Friday, March 26, 2010

Humboldt Park Takes Lead Role on Tech

Leaders in Humboldt Park are serious about bringing a digital culture to their community.

One of five designated "Smart Communities" in Chicago – neighborhoods that just yesterday were awarded a $7 million federal grant for broadband adoption – Humboldt Park put together the video below to pitch for another special project, the Google Fiber initiative that will bring ultra-fast internet speeds to one or more U.S. communities.

Both projects are being done in collaboration with the City of Chicago Department of Innovation and Technology. Learn more about the Humboldt Park tech culture here. And read about Chicago's Google Fiber application here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

¡La Villita Cuenta! Video Pitches the 2010 Count

Little Village is serious about capturing all the public money it can. With a series of interviews of local leaders, it makes the case to residents that every person counted will make a big difference in how much money is allocated locally -- the equivalent over 10 years of another top-notch facility like Little Village Lawndale High School.

The leaders repeatedly stress that Census data is completely confidential and that it is not shared with any other government agency (such as immigration, a big reason that some residents haven't filled out the forms in the past). One priest even suggests that not being counted is a "social sin, a sin of omission."

It's in Spanish with English subtitles, and was produced by Enlace Chicago's Dahriian Espinoza, with help from Jaime de Leon. Check it out.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The How and Why of Comprehensive Development

How does comprehensive community development actually get done? What's involved and how long does it take? How do politics, funding, and local rivalries factor in?

Those questions and others will be the focus of a new web site launched Friday by the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development. A brand-new venture of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the Institute is targeted to community development practitioners, researchers, government officials, funders and others interested in the comprehensive approach to community building. From the web site's About Us section:

The Institute for Comprehensive Community Development was established to advance the field of comprehensive community development and the positive impact it has in urban and rural communities across the country. We do this by:
  • Building the capacity of community development practitioners;
  • Providing on-site support and technical assistance to comprehensive community development initiatives in cities across the U.S.;
  • Applying lessons learned through research and performance evaluation to continually improve on-going comprehensive community development initiatives and to develop new initiatives;
  • Supporting the development of public policies which integrate government programs in order to effectively facilitate and support comprehensive community development;
  • Communicating broadly the best there is in practice and theory in the field of community development.

The Institute is a place where the community development field can take what it learns from practice and use it as a base from which to provide training, to promote research in comprehensive community development, and to investigate the public policies that would best advance this work locally and nationally. The Institute is the locus where practice and theory meet, and where experimentation and innovation – grounded in real-world experience – flourish.

There are opinion pieces, as well, plus case studies and a library that will build over time. If you're part of the action, check it out, add information about your organization, and tell others what you're up to.