ESLARP East St. Louis Action Research Project
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Planning

The Emerson Park Neighborhood Improvement Plan

UP 374/394, Fall 1990

A COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITY PLAN FOR THE

EMERSON PARK NEIGHBORHOOD OF EAST ST. LOUIS, ILLINOIS

Presented to the

EMERSON PARK DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

1200 N. 13th Street

East St. Louis, Illinois 62205

618-874-0777

by the

NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING WORKSHOP

DEPARTMENT OF URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING

COLLEGE OF FINE AND APPLIED ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

EDITED BY

MARY KATHERINE HENNING

JOSEPH E. HOOKER

RICHARD F. KOENIG

KENNETH M. REARDON, Ph.D

PRODUCED BY

ADEBAYO A. ADANRI

KENNETH R. BRAUNFELD

MARY KATHERINE HENNING

JOSEPH E. HOOKER

NICHOLAS KALOGERESIS

RICHARD F. KOENIG

ROBBERT E. MCKAY

KATHRYN A. PEARSON

WENDELL M. STILLS

KAREN L. STONEHOUSE

SUPERVISED BY

KENNETH M. REARDON, Ph.D, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

ISHAQ SHAFIQ, TEACHING ASSISTANT

DEPARTMENT OF URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING

COLLEGE OF FINE AND APPLIED ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

907 1/2 W. NEVADA

URBANA, IL 61801

217-333-3890

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Many people contributed to the success of the Emerson Park Action Research Project. State Representative Wyvetter H.Younge was responsible for bringing student and faculty researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to East St. Louis. Ms. Lois Sweatt and Brad Smith of the Outreach Department of the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House introduced the University researchers to the leaders of the Emerson Park Development Corporation.

The Steering Committee of the Emerson Park Development Corporation invited University students and staff to work in the neighborhood. The Steering Committee, comprised of President Alma Woods, Vice President Norma Jenkins, Treasurer Kathy Tucker, Secretary Peggy Hume and Edward Cherry assisted the University researchers in all phases of the research project. Ms. Ceola Davis of the Outreach Department served as the primary liaison between the Neighborhood House, the community and the University researchers. Without her help this project would have been impossible to complete.

Additional staff support for the project was provided by Mr. William Kreeb, Executive Director of the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, and Mr. Ralph Collins of the Community Services Department.

The Metro East Area Project Board, along with the Center for Economic Self-Reliance, served as the institutional sponsors of the project. The Community Development Department of the City of East St. Louis provided additional assistance.

The residents and leaders of the Emerson Park community generously shared their time and knowledge with the research team to help them appreciate the many strengths and weaknesses of the Emerson Park neighborhood. The research team hopes this report appropriately reflects their concerns and hopes for their community.

Faculty and Staff of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning are thanked for their support and encouragement throughout this process. Dr. Lewis D. Hopkins, Head of the Department is specially thanked for his efforts on the project. Administrative support for the project was provided by Ms. Judy Ragle, Ms. Glenda Fisher and Ms. Nancy Komlanc and financial report services were provided by Ms. Kathy Sarnecki and Ms. Kay McBroom of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Supervision and training of the University student research team was provided by Professor Kenneth M. Reardon, PhD. and Mr. Ishaq Shafiq of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

I. SCOPE OF THE PROJECT

The purpose of this project was to develop an action plan for the Emerson Park neighborhood of East St. Louis. Through resident empowerment it is hoped that living conditions in Emerson Park will be greatly improved. A participatory research methodology was used in order to address the concerns and needs of area residents and to involve them in the planning process. Past plans often failed because of lack of resident involvement. All planning activities were therefore carried out in consultation with the Emerson Park Development Corporation Steering Committee comprised of community residents.

This plan presents secondary data which was collected, the results of interviews with local institutional and community leaders and area residents, and findings from a land use survey. Important areas of concern which arose from data analysis are then addressed and actions presented which can be undertaken in order to achieve the goal of neighborhood improvement.

II. POPULATION AND HOUSING DATA FROM THE U.S. CENSUS

In order to build a base from which to work and to explore past conditions, data from the four most recent U.S. Census counts, 1960, 1970, 1980 and 1990 were collected for the Emerson Park neighborhood, the City of East St. Louis and St. Clair County. These three areas were compared for all categories of data collected. Significant differences were found between each area for the four decades examined. The following is a summary of data collected for the Emerson Park Neighborhood.

* the total population fell in each decade and did so at an increasing rate,

* the 1960 population of 3,739 declined by 1,700 (54%) persons to 2,040 by 1990,

* the total number of dwelling units fell by 668 units (53%) from 1960 to 1990,

* the percent of black residents increased from 67% in 1970 to 95% in 1980,

* the percent owner occupied units declined in each decade reaching 27% in 1980,

Because Census data was not available for Emerson Park on additional desired categories, tract 5402.01, which includes Emerson Park, was used as a proxy for comparisons with the City and County. The following is a summary of tract 5402.01 data from the 1980 Census.

* the median income of the tract was 30% of St. Clair County's median income,

* over 66% of all households lived below the poverty level,

* female headed households comprised over 50% of the households,

* the unemployment rate was over 30%.

III. PHYSICAL CONDITIONS OF EMERSON PARK

A land use survey of Emerson Park was conducted in order to gain current and accurate information on the area. Specific land use data recorded included the following.

* Emerson Park comprises 55 blocks of the north side of East St. Louis,

* nearly one third (422) of the 1407 parcels contain residential buildings,

* 56 abandoned buildings exist which are burned out and in unlivable condition,

* business activities occur on 20 parcels and include industrial, retail, warehouse and wholesale uses,

* 61% of all parcels are vacant.

Building units were inspected for occupancy resulting in the following information.

* 288 (79%) of the 366 single family homes are occupied,

* 47 parcels contain multiple family housing with 2 to 4 units for a total of 112 dwelling units; 96 (86%) of these were occupied,

* eight parcels with multiple family buildings with more than 5 dwelling units total 118 dwelling units; 97 of these (82%) were occupied,

* 55% of the 20 commercial buildings are occupied.

Building conditions were rated on a four point scale of good, fair, deteriorated and dilapidated by exterior site inspections.

* 28% of the buildings were rated in good condition with 36% rated fair,

* 18% of the buildings were rated deteriorated and in need of major maintenance,

* 18% are dilapidated and need to be demolished,

* 71% of the single family units were rated in good to fair condition,

* 72% of multi-family units were rated good to fair,

* 65% of the local business buildings were in good to fair condition.

Site conditions of each property were rated on a four point scale from mowed and clean to unmowed and covered with trash. Most sites fell into one of two extreme categories with about 40% of the total parcels in the mowed and clean category and 42% in the unmowed with trash category.

* 73% of the single family homes and 9 of the 10 social service agencies had yards which were mowed and clean,

* 70% of the lots with abandoned buildings and 62% of the vacant lots were overgrown with vegetation and often covered with trash and other debris.

Infrastructure conditions were examined during a drive-through of the area

* streets, curbs and sidewalks were generally in good condition, although they were missing in some areas,

* sewers were generally clogged and in disrepair,

* street signs were missing and street lights did not provide adequate lighting,

* many man hole covers were missing, especially near Cannady School.

Local ownership records for 1988 were examined to determine property ownership in Emerson Park. Nearly half of all parcels were publicly owned.

* St. Clair County served as trustee for approximately 30% of the parcels,

* the Federal Government owned about 15% of the lots,

* the City of East St. Louis owned approximately 4% of the lots,

* private individuals owned the remaining 51% of the parcels,

* many properties were owned by individuals living outside the neighborhood or City.

Other important data was collected concerning hazardous waste sites, local flooding, the spread of dangerous airborne particulates and wetland areas.

IV. PERCEPTIONS OF LOCAL LEADERS AND EMERSON PARK RESIDENTS

Interviews were conducted with 19 local institutional and community leaders and with 89 Emerson Park residents in order to obtain their ideas and impressions of the neighborhood. Both groups were asked a series of close ended questions (with a rating scale of 1 to 5) followed by open ended questions for additional comments.

Leaders and residents agreed that the major strengths of the area are the local social service agencies and the people who live there. The leaders also felt that the location near downtown and the highway system was important. Many residents felt that there were no strengths. Both groups agreed that problems facing the neighborhood include deteriorated housing and infrastructure, inadequate city services, high unemployment, crime, drugs and high taxes. Residents also saw garbage removal, abandoned houses, unattended sites and inadequate street lighting as problems.

Concerning housing and credit availability, 47% of the leaders rated housing poor and 76.5% rated credit poor. They blamed lack of knowledge about loan programs and bank red lining for the lack of credit. Forty-six percent of the residents rated housing as poor. Most had not tried to get a loan. Both groups agreed that certain houses need to be torn down and others rehabilitated.

Most leaders felt that local infrastructure was poor: curbs sidewalks and drainage were rated poor by over 70%, while none rated these as good. Residents rated street conditions similarly although not as bad: over 60% poor for each category.

When asked about municipal services leaders generally rated the police and fire services as fair. 76% rated snow removal as poor and 45% rated public transportation good. They cited a need for more manpower and increased hiring. Residents were generally more negative about these services. Garbage collection fared the worst, with over 78% of the residents rating it as poor.

Over half of all leaders interviewed felt that the education system was good, although they thought that more funding was necessary. Residents were less convinced about school quality and rated education as fair. They said that there is a need for more supplies and improved facilities.

The rating of Social Service agencies varied widely. Leaders and residents both said that drug programs and job training were poor, but that day care is good. They also agreed that there is a need for more support services. Residents also cited the need for safe recreational spaces and activities for their children.

Utilities were rated good by over 70% of the leaders and over 59% of residents. However, both groups said that rates were too high. Local shopping was felt to be poor by 70% of the leaders and a majority of the residents. They believed that more shopping opportunities were needed.

Unemployment is a major concern of the leaders and the residents. All leaders said that it is too high and that job opportunities and training, as well as education are needed. Residents said that high unemployment is caused by lack of jobs and low minimum wage and that more local jobs will help.

V. CONCLUSIONS RESULTING FROM DATA ANALYSIS

A list of five areas of concern were identified as a result of analysis of the data and examination of current conditions. Specific strategies and resources are suggested to achieve each objective of the plan.

A. Beautification objectives:

* enhance the appearance of the neighborhood through the completion of several small-scale physical improvement projects,

* develop a building and site code enforcement program that can preserve improvements made to neighborhood properties,

* upgrade public amenities and infrastructure.

B. Housing Rehabilitation and Development objectives:

* assist local owners in preserving and enhancing housing units,

* expand home ownership among area residents by creating additional affordable housing units,

* generate new housing units aimed at addressing the shelter needs of poorly housed residents.

C. Substance Abuse and Public Safety objectives:

* create an environment in which the abuse of alcohol and other drugs is no longer tolerated,

* increase access to alcohol and drug treatment programs for local residents,

* reduce personal and property crimes through increased neighborhood surveillance and organization.

D. Economic Development and Job Generation objectives:

* assist local residents in securing well-paying jobs in area businesses through job posting, counseling and training programs,

* encourage the expansion of local retail and truck-servicing businesses through buy local and business promotion campaigns,

* provide needed services for area residents, firms and agencies by assisting local unemployed persons in forming worker cooperatives.

E. Community Organizing objectives:

* expand the base of the Emerson Park Development Corporation through recruitment and outreach programs.

* strengthen the leadership skills of local leaders through involvement in basic organizational activities and issue campaigns.

* prepare the Emerson Park Development Corporation for participation in local housing and community development projects.

A first year action plan focusing on organization building, beautification and public safety contains recommendations for specific activities during the initial stage of implementation of the Neighborhood Improvement Plan.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. ORIGINS OF THE EMERSON PARK ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT

Early in 1987, State Representative Wyvetter H. Younge asked Stanley O. Ikenberry, President of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to involve university students and faculty in community development efforts in East St. Louis. President Ikenberry responded by gathering representatives from the College of Commerce and Business Administration, the School of Architecture and the Departments of Landscape Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning to discuss ways in which these programs could support local community and economic development efforts.

Beginning in the Fall of 1988, a series of student and faculty research projects were launched. The projects were focused on housing, economic development, urban design and environmental issues in East St. Louis. These efforts were coordinated by Professor Carolyn Dry as part of the University of Illinois East St. Louis Revitalization Project. The results of this work have been summarized in three volumes of the East St. Louis Revitalization Project, which are available upon request from the University of Illinois School of Architecture.

In the Summer of 1990, the Department of Urban and Regional Planning decided to focus its energies on the housing and community development needs of East St. Louis neighborhoods. This decision was based on two years of work in East St. Louis and on the advice of many community leaders, social service professionals and area planners. The Department of Urban and Regional Planning sought to identify community groups currently involved in community development efforts whose work might be advanced by research and planning assistance provided by the Department's students. Through the assistance of the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House' s Outreach and Community Services Departments, contact was made with representatives of the Emerson Park Development Corporation,(EPDC).

In late August of 1990, faculty and staff from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning met with officers of EPDC to discuss the possibility of having University students work with local residents in developing a comprehensive neighborhood stabilization and development plan for the Emerson Park community. The Emerson Park leaders voiced interest in the proposed planning effort and asked the University representatives to make a formal presentation before the Metro-East Area Project Board (Metro-East). That board is the sponsoring organization for the EPDC. EPDC is one of six local neighborhood improvement groups developed by Metro-East in conjunction with the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House,(Lessie Bates).

Following the presentation, Metro-East voted to support the proposed University of Illinois research project in Emerson Park. In addition, members of Metro-East discussed the possibility of having the University conduct similar research in the five other communities represented by their group. The faculty of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning promised to keep Metro-East fully informed of its work in the Emerson Park neighborhood and to discuss the possibility for future collaboration on other neighborhood research projects.

B. DESCRIPTION OF THE EMERSON PARK ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT

Working with representatives of EPDC, students from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning's Neighborhood Planning Workshop formulated a ten page proposal outlining the goals, objectives, proposed work plan, responsibilities, costs and schedule for the research project. The proposal sought to accomplish the following four objectives:

1. To cooperate with the leaders of EPDC, Emerson Park residents and other members of the community in developing a comprehensive stabilization and development action plan which builds upon the strengths of the neighborhood in addressing the area's housing, employment and municipal service problems.

2. To assist leaders of EPDC in further developing and enhancing the organizational capacity of their group by increasing resident awareness of and participation in their community-building activities.

3. To work with the leadership of Metro-East in identifying other East St. Louis neighborhoods interested in community development planning and in determining the feasibility of conducting a City-wide planning effort .

4. To document the collaborative effort of the neighborhood and the University in the community development process so that this experience might be shared and contribute to the development of other successful community-building partnerships throughout the State.

With these objectives in mind, a detailed work plan was developed, featuring the following research activities.

1. Examine past public and private plans, reports and studies which described conditions in the Emerson Park neighborhood and the City of East St. Louis.

2. Research current land use, building conditions and street maintenance within the study area by means of a parcel by parcel inspection of buildings, lots, and local infrastructure.

3. Investigate local ownership patterns to identify individuals, businesses and agencies responsible for particular properties.

4. Interview local civic and institutional leaders regarding their views on current neighborhood conditions and future development priorities. Among those to be interviewed are religious leaders, civic leaders, political party officials, elected representatives, social service workers, area businesspersons and community development professionals.

5. Interview residents of Emerson Park regarding their views on current neighborhood conditions and future development priorities.

This work was completed by eight graduate and two undergraduate students enrolled in the Neighborhood Planning Workshop during a sixteen week period beginning in late August of 1990. They were supervised by Dr. Kenneth M. Reardon, Associate Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and Mr. Ishaq Shafiq, a Teaching Assistant with the Department. Members of the research team devoted approximately 20 hours per week to the project. All project costs were absorbed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

C. DEVELOPING THE EMERSON PARK ACTION RESEARCH PLAN

In response to resident criticisms of "top-down" planning processes, a serious effort was made to involve local residents and leaders in the formulation of the plan. The recruitment of local citizens for participation in the project was greatly facilitated by Ms. Ceola Davis, a long-time community activist, Democratic Committeewoman and Lessie Bates Davis Community Outreach worker. Additional staff support was provided by Ms. Lois Sweatt of the Outreach Department and Mr. Ralph Collins of the Community Services Program of Lessie Bates.

Bi-weekly meetings were held between members of the student research team and EPDC to discuss the development of the project. Input was sought on the basic research plan, survey instruments, data analysis and overall development strategy from Ms. Alma Woods, EPDC President, Ms. Norma Jenkins, EPDC Vice-President, Ms. Peggy Hume, EPDC Secretary, and Ms. Kathy Tucker, EPDC Treasurer.

A preliminary outline for the Emerson Park Neighborhood Improvement Plan was presented at the monthly meeting of the EPDC on November 20, 1990. Additional community input was provided at a public presentation of the plan on December 13, 1990.

D. DESCRIPTION OF THE EMERSON PARK NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT STRATEGY

This plan presents the major findings emerging from the research activities of the Neighborhood Planning Workshop. More specifically, it describes current conditions in the neighborhood and the views of local residents and community leaders regarding those conditions.

This plan also identifies those local problems needing immediate public action. In addition, it presents an overall strategy consisting of five stabilization initiatives for addressing these concerns. These initiatives include a description of specific actions to be taken and the identification of potential support organizations and funding sources. Finally, the plan provides a detailed action work plan for the coming year.

A more detailed strategy for implementing this plan will be devised in the Spring of 1991 by the EPDC with the assistance of those students enrolled in the 1991 Spring semester of the Neighborhood Planning Workshop. Activities will include the formal application to public and private agencies for funding for the neighborhood development initiatives contained in this plan.

II. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

A. CHOICE OF RESEARCH METHOD

Widespread criticism of past urban renewal and community development programs by neighborhood residents led the Workshop to study the research and planning methods which were used. Previous East St. Louis planning involved a small number of planners in the examination of local conditions and the proposal of large-scale projects which were routinely discounted as being impractical by local business leaders and public officials. Community frustration with the exclusionary nature of these planning approaches, perceived lack of fit between local needs and proposed projects as well as the failure to implement these plans resulted in a significant loss of support for local planning efforts. Responding to these observations, the Workshop adopted a participatory approach to planning which sought to involve local residents in all phases of the research process. Community leaders were invited to participate in the research design, data collection and analysis, report writing and public presentation aspects of the project. Through this participatory process the Workshop sought to develop a plan which was responsive to the needs of local residents and attractive to local civic leaders.

