Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I went and took the T.W.O. Neighbor survey on Saturday and quickly realized that it may not have been targeted for the working professional.

Then of course I may be wrong.

A vast majority of the questions were aimed at pinpointing employment skill sets.

Do you have a trade? Have you ever been a home health care worker? Do you have office skills?

In light of my looming unemployment, these questions are very pertinent.

Nonetheless I was surprised at not only the skill set questions but the questions concerning the neighborhood quality of life issues, general quality of life issues and affordable housing.

When a list of questions was ticked off about neighborhood concerns and retail and/or services wasn’t among them I found it odd.

I finished the survey and received a $10.00 Target gift card.

That came right on time as I just ran out of laundry detergent.

I mentioned to my friend that in my opinion it seemed that none of the questions were geared toward professionals or the non-existent retail presence in Woodlawn.

He listened and said, “That’s because they want to know about the potential pool of workers in the neighborhood.”

I sat stunned by his assessment.

When I asked why this survey was commissioned and what it hoped to achieve, I was given a stock answer of “community improvement.”

How this information was going to improve the community or what was going to be done with it wasn’t clearly defined or explained.

In fact I couldn’t get any information about the services that the T.W.O. was running out of the former all girls’ Catholic school next door to my building or a contact name for that matter.

When I commented that since Rev. Finney’s church left a few years ago, the upkeep of the property has been questionable at best, I was referred to my alderman and city services.

If you’re thinking what I was thinking at the time---I was a bit amazed by the answer as well.

And now that I’m thinking about it---I didn’t get a chance to interface with my neighbors.

As you came in and signed the sign-in sheet, the survey was administered by a T.W.O. volunteer/representative so you never got to kibbutz with anyone else.

What’s the point of holding a neighbor open house if you don’t get to say hey to the neighbors?

Very curious, no?

So it looks like T.W.O. may not be advocating for a dry cleaner for the eastern part of Woodlawn anytime soon.


chicago pop said...

Just took a look at T.W.O.'s website and don't think their mission is necessarily commercial development, more like filling in the gaps in basic social services for the local needy. Worthwhile, for sure, but won't help you with the dry cleaning! I'd be interested to know what they're doing re: affordable housing.

Pier said...

Oh please. Though it hasn't always been true, The Woodlawn Organization's current mission is to serve as the political arm of Brazier/Finney, Inc.

Note, for example, that the former head of our neighborhood's Cease Fire anti-violence program this spring filed suit against Finney and TWO, alleging that he was fired after he refused to order his employees to do campaign work in our recent aldermanic elections. (See http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20070430/ai_n19049646.)

So I wouldn't expect much from TWO, unless you can find a way to make a dry cleaner seem like a political asset.