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Old Englewood Village Association
home : features : old englewood village association
December 1, 2021

11/23/2021 3:54:00 PM

Todd Tracy

Value: what is it, how does it apply to the Old Englewood Village and who is responsible for it? A quick Webster’s search found a version of value defined as: “the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.” That was interesting, it had lots of strong words like regard and deserve, but it did not answer the deeper questions. This leads me to my second search: Social Value. Paraphrasing one lengthy definition that I found at www.socialvalueportal.com, social value is broadly described as organizations or businesses, which make a conscious effort to ensure that their efforts are positive and add social value by contributing to the long-term wellbeing and resilience of individuals, communities and society in general.
That was an interesting definition because it identified social value as a community responsibility. Far too often, the public expects agencies, clubs, groups, organizations, or even individuals to be solely responsible for the towns social value. Not only that, but they also tend to be impatient about it, not fully understanding that social value is an on-going, long-term process. Per the definition, it takes time to build a prosperous community and no single enterprise, public or private, can do it on their own.
The good news is that our community, like so many others across the nation, is hard at work building our local social value. Those making the efforts include our Community Redevelopment Area Advisory Board (CRA), the programs and events of our Old Englewood Village Association OEVA, our local Chamber of Commerce, the four Rotary clubs, Moose, Elks, etc. Those, and many more, collectively help generate activity that supports our local economy. But it gets even more exciting when you look past all the glitz and glam of our organizational activities and notice what the private sector has been up to as well.
Examples: The OEVA’s Dearborn Street Cruzing event has been successfully adopted by the private sector and our community car enthusiasts. The Halloween Safe Walk, one of OEVA’s signature events, was augmented this year by several private sector parties that entertained trick-or-treating families by the thousands. Up and down the street, private dollars are seriously at work investing in their businesses, which improves our communities’ social value. Looking ahead, I suspect that this year’s Dearborn Street Christmas Walk, and the ones that will follow, will be additionally supported, even expanded, by the private sector.
Hopefully, by now you are beginning to see my point, that the social value of our community is not dependent on any one association, organization, agency, business, even individual; nor can they bear the sole responsibility of prospering a downtown. Dearborn Street is alive and well, even growing, despite all the recent hardships and the on-
going street construction, because we are all in this effort together.
The intended message embedded in all these words is that OEVA applauds each and everyone’s efforts, public and private, and that we will continue to invest in the community, as will these local organizations. Next year, when the construction dust settles, OEVA will be back hosting our traditional events.
In case you did not know, or maybe you have forgotten, OEVA is a community-based non-profit that has loved and supported the downtown for nearly four generations. Because of our connection to Englewood’s past, we tend to spend a lot of time thinking about its future.
Looking ahead, we know that Englewood is facing some very serious growing pains, like parking, event quality, size and location, and how our downtown will be managed once the CRA expires in Dec. 2029.
Additional community conversations should include OEVA’s continued promotion of our walking arts district known, as the Englewood Arts District, in the Residential Commercial Transition Overlay District, RCTOD zoning. The idea of this overlay districe is to find ways to support our local artists, and how we can protect the charm and quality of our downtown in a rapidly growing area?
Because of these questions, and many more, OEVA’s Town Halls will be starting up again when the plaza is finished. The Town Halls are intended to become a platform where we can gather and have a conversation about the town’s management and its future. Please plan on attending.
To accomplish this and much more, we need your support, financially, socially, and physically. Please join us by visiting our web site at www.oldEnglewood.com where you sign up for our newsletter and blog, join a committee, volunteer, or become a member.
Until then, Happy Holidays.

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