Co-founder and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to keynote ceremony
Ten years ago, then-Alderman Toni Preckwinkle realized that if Grand Boulevard, North Kenwood, Oakland and Douglas â€“all within her 4th ward â€“ were to redevelop and prosper, they needed an engine of development.Â Quad Communities Development Corporation was born. On Thursday, the organization will celebrate its tenth anniversary and accomplishmentsâ€”only a month after the groundbreaking for the Shops and Lofts at 47, the first mixed-use housing and retail development complex to be developed in the area in nearly 75 years.
Themed â€œ10 Years of Pursuing the Vision,â€ the celebration will recognize the power of community development to change a neighborhoodâ€”or fourâ€”for the better. Joining for the festivities will be Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President and Founder of Quad Communities Development Corporation; Shirley Newsome, QCDC Board Chair; Bernita Johnson Gabriel, Executive Director; and Will Burns, Alderman for the 4th Ward.
â€œWhen we started this organization 10 years ago, we were dreaming big,â€ said Preckwinkle. â€œSince then, it has been encouraging to watch the pioneering projects that QCDC and this community have undertaken. It has been an honor to watch our neighborhoods thrive and the organization grow.â€Â
With a decade of organizing stakeholders and the leveraging resources and technical assistance behind them, QCDC has much to celebrate. Led by the dynamic Johnson-Gabriel, the organization convenes residents, organizations, businesses and institutions within the Quad Communities to design human infrastructure and community development activities. In the process of growing a sustainable, healthy, mixed-income neighborhood, QCDC established the 47th Street Special Service Area, which supports improvements to the business district; implemented the Elev8 Program, a comprehensive, school-based support system for youth and their families; and partnered with the CARA Program, which provides an intensive life skills and job placement services regiment to help residents break the poverty cycle.Â
â€œ10 Years of Pursuing the Visionâ€ will be held on Thursday, May 16 from 11:30-1:00 p.m. at Maggianoâ€™s Little Italy, 516 N. Clark St. Tickets are available at: http://pursuingthevision.eventbrite.com/.