A meeting was held today at 1:30 pm on the South Side. Outside consultants were in town for a few days and delivered an initial report concerning the South Side and its various community groups. Plenty of neighborhood views were gathered, sorted and filtered. They even used PowerPoint!
Remember in the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy picked up the bucket. She tosses the water and it hits the wicked witch -- and then she melts.
The same anticipation from that moment is now in the air here in the South Side.
The consultants gave firm advice. In no uncertain terms, the message to the SSLDC (South Side Local Development Corp) was to 'think again.' A re-focus and re-birth with new priorities is needed and called for.
I will be very happy to see the SSLDC go away. The organization has run its course. It operates without a clear direction and vision.
We'll need to get a copy of the overall presentation. I hope it comes online in the days ahead. We asked for it. It has some meat.
At the end of the presentation, questions and comments came from the audience of locals who are all very involved in the neighborhood and city.
My point was: Balance is beautiful. But not once did I hear the words 'babies, children, kids and families.' The term 'residents' was used fleetingly and the word 'school' was used as a possible venue for a future meeting. You can't have balance if only certain age groups are part of the fabric. I asked if those populations were part of the discussions and just overlooked in the presentation.
The replies from the consultants were nothing to get excited about. They did talk about Seattle and how they faced this challenge. People who value more than being only a 'yuppie' village do many things with the community to insure that the wee ones are part of the scene.
The elements that I seek to inject go way beyond being 'safe' and 'clean.'
Update: Another nonprofit that is in the throws of a refocus is the Cool Space Locator.
Cool Spaces reorganizes duties - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Cool Space Locator, a real estate organization started seven years ago to help businesses locate in Pittsburgh's urban neighborhoods, is reorganizing and could see some of its operations taken over by a nonprofit architects' group.