Pilsen Alliance Meeting, La Catrina Café, 06/27/17 (Casa Aztlan and Housing in Pilsen)
Arts and Arts Activism Group Notes
- Need for a community-run arts and cultural center
- Third spaces such as bars and cafes cannot be depended upon to support and respect local artists
- New developments often bring in artists from outside the community
- Cultural center can be brick &mortar but shouldn’t ignore digital technologies and social media platforms that allow for “virtual” community spaces to share art, knowledge, and local history
- For the time being, local cultural objects and artifacts can be preserved through the Chicago Public Library’s artist archives
- Need to support existing arts and cultural organizations
- Organizations such as Yollocalli and Elevarte have existed for years and are heavily invested in the community; any work toward sustaining arts and culture in the community should build upon existing organizations
- Pilsen is home to numerous DIY spaces that should also be supported and, if possible, coordinated in their efforts; such DIY spaces can serve as a starting point for gathering support for a community-run cultural center
- Artists and young people should be trained to be advocates in support of local art and culture
- Increase artist volunteerism by connecting work toward a community cultural center to existing artistic networks
- Advocate for a citywide cultural policy that protects and preserves local art and culture
- Seek landmark status for existing murals or advocate for an ordinance that protects them
- Seek support from the city for mural restoration
- Shift dynamic from city to communities: culture is created within communities not at the city-level
- Use art as a political tool and pressure point
- Restore murals in Casa Aztlan
- Use restoration efforts to demand that ½ of the 10 luxury units be offered as low-income housing
- Challenge the aldermanic use of Year of Public Art Funds
- Disrupt by placing art strategically in the community to make political points outside the usual channels
- Restore murals in Casa Aztlan
Accountability Group Notes
- Self determination – protecting what’s ours
- Accountability to where you’re at
- Staying vigilant / can’t sleep on things / can’t only be reactive
- Somebody has to step forward – public representative
- We need to hold the following people/groups accountable
- Public representative of our groups
- The City
- The representative of other orgs
- What are potential action plans? What is our common vision? Por qué luchamos?
- Can we prevent something like erasure of Casa Aztlán murals from happening again?
- How can we effectively advocate to Solis/city govt?
- Where’s info on other vulnerable locations? What are our rights in these places?
- City led historical preservation organizations
- Chicago Landmarks Ordinance
- Not just murals, we’re thinking about effective forms of political advocacy
- Legal / regulations vs. by any means necessary (legal vs. extra legal means)
- How can we hold new arrivals (condo owners, developers, etc) accountable
- Focus on details can be strength / working to reform within the legal/political system?
- Has there been a discussion about buying back Casa Aztlán?
- Can we increase affordable housing requirements?
- Younger people moving in are often renting…maybe best to focus on those who are buying the houses?
- We’re here but “we” don’t necessarily represent the WHOLE neighborhood
- Who’s here and who would we like to be here?
- How do we get THEM involved?
- What does it mean to represent ALL of Pilsen
- How can we grow our advocacy beyond those who’ve already showed up?
- Info / Action
- Community Land Trusts —– Ennissa / Albany Park
- Look to positive examples from other neighborhoods (Albany Park / Somos Logan Sq / Etc)
- Connect movement across neighborhoods y razas y divisions
- Porqué no está la comunidad negra aquí?
- Vea Humboldt Park y otros ejemplos
- Afro Americanos / latinos / palestinos
- Enlaces entre los oprimido por sobre toda la ciudad
Qué es el paso siguiente? Next meeting Wednesday, 6 de Julio — be more clear about who we’re going to hold accountable and how
- Have to figure out WHAT Pilsen wants / also have to figure out who represents Pilsen (who’s at this meeting, who should’ve been? How to reach out?)
- Hold ourselves accountable for continuing to vote in people like Solis
- What spaces are most vulnerable? Where are concrete LOCATIONS of action (not only modes of action)
- How are we organizing ourselves? Connection across lines of division /// intersectionality
- Working within or outside legal/political system?
- Who’s buying the buildings? Who’s letting them? More direct contact needed with developers/investors
Overriding point, we need a place from which to continue these conversations, need to have a cultural center that can ground these places (exactly like Casa Aztlán did)
…holding A.P.O. accountable
Housing Group Notes
- Frank: Uniting Independent Fair Housing Projects
- “Right to the City Alliance”
- Tax Reforms:
- Progressive State Income Tax
- Taxing Financial Speculation
- Legal Reforms:
- Just Cause for Eviction
- Rent Control