The research design for the project was cooperatively developed by the EPDC Steering Committee and the students and faculty from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. The primary objective of the research design was to produce information that accurately portrayed the strengths and weaknesses of the community to enable local leaders to develop a comprehensive neighborhood improvement plan. The need to describe existing neighborhood conditions and how people felt about these required the use of both quantitative and qualitative research methods. The Workshop and the Steering Committee devised a research plan which included the collection of historical, population, land use, building and site condition, street maintenance, and municipal service data. These efforts were organized into a four phase research process which is described below.

B. DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH METHODS

1. Historical Research

The Workshop began its research by systematically collecting copies of past planning studies, reports and proposals that described development and revitalization efforts in East St. Louis. Particular emphasis was placed on collecting documents which described historic conditions in the residential neighborhoods of East St. Louis as well as efforts to improve these areas. These materials were studied to gain a better understanding of the social evolution of East St. Louis, especially the origins of the City's economic and social problems. Among materials examined by the Workshop were past Office of Economic Opportunity, Urban Renewal Administration, Model Cities and Community Development Block Grant Program proposals, plans, reports and evaluation studies.

While these materials adequately described past conditions in the City's older neighborhoods and various community-oriented planning proposals they offered little information on current physical conditions or projects that were actually implemented to address local problems. The Workshop depended on data supplied during interviews with local leaders and residents to learn more about these topics.

These data were supplemented by information provided by scholarly books written about East St. Louis and local newspaper articles. Two particularly useful books on the history of East St. Louis are Elliott Rudwick's Race Riot at East St. Louis: July 2, 1917 [1] and Dennis R. Judd and Robert E. Mendelson's The Politics of Urban Planning: The East St. Louis Experience[2]. Newspaper articles describing economic and social conditions in East St. Louis appearing in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, East St. Louis Metro and the Belleville News Democrat were also reviewed.

2. Population and Housing Research

The Workshop became familiar with recent population changes in Emerson Park and East St. Louis by examining relevant data from the U.S. Census. Statistics regarding total population, household type, racial composition, age, household size, employment, occupation, income, poverty, and education were studied for households within the study area. Relevant information was extracted from these Census materials and shared with the Steering Committee. Census information viewed as important by the Workshop and the Steering Committee are included in Chapter III of this report.

In examining the Census tracts for East St. Louis the Workshop discovered that Emerson Park did not fit neatly into any existing Census tract. The Workshop addressed this problem by adding Census totals for the individual blocks which make up the Emerson Park study area. This method was used to generate seven different population and housing statistics for the years 1960, 1970 and 1980. These statistics were supplemented by a limited number of statistics made available from preliminary counts of the 1990 U.S. Census.

Each Emerson Park statistic was compared to similar data for East St. Louis, St. Clair County and, in some cases, St. Clair County minus East St. Louis. These comparisons were provided in order to place the experience of Emerson Park within its appropriate metropolitan and regional context.

A more detailed picture of population changes taking place within the Emerson Park study area is offered by data from the Census tract in which the neighborhood is located. Data on five additional population characteristics is included in the population section of this report. Changes in median income, poverty rate, family type and unemployment level for Census tract 5042.01 for the year 1980 are reported in Chapter III. Census tract information from the Emerson Park study area was again compared to that for the City of East St. Louis, St. Clair County and St. Clair County excluding East St. Louis.

3. Physical and Environmental Data

A limited amount of recent physical and environmental data on Emerson Park and East St. Louis exists. The absence of a municipal planning agency and the lack of involvement by county and regional planners in data collection efforts in East St. Louis may explain the absence of current land use, property ownership, building conditions, and street maintenance data. Such data were viewed as critical to the development of a credible neighborhood development plan by the Workshop.

The Workshop decided to collect its own primary data on existing physical and environmental conditions in the Emerson Park study area. The Workshop began this process by conducting a land use, building condition and site condition survey of the 1407 individual properties which comprise the Emerson Park study area. (See map on page 10 M). Members of the team visited the Community Development Office of East St. Louis and secured copies of the recent Sidwell block and lot maps for the Emerson Park study area. Using this information the Workshop constructed its own base map for the study area which included block and lot boundaries and numbers.

This base map was used to assign two-person teams to each sub-area of the neighborhood. Each team was responsible for surveying land uses, building and site conditions within their assigned sub-area. A two-page survey instrument was designed which required surveyors to collect information regarding fourteen separate property characteristics, including land use, building type, building materials, building conditions and site conditions. Students were trained in the use of this instrument in the field on the day in which this survey was completed. (The land use survey is presented in Appendix A.) The ten members of the Workshop assisted by the faculty supervisor and teaching assistant used this instrument to collect data on the lots located within the 55 blocks which comprise the Emerson Park Study area. Data on most of the lots were collected during an eight hour period on September 28th. Information on a small number of additional lots was collected on November 17, 1990.

Following this survey of lots and buildings, a detailed inspection of street conditions and neighborhood infrastructure was completed. Using a second two-page survey instrument data were collected on twelve separate aspects of neighborhood infrastructure, including: street paving materials and repair, sidewalk and curb materials and repair and street lighting. (The Street and Infrastructure Survey is presented in Appendix B.) The street and infrastructure data was collected by a single Workshop member on November 17, 1990.

Descriptive statistics presenting totals for all gathered statistics were generated. These results are presented in Chapter Four of this report along with maps summarizing this data.

Information was also collected on local property ownership patterns within the Emerson Park study area. Using 1988 data from the St. Clair County Tax Assessor's Office, the Workshop calculated the number of privately and publicly-owned lots within the study area. This data revealed the extent to which St. Clair County has acquired local properties as a result of the failure of owners to pay their real estate taxes. To a lesser degree, it also revealed the extent to which the local school district, City, State and Federal government have become involved in local property ownership. The Workshop attempted to secure more current data on local ownership patterns from the St. Clair County Tax Assessor's Office but was unable to do so until very late in the research process. As a result, 1990 ownership data provided by the County is not included in this report.

A limited amount of additional data regarding hazardous waste locations, historic sites and flood areas within Emerson Park provided by the School of Architecture and the Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were also examined by the Workshop. Selected data from these sources appears on the Infrastructure and Hazards Map which is found on page 42M of this report.

4. Community Perceptions of Emerson Park

Past City plans often did not focus on the critical problems facing East St. Louis residents and businesses. As a result, these plans did not enjoy much popular support among local voters and civic activists. The Workshop committed itself to developing a neighborhood improvement plan for Emerson Park which tackled the most important problems facing area residents. Interviews were conducted with many local leaders and residents to gather information regarding their views on current conditions in Emerson Park and recommendations on steps to be taken to improve the area.

The Workshop began this process by asking members of the Steering Committee to identify the types of local civic leaders whose views of the community they felt were most influential and whose organizations' had the greatest capacity to positively impact local neighborhood conditions. Among the types of organizational leaders identified as

important to the community were: religious leaders, elected officials, educators, planners, businesspersons, and community activists. After identifying the kinds of leaders to be interviewed the Steering Committee was asked to name specific individuals who should be contacted. The Steering Committee identified a total of fifty individuals and a letter was sent to each requesting a time to interview them regarding their views on current conditions in Emerson Park. Follow-up calls were made to each individual requesting a specific time to meet and a series of nineteen interviews were scheduled.

A structured interview schedule was used which included 33 open-ended and 26 close-ended questions. (A copy of the Community and Institutional Leaders Survey is presented in Appendix C.) Each question was asked exactly as it was stated on the interview schedule. The interviews were conducted by two-person teams and took place on November 2, 1990. Detailed interview notes were kept by each interview team and many of the interviews were tape-recorded. The average interview lasted approximately 60 minutes and was held in the respondents' business offices. Each interviewee was told the session was being recorded and was promised complete anonymity. Table 2.1 provides a profile of those who were interviewed.

Table 2.1

Profile of Community Leader Interviewees

              Public Officials            4                
              Business Persons            5                
              Community Activists         1                
              Educators                   2                
              Planners                    5                
              Religious Leaders           2                
              Total                      19                

Interviewees were asked questions regarding their organization, perceptions of Emerson Park, views on local housing and neighborhood conditions, evaluation of municipal services and suggestions regarding revitalization options for the study area. Nearly all of those contacted agreed to be interviewed and most respondents offered a complete response to all questions. All close-ended responses were entered into a database on a personal computer using a spreadsheet program. The open-ended responses were recorded by the interviewers and typed in narrative form for analysis.

A similar survey instrument was developed to learn more about the residents' views of the area. (A copy of the Residents' Survey is presented in Appendix D.) On November 15, 16 and 17, two-person teams knocked on the doors of every residence in the community asking to interview a member of their household regarding their views on the community and its future. During these three days the Workshop completed interviews with representatives of more than 89 Emerson Park households. Data from the residents' interviews were recorded in the same manner as the community and institutional interview data by means of a spreadsheet program and a personal computer. Results from the community and institutional leaders and the residents surveys are presented in Chapter V of this report.

The Workshop analyzed these data in order to identify areas in which the local leaders and residents held similar views. Where consistent views were found, results were compared to those emerging out of the land use, building and site condition surveys to identify observations about Emerson Park that appeared to be substantiated through several different sources. In this way, the Workshop tried to establish the validity of their claims regarding Emerson Park by using separate means to support their statements. Thus, efforts were made to use "triangulation" as a method of arriving at more valid observations about the community. These statements were scrutinized by local residents and leaders at a series of monthly meetings during which time members of the Workshop presented their "tentative findings" about the area for verification or rebuttal. This participatory approach to data analysis uncovered many questionable statements and helped strengthen the overall analysis of the data.

C. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

Data collected by the Workshop provides a clear picture of current physical and social conditions within Emerson Park. There are a number of areas in which the data could be more extensive and detailed. These limitations represent shortcomings of the current research effort. First, the absence of 1990 Census data makes it difficult to evaluate recent population and housing trends within the area. Second, difficulties in evaluating the condition of existing housing by means of exterior inspections result in a lack of precision regarding housing maintenance and repair requirements. Finally, the lack of current property ownership data makes it difficult to identify where local redevelopment efforts might be most easily initiated. In spite of these shortcomings, this report presents a reliable picture of current physical and social conditions in Emerson Park as well as a clear summary of local institutional leaders and residents views on the area and its future.

III. POPULATION AND HOUSING IN EMERSON PARK

A. INTRODUCTION

Detailed population information was collected to develop a profile of residents of the neighborhood. Such information is important for making an assessment of community needs and available resources. Specific data were collected regarding the number, size and composition of households in the area. Information was also collected on the level of income, unemployment, and home ownership and on the number of housing units in the neighborhood.

Detailed statistics are difficult to interpret without a bench mark for comparison. Various statistics regarding Emerson Park were compared to those same statistics for the City of East St. Louis and St. Clair County in order to relate changes in the area to trends in the larger geographic region. In general these comparisons reveal worsening conditions in Emerson Park and the City, in contrast to improving conditions in the County.

U.S. Census data was collected for the years 1960, 1970 and 1980 to show historic trends which may be suggestive of future population and housing changes. 1960 was selected as the starting point for this analysis because it marks the beginning of a period in which fundamental changes in the economic and social structure of East St. Louis occurred, including the loss of manufacturing jobs and population. All available preliminary estimates of 1990 statistics were used, along with land use information collected by the Workshop, to supplement the Census data described above.

The Emerson Park neighborhood is not recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau as a geographic unit for reporting purposes. Data from each one of the Census "blocks" in the neighborhood were added together to create totals for the Emerson Park study area. A "block," the smallest geographic unit used by the Census Bureau for reporting purposes, is essentially a city block, typically bounded by streets or other features of the landscape, such as railroad tracks or streams. In the years 1960, 1970 and 1980, from which the bulk of our data comes, only four variables were consistently available at the block level: total population, total occupied housing units, total owner-occupied housing units, and housing units with 1.01 or more persons per room. Three other variables, population by race, the number of minors and the number of aged in the population, were available at this level for 1970 and 1980. While this information provides a rough sketch of the Emerson Park community, additional information was desired.

It was decided that Census "tract" level statistics would be used to supplement this description. Census tracts are defined as "small areas into which large cities and metropolitan areas are divided for statistical purposes."[3] These tracts vary in size depending on population densities in a given area. At times they are redrawn to reflect variations in the rate of population change in different regions.

Residents of the Emerson Park neighborhood comprised roughly 50% of the population of tract 5042.01 in the 1980 Census. It was decided that this tract would be a reasonable proxy for the neighborhood for comparison purposes with the City and the County on a wider range of statistics. The following categories of population and housing data are presented for this tract: median income, percent of families below the poverty level, percent of female headed households, and unemployment.

Totals from the 1990 Census were generally unavailable at the time this plan was being prepared. Whenever possible, the available Census figures were supplemented with preliminary U.S. Census estimates for 1990, information from local utility companies and statistics compiled by the Neighborhood Workshop during the land use survey, discussed in detail in Chapter IV.

B. NEIGHBORHOOD LEVEL DATA

1. Total Population trends

The following section presents U.S. Census population data for the years 1960, 1970 and 1980, available at the block level, along with U.S. Census preliminary population counts for 1990. Table 3.1 below compares changes in total population for the neighborhood, the City, the County, and the County excluding totals for East St. Louis.

Table 3.1

Total Population

Emerson Park/Selected Areas

1960-1990

                             1960  1970           1980           1990           
Emerson Park                3,739  3,641          2,890          2,040          
East St. Louis             81,712  69,996         55,200         40,253         
St. Clair Co.             262,509  285,176        267,531        261,084        
St. Clair Co. -           180,797  215,180        212,331        220,831        
ESL                                                                             

Table 3.2 and Figure 3.1 below show the percentages of change in population for the four areas. These figures reveal that Emerson Park experienced a slight decline in population from 1960 to 1970 compared to the much greater decline experienced by the City of East St. Louis. In marked contrast, the County's population grew significantly in that decade. From 1970 to 1980, Emerson Park experienced an extremely large decline in its population, comparable in percentage terms to that experienced by the City. While the total population of St. Clair County declined slightly over this decade, most of that loss is attributable to the decline in the City's population. Preliminary data from the 1990 Census shows that the City lost almost one third of its residents between 1980 and 1990, while the Workshop's projection of population loss for the neighborhood in that decade is on the same order of magnitude. On the other hand, the preliminary data indicates that the County outside of East St. Louis experienced population growth in that decade.

Table 3.2

Percent Change in Population

Emerson Park/Selected Areas

1960-1990

                             1960-70  1970-80         1980-90         
Emerson Park                   -2.8%  -20.6%          -29.4%          
East St. Louis                -14.3%  -21.1%          -27.1%          
St. Clair Co.                   8.6%  -6.2%           -2.4%           
St. Clair Co. - ESL            19.0%  -1.3%           4.0%            

The substantial decline in population in the neighborhood and in the City represented by these figures highlights the need to focus on strategies for stabilizing the neighborhood in the short run, with growth oriented strategies to follow in the future.

2. Population by Race

The following section presents data on population by race for 1970 and 1980. Table 3.3 below shows the changes in the numbers of Blacks living in the neighborhood, the City and the County from 1970 to 1980.

Table 3.3

Black Population

Emerson Park/Selected Areas

1970-1980

                                1970  1980              
Emerson Park                   2,462  2,757             
East St Louis                 48,368  52,751            
St. Clair Co.                 63,512  73,651            
St. Clair Co. -               15,144  22,900            
ESL                                                     

Emerson Park, East St. Louis and St. Clair County all experienced net increases in total Black population from 1970 to 1980. As is shown in Table 3.3, the Black population of the County is concentrated within the City. Table 3.4 and figure 3.2 represent those changes in terms of percentages.

Table 3.4

Percent Black of Total Population

Emerson Park/Selected Areas

1970-1980

                                1970  1980              
Emerson Park                   67.6%  95.4%             
East St. Louis                 69.1%  95.6%             
St. Clair Co.                  22.3%  27.5%             
St. Clair Co.- ESL              7.0%  9.5%              

Blacks as a percentage of the total population increased in all three areas in this time period. In both the City and the neighborhood, the percentage of Black residents increased almost 30% to approximately 95% of the total population. The County outside of the City, on the other hand, experienced only a modest increase in the percentage of Black residents to a relatively low figure of 9.5% during that ten year period.

The fact that the neighborhood and the City are predominantly Black means that any plan in Emerson Park must be sensitive to the unique characteristics of Black families and households.

3. Population by Age

Data was collected for two age groups within the population, the "aged" and "minors," because of their special service needs. The following section presents data for these groups for the years 1970 and 1980. Minors were defined as individuals under the age of 18 for both years at the block level, which provided the neighborhood totals. For both the City and the County, in both years, minors were defined as those under the age of 19. The addition of eighteen year olds for the City and County was not considered significant for the purpose of comparisons. Aged were those 65 years of age and older for the City and County for both years, and for Emerson Park in 1980. In 1970, aged at the block level, and hence for Emerson Park, was defined as those individuals 62 years of age and older. Again, the difference in definition was not considered significant for the purpose of comparison.

Table 3.5 shows that there was an absolute decline in the number of minors for the three areas from 1970 to 1980. However, as shown in Table 3.6 and Figure 3.3, minors represented an increasing percentage of the declining total populations in the City and the neighborhood over that time period.

Table 3.5

Total Number of Minors

Emerson Park/Selected Areas

1970-1980

                              1970  1980              
Emerson Park                 1,625  1,462             
East St. Louis              30,588  24,895            
St. Clair Co.              116,637  92,163            

Table 3.6

Percent Minors of Total Population

Emerson Park/Selected Areas

1970-1980

                              1970  1980              
Emerson Park                 44.6%  50.6%             
East St. Louis               43.7%  45.1%             
St. Clair Co.                40.9%  35.3%             

The increase in the percentage of minors in the neighborhood implies that attention should be given to addressing the special needs of this growing segment of the population. The focus should be on such issues as the adequacy of educational services and health care, the availability of recreational activities and the effectiveness of local drug and alcohol abuse programs. Current data needs to be evaluated to determine if this trend continued through the 1980's.

