These two pages were published in the Herald’s 75th Anniversary Issue, and defined the way I saw Hyde Park. The headline reads : “31 ORGANIZATIONS, 3000 MEETINGS A YEAR and we all BELIEVE IN HYDE PARK.” Some of the outstanding qualities listed were:
- We have an aware population. Hyde Park has the highest percentage of registered voters of any community in Chicago. Some of our organizations see to it that people register and vote and that people know what they are voting about.
- We have an integrated population. Hyde Park is a microcosm of all races, religions, and creeds. Some of our organizations have’ seen to it that we don’t preach tolerance but instead live with our neighbors in harmony no matter who they are.
- We are pioneering redevelopment. We have plans to improve the Hyde Park area in every material respect, to rebuild where necessary, to stop illegal conversions, yes, to close substandard buildings for occupancy. This is done through your organizations.
- We have amazing facilities for our young people. We have numerous planned recreational and and educational projects. We have more than city-owned playgrounds – we have many community tot-lots and building facilities managed by organized groups. Our organized groups have made Hyde Park the pilot project for youth planning for the city of Chicago.
- We have an excellent program for the preschooler. We have non-profit nursery schools for children of working mothers, run by the community; all in the Hyde Park tradition of the very best for our population.
- We helped pass laws locally and nationally. Hyde Parker put enough pressure on our state legislature to see that the Neighborhood Redevelopment Corporation Act – which would enable re-growth in Hyde Park – passed. The first test case of this act was in Hyde Park. We’ve passe. national Laws. Just recently Congress enacted a bill to compensate merchants who are victims of urban renewal. This is a national precedent. Organized Hyde Parkers wrote letters and went to Washington.
- We plan recreation for our adults. We have play reading groups, folk dancing, bridge clubs, painting classes, music groups, Great Books groups, crafts, and many more.
- We’ve all sorts of special facilities. An Art Fair, organized sitter-swap made up of people in the Hyde Park area, a credit union, a community operated supermarket, a winning fight on our Lake Front parks, museums, libraries…
These pages inventoried much of what Hyde Park organizations had done and were currently doing. There was a broad range of activity and an energetic belief in human nature and in the community. Years later, a book on urban renewal and Hyde Park, quoted these pages as “quintessential Hyde Park.”