So i tried to create a viral post on a website, urging local decision makers in the old neighborhood to chose my idea for a naming a new development. its guerilla community organizing, because i couldnt stand by and let some politicians hash it out and decide on a politically connected name that carries no weight or reference to the community. So i petitioned the power brokers online. this could work or work against me, either way I did it and have no regrets. "Thirty-eight years after a 1975 fire burned down the old Woolworths and almost a city block on the southwest corner of North and Pulaski, a new affordable housing development is coming to the area. Hispanic Housing Developement Corporation and Tropic Construction have broken ground on the $19 million dollar development that will include 72 apartments for local residents ages 55-80 who earn less than 80% of the area's median income to stay and continue living affordably in their community. This development has come together after residents, our local chamber of commerce, and our alderman have worked to keep the project alive.
Currently, the development is called North and Pulaski Seniors Housing, but we are asking that Hispanic Housing consider El Pionero Senior Apartments at North and Pulaski. Hispanic Housing and other Humboldt Park affordable housing organizations, like Bickerdike, have a history of meaningfully naming their projects for significant community members, community intersections, and community struggles. Consider Theresa Roldan Apartments on Paseo Boriqua, North and Talman Elderly Apartments, Zapata Apartments, and La Estancia.
El Pionero is in reference to the Pioneer Trust and Savings bank across the street. The bank was built in 1924 and in the years that followed, it solely financed all of the development and housing that makes up much of the North and Pulaski area of Humboldt Park. It is one of only a few neighborhood banks that survived the Great Depression. Standing at five stories, an landmark above all other neighborhood structures, it's architecture was meant to convey security and stability. Similarly, the seniors development will take the corner and stand at five stories; the building will symbolize housing security and stability for our long time residents. The name El PioneroSenior Apartments at North and Pulaski references and gives meaningful respect to our section of Humboldt Park, and the history and culture of our residents who will call the building home. We urge Hispanic Housing's Hipolito (Paul) Roldan, Alderman Reboyras (30th), and Alderman Maldonado to pick El Pionero as they collectively choose an honorable name for this building. We look forward to a community meeting in the near future; the neighborhood is excited and eagerly watching and waiting for the completion of this development. "