Census data shows that the total number and the percent of aged declined for both Emerson Park and East St. Louis from 1970 to 1980 while there was an increase in both figures for the County. Tables 3.7 and 3.8 and Figure 3.4 show these changes in the elderly population.

Table 3.7

Total Number of Aged

Emerson Park/Selected Areas

1970-1980

                              1970  1980              
Emerson Park                   447  119               
East St. Louis               7,357  3,574             
St.Clair Co.                25,865  28,589            

Table 3.8

Percent Aged of Total Population

Emerson Park/Selected Areas

1970-1980

                              1970  1980              
Emerson Park                 12.3%  4.1%              
East St. Louis               10.5%  8.9%              
St. Clair Co.                 9.1%  10.9%             

The overall decline in the percentage of elderly residents was surprising. The elderly usually have less income than other segments of the population, and are less able to afford to leave a declining neighborhood. In addition, they tend to have stronger emotional and social ties to an area, making a move more difficult. This question needs to be addressed further when new information becomes available from the 1990 Census.

4. Occupied Dwelling Units

The following section explores changes in the number of occupied dwelling units for 1960 through 1990 for Emerson Park, the City and the County. The totals for each Census year are shown below in Table 3.9. The City and the County totals for 1990 are preliminary Census estimates, while those of Emerson Park for that year were derived from the Neighborhood Workshop's land use survey results.

Table 3.9

Total Number of Occupied Dwelling Units

Emerson Park/Selected Areas

1960-1990

                             1960  1970           1980           1990           
Emerson Park                1,265  1,190          913            596            
East St. Louis             25,919  23,609         18,895         15,554         
St. Clair Co.              81,689  91,327         97,443         103,312        
St. Clair Co. -            55,770  67,718         78,548         87,758         
ESL                                                                             

Both Emerson Park and the City of East St. Louis experienced a net decline in the total number of occupied dwelling units during the 1960's and the 1970's. Preliminary 1990 Census figures and the results of the Workshop's land use survey show a continuing decline in the number of such units during the 1980's for both Emerson Park and the City. This is confirmed by figures provided by a local utility company. This development is certainly not unexpected given the declines in population described earlier. By contrast, St. Clair County experienced an overall increase in occupied dwelling units in each decade. Again, this is consistent with population trends.

Table 3.10 below shows that Emerson Park and East St. Louis lost occupied dwelling units at a rate that increased dramatically during the '70s. While the rate of decline for the City leveled off during the '80s, Emerson Park lost an even larger percentage of its occupied units during that decade. From 1960 to 1970 there was a decline of approximately 6% in Emerson Park's occupied housing stock. The percent of decline of occupied units more than tripled to 23% from 1970 to 1980. There was an even more dramatic decline of more than 47% in the next decade. The County, on the other hand, experienced significant increases in the number of occupied dwelling units during this time period. This dramatic trend, and its marked contrast with the trend in the rest of St Clair County, is illustrated in Figure 3.5.

Table 3.10

Percent Change in Number of Occupied Dwelling Units

Emerson Park/Selected Areas

1960-1990

                            1960-70  1970-80        1980-90        
Emerson Park                  -5.9%  -23.3%         -47.3%         
East St. Louis                -8.9%  -20.0%         -17.7%         
St. Clair Co.                 11.8%  6.7%           6.0%           
St. Clair Co.- ESL            21.4%  16.0%          11.8%          

This decline in the number of occupied housing units has had a significant impact on the appearance of the City. Vacant buildings and empty lots where structures once stood are a conspicuous feature of many blocks in the City, and Emerson Park is no exception. Many of those vacant buildings are so deteriorated that they cannot be salvaged, while many of the lots are overgrown and strewn with garbage. (See description of land use, building conditions and site conditions in Chapter IV.) Improvement efforts need to focus on eliminating abandoned, dilapidated structures and on caring for unattended lots. Aggressive actions must be taken to halt the loss of Emerson Park's housing stock if the neighborhood is to be stabilized. Recommended actions are contained within Chapters VI through X.

5. Owner-occupied Units

The following section contains data on the number and percent of owner-occupied units for Emerson Park, the City and the County for 1960, 1970 and 1980. The table below shows the totals for the three areas.

Table 3.11

Total Owner-Occupied Units

Emerson Park/Selected Areas

1960-1980

                               1960  1970           1980           
Emerson Park                    684  433            249            
East St. Louis               13,634  10,738         8,269          
St. Clair Co.                54,055  58,034         60,655         
St. Clair Co. - ESL          40,421  47,296         52,386         

The total number of owner-occupied housing units in Emerson Park and in East St. Louis declined during the 1960's and the 1970's. St. Clair County experienced a net increase in the overall number of owner-occupied units during that time period. However, owner-occupied units as a percent of total units declined for each of the three areas as is shown below in Table 3.12 and Figure 3.6. In 1960 Emerson Park contained a slightly higher percent of owner-occupied units than the City, but in 1970 and 1980 the percent of owner-occupied units in Emerson Park declined sharply below that of the City. The percent of owner-occupied units in the County was much higher than in either the City or the neighborhood in both 1970 and 1980.

Table 3.12

Percent Owner-Occupied of Total Occupied Units

Emerson Park/Selected Areas

1960-1980

                               1960  1970           1980           
Emerson Park                  54.1%  36.4%          27.3%          
East St. Louis                52.6%  45.6%          43.8%          
St. Clair Co.                 66.2%  63.6%          62.3%          
St. Clair Co. - ESL           72.5%  69.8%          66.7%          

There are several troubling implications arising from the decline in the level of home ownership in the neighborhood. A large number of properties that were once owner-occupied may now be owned by people living outside of the neighborhood. These "absentee landlords" might have less of a stake in maintaining their properties than neighborhood residents who are more directly impacted by neighborhood decline. Also, tenants have less reason for maintaining or improving their housing than homeowners because they will not reap the financial benefits of maintenance or improvement. The housing recommendations within this plan include efforts to provide affordable owner-occupied housing for some of these current renters and potential new residents.

6. Crowding in Housing

The following section presents statistics showing the level of overcrowding in housing for 1960, 1970 and 1980 for Emerson Park, East St. Louis and St. Clair County. The statistics, gathered in the U.S. Census, rely on the standard of 1.01 or more persons per room as a measure of overcrowding. Table 3.13 and Figure 3.7 below show the percent of over crowded households in each region.

Table 3.13

Percent of Total Units With 1.01

or More Persons per Room

Emerson Park/Selected Areas

1960-1980

                               1960  1970           1980           
Emerson Park                  17.7%  21.8%          24.2%          
East St. Louis                18.7%  16.8%          13.9%          
St. Clair Co.                 15.5%  12.2%          5.7%           

The percent of total units that contain 1.01 or more persons per room increased in Emerson Park during each of the two decades presented to nearly one-quarter of the units by 1980. The percent declined slightly for East St. Louis and greatly for St. Clair County over this time period.

In recent years, there has been some controversy regarding the validity of the 1.01 person-per-room standard. Critics contend that it is an unrealistic "middle class" ideal that overestimates the shortfall in the quantity of housing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development uses a 1.25 person-per-room standard as a measure for housing need for many of its funding decisions. That having been said, these figures are still significant because of the reliance that many banks place on this measure when they assess the risk in making new construction and building improvements loans. Areas with a high incidence of "overcrowding" are frequently labeled economically distressed, and are shunned as areas for housing investment. The increased wear and tear on individual housing units, as well as the increased fire and safety risks that are implied by this overcrowding measure, may also deter lenders.

C. TRACT LEVEL DATA

In this section, comparisons are made between Census tract 5042.01, the City and the County regarding additional population characteristics reported in 1980. As was discussed earlier, the categories in this section were not reported at the block level. Because Emerson Park residents comprise approximately 50% of the Tract's population, it was decided that tract 5042.01 would be fairly representative of the neighborhood for the data presented. Comparisons were not made with tract data from 1960 and 1970. In those years, the tracts which included the neighborhood were approximately twice as large as tract 5042.01. For that reason, it was decided that they would not be representative of the neighborhood.

1. Median Income

This section presents data on median income levels for 1980 for the Emerson Park Census tract, East St. Louis, and St. Clair County. Table 3.14 and Figure 3.8 below compare the median household incomes for those areas.

Table 3.14

Median Household Income

Tract 5042.01/Selected Areas

1980

                            Median  As a % of         
                            Income   County           
Tract 5042.01                5,828  30%               
East St. Louis               9,452  49%               
St. Clair Co.               19,239  N/A               

In 1980 the median income level for Emerson Park households was $5,828, approximately 30% of the $19,239 figure for St. Clair County. For every dollar the average St Clair County household earned, the average Emerson Park resident earned thirty cents. Based upon information gathered in surveys of community leaders and residents, and on general observation, this large gap in median income levels is expected to be reflected in 1990 Census figures.

Because of the low income levels of residents in the neighborhood, it is important in the short,-run to focus on proposals for securing funding for projects from outside of the neighborhood and on implementing more modest, relatively inexpensive projects.

2. Families Living Below the Poverty Level

Another measure of the economic distress in the neighborhood and the City is provided by the data on the percentages of families living below the poverty level. Table 3.15 and Figure 3.9 below show the relative percentages for the tract, the City and the County.

Table 3.15

Number of Families Living Below Poverty Level

Tract 5042.01/Selected Areas

1980

                               Total  Percentage of     
                              Number  All Families      
Tract 5042.01                    534  66.5%             
East St. Louis                 4,817  39.2%             
St. Clair Co.                  9,721  14.1%             
St. Clair Co. -                4,154  7.3%              
ESL                                                     

In 1980 66.5% of the families in the tract including Emerson Park were living below the government established poverty level. For the City, this figure was 39% while those living below the poverty in the County account for 14% of the population. Subtracting City totals from County totals leaves 7% of the County population living below the poverty level.

Again, these figures imply that outside funding sources are critical for implementing many facets of this plan. In addition, it suggests that great care should be taken to prescribe programs that will improve conditions in the area without significantly increasing the cost of housing, thereby avoiding serious displacement of low and moderate income families.

3. Female Headed Households

The following section presents Census data regarding the incidence of female-headed households in 1980 for the Emerson Park Census tract, East St. Louis and St. Clair County. Table 3.17 and Figure 3.10 below show that nearly half of the families in the tract containing Emerson Park were headed by females. This is in contrast to the 36% of families in the City and 13% in the County. Taking the City total out of the County total produces an even larger effect as the percent of female headed households falls to 8%.

Table 3.17

Percent Female Headed Households

Tract 5042.01/Selected Areas

1980

                        Total Number  % of All          
                                      Households        
Tract 5042.01                    516  50.7%             
East St. Louis                  4488  36.5%             
St Clair Co.                    9145  13.2%             
St Clair Co.- ESL               4657  8.1%              

The large percentage of female headed households suggests that the availability of affordable day care will be a critical requirement for the success of many of the programs for neighborhood improvement.

4. Unemployment

The following section presents unemployment data from 1980. Table 3.18 and Figure 3.11 below compare unemployment levels for the Census tract, the City of East St. Louis and St. Clair County. These unemployment statistics were calculated by dividing the total number of persons in the labor force by the total number of unemployed in each area as reported in the Census.

Table 3.18

Percent Unemployed

Tract 5042.01/Selected Areas

1980

       Region                      Percent  
Tract 5042.01                        30.7%  
East St. Louis                       21.0%  
St. Clair Co.                         9.7%  
St Clair Co. - ESL                    7.7%  

The unemployment rate for the tract was three times that of the County in 1980. When data from the City is taken out of County figures, the tract unemployment rate is over four times that of the rest of the County. Effective strategies to reduce unemployment in the area must be part of any serious plan to improve the neighborhood, given the undeniable relationship between this feature of Emerson Park, the level of poverty in the neighborhood, and the current conditions there.

D. CONCLUSIONS

Census statistics show that for the past thirty years, there has been a marked decline in population in both the Emerson Park neighborhood and the City. During that time, housing conditions have also deteriorated sharply in both areas. The numbers of occupied housing units, and the percentages of those units that are owner-occupied have declined substantially. This is in marked contrast to trends in the County, particularly when City totals are excluded from the County totals.

Other indicators, including the level of income, the rate of unemployment, the percentage of households living below the poverty line and the percentage of female-headed households, also show that the neighborhood and the City have fared far worse than the rest of the County. These statistics are indeed sobering. They are the kinds of numbers that have lead many in government and in the private sector to write off areas like Emerson Park.

It is important to remember, however, that over 2000 people call Emerson park their home. Results of the Residential Survey, discussed in detail in Chapter V, indicate that many residents have deep roots in the community. Their enthusiastic response to and participation in the development of this plan belies any notion that the people in Emerson Park have given up on their neighborhood. It is readily apparent to those who have been involved in this effort that there are many opportunities available for neighborhood improvement . A number of them are laid out in this plan. Through hard work and determination, with the assistance of local, regional and state leaders, residents of Emerson Park can improve their community.

IV. PHYSICAL CONDITIONS IN EMERSON PARK

A. INTRODUCTION

The lack of existing data describing physical conditions in Emerson Park made gathering current data necessary. Specific information regarding local conditions was collected using the following strategy. First, a detailed parcel by parcel Land Use survey was conducted by six teams of two students walking through the neighborhood and recording data on a survey form developed by the Workshop. Information was collected on current land uses, occupancy, local building and site conditions, as well as information regarding neighborhood streets. Next, a street maintenance survey, which included, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, signs and street lights, was completed by examining every street in the neighborhood and recording the conditions observed. Finally, existing maps created by regional and state agencies which described local physical conditions, such as areas of flooding, were reviewed.

Data from these activities were compiled, charted, mapped and analyzed and are presented in this section. Included in this chapter are several colorful illustrative maps which were created from the data collected.

While this data presents a clear picture of current physical conditions in the Emerson Park community, land use and building data from prior years at the neighborhood level was not available. Chapter III on Population and Housing should be consulted for trend analysis regarding physical conditions in the neighborhood.

B. LAND USE DATA

The following land use data was collected as part of walk through survey of the neighborhood. An example of the survey instrument used can be found in Appendix A.

Table 4.1

Land Use Summary Statistics

Emerson Park Study Area

1990

Total Number of Blocks                           55                 
Block Size                                  420' X 420'             
Total Number of Parcels                         1407                
Parcel Size Range                     6' X 75' to 450 ' X 615'      
Dwelling Units                                  596                 

Emerson Park comprises 55 blocks of the north side of East St. Louis. These blocks are generally 420 feet by 420 feet and are divided into smaller units called parcels. These parcels are used by the City for tax purposes. Blocks have varying numbers of parcels of many different sizes. The maps which appear in this chapter are drawn showing the 1407 parcel boundaries for Emerson Park. The parcel sizes range from small 6 feet by 75 feet lots to a very large parcel that is 450 feet by 615 feet. The majority of lots in the neighborhood tend to be small and have short street fronts, with the average parcel size being about 30 feet by 125 feet. There are a total of 596 dwelling units in Emerson Park, consisting of single family homes and all units in multiple family structures, but excluding boarded up buildings.

Table 4.2

Land Use Detailed Statistics

Emerson Park Study Area

1990

                                Total Number   Percent         
Land Use                         of Parcels    of Total        
All Residential                           422  30%             
Business Related                           20  1%              
Community Services                         10  1%              
Abandoned Buildings                        56  4%              
Vacant Lots and Side Yards                861  61%             
Other                                      38  3%              
Total                                    1407  100%            

As shown in Table 4.2, nearly one third of the 1407 parcels contain residential buildings. There are 422 parcels with either single family homes or larger multiple family structures with varying numbers of units. These are shown on the Land Use map on page 36M with the single family uses in yellow, multiple family buildings with 2-4 units in light brown and multiple family units with 5 or more living units in dark brown. There are also 56 abandoned buildings which are burned out and are in unlivable condition. These include many single family homes and multiple family buildings. Blue dots on white colored parcels on the Land Use map indicate the locations of these burned out vacant buildings.

Business related activities occur on 20 of the parcels as shown on the Land Use map. These business activities include industrial (black), retail (red), warehouse (gray) and wholesale (dark pink) uses. Community services such as churches, schools and social service organizations occupy another 10 parcels. These uses are located throughout the neighborhood and are colored in dark green, green and dark blue. The above information shows that Emerson Park is currently a predominantly residential neighborhood without much commercial activity.

The most noticeable figure above shows that 61% of all the parcels in Emerson Park are vacant. This includes land that is undeveloped and has no building on it, lots that are unattended and contain debris and cleared, empty lots next to people's homes. Although over half of the parcels are vacant, this does not necessarily mean that half the land area is unoccupied. As shown by the white parcels on the Land Use map, many of the vacant parcels are small. There are, however, some areas with many vacant parcels together and this makes those areas of the neighborhood look empty. Although the exact square feet of land area in vacant parcels is not calculated, the Land Use map clearly shows that there is a large proportion of land which is vacant.

Included in the vacant category were 108 parcels termed `side yards,'which were defined as lots next to occupied properties that are being cared for, mowed and cleaned or used by a neighboring resident, even though they may not own the property. These side yards are colored in pale green on the Land Use map. The additional responsibility that some residents appear to be taking on in maintaining properties which they may not own demonstrates a deep commitment to the upkeep of the neighborhood.

The three percent of the parcels in the Other category of this table include three parks, nine buildings with more than one use and parcels for which insufficient data was collected. These uses can also be found on the Land Use map with parks in olive green, mixed uses in light pink and other uses in light blue.

C. OCCUPANCY DATA

While conducting the land use survey, the number of dwelling units within larger multiple family buildings were counted to arrive at an estimate of the number of these housing units which were occupied. These results are presented in Table 4.3.

