Thursday, January 7, 2010

EcoVillage at the Hawthorne Huddle

Guest post by the Hawthorne Hawkman. Photos by Dyna Sluyter.

Today's the big day for the EcoVillage groundbreaking, and neither snow nor rain, nor heat nor gloom of night stays this neighborhood from the swift completion of its appointed development projects. Although some heat would be nice. Pictured above are the panelists from this morning's Hawthorne Huddle. Inspector Mike Martin is first, and he made the EcoVillage intensely personal for him and the officers of the 4th precinct. Below that, from left to right we have...

Jill Kiener of the Northside Home Fund, myself (Jeff Skrenes, Hawthorne Housing Director for any new readers), Steve Cramer of Project for Pride in Living, and a representative from EJAM (Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota).

EJAM has not partnered much with the EcoVillage just yet, but this group, with an office at the Urban League on Penn and Plymouth, is doing excellent work and we expect to join in our efforts very soon.

One theme that was brought up repeatedly was that the EcoVillage was from the very beginning a grassroots effort instead of a top-down imposition on our neighborhood. Also, Mike Martin and Mike Christenson of CPED and I talked to each other about how at the end of 2009 and early in 2010 the Strib and many media outlets are analyzing the drop in crime. And when conventional wisdom regarding economic indicators can't seem to explain why crime is down in an economic downturn, then it gets attributed to the mystical creature called "national trends."

Well this isn't some kind of "criminology butterfly effect." I've yet to be convinced that the drop in violent crimes in Hawthorne and throughout NoMi has any significant ties to less homicides in Los Angeles or fewer assaults in Boston. The results we've seen in the EcoVillage and surrounding areas are instead the fruits of labor that came from the community standing its ground and the police department and city government delivering on their promises to do so in solidarity with us. If anyone still wonders why violent crime is down, this is exhibit A.

Come join Hawthorne residents and partners at 2:30 today for a groundbreaking at 400 31st Ave N, with a reception to follow at Farview Park!

1 comment:

Anonymous said... has a photo on the front page about eco-village! congrats!