Won’t You Answer The Door?
Officials of Carpentersville Illinois have been desperately canvasing Morningside Circle neighborhood trying to obtain applicants for $600,000.00 in loans and grants earmarked for this community. A similar campaign that targeted another Carpentersville neighborhood had little appeal to the 126 town home owners.
The Morningside Revitalization Project was implemented back in January. One home improvement project has been started and only two more applications have been initiated.
So why the low turn out? Well, some are chalking it up to the rules of the loans and grants which require the homeowner to repay if they sell their home within five years. Others are blaming it on the controversy over illegal immigration. However they both may be tied together.
According to Lowell Tosch, director of Community Contracts, a non-profit rehab agency in Elgin:
The lack of interest mystifies Lowell Tosch, director of Community Contacts, a non-profit rehab agency in Elgin that administers the program.
He said the agency has waiting lists for similar programs in other Kane County communities, including those with significant Hispanic populations such as Aurora. During the last decade, the organization has distributed $3 million in similar grants to other parts of Carpentersville, officials said.
“It’s very puzzling to me,” Tosch said. “Government money can be complicated to get, but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have homeowners applying for these funds.” source
If other such communities with a high Hispanic population have waiting lists for such programs then clearly the lack of interest in Carpentersville can not be associated with rules of the grants and loans. Instead it is more likely that residence of these communities are feeling uncertain in regards to their standing within the community. If such is the case it provides little or no incentive in revitalizing a community where a resident does not feel welcome and may even be contemplating how long they are wanting to stay in such community.
Off on a little side note I go to say – it’s lucky that the English resolution passed this summer in Carpentersville does not make it illegal to send out literature on this revitalization project in the Spanish language. Lucky for the 40+% Hispanic population they do have the luxury of recieving literature and accessing literature when it will benefit the city – such as this and water/sewer rate hikes. Unfortunately, they’ll have to count on the federal government to give them fair voting rights.
Well maybe certain trustees at Carpentersville can take a moment to reflect on just how much this tension is hurting the city. While the city of Carpentersville may just get out of the $30,000,000.00 lawsuit:
In addition, DeAno said both defendants are protected under the Illinois Tort Immunity Act.
“Defendants Diane Graham and Martin Gruber, public employees serving in a position involving the exercise of discretion, are not liable for any injury to plaintiffs as a result of exercising such discretion.” source
the lawsuit was just one of the many symptoms that are now afflicting the Carpentersville community due to the illegal immigration debate. Whether or not the complaint is justified or legitimate it is the symptom of a climate that was created within Carpentersville. What was once only a dream to beautify these blighted areas in Carpentersville has become a reality. What have you created?
If these trustees true intentions are to encourage assimilation then I suggest they take a look at what is going on in other communities that provide positive results:
In Melrose Park, they lure in Latin American immigrant parents with a new youth soccer league, then try to get them into neighborhood English classes as part of a state New Americans initiative.
In Skokie, planned courses will teach new residents from warmer parts of the world how to dress for the area’s infamous winters. And in Schaumburg, village officials are puzzling over how to persuade South Asians to join local civic groups.
All are part of a quiet but mounting government push to encourage assimilation, the likes of which has not occurred since Theodore Roosevelt’s Americanization programs of the early 20th Century, scholars say.
With Illinois viewed as a national model, government officials around the country are devising new strategies to deal with a historic immigration wave that has caught many areas off guard. The topic, referred to by many academics and officials as “integration,” will be the subject of a two-day national conference in Chicago starting Tuesday.
Prompted by the polarizing debate over immigration — and the backlash in such places as Carpentersville and Waukegan — officials from the federal level down to local church groups have been trying to find ways to bring immigrants into the mainstream more quickly.
Though punitive or restrictive measures have gotten the most attention, there has also been a substantial push to integrate. Over the last 18 months, about a third of the some 130 immigration-related ordinances introduced around the country have been geared toward providing more English-language courses and other immigrant-friendly initiatives, according to the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute.
Unfortunately it can not be left up to the Carpentersville’s trustees solely. Each Carpentersville resident needs to voice their concerns and write to their trustees – email them, letter them or phone them. Residents .. you’re going to have to do something productive in order to stop this behavior; it’s in your own best interest.