Table 4.3

Building Occupancy by Unit

Emerson Park Study Area

1990

                                 Total  Total       Occupied    Percent     
Land Use                    Structures  Units       Units       Occupied    
Single Family                      366  366         288         79%         
Multi-Family (2-4 units)            47  112         96          86%         
Multi-Family (5+ units)              8  118         97          82%         
Abandoned Buildings                 56  69          0           0%          
Business Related                    20  20          11          55%         
Other Buildings                     20  27          20          75%         
Total Buildings                    517  712         512         72%         

Emerson Park has an overall building occupancy rate of 72%. The number of units is greater than the number of structures in Table 4.3 because some buildings have more than one living unit. The percent occupied is the total number of units occupied divided by the total number of living units available. The lowest occupancy rates are in the abandoned buildings and business related categories. The occupancy map, which appears on the following page, shows dwellings which are occupied in purple and those that are not are colored in mauve, with abandoned buildings that are boarded shown in burgundy.

Of the 366 single family homes in Emerson Park, 288 (79%) are occupied. This includes all free standing dwelling units which are not burned out. There are 47 parcels containing multiple family housing with 2 to 4 units for a total of 112 dwelling units. Of

these, 96 (86%) were occupied. The eight parcels with multiple family buildings containing more than five dwelling units comprise 118 living units. Of these, 97 (82%) were occupied. Abandoned buildings are not included in the occupancy calculations of dwelling units. This category includes 69 units in 56 buildings which are burned out beyond repair. By definition, none of these are occupied.

Just 55% of the 20 commercial buildings are occupied, again showing the lack of business activity in the neighborhood. "Other" buildings include nine structures with more than one use, six churches, a group home, two schools and both social service agencies. 74% of these were occupied, with most of the vacancies occurring in the mixed use buildings.

D. BUILDING CONDITIONS DATA

During the Land Use survey, building conditions were observed by means of exterior inspection. Without conducting detailed studies of the interiors of each structure, buildings were placed in one of four general categories: good (no obvious maintenance or repairs required); fair (minor maintenance or repairs required); deteriorated (major material replacement required); or dilapidated (missing materials and structural decay).

Table 4.4

Building Conditions

Emerson Park Study Area

1990

Land Use                       Good  Fair          Deteriorated   Dilapidated    
Single Family                   31%  40%           20%            8%             
Multi-Family                    27%  45%           25%            4%             
Abandoned Buildings              0%  0%            0%             100%           
Business Related                35%  30%           30%            5%             
Community Service               50%  30%           10%            10%            
Total                           28%  36%           18%            18%            

Table 4.4 shows that overall, 28% of the buildings in Emerson Park are in good condition, with another 36% in fair condition. This means that 64% of all buildings are structurally sound, as shown graphically on the Building Condition map (see page 40Mi) by the large number of beige (good) and light brown (fair) parcels. However, 18% of the buildings are deteriorated and in need of major maintenance while another 18% are dilapidated and most likely need to be demolished. These building condition types are indicated in mauve and burgundy on the Building Condition map. All structures showing any evidence of fire damage are indicated with a blue dot on the parcel.

Breaking down the data into specific uses shows that a large majority (71%) of the single family buildings were rated in good to fair condition. 20% of the homes were deteriorated, while 8% were in the dilapidated category. Multiple family units were very similar; 72% good to fair with the remaining units deteriorated or dilapidated. Of the local businesses, 65% of the structures were in good to fair condition with just 5% falling into the dilapidated category. Eight of the ten community service buildings were rated in either good or fair condition. All of the abandoned buildings were in the dilapidated category by definition. These buildings show up as a constant problem for the neighborhood.

E. SITE CONDITIONS DATA

The site condition of each parcel was also recorded during the land use survey. These conditions were rated by inspection of the lots without trespassing on peoples' property. Site conditions of each lot were placed into four classifications: mowed and clean (well-kept); mowed with trash (part-kept); unmowed but clean (also part-kept); or unattended (unmowed with trash, abandoned vehicles, appliances, etc.).

Table 4.5

Site Conditions

Emerson Park Study Area

1990

                               Mowed  Mowed         Unmowed       Unmowed       
Land Use                       Clean  Trash         Clean         Trash         
Single Family                    73%  7%            6%            14%           
Multi-Family                     62%  16%           2%            20%           
Abandoned Buildings               4%  14%           13%           70%           
Business Related                 60%  15%           10%           15%           
Community Service                90%  0%            10%           0%            
Vacant Lots                      20%  2%            15%           62%           
Side Yards                       57%  29%           4%            10%           
Other Uses                       27%  11%           10%           46%           
All Parcels                      40%  7%            11%           42%           

Table 4.5 shows that when looking at the parcels as a whole, there are about 40% in the mowed and clean category and also in the unmowed with trash category, showing about an even proportion of parcels with the best and the worst site conditions. The Site Condition map (see page 40Mii) shows the conditions of all parcels in the neighborhood with the mowed and clean yards in light green and the unmowed with trash lots in dark blue. There are large clusters of both the mowed and clean and the unmowed with trash conditions in the neighborhood with the other two types of site conditions spread throughout. The majority of lots with occupied buildings have well cared for sites. However, the large number of lots which are vacant are primarily unattended and make the rest of the neighborhood look deteriorated.

The majority of the single family, multiple family, business and community service parcels were clean and usually contained little trash; 73% of the single family homes and nine of the 10 social service agencies had yards which were mowed and clean. Lots with abandoned buildings and vacant lots were in the worst condition with 70% of the abandoned building lots and 62% of the vacant lots not cared for, overgrown and often covered with trash and other debris. These lots are the ones most often identified with Emerson Park. However, as was discussed earlier, another vacant parcel category is side yards. In contrast to the majority of vacant lots, these yards next to people's homes were generally kept mowed and clean.

F. STREET CONDITIONS DATA

1.Streets

A majority of the streets in Emerson Park are paved with concrete and in moderately good condition. However, deterioration has occurred due to lack of general maintenance. There are some street sections with large pot holes and broken paving. Streets paved in brick and side streets are usually in poorer condition. As shown on the Infrastructure and Hazards map in red (see next page), there are only a few sections of the neighborhood that are not paved.

2.Curbs

The curbs are also generally constructed in concrete and are structurally in good to fair condition. The condition of the curbs follows that of the streets except that there are many more sections of curbing that are missing. However, the majority of curbs in the neighborhood are overgrown with weeds and grass. Missing curbs are shown on the Infrastructure and Hazards map in green.

3. Sidewalks

There are many areas of the neighborhood that do not have sidewalks, as shown on the Infrastructure and Hazards map in blue. The condition of sidewalks varies greatly. Some streets have excellent sidewalks while others have intermittent sections of paving of varying qualities. Many sections of existing sidewalks are also overgrown with vegetation.

4. Sewers and Drains

Almost all of the storm water drains in Emerson Park were clogged with mud and vegetation. In some areas where a drain was expected, it was difficult to determine if one actually existed due to the amount of debris. There is a general problem with storm water drainage in the neighborhood and in East St. Louis as a whole. The clogged drains cause extensive flooding when it rains.

5. Street Signs

Many traffic signs in the area are missing, including stop signs and other driver information signs. A large number of street name signs are also missing from their poles. Some signs exist but are turned around, knocked over or badly faded.

6.Street Lights

Street lights exist throughout most of the neighborhood although some of the lights have been broken while others are burned out. The general lack of buildings and excess of overgrown brush makes the neighborhood appear dark even though most of street lights work. The large spaces between lights and the older style of the lights also contributes to the dark appearance of the area.

7. Man Hole Covers

An inspection of the streets showed that there are a large number of missing man hole covers in the neighborhood. These are shown as red dots on the Infrastructure and Hazards map. The holes are wide open and some have enlarged as the street has caved in around them. Many missing man hole covers are located near Cannady Elementary School and are a safety threat to school children.

G. LOCAL OWNERSHIP PATTERNS

A frequently stated concern raised by Emerson Park residents was the number of poorly maintained buildings and their surrounding grounds. An examination of ownership records was necessary in order to identify which individuals and public agencies are responsible for these parcels and therefore the poor conditions of some of these properties.

Information on ownership came from two sources. Lessie Bates supplied lot ownership information from August 1988, which they had obtained from the St. Clair County Assessor's office. These records contained information on almost all of the 1407 parcels in Emerson Park. An incomplete set of updated ownership information dated December 1990 was also obtained from the St. Clair County Assessor's office. Comparing the available 1990 information with the set of 1988 information showed that there were only about 100 changes (less than 1%) of ownership over the two year period. The complete set of 1988 ownership information was therefore used for this report.

Table 4.6

Parcel Ownership

Emerson Park Study Area

1988

Owners                            Number  Percent       
St. Clair Co.                        419  30%           
City of East St. Louis                53  4%            
Federal Government                   214  15%           
State of Illinois                      4  .3%           
School District                        2  .1%           
Private Owners                       715  51%           
Total                               1407  100%          

As shown in Table 4.6, St. Clair County is the trustee of 30% of the parcels in Emerson Park. This is by far the largest number of parcels in the neighborhood controlled by a public body and is only exceeded by the number of private owners. The Ownership map (see next page) shows all County held parcels in blue. These are scattered throughout the neighborhood and are primarily vacant lots. A majority of these vacant lots, which the County holds title to as trustee for the City, were found to be overgrown and littered with trash.

The Federal Government owns 214 (15%) of the lots in Emerson Park. These are primarily lots on which the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) operates subsidized housing projects, as shown on the map in gold. The City of East St. Louis owns about 4% of the lots (in green) while the State of Illinois (red) and the East St. Louis School District (mauve) each own less than one percent of the total parcels. Private owners make up the remaining 51% of the parcels in the neighborhood. The white parcels on the Ownership map identify all privately owned properties whether or not these are owned by persons living in Emerson Park. The ownership records showed that there are a number of properties that are owned by others living outside of the neighborhood and the City. A closer examination of these absentee landlords may need to be completed in the future to facilitate clean up efforts.

H. OTHER PHYSICAL DATA

1.Hazardous Waste

There are three hazardous waste sites located near Emerson Park. The green dots on the Infrastructure and Hazard map show the locations of three Super Fund hazard waste sites which may be eligible for federal clean up money. These are on or adjacent to Harcross Chemical property. These waste sites may be a threat to Emerson Park and East St. Louis residents, especially those living in that corner of the neighborhood.

2. Flooding

As shown on the Infrastructure and Hazard map in gray, a portion of Emerson Park is located within the 100 year flood plain. of the Mississippi River. This results in periodic flooding in this corner of the neighborhood.

3. Airborne Particulates

Another possible threat to area residents is caused by airborne particulates emitted by the Harcross Chemical plant. The red dust emitted from the pigment factory has left a visible coating on many objects in the northwest corner of the neighborhood.

4. Wetlands

As shown on the Infrastructure and Hazard map in blue, there are "wetland" areas located in Emerson Park. These are special areas of land that have been designated by State and Federal government agencies as needing protection. Wetlands support certain species of plants and wildlife that are in danger of becoming extinct and can not be altered without State and Federal approval.

I. CONCLUSIONS

The Emerson Park neighborhood is a very diverse community, with living conditions ranging from excellent to substandard. There are a large number of single family and multiple family homes, as well as a number of business and service agencies. A majority of the building stock is in good to fair condition. There are, however, a number of dilapidated units. Some of these are safety hazards which need to be removed. A large number of vacant lots exist and many of these are overgrown which makes the area appear unkept. The lots with single family homes are largely well cared for, showing a sense of pride in the neighborhood by many households. The condition of the infrastructure is adequate in some places and substandard in others. There are a large number of governmentally owned parcels in the area and several other subjects that need to be explored further to determine their impacts on the neighborhood.

V. PERCEPTIONS OF THE EMERSON PARK NEIGHBORHOOD

A. INTRODUCTION

The Workshop was committed to assisting the EPDC Steering Committee in formulating a neighborhood development strategy that would be enthusiastically received by area residents and strongly supported by local, County, State and Federal officials. The Workshop decided to supplement its Census and Land Use statistics with information from interviews with these residents and officials. To achieve this goal, the Workshop used interview data to identify issues which were of greatest concern to both residents and leaders and to identify proposals to remedy these problems which both elements of the community could support. Insights into Emerson Park and specific development proposals which emerged from the interview data were presented in a preliminary form at two neighborhood-led meetings discussed in Chapter I. They were included in the recommendations portion of this planning report only after they received overwhelming approval at these community forums. The Workshop used intensive interviewing and comment review processes to insure that the plan properly reflected and responded to local resident concerns.

1. Objectives of the Institutional and Community Leader Interviews:

* To ascertain perceptions of Emerson Park from inside and outside the community.

* To determine what neighborhood improvement resources are available to Emerson Park from existing institutions as well as City government.

* To detect obstacles the Emerson Park neighborhood and the University of Illinois might face in the implementation of a neighborhood improvement plan.

* To acquire ideas and directions as how to proceed with the formulation and composition of the plan.

2. Objectives of the Resident Interviews:

* To determine the opinions and perceptions that Emerson Park residents have about their neighborhood.

* To supplement existing demographic data about the neighborhood.

* To acquire ideas and directions as how to proceed with the formulation and composition of the plan.

* To detect obstacles the Emerson Park neighborhood and the University of Illinois might face in the implementation of a neighborhood improvement plan.

B. CONDUCTING THE SURVEYS

1. Institutional and Community Leaders

A list of 50 institutional and community leaders to be interviewed was developed by the Workshop in consultation with the EPDC Steering Committee. This list included local businesspersons, social service professionals, religious leaders, political officials, educators, and planners. The interviewees were chosen because of their organizations' work in Emerson Park.

Initial contact was made through a letter informing the leaders about the project. The letter also asked if they would be willing to be interviewed by members of the Workshop. Follow up telephone calls were made to schedule interviews and twenty-one individuals agreed to participate. A total of nineteen interviews were conducted on November 2, 1990. Interview teams of two or three Workshop members conducted each interview which lasted from 45 to 90 minutes. The interview questions (See Appendix C) were developed by the Workshop with the assistance of the Steering Committee of the EPDC.

2. Residents

The Workshop and the EPDC developed a set of interview questions (See Appendix D) similar to the institutional and community leaders survey that was designed to identify the concerns of area residents. During the weekend of November 16th, 1990, the resident survey was conducted by interview teams of two individuals made up of the Workshop and EPDC members. Interview teams were assigned various sections of the neighborhood and went door to door interviewing willing residents. A total of 89 residents were interviewed over the three day period, with each interview lasting between one half hour and two hours.

The leaders and residents were asked both closed and open-ended questions about specific physical features of the neighborhood and about the quality of various social, municipal, commercial and financial services that are available to neighborhood residents as well as unemployment. The close ended questions asked interviewees to rate the quality and or availability of the service on a scale of one to five, with one being "excellent" and five "nonexistent." All interviewees had the option to say they had no opinion. Upon analyzing the data it was determined that these definitions were too precise and that there was no reliable difference between "excellent" and "good" (1 and 2) and "deteriorated" and "dilapidated" (4 and 5) so these categories were collapsed. The information in the plan is therefore reported in three categories of "good," "fair" and "poor" with those not responding or having no opinion reported as "N/A". The responses to these questions are described below.

C. RESULTS OF THE SURVEYS

1.General Impressions of the Emerson Park Neighborhood

a. Strengths of the Neighborhood

Leaders were asked, through open-ended questions, to describe the major strengths of the neighborhood. Many cited the neighborhood's close proximity to downtown East St. Louis, to St. Louis, and to regional interstate highways as positive factors that would help in the neighborhood's revitalization efforts. A majority of those interviewed believed that the people are the strength of the area with their sense of community and commitment to improving the neighborhood. Interviewees also expressed admiration for the efforts of social service institutions in the neighborhood, such as Lessie Bates, the EPDC and area churches.

The residents were also asked to describe the strengths of the neighborhood. The most frequent answer given by residents was "none." Residents who gave this answer generally had not lived in the community for very long and were more negative about the neighborhood. The second most frequent answer was to name the residents in the area as a major strength. One woman commented on her neighbors saying, "We watch out for each other." Another frequent response was to note how quiet the neighborhood was. Like the community and institutional leaders, the residents mentioned social service organizations such as Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House and Dorris' Helping Hand as positive institutions in the community.

b. Major Problems Facing the Neighborhood

When asked to identify the major problems facing the Emerson Park neighborhood several leaders qualified their statements by saying that "these problems are not particular to that area" but are common to many of East St. Louis' neighborhoods. Problems facing the neighborhood include such things as deteriorated housing and infrastructure, inadequate city services, and high unemployment. Emerson Park was identified by one institutional leader as "a high crime area infiltrated with a lot of drugs." They felt that even when crime has been addressed there will still be the perception that Emerson Park is an unsafe area. Several leaders emphasized how important it is to realize this and to focus on the perception problem as well. The very high property tax rate in the City was also mentioned by a number of leaders as a major impediment to neighborhood development. While the commitment of area residents was singled out as one of the positive attributes of the community, a few leaders discussed the difficulty of getting residents to participate in neighborhood improvement efforts because of the lack of any sustained success in the recent past.

Two of the most frequent answers given by residents regarding the major problems facing the neighborhood were garbage piled up in the area and abandoned or arsoned houses that need to be demolished and removed. They noted that many of these unusable structures are not boarded up and present a safety hazard. Unmowed, overgrown lots were also frequently cited. Residents said that another major problem is the high rate of drug use and drug dealing within Emerson Park. Also mentioned by a number of those interviewed were the following: a high crime rate, inadequate street lighting, lack of public expenditures in Emerson Park, lack of involvement on the part of many residents, the high unemployment rate, stray dogs, prostitution, environmental hazards from the Harcross Chemical plant, the lack of recreation facilities and the need for infrastructure improvements.

2. Housing Conditions and Credit Availability

Table 5.1 below presents the leaders and residents evaluation of the current housing conditions in Emerson Park.

Table 5.1

Housing

Institutional and Community Leaders and Residents

Emerson Park, 1990

n =19 and 89 Respectively

                          Good  Fair        Poor        N/A         
Leaders                   0.0%  35.3%       47.1%       17.6%       
Residents                10.1%  39.3%       46.1%       4.5%        

None of the leaders evaluated the housing conditions in Emerson Park as good. Thirty five percent of them rated the housing fair and another 47% rated it poor. Seventeen percent of the leaders had no opinion on the quality of housing in Emerson Park.

