05/18/2011 10:00

Jews and Muslims Take on Foreclosure Crisis and Reclaim Community

Media:   Katherine Randall  |  katherine@jcua.org  |  312.663.0960 x. 126  |  Mobile: 262.960.4741

[press advisory] Community Organizations Take Action to Reclaim Neighborhood, May 19, 3:00 p.m.

CHICAGO — Residents, local religious and school leadership and community organizations are holding an action to announce progress and plans for reclaiming the abandoned, vandalized property at 6210 S. Fairfield in Marquette Park, a neighborhood that has seen more than 5,500 foreclosures since 2006.

Collective pressure from JCUA, the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) and the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) has recently led to the boarding up and securing of the building. On Thursday, May 19, community members will demonstrate their commitment to reclaiming their neighborhood and reviving the property by painting a mural on the house, creating a community garden in the backyard, and engaging in festivities on the lawn and down the block.

(The property above) When houses like this are within 100 feet of elementary schools, the community has to take action

A news conference on the project will be held at 3:00 p.m. at the 6210 S. Fairfield house with community activities to follow until 5:00 p.m.

“This project is all about taking collective action against a place which has been the source of much fear, intimidation and pain for over a year,” said IMAN Executive Director Rami Nashashibi.

Nashashibi, Father Tony Pizzo and JCUA Executive Director Jane Ramsey will lead an interfaith prayer service to demonstrate the depth of commitment and unity on this issue. Invited legislators include: Sen. Jackie Collins (D-Chicago), Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, and Ald. Toni Foulkes (15th).

“The impact of bank foreclosures on area properties has been truly devastating,” said Judy Levey, JCUA community development manager. “Working together we can build the momentum necessary to fix this problem.”