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The Chicago Community Trust Outstanding Community Strategy of the Year Award

Neighborhood planning is not about a destination – it’s about a journey. The Pilsen Quality-of-Life planning process, led by The Resurrection Project and the Pilsen Planning Committee as part of LISC/Chicago’s New Communities Program, brought together an unprecedented collaboration of more than 20 organizations with different, sometimes opposing perspectives to shape a common, comprehensive vision for their community.

The plan, “Pilsen: A Center of Mexican Life,” was a joint effort of organizations, local businesses, elected officials, faith-based groups and other stakeholders guided by orgullo, or pride, in what they have built in Pilsen and in a future that continues to incorporate and celebrate Mexican culture.

Five task forces meet monthly on the main strategy areas outlined in the plan – education, housing, family, economy and image. Building on this firm foundation, Pilsen has already achieved important milestones, including 118 units of new affordable housing; new cultural festivals; school improvements including a new school-based health center; and new green space. In addition, and as a direct result of advocacy outlined in the plan, 21 percent of new housing in Pilsen must be affordable, exceeding the city standard.

For creating consensus among a remarkable array of neighborhood stakeholders and crafting a comprehensive plan that has already significantly benefited Pilsen, its families and businesses, the Pilsen Quality-of-Life Planning Process is named the 2010 Chicago Community Trust Outstanding Community Strategy of the Year.