ChicagoWest / Southwest

Is Austin Chicago’s ugly stepchild?

by Joe Zekas on 4/4/13

Austin has the largest population of Chicago’s 77 Community Areas, and suffered the largest population drop of the 77 between 2000 and 2010.

The community is home to the leafy Austin Historic District, which you can visit in the above video, and to the historic devastation wrought during the riots that followed the death of Martin Luther King, exactly 45 years ago today. You can see the persisting results of the riots along Madison Street in the following video.

According to Austin Talks:

West Side business leaders, elected officials and activists don’t understand why Austin is not one of seven Chicago neighborhoods Mayor Rahm Emanuel is targeting for special attention – and additional funding.

According to one of those business leaders: ““I don’t understand the logic behind not including Austin. We are looked at as one ugly stepchild of the city.”

Several years ago we noted one resident’s suggestion that Austin was unfairly portrayed in the media.

When there are insufficient funds to address the needs of all of Chicago’s communities, should Austin continue to be a low priority?

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