Category Archives: President’s Letter

President’s Letter, January 2018

Hello FRN,
We are at the end of 2017, another year has almost passed. We have seen so many changes occur in our world and in our Neighborhood as well. Some changes have been positive, and some have been negative. We have seen some old businesses close on Chicago Avenue, and we’ve seen some new businesses open in their place. We have a new bakery on 46th and Bloomington, too.

We’ve seen longtime business owner, Joe Minjares, who will be closing his Pepitos restaurant. Joe has been very active in our community through the years. He has been very sick of late, and we want Joe to know that we’re thinking about him.

This past November, Hale and Field School taught us in the community all about the history of our neighborhood. The young people did a lot of research about our community and educated both themselves and us, about how our neighborhoods were once segregated by design, and what it took to unify and desegregate our schools and neighborhoods.

We’ve talked about crime in our community, and how we can do something about it. FRN you have talked about forming walking groups and walking together, with the strength of unity, looking out for each other.

This November, we voted for a lot of local elected positions that have a direct impact on our community. This new year, we will have two new City Council Members: Andrea Jenkins and Jeremy Schroeder. We are looking forward to working with both of them and having them to hear our concerns for our communities and working on our behalf. They will be replacing our previous Council Members, Elizabeth Glidden, and John Quincy, who gave so much of themselves to preserve and improve our communities. To them, we give our appreciation.

FRN, we have work ahead of as we begin the New Year 2018. How do we work with our local schools to help keep our kids engaged and wanting to stay in school? What is it that we can do to assist those families who need help, in fixing their homes and properties up, when they’ve fallen into worsening disrepair? When do we start the walking groups in our neighborhoods? Who will help organize these group(s)? How do we make sure we are including all our new businesses, in our conversation about the commercial plans and hopes of our community? We need to work with McRae Park on community building, in planning activities for our young people and teenagers. We have our newsletter publication, Close to Home, and we need people to continue to write articles for the paper. We have a great production team for the newsletter, who have won several awards and recognition for being an outstanding newsletter. Let’s continue to share our enthusiasm and talents to maintain this asset.

FRN I’m up to the challenge for 2018 and I need your help to make these things happen. Please consider joining one of our committees that interest you, and making 2018 the best for FRN.

Willie Bridges

Willie Bridges, FRNNG President

If you have new neighbors, please introduce yourself and welcome them to the neighborhood. Be safe and be aware of your surroundings: always lock your car doors, garage doors, and house doors. If you have an elderly person living next door to you, check up on them periodically, to make sure that they’re OK. Practice the Golden Rule.

I wish the Best for you this coming Year 2018, FRN,

President’s Letter – May, 2016

Willie Bridges

Willie Bridges, FRNNG President

By Willie Bridges, FRNNG President

Recently, I’ve attended a number of meetings regarding our community: its safety, well-being and current concerns. At one of our community meetings, we talked about keeping our community safe. Ben Elliott, who is chair of the community and safety committee, organized a community-wide meeting to talk about safety concerns along with invited guest Inspector Michael Sullivan, Commander of the Third Precinct. At the meeting we talked about some of the community’s concerns. It was a lively discussion. There were suggestions on things that we can do as a community to monitor and maintain our community safe from burglaries, drug trafficking, etc., that all communities face. Inspector Sullivan says that we should call 911 whenever we see suspicious activities going on in the neighborhood.

I’m suggesting that you also give the FRNNG office a call with your concerns. We may be able to direct you to the appropriate person that you need to contact.

I attended another meeting at which city council members John Quincy and Elizabeth Glidden were in attendance. Among issues discussed, we talked about some vacant homes in the community and what can be done with them. We learned that one such home has already been sold. Another home has potential to be sold and rehabbed. If it isn’t sold, the house will be demolished. This house had been vacant for over six years.

It is so important that we as a community look out for each other. We can’t afford to say that this doesn’t affect me. If there are negative things going on in our neighborhood, it’s important that we report it to the proper authorities.

The greening committee is looking for volunteers to help with the landscaping project along 2nd Avenue. You may have noticed the improvements: weeds gone, grass cut, and flowers will be planted this spring. Co-chairs Tim Price and Lindsey Feiner need your help. Please give the neighborhood office a call if you are interested in volunteering for this committee and our other committees.

The McRae baseball field project is a “go” and will start in late July. The field will be closed for a year. McRae Recreation Center will remain open with activities throughout the summer.

I hope that you and your family member will plan on attending our annual neighborhood celebration on May 21, 2016, at McRae Park. We will be celebrating FRN community! FRN neighbors, when you are working out in your yard make sure that you close your garage door and that you lock your back door if you are working in the front yard.
—Willie, President, FRN