Community leaders were asked, in an open-ended format, to elaborate further regarding their assessment. One fairly typical response was "there will be a group of nice homes grouped together, then blocks of really run-down and burned-out houses." Two reasons were frequently given to explain the condition of the housing stock: due to the high rate of unemployment in the area, residents did not have the financial resources to maintain and improve their properties and, because of the deteriorated condition of the neighborhood, owners were unwilling to invest in improving their properties.

When they were asked to suggest steps to improve housing conditions in the neighborhood, the responses included initiatives that focused on housing rehabilitation. A number of leaders stated that rehabilitation of many existing houses would improve the housing situation in the neighborhood. They also said that there are houses which need to be torn down. Several suggested classes providing instruction on proper housing rehabilitation techniques be offered to area residents. One respondent suggested a "real" code enforcement program would be helpful. In addition, several leaders indicated that in was important to repair and replace deteriorated infrastructure before focusing on housing. In particular, deteriorated sewers were a concern. It was suggested that Community Development Block Grant monies be utilized for such improvement.

Residents' evaluations of housing conditions in Emerson Park were similar to the leaders' evaluations. The majority of residents (46%) rated the housing poorly and while 39% felt the housing was fair. Ten percent of Emerson Park residents rated the housing good.

In response to an open-ended question about the steps that should be taken to improve housing, most residents indicated that, at the outset, abandoned, burned out buildings should be torn down and removed. "Clean up before build up, demolition before construction," was one response that touched on this common theme. Other suggested steps for improvement included conducting more inspections of structures that might be in violation of existing building codes and rehabilitating deteriorated homes. There was general agreement that more money needed to be invested in housing projects in the area. Touching on the theme of the need for more funds, one man stated, "We all need to do some work but when you don't have the money, it ain't going to go up."

Leaders were asked how available credit is from local banks for home improvement loans and mortgages. Their responses are shown in the table below.

Table 5.2

Credit Availability

Institutional and Community Leaders

Emerson Park, 1990

n=19

                            Good  Fair          Poor          N/A           
Credit                      6.0%  17.6%         76.5%         0.0%          
Availability                                                                

Six percent stated that credit availability is good and 18% stated that it is fairly available. Seventy-six percent of the leaders stated that it is almost impossible for Emerson Park residents to secure credit from local banks.

When leaders were asked to explain why there were not more home improvement and mortgage loans being granted to Emerson Park residents two themes emerged. One common response was that home rehabilitation and mortgage funds are available but people do not take advantage of them. Reasons given to explain why residents do not apply for loans included a lack of awareness on the part of residents about the availability of these funds ,and ignorance about how to go through the loan process. A more common perception was that area lending institutions steered away from the neighborhood because of the depressed property values in the area. One respondent stated that the "people were living in the wrong community" to get loans.

The consensus among residents regarding the availability of credit is that it was very difficult to secure any type of home improvement loan. Of eighty-nine interviewees, sixty-six had not tried to get a loan for home improvements or repairs. Fifteen people had attempted to secure loans with only three succeeding. When asked to explain why there have not been more loans made, over half of the residents stated that they knew of no banks making loans. They gave as reasons the financial instability of applicants, red lining, and low property values in the area. Some residents expressed a lack of knowledge about how to go about applying for such loans.

3. Infrastructure

Leaders were asked to rate the condition of various elements of the neighborhood infrastructure. Their responses are shown in Table 5.3. On the whole, infrastructure was rated either fair or poor: Every category was rated poor by at least 40% of those interviewed. Seventy percent or more of the leaders rated the curbs, sidewalks and drainage as poor and no one rated them as good. Only 5.9% rated streets as good and less than 2% rated lighting as good. The age and deterioration of area sewers were cited as major problems that need to be addressed. Many leaders talked about the flooding that occurs in the neighborhood and indicated that it is critical to improve the neighborhood's infrastructure if new development is to be attracted to the area.

Table 5.3

Infrastructure

Institutional and Community Leaders

Emerson Park, 1990

n = 19

                          Good  Fair          Poor          N/A           
Streets                   5.9%  41.2%         47.1%         5.9%          
Lights                    1.8%  23.5%         58.8%         5.9%          
Curbs                     0.0%  11.8%         76.5%         11.8%         
Sidewalks                 0.0%  23.5%         70.6%         5.9%          
Drainage                  0.0%  17.6%         70.6%         11.8%         
Traffic Lights           17.6%  17.6%         41.2%         23.5%         

Residents were also asked to rate the infrastructure in the neighborhood. Table 5.4 presents their evaluations.

Table 5.4

Infrastructure

Residents

Emerson Park, 1990

n = 89

                          Good  Fair          Poor          N/A           
Streets                   7.9%  19.1%         73.0%         0.0%          
Lights                   12.4%  27.0%         59.6%         1.1%          
Curbs                     2.2%  21.3%         73.0%         3.4%          
Sidewalks                 6.7%  28.1%         62.9%         2.2%          
Drainage                  7.9%  14.6%         75.3%         2.2%          
Traffic Lights           22.5%  31.5%         24.7%         21.3          

On the whole, the infrastructure in Emerson Park was evaluated more critically by the residents than by local officials. Almost all of the categories have a poor rating of 60% or more and streets, curbs, and drainage received a poor rating of 70% or more. Only the evaluation of the traffic lights was more evenly distributed among the three rating categories.

When asked to elaborate residents had plenty to say about the condition of the infrastructure. One woman stated,"When you don't have lights people get away with a lot of things." Streets were also seen to be badly in need of repair. Some residents indicated that almost all of the streets in the neighborhood needed to be repaired or at least have potholes filled. Others commented about the lack of manhole covers throughout the neighborhood. Sidewalk improvement is another need seen by residents. Many described sidewalks that just ended in the middle of a block and others that were unusable because of the vegetation growing over them or because of their deteriorated condition. Curbs and gutters were also described as missing or deteriorated. Also suggested was the need to replace and repair street signs and the need for more traffic lights.

Many residents echoed a concern expressed by the leaders interviewed, citing the need to repair an ancient, deteriorated sewer system and described how common it was for the streets and surrounding areas to flood after rains. One man remarked that "Sometimes the water gets knee-deep down here."

4. Municipal Services

Institutional and community leaders were also asked to rate the quality of certain municipal services within the neighborhood. Table 5.5 provides their responses.

Table 5.5

Municipal Services

Institutional and Community Leaders

Emerson Park, 1990

n = 19

                          Good  Fair          Poor          N/A           
Police                   11.8%  35.3%         47.1%         5.9%          
Fire                     29.4%  35.3%         29.4%         5.9%          
Snow Removal              0.0%  5.9%          76.5%         17.6%         
Transportation           47.1%  35.3%         11.8%         5.9%          

There was a fairly wide range of perceptions among leaders regarding municipal services. The quality of police protection was rated poor by over 47% of the leaders with less than 12% rating it as good. The evaluation of fire protection was distributed more evenly across the three categories with 29.4 % of the leaders rating it either good or poor. Snow removal was rated the poorest with no one rating it good and over 76% rating it as poor. Transportation, referring to the local bus system operated by the Bi-State Development Authority, was rated the most favorably. Forty-seven percent of the leaders rated it good, citing the extensive network of regularly scheduled buses,.although some felt that Bi-State's service needed to be expanded.

When they were asked to elaborate, many leaders indicated that the main problem with the fire and police departments is that there is not enough manpower. The quality and age of the equipment used by the police and fire departments was also a concern, although it was noted that the police department recently purchased some new cars and the radio equipment has been updated. The police department was characterized as having a slow response time. Concerning snow removal, one institutional leader stated, "I don't think the City has any (snow) removal equipment" and according to others only the major streets are cleared.

When they were asked to suggest ways to improve these services, most leaders stated that additional monies were needed to purchase new equipment and to hire more municipal workers. Better City management of existing resources was also commonly cited as a means of improving these services. One respondent indicated that there needs to be more cooperation between residents and the police in apprehending criminals.

Residents were also asked to evaluate municipal services in the area. Their responses are shown in Table 5.6. As with the institutional and community leaders, there was significant variation in the ratings of municipal services. The poor rating of 69.7% for the police department is not unexpected after hearing the comments residents gave to explain their evaluation. The general consensus was that the average police response time was two hours. Many residents indicated that at times,the police did not show up at all. Some residents thought that the police were ambivalent about stopping crimes. Many did note that the City police were hampered by the lack of adequate manpower and equipment.

Table 5.6

Municipal Services

Residents

Emerson Park, 1990

n = 89

                               Good  Fair          Poor          N/A           
Police                         9.0%  20.2%         69.7%         1.1%          
Fire                          29.2%  28.1%         36.0%         6.7%          
Snow Removal                   3.4%  14.6%         77.5%         4.5%          
Transportation                66.3%  16.9%         5.6%          11.2%         
Garbage Removal               11.2%  6.7%          78.7%         3.4%          

Residents generally claim fire protection is adequate but some commented that the department's' equipment is obsolete and there is insufficient water pressure in neighborhood hydrants to put out fires. Over 77% of the residents rated snow removal as poor. This is due to the lack of snow removal service by the City and the fact that only the main streets are plowed. Transportation was rated good by over 66% of the residents. They were generally pleased with the overall bus service, but felt that there was a need for more frequent bus service and later evening hours.

Currently the City does not provide garbage removal and many residents cannot afford to pay private garbage haulers to pick up their trash. As a result, many residents are forced to look for abandoned areas in the City to dump their garbage and vacant lots and buildings in Emerson Park are frequently chosen. Respondents indicated that many people burn their garbage and others find other ways to dispose of it. One long-time resident stated "When they go to work, they take it to work. . . they throw it in the dumpster. . . they improvise."

When they were asked to suggest steps for improving these services, residents pointed to such things as the need for additional funding, the creation of a recycling service, and utilizing welfare recipients to address manpower needs.

5. Education

Community leaders were also asked to rate the quality of educational services available to neighborhood residents. Their responses are presented in Table 5.7.

Table 5.7

Education

Institutional and Community Leaders

Emerson Park, 1990

n = 19

                                Good  Fair          Poor          N/A           
Elementary Schools             52.9%  29.4%         5.9%          11.8%         
Junior High School             52.9%  23.5%         11.8%         11.8%         
High School                    52.9%  35.3%         5.9%          5.9%          
Community College              41.2%  35.3%         11.8%         11.8%         

Over half of the leaders rated the schools in Emerson Park and East St. Louis good with very few rating them as poor. More than 70% rated the community college good or fair.

Leaders were asked to elaborate on their answers and offer suggestions on how to improve educational services. Overcrowding in the schools and inadequate facilities and supplies were concerns expressed by some leaders. Despite these inadequate conditions in the schools, leaders felt that the children were able to succeed. One community leader expressed concern over the fact that the lunch program had been changed. Now the food is packaged and delivered and for many kids this is their only meal. The State Community College was singled out as having a history of administrative problems but it was felt that the College was making progress in addressing these issues.

Regarding steps to improve the schools, the most common theme was that the schools need more funds to provide such things as better equipment and facilities and to hire more faculty to relieve overcrowding. Several institutional leaders commented on the need for policies that focus on the whole family. They felt this could be achieved by strong networking among social service organizations and the schools. One leader commented that, "There's got to be greater parent-teacher interaction." A general theme was that steps needed to be taken to increase the pride that neighborhood residents have in their schools.

Residents were asked to rate the quality of primary and secondary schools that serve the neighborhood,and the State Community College. Their responses are shown in Table 5.8.

Table 5.8

Education

Residents

Emerson Park, 1990

n = 89

                                Good  Fair          Poor          N/A           
Elementary Schools             41.6%  24.7%         13.5%         20.2%         
Junior High School             22.5%  28.1%         22.5%         27.0%         
High School                    32.6%  27.0%         16.9%         23.6%         
Community College              38.2%  19.1%         5.6%          37.1%         

The residents' opinions of the local schools were quite varied and, on the whole, were less favorable than those expressed by Community and Institutional Leaders. The elementary schools were rated good by 41.6% of the residents while only 13.5% rated them poor. However, just 22.5% rated the Junior High School good with another 22.5% rating it poor. The East St. Louis High Schools were rated fairly high with over 59% rating them either good or fair. There is a higher percentage of responses falling into the "not answered" category than in previous categories mainly because households primarily only know about schools that their children are currently attending.

The elementary schools that Emerson Park children attend are among the more positive features of the community. The overall feeling seems to be that the schools are doing the best they can with the facilities they have. Residents stated that local schools need to purchase more and newer textbooks for their students. Several residents said that their children were not able to bring home books to do homework because of a book shortage. Some residents indicated that the schools needed to improve the condition of their grounds, and that areas around school buildings need to be fenced off to keep out drug pushers and others who are not students. Many of the negative perceptions concerned the Junior High which was described as being overcrowded and having discipline problems. Many residents felt that the State Community College was doing a good job, although many (37%) had no answer. Others suggested strategies to improve schools included hiring better teachers and security guards, improving the facilities, opening more schools and increasing parent involvement.

6. Social Services

Institutional and community leaders were asked to evaluate social services available to the neighborhood. Their responses are presented in Table 5.9.

Table 5.9

Social Services

Institutional and Community Leaders

Emerson Park, 1990

n = 19

                                   Good  Fair        Poor        N/A         
Health Services                   17.6%  47.1%       11.8%       23.5%       
Recreation/ Parks                 29.4%  29.4%       35.3%       5.9%        
Day Care Centers                  41.2%  23.5%       17.6%       17.6%       
Drug/ Alcohol Programs            17.6%  17.6%       41.2%       23.5%       
Job Training Programs              5.9%  17.6%       52.9%       23.5%       

Health care services were primarily rated as fair, 47.1%, while recreation areas and parks were rated evenly across the scale. Day care services were rated the most highly of social services, 41% good, while job training faired the worst with over half of the leaders feeling that job training was poor. The higher percentage of "no answer" responses in this category reflects a lower level of familiarity with these services among the leaders.

When they were asked to elaborate on their answers, a majority of the leaders answered that the quality of what was available in the way of social services was not a problem. The concern was that there generally are not enough of these services to go around or that for some members of the community they are not affordable. One example is day care which is in heavy demand. What is available was generally rated good or fair. But, as one respondent put it, "for most people, it is too expensive." The reasons given for the poor rating of job training include the fact that the Job Training Partnership Act programs are not well publicized and are not located in the City. Several leaders commented on the fact that the locations of programs are not readily accessible by public transit. Several of the leaders expressed the view that there were not enough drug and alcohol treatment programs.

Suggestions regarding the improvement of these services included a media campaign advertising available social services. The provision of support services, such as transportation and day care, are necessary if people are going to be able to take advantage of these services.

Residents were also asked to evaluate social services that are available to the neighborhood. Their responses are shown in Table 5.10.

Table 5.10

Social Services

Residents

Emerson Park, 1990

n = 89

                                   Good  Fair        Poor        N/A         
Health Services                   38.2%  23.6%       28.1%       10.1%       
Recreation/ Parks                 14.6%  20.2%       55.1%       10.1%       
Day Care Centers                  41.6%  19.1%       9.0%        30.3%       
Drug/ Alcohol Programs            13.5%  9.0%        48.3%       29.2%       
Job Training Programs             22.5%  13.5%       34.8%       29.2%       

Thirty-eight percent of the residents rated health services good, while another 28% felt the health services were poor. Recreation and parks were evaluated the most critically with 55% of the residents rating them poor. Day care centers in the community were evaluated favorably with over 41% rating the service good. Drug and alcohol and job training programs were rated poor by over 48% and 34% of the residents.

When they were asked to elaborate on their answers, many residents stated that St. Mary's Hospital, the only remaining hospital in the City, was not equipped to adequately serve those who utilize it. Long waits for medical attention after arrival at the hospital and overcrowding,were common complaints. One resident remarked that "You can call 911 and go down to St. Mary's and sit there all night... ."

Many residents indicated that there is a need for more parks in the neighborhood and improvements to those parks that already exist. A number of residents observed that many parks are littered with broken bottles and need new benches and playground equipment. Generally, the feeling was that more recreational opportunities for children were needed. Specific suggestions included the creation of more Scouting programs and the construction of a municipal pool. Day care services that were available were generally highly rated by the residents. There was a need expressed for additional day care facilities.

The residents had an even higher percentage of "no answer" regarding drug and alcohol and job training programs than the leaders. A possible reason for this is that some residents were familiar with various programs, but were unclear about whether they had closed down in recent years. There was agreement that more job training and rehabilitation facilities were needed. Some expressed little confidence in local drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs and related that it was a common perception that it was easy to buy drugs in some of the local drug rehabilitation centers.

7. Utilities and Local Shopping

Leaders were asked to rate area utilities and shopping. Their responses are presented in Table 5.11. All the utilities were rated good by over 70% of the leaders and no one rated utilities as poor. In contrast, local shopping was rated poor by over 70% of those leaders interviewed with no one rating shopping good.

Table 5.11

Utilities and Shopping

institutional and community leaders

Emerson Park, 1990

n = 19

                                Good  Fair          Poor          N/a           
Water Service                  76.5%  11.8%         0.0%          11.8%         
Gas Service                    70.6%  17.6%         0.0%          11.8%         
Electric Service               76.5%  11.8%         0.0%          11.8%         
Local Shopping                  0.0%  11.8%         70.6%         17.6%         

"The utilities do an outstanding job of maintaining services" according to almost all of the institutional and community leaders. The only complaint that surfaced was that the cost of utility services is too expensive. Some indicated that prices in local stores were too high. Others pointed to the perception that the area has a crime problem and the high property taxes as explanations for why there are not more stores in the immediate area.

Open-ended responses regarding steps to improve these services focused on increasing local shopping opportunities. Because local businesses "have the tendency to fail for lack of capital and experience," one respondent suggested that a neighborhood business incubator would be a method for increasing business skills and access to credit. Other leaders indicated that "Ma and Pa" stores need to be encouraged in the community. The perception that there is a crime problem will have to be addressed before any business will locate in the neighborhood according to some of the leaders.

