On the Brink of Victory – [ONE interview]

This tape describes the successful tactics employed by the Organization of the Northeast (ONE) and a Land Use Action group fighting for down-zoning laws in the Uptown/Edgewater neighborhoods of Chicago. It is followed by raw footage of an interview with Mary Gerharty and other representatives from ONE.

00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with static.

00:20Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of a news report with Walter Jacobson. A group of protesters create a traffic jam around the proposed site of a ninety-six unit high rise. Area resident Susan Figliulo comments on the high population density in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. We then see other local area news broadcasts on the story.

01:30Copy video clip URL A narrator cuts in. “These problems are systemic to our community and require a community wide solution. Land Use Action has worked for over three years on a down-zoning plan which would provide that systemic solution. We are now on the brink of victory.” There is another news story on down-zoning in the Uptown/Edgewater neighborhood. Donna Gallagher of the Organization of the Northeast talks about the positive impact down-zoning will have in the community. Commissioner Martin Murphy of the City Planning Department comments on the situation.

03:32Copy video clip URL Newly elected 49th Ward Alderman David Orr speaks about his involvement in the down-zoning issue and his work setting up a zoning and planning committee in Rogers Park. This lasts for several minutes.

05:08Copy video clip URL Gallagher, interviewed by TedWilliam Theodore, comments on the meeting between ONE and Commissioner Murphy, and about the cooperation between city officials and community members in handling the down-zoning proposals. Shortly afterward, the credits begin to roll.

06:33Copy video clip URL White screen.

06:57Copy video clip URL Cut to raw footage of an interview with several members of the Organization of the Northeast. They talk about the importance of pressuring city officials. Mary Garherty says, “I found out that when I call up and say ‘I am Mary Garherty of the Organization of the Northeast,’ I get put through. If I would call up and say, ‘I’m Mary Garherty and I have a problem,’ they pay no attention to me. But when I have an organization in back of me, they listen.” She goes on to talk about the importance of solid research in successfully creating change, and the fact that ONE always submits demands, not requests, to the city.

09:31Copy video clip URL The tape cuts out briefly. One of the women talks about her reasons for becoming involved with ONE. Being a single woman in a fairly downtrodden neighborhood, she saw the importance of bettering her neighborhood. She talks about the struggles community groups face in confronting city officials about community issues. One of the other women talks about a specific instance in which they could not get in contact with a city official, and what they did to try to get his attention. Garherty also talks about the same situation. This lasts for a large portion of the tape.

20:52Copy video clip URL Garherty talks about the success of ONE and attributes its success to paying an expert staff. ONE also received a lot of financial support from religious leaders in their various communities. One of the other women talks about the need for experts to help members of the organization pull everything they need together when fighting for certain issues. Garherty goes on to say, “I think a community is important and I think the only way that the community people are going to start running their own community is by having organizations and we need paid staff.” The women eventually all break out into laughter. The interview ends shortly afterward.

26:12Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



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