Just A Little Concrete Playlot

Community Organizing in Logan Square

In July 1986, Unity was only a little concrete-paved play-lot in the middle of a concrete jungle. Joel Monarch recounts how it became the Unity Park of today, with one of the most active advisory councils in the city.

But this is also a story about community organizing - bringing neighborhood issues into focus, finding consensus, and working with local government to implement them - colored with insights into the unique political atmosphere of that period in Chicago.

July, 1986—“Playlot 293” becomes an issue
The origin of Playlot 293
August 21, 1986 meeting
The 1986 political backdrop
Thursday October 16, 1986 --public meeting
Friday October 17, 1986
Monday October 20, 1986—we take a bus
Tuesday October 21, 1986—we meet face to face with Jesse Madison
October 27, 1986—face to face again with Jesse Madison
Thursday December 4, 1986-- public meeting
Wednesday December 17, 1986—one more meeting downtown
Jan-April, 1987—we publicize and rename Playlot #293
May-June, 1987, the birth of Unity Playlot Park