Residents were asked to rate the various utility services and the local shopping services available in the neighborhood. Their responses are shown in Table 5.12 Residents agreed with the institutional and community leaders and rated utility services as good, but they were not as overwhelmingly positive in their evaluations. They were also critical of local shopping services. About 60% of all residents rated utility service good and less than 16 % rated it poor. Nearly half of the residents rated local shopping as poor.

Table 5.12

Utilities and Shopping

Residents

Emerson Park, 1990

n = 89

                                Good  Fair          Poor          N/A           
Water Service                  59.6%  20.2%         15.7%         4.5%          
Gas Service                    66.3%  14.6%         14.6%         4.5%          
Electric Service               59.6%  24.7%         12.4%         3.4%          
Telephone Service              64.0%  16.9%         12.4%         6.7%          
Local Shopping                 21.3%  19.1%         47.2%         12.4%         

When they were asked to expand on their answers, most residents said that they receive good service, but many felt that the rates were too high. The one non-cost related problem was related to water quality. Five interviewees told us that the water was unsafe, smelled strange, or was discolored.

There was consensus that more local shopping was desperately needed. Many residents said that the closest grocery store is rather expensive, and that, because of this, they often left the City to do their grocery shopping. Specifically, residents mentioned a need for a furniture store, theater, department store of some type, and a small convenience store closer to the neighborhood. A number of residents who did not drive commented on the difficulty of shopping when relying on public transit. One woman said that a delivery service would be a good idea if a new store could not be brought into the area soon.

8. Unemployment

In an open-ended question, leaders were asked to describe the unemployment situation in Emerson Park. One leader described area unemployment as "bad, real bad." Other adjectives used to describe it included "horrible," "tremendous," and "devastating." It was noted by a number of leaders that the poverty rate is very high and that unemployment levels were well above the national average. Many of the leaders stated that the problem is no different than that facing the City as a whole.

When they were asked to offer explanations for the high unemployment, a number of persons pointed to the closing of many plants in the area. One leader used the once thriving meat-packing industry which closed down as an example of this situation. The lack of adequate job training was also cited. A number of leaders stated that many residents lacked proper job-interview skills.

Asked to offer solutions to the unemployment problem, many leaders indicated that it was important to attract businesses and industry back to the City. Also cited was a need for job training, both for those new to the job market and for those with job skills that are no longer relevant for today's job market. More specifically, improved education and special skills training programs in the high schools were cited as crucial to efforts to reduce unemployment. One leader suggested that the EPDC needs to become a player in the game by creating self-help initiatives that will also employ area residents.

All of the residents agreed that unemployment was high. The responses given, when they were asked about the causes of unemployment, were varied. The most frequent response was the lack of jobs in the area. Forty-eight residents agreed that the major cause is simply that it is difficult to find a job. As one resident stated "I've got a bunch of guys that would be glad to work cleaning up around here." Another 16 said that the jobs were out there if one went looking, but that many unemployed people do not want a job. A few said that many unemployed people find it easier to make a living selling drugs, and some said that it is easier to receive an aid check than to go out and work. A contrasting opinion to this, and mentioned several times, is that one cannot make ends meet with a minimum wage job. Another reason cited was that education and training are lacking; people have not been taught how to find a job and interview. Racism was also mentioned as an impediment to employment for neighborhood residents. One respondent commented that some unemployed residents were not in the work force because of mental illness.

When residents were asked to offer suggestions to reduce unemployment, the most common response was the need to bring new jobs into the area. Better education for neighborhood residents was the number two response. Other strategies that were mentioned include reducing the amount of drug and alcohol abuse among residents, requiring work fare for welfare recipients, and increasing community involvement in job creation programs. One respondent stressed that it was essential to clean up the neighborhood before becoming involved in actively recruiting new businesses for the area. Another respondent stated that greater racial cooperation was needed.

9. Neighborhood Organizations/Objectives of a Neighborhood Plan

Institutional and community leaders were asked to name organizations that are currently involved in improvement efforts in Emerson Park. Lessie Bates was mentioned most often. The United Way, the EPDC, area churches and a host of others were also mentioned. A number of leaders were not familiar with any of the organizations that were involved in neighborhood improvement efforts.

In response to the question regarding what the primary objectives of a neighborhood plan should be, one of the leaders stated that the plan should be directed towards improving the overall quality of life in the neighborhood. Another suggestion was that the plan focus on identifying and assessing the level of resources in the community. More specifically, leaders indicated that an analysis of the condition of local housing and infrastructure and of the skill levels of area residents are all needed. Initiatives the plan should undertake include the improvement of housing conditions, economic development and crime reduction.

When residents were asked to name organizations that were actively involved in the neighborhood, many could only name Lessie Bates. Many other residents knew of no organizations. Several people mentioned that area churches, the EPDC and Ceola Davis were all working in Emerson Park.

Residents were asked to identify what the main objectives of a neighborhood improvement plan should be. In the order of most to least common response, residents cited cleaning up garbage in the neighborhood, removing abandoned housing, mobilizing residents, bringing in jobs to the neighborhood and surrounding area, improving housing conditions, upgrading and adding parks, improving police protection, creating more drug programs, and reducing crime.

Residents were also asked to name specific steps that should be taken to achieve the plan's objectives. Most residents stated that they were not sure what steps should be taken to achieve the objectives. Improvement of police service was again mentioned as a priority. Other suggestions included improving education, improving the image of the City, enforcing building codes and zoning ordinances.

10. Obstacles to Achieving the Goals of the Plan

Leaders were also asked to identify what obstacles must be overcome if the primary objectives of the plan are to be achieved. Their responses varied and included city-wide as well as neighborhood based obstacles. Leaders cited the need to overcome the stigma of past planning efforts. Too a large extent respondents felt these efforts have been unsuccessful and because of this residents are suspicious of planning.. Overcoming the suspicion and apathy this has created is necessary if the plan is going to be successful according to some of the leaders. The perception outsiders have of Emerson Park was also seen as an obstacles to be overcome. The political structure and leadership of East St. Louis was also mentioned by some as a barrier to neighborhood development.

When residents were asked to name obstacles to meeting the goals of neighborhood improvement, lack of resident interest and money headed the list. One woman described the lack of interest as "the I don't care attitude. . . period!" City and police corruption, and drug and alcohol abuse were also mentioned as serious problems.

11. Leading Organizations and Resident Involvement

Leaders were given a list of organizations and asked to identify which they favored to be designated to carryout the plan. This list included the Community Development Department of the City of East St. Louis, the Metro-East Area Project Board, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, the EPDC, or any other group they felt should be designated. All four organizations were picked by the leaders. The two organizations that were designated most often were the EPDC and Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House.

Residents identified a wide variety of groups were identified that could be recruited to help with the improvement plan. Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House was mentioned most frequently, but responses ranged from the City's Community Development Office to unemployed men.

Eighty out of eighty-nine residents said that they would like to be involved in the implementation of the plan. Of those who responded yes, fifty-three stated they had skills that would be useful in developing and implementing the plan, including child care, nursing, masonry, carpentry, tree cutting, computer skills and teaching. Others were willing to volunteer their time in any way that would be helpful.

VI. NEIGHBORHOOD BEAUTIFICATION

A. DESCRIPTION

Vacant land, unkept lots, deteriorated housing, and abandoned buildings serve to create a negative first impression of the Emerson Park neighborhood. These factors often cause observers to miss the many immaculate lawns and meticulously kept buildings that exist within the community. The negative aspects of the neighborhood's physical environment may discourage some owners and renters from maintaining their properties and may deter outside investment in the community. An expanded neighborhood beautification program should be implemented within Emerson Park to dramatically improve the physical appearance of the community.

Neighborhood beautification is an organized, directed method of improving the public image of an area. This process involves neighborhood residents and businesspersons in cooperative efforts to clean and maintain public and private properties within a community. Among the activities frequently included in such programs are: subsidized building maintenance, promotion of area plantings, unified public signs, urban design initiatives, street and sidewalk improvements, installation of new park equipment, enhanced street lighting, strict anti-dumping ordinances and intensified enforcement of building and site code maintenance standards.

B. OBJECTIVES

The neighborhood beautification component of this plan seeks to achieve the following objectives.

1. To significantly enhance the appearance of Emerson Park through the completion of several small-scale physical improvement projects.

2. To develop a building and site code enforcement program that preserves improvements made to neighborhood properties.

3. To upgrade public amenities and infrastructure within the neighborhood.

C. ACTIVITIES

1. A large-scale volunteer clean-up to remove garbage and debris from publicly-owned lots, streets, alleys, sidewalks, and parks within the area should be organized. This effort would involve local residents, area businesspersons and regional service organizations (Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.) in a coordinated campaign to clean rubbish, mow lawns and trim shrubs from public properties in the area. Local businesses, City and County government and area corporations could be asked to provide heavy equipment and trucks to remove debris to area dumping facilities.

2. St. Clair County should be asked to give a contract to clean, clear and maintain County-owned properties to a locally-organized lawn care cooperative composed of unemployed Emerson Park residents. Organized with the assistance of Lessie Bates such a cooperative could be funded to maintain Emerson Park lots which the County has acquired title to due to the failure of owners to pay their property taxes. Experience gained in maintaining County-owned properties may enable the cooperative to compete for private lawn care contracts. Technical assistance in horticulture and small business practices could be provided by the St. Clair County Cooperative Extension Program, State Community College faculty, the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois and area lawn care professionals. Funding for training might be provided by the Joint Training and Partnership Act (JTPA) Program and equipment might be solicited from national manufacturers and distributors of gardening and lawn care tools.

3. Local owners whose properties are poorly maintained could also be encouraged to contract with the local lawn care cooperative to clean and maintain their lots. Letters requesting these owners to upgrade their properties to meet local code requirements could be sent by the EPDC. Information regarding the services of the lawn care cooperative, as well as relevant East St. Louis codes, could be included in this mailing. The identification of poorly maintained properties and their owners has already been done by the Workshop. Owners who fail to clean-up their properties, in a timely manner, could be turned over to the City of East St. Louis Building Inspector for municipal enforcement action. Delinquent owners are subject to having their properties cleaned by the City, or their agent, and liens placed on their properties to insure prompt payment for these services. The City of East St. Louis could be encouraged to contract with the lawn care cooperative to clean and maintain the lots on non-complying owners.

4. The St. Clair County Probation Department could be contacted to arrange the assignment of probationers to area clean-up activities. Federal probationers could also be assigned to this type of community service activity within Emerson Park. Offenders are sometimes offered the opportunity to do "community service" as an alternative to incarceration. Individuals convicted of non-violent crimes who are required to perform community service may make a substantial contribution towards improving the local environment.

5. Solicitation letters could be sent to manufacturers and distributors of lawn care and farming implement products asking them to contribute to the development of a "tool library," which could provide needed equipment to local residents and businesses involved in outdoor clean-up projects. Inquiries should also be made among State and Federal "government surplus" offices to determine if such departments might be sources for quality, used gardening and farm implement equipment. Local corporations could be an additional source of used power equipment such as mowers, trimmers, saws and tractors. Members of the EPDC would be eligible to "borrow" needed items from the tool library at no cost. Non-EPDC members might be able to "rent" equipment for a modest fee. Income from these rentals might cover equipment replacement expenses. A vacant service station on 15th Street near Lynch would serve as a very good facility for the tool library provided suitable rental terms could be negotiated.

6. Plans should be made to develop a Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) proposal focused on local environmental concerns and projects. Area youth could be employed this coming Summer to complete clean-up and beautification projects in the neighborhood. Youth involvement in area environmental and civic improvement projects could be maintained during the school year through the establishment of community service and environmental clubs at area elementary, intermediate and senior high schools. Representatives from the St. Clair County Cooperative Extension maybe able to provide curriculum development and training assistance which would help school and PTA officials in developing youth programs.

7. A strict no-dumping ordinance should be passed by the East St. Louis City Council. This ordinance would increase fines for those engaged in illegal dumping. Revenues from fines, along with funding from the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), could be used to hire additional sanitation inspectors to enforce this new regulation.

8. Funding from County, State and Federal agencies should be sought to seal salvageable structures and demolish those which are beyond repair. This funding might be provided to a locally organized building seal-up and demolition cooperative. Similar to the lawn care cooperative, the building sealing and demolition cooperative would involve local unemployed men and women in carrying out necessary physical improvement projects. Contact could be made with the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois Building Contractors' Association and the Building Trades Council of the AFL-CIO for training in basic demolition and de-construction techniques. Experience gained through these activities may enable the cooperative to expand its sealing and demolition services into nearby municipalities. In addition, it could provide a basis for expansion into related building construction activities.

9. A proposal for emergency street and infrastructure repairs for Emerson Park should be prepared. This funding request would cover the costs of replacing missing manhole covers, repairing sewer covers, filling large potholes, installing street signs and missing street lights. This funding would also pay for a preliminary engineering study to evaluate the condition of the local sewer system. This financing would most likely come from the Community Development Block Grant Program or the State of Illinois Environmental Protection.Agency.

10. The image and appearance of the neighborhood could be greatly enhanced by creating attractive "entrances" to the community, a more interesting main street and a focal point within the community through the creation of a playground and park facility at the Cannady School. "Welcome to Emerson Park - A Caring Community" signs could be installed at major intersections near natural entrances to the community. Seasonal flower plantings could be used to complement these entrance signs and to signal the existence of an organized and active local community to pedestrians and drivers. The physical appearance of Fifteenth Street, the main service road through the community, would be improved through better street lighting, resurfaced sidewalks, and the addition of attractive street furniture, such as benches and garbage receptacles. Finally, a grass roots effort could be launched to have community residents work with a landscape architect to design and build a community playground and park to serve the recreational needs of Cannady School students and the community at large.

11. Steps should be taken to interest the College of Commerce and Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in conducting a feasibility study of the potential for developing a worker cooperative that would develop and carry out a community recycling program for the City of East St. Louis. Such an enterprise could make an important contribution towards solving the City's solid waste problem while creating low skill jobs for area residents.

D. RESOURCES

The primary resource required for the successful completion of the neighborhood beautification component of the Emerson Park Neighborhood Improvement Strategy is the organized effort of local volunteers. This energy should be supplemented by local and County government assistance. The City of East St. Louis should provide heavy equipment to haul away debris cleared from local properties. In addition, the City of East St. Louis should enact a strict new anti-dumping ordinance and use its full legal powers to aggressively enforce these regulations. Local service, professional, and business organizations should assist local efforts with volunteers for area clean-ups, funding for needed equipment and technical assistance. St. Clair County should cooperate with local leaders in taking quick action to clear properties which it currently holds title to. In addition, it should explore funding locally organized worker cooperatives to carry out clearance and building demolition activities on County-controlled lands. Finally, it should assist the EPDC in securing necessary Community Development Block Grant funds for needed infrastructure activities. The State of Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Commerce and Community Affairs should identify programs which they administer that may be able to support some of these local beautification efforts. Federal representatives should cooperate with residents in helping to address the clean-up of hazardous waste sites located in the community and in the development of a capital improvement plan to rehabilitate deteriorated sewer lines serving the area. Local, regional and national foundations should be approached to fund the hiring of a full-time community organizer with community development and housing experience to help build the organizational capacity of the EPDC.

VII. HOUSING REHABILITATION AND DEVELOPMENT

A. DESCRIPTION

A significant decline in the number of housing units, continued residential and commercial abandonment and poor maintenance of public and private housing represent serious problems for the Emerson Park neighborhood. Poor housing conditions undermine the quality of life of area residents and can cause resident-owners to limit maintenance efforts out of fear of losing equity in their homes. In addition, these conditions can reduce investment in the neighborhood by local lenders, government agencies and foundations which might fear the loss of their capital. An aggressive program should be initiated to assist local owners in maintaining their properties while options are explored to generate additional housing units affordable to current residents of East St. Louis who are poorly sheltered.

B. OBJECTIVES

The housing rehabilitation and development component of this plan seeks to achieve the following objectives.

1. To assist local owners in preserving and enhancing local housing units.

2. To expand home ownership among area residents by creating additional affordable housing units.

3. To generate new housing units aimed at addressing the shelter needs of poorly housed City residents.

C. ACTIVITIES

1. Local owners should be assisted in maintaining their homes by programs aimed at reducing their maintenance and operating costs. Residents can be given information regarding low cost home insulation techniques. Utility companies have free information on proven methods to reduce heating costs through low cost insulation and weather stripping techniques. Power companies are required to provide low-cost energy audits and financing for needed energy saving improvements. Small grants for household weatherization projects are available through the Home Energy Assistance Project (HEAP). Research into the feasibility of developing a fuel cooperative through which local residents could secure lower priced fuel through group buying should also be explored. Inquiries should be made regarding Federally sponsored home maintenance assistance programs for low income and elderly homeowners.

2. Local lenders should be encouraged to finance the development of a home maintenance and repair program. This education program would train homeowners in basic home maintenance and repair tasks. An advanced building maintenance course might be offered, in conjunction with a local technical school, for tenants interested in being trained as building superintendents and property managers.

3. A home maintenance and repair resource center should be established in Emerson Park which could house a collection of print and video materials on basic building maintenance and repair tasks. Such a resource center might also house a "home repair tool library" similar to the one proposed for lawn care and gardening equipment. Funding could be secured to provide a part-time staff member to assist local residents on small scale home repair and rehabilitation efforts. A retired building tradesman or contractor might view such a position as an interesting community service opportunity. A local building trades union, building contractors' association, bank or insurance company might consider funding this position.

4. Assistance should be given to local residents interested in improving their properties in securing affordable home improvement financing. Information regarding existing bank programs should be distributed to area residents and local banks could be encouraged to establish a "neighborhood reinvestment fund" which would increase resources available for home improvements in poor neighborhoods. The pool would provide home improvement loans to borrowers in areas where individual banks feel neighborhood conditions make lending risky. The pool would allow area banks to meet the borrowing needs of low income areas without requiring individual lending institutions to shoulder all the risk. Home improvement loans made by such a consortium of local banks, at near market rate interest, might be combined with no or low interest home improvement financing offered through a Community Development Block Grant supported home improvement loan program. The EPDC should work with representatives of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to interest area corporations to take advantage of Federal tax credits available to firms involved in low income housing programs.

5. The Chicago Regional Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be contacted to explore the acquisition and rehabilitation of abandoned public housing by a community-based organization such as Lessie Bates. Title to vacant public housing units should be sought from HUD along with funding to pay the costs of rehabilitation. Efforts should also be made to secure management contracts for these newly renovated units for locally trained building superintendents. A combination of Federal and church funding might allow these units to be rehabilitated for sale to residents as low income cooperatives. Extremely low purchase prices would be tied to life-long deed restrictions mandating their use as low income housing units.

6. Existing structures which have been abandoned should be evaluated regarding their suitability for rehabilitation. Buildings which are appropriate for rehabilitation should be sealed to prevent further deterioration using funds from St. Clair County or the Community Development Block Grant Program. Structures which have been too severely damaged should be torn down by the City or County.

7. Research should be conducted to determine the nature of the local housing need and demand. This could be accomplished through the completion of a thorough housing market analysis of the area. The Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign maybe able to assign a graduate student to complete this research at little cost to the EPDC. Once this market research has been completed, a study of the existing neighborhood infrastructure should be carried out to determine the extent to which local sewage and water systems can accommodate additional development.

8. The EPDC should remain involved in Lessie Bates's affordable housing initiative. Efforts should be made to insure that new housing proposed for the area corresponds to the desires of local residents. Residents wish to see mixed income, locally managed, small scale projects which are designed using "defensible space" techniques that emphasize safety. As new projects are proposed for the area the EPDC would like to be consulted to insure that new housing is designed to meet local needs.

D. RESOURCES

The primary force behind the implementation of this component of the Emerson Park Neighborhood Improvement Strategy will be the organized efforts of Emerson Park residents. Working together, local leaders will gather information regarding available home maintenance programs and finance mechanisms. Local, County, State and Federal housing agencies will be contacted regarding funding for low income housing rehabilitation and construction initiatives. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis will be approached to convene a meeting of East St. Louis lending institutions to discuss current loan programs as well as the possibility of developing a "high risk loan pool" program. The Federal Reserve Bank may also be able to assist the EPDC in making contacts with local and regional corporations which might be interested in taking advantage of Federal low income tax credits. Contacts should be made with regional and national philanthropic organizations to discuss possible contributions to Emerson Park housing initiatives. Among those foundations which might be targeted for special attention are the Ford, Enterprise, and Lilly Foundations.

VIII. SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND PUBLIC SAFETY

A. DESCRIPTION

High rates of alcohol and other forms of drug abuse, increasing fear of violent crime and very slow police response times have served to make public safety a major concern among Emerson Park residents. These circumstances limit the degree to which many local residents socialize in the neighborhood. They also serve to restrict the use which non-Emerson Park residents make of neighborhood facilities and services. A comprehensive community-based alcohol and drug abuse and crime prevention initiative is needed.

B. OBJECTIVES

The substance abuse and crime prevention component of the Emerson Park Neighborhood Improvement Strategy seeks to achieve the following objectives.

1. To create an environment in which the abuse of alcohol and other drugs in no longer tolerated.

2. To increase access to programs for alcohol and other drug treatment for local residents.

3. To reduce personal and property crimes through increased neighborhood surveillance and organization.

C. ACTIVITIES

1. A neighborhood block watch program involving residents in visually surveilling their street should be established and community cooperation with law enforcement agencies should be increased. Through participation in the neighborhood block watch program local residents would be trained to observe street activities and report unusual or criminal behavior. Residents would be actively discouraged; however, from intervening in potentially dangerous situations.

2. A volunteer escort service involving area youth and adults to provide escorts for children and senior citizens attending programs and events during the daylight and evening hours should be organized. Local schools, religious organizations and youth programs would be asked to recruit volunteers for this effort. Individuals would be asked to serve for short periods of time as volunteer neighborhood dispatchers.

3. Neighborhood lots which are overgrown should be cleared and maintained to increase outdoor visibility. This would reduce the number of "sheltered" areas where criminal activity can take place without being observed. These clean-up activities could take place through the efforts of local volunteers, Summer Youth Employment Program enrollees and probationers engaged in community service under Sheriff Department and Federal Court supervision.

4. Area street lighting should be improved to further reduce the areas in which illegal activity can take place without being observed. Neighborhood infrastructure improvements called for in Chapter VI portion of this plan will focus considerable attention on improving local street lighting.

5. Contact should be initiated between the EPDC and the East St. Louis Alcohol and Drug Abuse Task Force to see that Emerson Park is selected as one of their earliest "target neighborhoods" for drug prevention, treatment and law enforcement programming. Emphasis should be placed on securing Task Force assistance in improving local police response times, establishing a neighborhood-based assessment and referral office, a community-based treatment program, a comprehensive drug education program for area youth and adults, a full range of parenting workshops and services as well as alternative programs for youth.

6. Immediate steps should be taken to develop a comprehensive alcohol and drug education program for area adults to assist them in identifying individuals in their families and community with chemical dependencies. A six or eight week series which addresses the definition of abuse, pharmacology of narcotics, cycle of dependency, alternative treatment programs, self-help groups and intervention strategies should be co-sponsored by area PTAs, religious organizations and social service agencies.

7. Local self-help groups for chemically dependent individuals should be established to assist them in moving into or continuing through recovery. Assistance should be secured from the St. Clair County Mental Health Agency, the State of Illinois Department of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, the Intergroup Agency of Alcoholics Anonymous as well as local health care institutions.

8. Members of the local media should be contacted to elicit their help in developing a local advertising campaign aimed at promoting chemical free lifestyles. The Partnership for a Drug Free America and local advertising agencies can assist in developing themes and materials for this effort to promote healthy lifestyles and inform chemically dependent individuals and their families of available treatment services.

9. Local religious, fraternal, business and social service agencies should be challenged to conduct their social and organizational meetings as alcohol free events. Special efforts should be made during holiday seasons to organize alcohol-free social events to promote sobriety.

10. Discussions should be held with local grocery, liquor, bar and supermarket owners asking them not to sell cigarettes and/or alcohol to minors. EPDC members might ask a representative of the East St. Louis Police Department to accompany them during such local store visits.

11. The East St. Louis Housing Authority should be contacted regarding illegal activities centered in the public housing projects within the neighborhood. Housing Authority representatives should be asked to establish a local security patrol at Emerson Park projects during evening hours and to seal abandoned public housing units where illegal activities regularly take place. A representative of the East St. Louis Housing Authority might be asked to regularly attend EPDC meetings to discuss steps taken to address specific housing authority-related crime problems.

D. RESOURCES

The central resource involved in addressing local substance abuse and crime will be the mobilized strength of the Emerson Park community. Necessary partners in this community-based, anti-crime initiative are local law enforcement agencies, including: the East St. Louis Police Department, East St. Louis Housing Authority Security Department, St. Clair County Sheriff's Department and the Illinois State Police. A critical program development and coordination role can be played by the recently established East St. Louis Alcohol and Drug Abuse Task Force which has the ability to focus State and Federal drug prevention, enforcement and education resources in the Emerson Park neighborhood. State agencies including the Departments of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Children and Family Services and Commerce and Community Affairs can provide necessary funding for family and community development activities which provide the best protection from the hopelessness that often precedes substance abuse.

IX. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND JOB GENERATION

A. DESCRIPTION

High unemployment, low household incomes and a shrinking commercial sector highlight the need for local economic development in Emerson Park. The absence of well-paying jobs accessible to local residents with limited education and training places enormous financial pressures on local families and institutions. The diminished size of East St. Louis's economic base and the intense social needs of its low income residents has resulted in the reduction of local services and very high property taxes. These conditions place severe barriers in the way of local economic expansion and successful business recruitment efforts. An aggressive local economic development campaign focused on internally generated enterprise based upon import substitution strategies should be pursued. Such an approach would encourage local residents and businesses to buy supplies and purchase services locally in order to encourage the expansion of the East St. Louis economy.

B. OBJECTIVES

The economic development component of the Emerson Park Neighborhood Improvement Strategy seeks to achieve the following objectives.

1. To assist local residents in securing well-paying jobs in area businesses through job posting, counseling and training programs.

2. To encourage the expansion of local retail and truck-servicing businesses by means of buy local and business promotion campaigns.

3. To provide needed services for area residents, firms and agencies by assisting local unemployed persons in forming worker cooperatives.

C. ACTIVITIES

1. Organize a local jobs fair in conjunction with Lessie Bates. This fair would bring local businesses seeking to fill jobs together with Emerson Park residents seeking work. Representatives of publicly supported job training programs would also be invited to attend this event.

2. Urge the Illinois State Employment Service to place a part-time job placement counselor at Lessie Bates to provide information to the unemployed regarding local job opportunities. This person could also assist individuals in completing job applications, developing resumes and preparing for employment interviews. The hours this counselor would be available at Lessie Bates should be widely advertised. This person might also develop a regular informational series on job search, resume writing and employment interviewing skills. Unemployed men and women attending such sessions may wish to organize their own support group to assist each other through the job search process.

3. Request local employers and public agencies to inform the EPDC regarding local job opportunities. A jobs bulletin board could then be developed which would advertise available openings. Information regarding employment opportunities could also be provided at EPDC meetings and could be enclosed in organizational mailings.

4. Organize unemployed men and women interested in working into worker cooperatives to provide needed services to local government. As previously discussed, the City of East St. Louis and St. Clair County could be asked to award, on an experimental basis, a lot clean-up and clearance contract to an Emerson Park worker cooperative. A local worker cooperative could clean and clear, for a fee, local properties which have been acquired by the County due to tax foreclosure procedures. Other possibilities include building seal-up and demolition, community recycling, home repair, home health care, day care and street repair cooperatives. Participation in these worker cooperatives would develop the job skills and management expertise of participants. Experience gained through these ventures might assist participants in securing other jobs outside the community and might enable the cooperatives to capture contracts from private sector firms.

5. Complete a local consumer survey to learn more about the purchasing patterns of local residents. This information, along with local retail sales data, might enable volunteer planners working with the EPDC to identify new business opportunities for local firms.

6. Encourage local residents, businesses and agencies to "buy local." Additional local demand might encourage the expansion of retail and wholesale firms serving the area.

7. Establish and enforce a minority purchasing program by the City of East St. Louis. Under such an ordinance any local project receiving financial assistance or a zoning bonus from the City of East St. Louis would have to award a fixed percentage of contracts for building construction and operation to minority firms. Projects such as the proposed expansion of the national park, development of a light rail system or addition to the St. Clair County airport could be used to generate additional minority jobs.

8. Steps should be taken to further develop 9th Street as a truck service-related corridor. Currently, several truck repair establishments are located on 9th Street. A plan should be developed to expand these establishments and create new enterprises providing truck repair services. The City of East St. Louis could have their own vehicles repaired on this strip. In addition, St. Clair County could be asked to have a percentage of their truck repairs done by firms in this area. Finally, the St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department, in conjunction with the State of Illinois Department of Transportation could work with these businesses and the City of East St. Louis to encourage interstate truck drivers to stop at the 9th Street truck strip for services. Promotional activities and limited re-routing could make this service strip more familiar to and popular with interstate truck travellers.

9. Organize a group of graduate students from the University of Illinois to conduct a survey of local manufacturers to identify firms that are interested in expanding. Steps should be taken to bring these businesses together with local bankers and State economic development officials to discuss financing expansion projects. Another group of students could examine the extent to which regional and State military contractors are meeting Department of Defense established minority contracting standards. Steps could be taken to bring these firms together with local entrepreneurs and State economic development officials to discuss ways of launching new minority firms which would help these defense contractors meet minority contracting standards while creating additional jobs for East St. Louis residents.

10. Draft a proposal for submission to the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs and select foundations to fund the hiring by the EPDC of a full-time community development specialist.

11. Encourage the City of East St. Louis to work with County, Regional, State and Federal government agencies to guarantee a fair number of jobs on any future public development project to Emerson Park neighborhood residents. These jobs should be awarded on the basis of need qualifications and not on the basis of political affiliation or patronage.

D. RESOURCES

Local residents working with staff from Lessie Bates and the East St. Louis General Assistance Office could assist in organizing local worker cooperatives. The EPDC in conjunction with MECCO is capable of generating sufficient pressure to get St. Clair County to award lot clean-up and clearance and building seal-up and demolition contracts to such worker cooperatives. The St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department and the State of Illinois Departments of Commerce and Community Affairs, Employment and Transportation could provide funding for the hiring of a full-time community development specialist for Emerson Park. This staff person working cooperatively with local business leaders, elected officials , and area planners could develop plans aimed at accomplishing the business development projects described above. These organizations could contact regional corporations, philanthropic foundations and Federal agencies in order to discuss financial and technical assistance support for individual economic development projects.

X. COMMUNITY ORGANIZING

A. DESCRIPTION

Residents of the area were, for the most part, unaware of the name and boundaries of the neighborhood in which they lived. Widespread ignorance among local leaders regarding Emerson Park and its problems offers additional evidence of the area's lack of political power. The lack of public and private investment in the community provided yet additional proof of the area's economic and political marginality. The frequency with which local leaders have ignored the long standing needs of area residents has created a great deal of frustration and anger among local residents. The absence of an effective community organization within the area has denied residents a vehicle by which to voice their concerns. A concentrated effort should be made to develop the EPDC into a broad-based community organization capable of influencing local and regional decision-makers on major issues of concern to the area.

B. OBJECTIVES

1. To expand the base of the EPDC through recruitment and outreach programs.

2. To strengthen the leadership skills of local leaders through involvement in basic organizational activities and issue campaigns.

3. To prepare the EPDC for participation in local housing and community development projects.

C. ACTIVITIES

1. Develop and execute a membership campaign to recruit the majority of local residents as members for the EPDC. The leaders of the organization may be able to use its work on public safety and neighborhood beautification issues as levers to elicit community interest in the EPDC. An effort should be made to get new members to actively participate in one of the organization's several committees.

2. Initiate an outreach campaign to interest local educators, social service agency directors, religious leaders and businesspersons in the work of the group. Such institutions have an important stake in the community with both financial and human resources to offer a local citizens organization. Efforts should be made to have representatives of these groups serve on all EPDC committees. These groups should also be asked to encourage their members who live in the area to become involved in the organization. Finally, they should be asked to request support for local community development efforts from their state, regional and national organizations.

3. Place the names of all active members on a computerized database. The membership list should contain individual names, addresses, day and evening phone numbers, and the issues they are most interested in. This database can be used to send organizational mailings and when recruiting local residents for major events dealing with local issues.

4. Establish a regular time and place for a monthly general membership meeting for the EPDC. This meeting should address major neighborhood concerns and upcoming events. A printed notice should be mailed to all neighborhood residents, whether or not they are members, so it is received seven to ten days before these meetings. Following these mailings each resident of the neighborhood should be called by EPDC volunteer block captains to make sure he/she received the mailing, understands the agenda and plans to attend the event. Those needing a ride to the meeting can be identified during these calls and appropriate steps can be taken to arrange transportation for them. Finally, reminder flyers should be distributed the day prior to the meeting to reinforce the telephone invitations.

5. Urge residents who regularly attend the general membership meetings to participate in the Steering Committee of the EPDC. The Steering Committee should meet two weeks before each membership meeting to plan the agenda and organize the recruitment and outreach effort. The Steering Committee is responsible for setting the policy for the neighborhood group and for organizing all events. A member of the Emerson Park Steering Committee should chair all general membership meetings.

6. Take steps to secure 501 c 3 designation from the Internal Revenue Service for the EPDC. This designation identifies the group as a non-profit, tax-exempt and tax deductible organization. Most individuals, corporations and foundations will not contribute to a community group unless it has this designation. The group should also register with the State's Attorney's Office as a charity.

7. Form a Fund Raising Committee to develop a budget for the organization. This committee should also be responsible for developing a plan to keep the organization alive. This plan should generate a maximum amount of revenues from grass root fund raising efforts which are not dependent on outside funding sources. Raffles, bingo games, and cake sales are examples of grass roots fund raising events.

8. Hire a full-time community organizer to assist the EPDC Steering Committee in further developing the organizational capacity of the group. This individual should help with recruitment, leadership training, campaign planning and fund raising.

9. Develop a communications structure for the organization using a telephone chain and newsletter. Interested members should be recruited to participate in a telephone chain which would alert residents about major events coming up in the neighborhood. This network might be supplemented by a monthly newsletter that would report on local events and the work of the EPDC.

10. Give consideration to establishing an office for the EPDC in the neighborhood. This facility would remind residents and passersby of the work of the group. It would also provide the staff with a location to work out of. In addition, it would give volunteers a place to carryout organizational work such as mailings, telephoning and meeting. It would also give members and leaders a place to hold organizational meetings and events. The weak nature of the local real estate market may make it possible to secure an office in the neighborhood at a very reasonable price. Local building trades unions, contractors, or young people in apprenticeship programs might be willing to assist with necessary repairs on the office facility.

11. Devise and implement aggressive organizing campaigns on the five issues discussed in this report. These campaigns should involve local residents in actively pressuring public and private officials responsible for resources in each of the areas discusses in this report (i.e. beautification, housing, economic development and public safety). These campaigns should involve as many local residents in organizing activities as possible. During each campaign steps should be taken to identify and train new members for leadership roles within the organization.

12. Give consideration to establishing a relationship with a national community organizing center to provide planning assistance, staff supervision and board training for the organization. The National Training Information Center (Chicago), Midwest Academy (Chicago), Center for Urban Encounter (Minneapolis), Industrial Areas Foundation (Long Island) and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois (Urbana) are all capable of providing quality technical assistance for newly established community organization.

D. RESOURCES

The most important pre-requisite to the development of an effective community organization is the commitment of local leaders to building such a group. These leaders can be assisted by the staff of the Community Services Department of Lessie Bates which is receiving state support to develop effective community-based organizations. The staff of MECCO, along with faculty from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, can assist in training local staff and leaders in basic community organizing techniques. Local ministers and clergy should be asked to help raise funds for the EPDC by recommending the group to their national church bodies for possible funding as an advocacy or community development group. Non-religious foundations such as the Joyce, McArthur and Ford Foundations should be solicited to support the organizing activities of the EPDC.

XI. THE FIRST YEAR ACTION PLAN

A. THE FOCUS OF THE FIRST YEAR

During the first year, implementation strategies of the Neighborhood Improvement Plan will focus on the areas of organization building, beautification, and public safety. It is important in the first year to emphasize activities that will lay the organizational groundwork for a sustained neighborhood improvement effort into the future. The achievement of "visible successes" in the first year is also important for creating momentum for the neighborhood improvement process. Over the years, many plans have been formulated for improving conditions in East St. Louis, but little has been done in the way of implementation. Activities in these areas will achieve tangible results in addressing problems that are uppermost in the minds of neighborhood residents and community leaders.

Organization building is an important priority for several reasons. Increasing the membership of the EPDC and developing its organizational structure are crucial if residents in the neighborhood are going to be effectively mobilized for neighborhood improvement efforts. A larger, more efficiently structured EPDC will have a greater capacity to implement specific proposals related to the other facets of the plan, such as beautification and public safety. A strengthened organization will have more credibility with public and private sources of funding for specific projects, and will be in a better position to exert political influence on local, State and Federal government officials who can facilitate neighborhood improvement efforts.

Beautification efforts are another one of the early focuses of the plan. Many of the residents and community leaders who were surveyed are very concerned about the prevalence of trash-filled vacant lots and abandoned burned-out buildings in the neighborhood. They believe that the negative impressions left by these physical features of the neighborhood pose a serious obstacle to efforts to enlist the support of entities outside of Emerson Park for neighborhood improvement projects. It was also noted that it is crucial to improve the appearance of the neighborhood if individual property owners are to feel secure about investing in the improvement of their own properties.

While this aspect of the neighborhood was considered a serious problem, it is encouraging to note that there are feasible, affordable strategies for making significant, visible improvements in this area within the first year of implementation of the plan. Beautification activities outlined below will achieve relatively quick, tangible results for the improvement effort. In that manner, they will greatly enhance the credibility of the improvement plan and the EPDC with both neighborhood residents and influential individuals outside of the neighborhood in the private and public sectors.

Public safety and the high incidence of drug and alcohol abuse is a major focus of implementation strategies in the first year. For many residents and community leaders surveyed, the threat to personal safety and to property posed by the high incidence of crime in the area, and the often related problem of drug and alcohol abuse, are the most pressing problems that need to be addressed by any plan to improve the neighborhood. A number of activities can be initiated in the first year in order to make the neighborhood a safer environment for its residents and businesses, and to reduce the incidence of alcohol and drug abuse. It is important to the sustainability and credibility of the improvement effort to make significant inroads in addressing these problems.

More detailed information about the specific activities outlined below can be found under the relevant heading in Chapters VI through X.

B.. SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES

1. Organization Building

First Quarter

* Initiate an aggressive membership drive to recruit the majority of local residents as members of the EPDC.

* Complete the legal process of securing 501 c 3 tax status with the IRS for the EPDC so that contributions to the organization are tax deductible.

* Develop a written proposal for a full time community organizer or planning specialist to assist the EPDC.

Second Quarter

* Recruit residents who regularly attend EPDC meetings for membership on the EPDC Steering Committee.

* Place the names of all active members of the EPDC in a computer database.

* Establish a regular time and place for a general monthly meeting of the EPDC.

* Develop a communications structure for the EPDC consisting of members recruited for telephoning residents about events and a newsletter.

Third Quarter

* Begin an outreach campaign to interest local educators, social service agency directors, religious leaders and business persons in the work of the EPDC.

* Sponsor and conduct a tour of the neighborhood for local, State, Regional and Federal government officials to familiarize them with the problems in the neighborhood and the role of the EPDC in addressing those problems.

Fourth Quarter

* Open regular business offices for the EPDC in the neighborhood.

* Hire a full time community organizer or planning specialist.

2. Beautification

First Quarter

* Develop a priority list for the seal-up and/or the demolition of abandoned buildings, and for lot cleanups, targeting publicly owned properties and those most visible and dangerous.

* Send out letters to lawn care and farming equipment manufacturers asking for donations of tools and equipment for a neighborhood "tool library."

Second Quarter

* Organize and conduct a larger scale volunteer clean-up effort to remove garbage and debris from publicly owned lots, streets, alleys and parks.

* Circulate a petition in the neighborhood for the enactment of a new no-dumping ordinance, and for the aggressive enforcement of the same.

* Contact the County Probation Office about the assignment of those performing "public service work" to clean-up projects in the neighborhood.

* Develop a plan in cooperation with the University of Illinois Department of Landscape Architecture to improve the playground across form Cannady School.

* Coordinate local community clean-up efforts with an expanded Summer Youth Employment Program.

Third Quarter

* Work with local educators to develop service clubs to become involved in neighborhood clean-up efforts.

* Begin efforts to organize a local lawn-care cooperative employing unemployed neighborhood residents and using donated equipment, to contract with public and private property owners for lot clean-ups and maintenance.

Fourth Quarter

* Organize and conduct a second major neighborhood clean-up effort, focusing on properties that were not addressed in the initial clean-up.

* Set up the "tool library" in a conveniently located building in the neighborhood.

3. Public Safety

First Quarter

* Contact members of the East St. Louis Alcohol and Drug Abuse Task Force and begin coordinating efforts to develop model prevention, treatment and enforcement programs for the neighborhood.

* Meet with key local law enforcement officials to initiate efforts to develop a neighborhood watch program.

Second Quarter

* Begin a comprehensive alcohol and drug education program for area adults to assist them in identifying family members with chemical dependencies.

* Organize a volunteer escort service among area youths and adults to provide escorts to children and senior citizens attending programs and events during evening hours.

* Coordinate lot clearing activities under the "Beautification" banner to achieve increased neighborhood visibility, reducing the number of "sheltered" areas where criminal activities can occur without being observed.

* Begin lobbying efforts, in cooperation with the East St. Louis Alcohol and Drug Abuse Task Force to increase local police presence in the neighborhood and to improve police response times.

Third Quarter

* Contact local members of the media about developing a local advertising campaign promoting chemical free lifestyles.

* Post signs in the neighborhood advertising the neighborhood watch campaign.

4. Fourth Quarter

* Begin discussions with the East St. Louis Housing Authority to explore establishing local security patrols in the public housing projects in the neighborhood and to secure a commitment to seal up abandoned public housing units to reduce the number of sanctuaries for criminal activities.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Argyris, Chris. Putnam, Robert, and Smith, Diana McLain. "Action Science: Promoting Learning for Action and Change," in Action Science. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc., 1985, pp. 36-79.

Baldwin, Carl R. "East St. Louis History," in East St. Louis Revitalization Project: Volume 2: Student Architecture Design Projects. Champaign: School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Brower, Sidney. "Planners in the Neighborhood: A Cautionary Tale," in Urban Development: Research and Policy. edited by Taylor, Ralph B. New York: Praeger Books, 1986, pp. 181-214.

Bureau of the Census, East St. Louis Census tract information from years 1950-1990, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.

Clay, Phillip L. and Hollister, Robert M., eds. Neighborhood Policy and Planning. Lexington: Lexington Books, 1983.

Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Neighborhoods and Voluntary Associations. Neighborhoods: A Self-Help Sampler. Washington, D.C.: Office of the U.S. Superintendent of Documents.

Downs, Anthony. Neighborhoods and Urban Development. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institute, 1981.

Forrester, John. "Understanding Planning Practice," in Planning in the Face of Power. Berkeley: University of California, 1989, pp. 137-162.

Hanson, Ranae. and McNamara AIA, AICP, John. Partners. Minneapolis: Coloramater Press, 1981.

Henig, Jeffery R. "The Conditions for Neighborhood Mobilization," and "Mobilization in Three Poor Communities," in Neighborhood Mobilization: Redevelopment and Response. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1983, pp. 58-72, 105-136.

Jacobs, Allen B. "Clues," in Looking at Cities. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985, pp. 30-83.

Jones, Bernie. Neighborhood Planning: A Guide for Citizens and Planners. Chicago: Planners Press, 1990.

Judd, Dennis R. and Mendelson, Robert E. "The Context for Planning in East St. Louis," and "Planning Doctrine: Legitimating the Profession," in The Politics of Urban Planning: The East St. Louis Experience. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1973, pp. 1-40, 176-210.

Keller, Suzanne. "The Neighborhood, " in Neighborhoods in Urban America. Edited by Ronald H. Bayor. Port Washington: Kennikat Press, 1982, pp. 8-27.

Kromholz, Norman and Forester, John. "Helping Cleveland's Neighborhood Organizations," in Making Equity Planning Work: community leadership in the Private Sector. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990, pp. 167-188.

Rowe, William M. and Gates, Lauren B. "The History of Neighborhood Planning," and "The Theoretical Underpinnings of Neighborhood Planning," in Planning with Neighborhoods. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1985, pp. 13-50, 51-69.

Schon, Donald A. "Preparing Professionals for the Demands of Practice, " and "Teaching Artistry Through Reflection-In-Practice," in Educating the Reflective Practitioner: Toward a New Design for Teaching and Learning in the Professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass publishers, 1987, pp. 3-21, 22-41.

Schiffman, Ronald. and Motley, Susan. Comprehensive and Integrative Planning for Community Development. New York: Community Development Research Center, 1990, pp. 1-20.

Silver, Christopher. "Neighborhood Planning in Historical Perspective". Journal of the American Planning Association. Spring 1985, 51, 2: 161-174.

Student Report, Department of Urban and Regional Planning. Preliminary Draft: East St. Louis Comprehensive Plan. Urbana: Department of Urban and Regional Planning, 1990.

Taylor, Steven J. and Bogdan, Robert. Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods: The Search for Meaning. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1984.

Whyte, William F. Learning from the Field: A Guide from Experience. Newbury Park: Sage Publications, 1984.

Williams, Michael R. Neighborhood Organizations: Seeds of a New Urban Life. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1985, pp. 29-50.

APPENDIX A

LAND USE SURVEY

APPENDIX B

STREET CONDITIONS SURVEY

APPENDIX C

EMERSON PARK INSTITUTIONAL-COMMUNITY LEADERS SURVEY

for the

Emerson park Development Corporation

by the

Neighborhood Planning Workshop of the

Department of Urban and Regional Planning

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This survey is a collaborative effort between the Emerson Park Development Corporation and the Neighborhood Planning Workshop of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This survey has four objectives: 1) to ascertain perceptions of Emerson Park whether they be in terms of the physical, social, economic and cultural environments, 2) to determine what resources are available to Emerson Park from existing institutions as well as city government, 3) to detect obstacles the Emerson Park community and the University of Illinois might face in devising and implementing a neighborhood improvement plan, and 4) to acquire ideas and directions as how to proceed with the formulation and composition of the plan. The area which this survey focuses upon is bordered by Baugh Avenue, 8th street, Nectar Avenue, and the railroad tracks beyond 19th Street. The results of the survey will be used to formulate a comprehensive neighborhood improvement plan featuring long and short-run goals. Your participation in this survey is greatly appreciated. The survey will take approximately between twenty-five to thirty-five minutes to complete. The interview will be audio taped. Any comments you make may become part of the Emerson Park Neighborhood Improvement Plan; however, the source of these remarks will be held strictly confidential. If you have additional questions or would like a copy of the recorded interview, please do not hesitate to call the Emerson Park Development Corporation (482-9829) or the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois (217-244-5384).

Date: _____________________

Interviewee: __________________________M__F__R__ Title: ________________________

Organization

name: ______________________________________________________________________

Organization address: _________________________________________________________

Time with current organization:________________

Phone number: _____________________________

Number of employees/members: ________________

Business card: Yes No If yes, please attach.

Interviewee residence: __________________________________________________________

Years at current residence: _____________________

Start time: _______________End time: _______________Interviewer: _____________________

Organizational/ Agency Background:

1. When and why was your organization founded?

2. What are your organization's present goals and objectives?

3. What specific goals, objectives, and programs is your organization responsible for carryout within the Emerson Park area?

4. How successful are your programs?

5. What has been your organization's experience in delivering or administering programs or services

in Emerson Park?

General Perceptions:

6. What do you consider to be the major strengths of the Emerson Park neighborhood? Could you give specific examples?

7. What do you consider the major problems facing the Emerson Park neighborhood which should be address by a neighborhood improvement plan? Could you provide specific examples?

Housing:

1. Evaluate the current conditions in Emerson Park?

1 2 3 4 5 6

Excellent Good Fair Deteriorated Dilapidated Do not know

Please explain your response.

2. What steps should be taken to improve the current housing conditions in Emerson Park?

3. How available is credit in local banks for home improvement loans and mortgages?

1 2 3 4 5 6

Easily available Fair Impossible Do not know

Please explain your response.

4. What area financial institutions are currently providing credit services to residents and businesses of Emerson Park?

5. What area the factors most frequently cited by the local financial institutions for not providing home improvement loans and mortgages?

Infrastructure, Municipal Services, and Education:

1. Evaluate the overall quality of the infrastructure within Emerson Park. 1=Excellent, 2=Good, 3=Fair, 4=Poor, 5=deteriorated, 6=No opinion.

Streets: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Street lights and signs: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Curbs and gutters: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Sidewalks: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Drainage: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Traffic lights: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Could you provide specific examples?

2. What steps should be taken to improve these services?

3. Evaluate the overall quality and availability of municipal services within Emerson Park. 1=Excellent, 2=Good, 3=Fair, 4=Poor, 5=Non-existent, 6= No opinion.

Police protection 1 2 3 4 5 6

Fire protection 1 2 3 4 5 6

Snow removal 1 2 3 4 5 6

Transportation 1 2 3 4 5 6

Could you provide specific examples?

4. What steps should be taken to improve these services?

5. Evaluate the quality of the local educational services (East St. Louis Board of Education) available in Emerson Park. 1=Excellent, 2=Good, 3=Fair, 4=Poor, 5=Inadequate, 6=Non-existent.

Elementary: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Junior high: 1 2 3 4 5 6

High school: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Community college: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Could you provide specific examples?

6. What steps should be taken to improve education services in Emerson Park?

7. Evaluate the overall quality and availability of social services in Emerson Park. 1=Excellent, 2=Good, 3=Fair, 4=Poor, 5=Non-existent, 6= No opinion.

Health services: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Preventative & emergency

Recreation and parks: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Day care centers: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Drug and alcohol programs: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Job training programs: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Could you provide specific examples?

8. What steps should be taken to improve social services in Emerson Park?

9. Evaluate the overall quality and availability of utility/consumer services within Emerson Park. 1=Excellent, 2=Good, 3=Fair, 4=Poor, 5=Non-existent, 6= No opinion.

Water service 1 2 3 4 5 6

Gas service: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Electric service: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Local convenience shopping: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Could you provide specific examples?

10. What steps should be taken to improve these services?

Employment:

1. How would you describe the unemployment problem in Emerson Park?

2. What do you consider to be the major causes of unemployment in Emerson Park to be?

3. What steps should be taken to improve the employment rate of the Emerson Park neighborhood?

Neighborhood Organizations and the Community Development Plan.

1. What groups have been most involved in efforts to improve Emerson Park?

2. What roles have these organizations played in working to improve the Emerson Park neighborhood?

3. What individuals, organizations, and agencies could be involved in furthering community improve-ment activities in Emerson Park?

4. What should be the primary objectives for community improvement initiatives in the Emerson Park area?

5. What obstacles must be overcome if the primary objectives of a community improvement plan are to be achieved?

6. Which of the following organizations would you most favor being designated to carryout a community improvement programs within the neighborhood? Why?

A. City of East St. Louis Community Development Office ____

B. Metro-East Area Project Board ____

C. Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood Center ____

D. Emerson Park Development Corporation ____

E. Other, please specify ____

7. Would your organization be willing to play a role in the development and implementation of such a plan?

8. What final comments or recommendations would you like to offer Emerson Park residents who are working on this community development plan?

9. Which other community leaders should we interview regarding the Emerson Park neighborhood improvement plan?

10. Would you like to be invited to the public presentation of this plan which is scheduled to occur in Emerson Park on Thursday, December 13th at 7:00 p.m.?

Yes ____ No____

If yes, where should we mail you the invitation?

Addresses and phone numbers of additional individuals who are interested in attending?

Name Addresses #'s

1. _______________________________________________________________________

2. _______________________________________________________________________

3. _______________________________________________________________________

Thank you for your time and input. Your comments will greatly improve the quality of the Emerson Park Development Plan.

APPENDIX D

RESIDENT SURVEY

for the

Emerson park Development Corporation

by the

Neighborhood Planning Workshop of the

Department of Urban and Regional Planning

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This survey is a joint effort between the Emerson Park Development Corporation and the Neighborhood Planning Workshop of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The area which this survey focuses upon is bordered by Baugh Avenue, 8th street, Nectar Avenue, and the railroad tracks beyond 19th Street. The results of the survey will be used to create a comprehensive neighborhood improvement plan. Any comments you make may become part of the Emerson Park Neighborhood Improvement Plan; however, the source of these remarks will be held strictly confidential. If you have additional questions or would like a copy of the completed interview, please do not hesitate to call the Emerson Park Development Corporation (482-9829) or the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois (217-244-5384).

Date of Interview: _____________________

Start time: _______________End time: _______________Interviewer: _____________________

A. General Perceptions:

1. How long have you and your family lived in Emerson Park?

2. What do you consider to be the strengths of the Emerson Park neighborhood? Could you provide some examples?

3. What do you consider the major problems facing the Emerson Park neighborhood. Could you provide examples?

B. Housing:

1. Rate the current housing conditions in Emerson Park?

1 2 3 4 5 6

Excellent Good Fair Deteriorated Dilapidated Do not know

Please explain your response.

2. Have you been able to get home improvement and mortgage loans?

3. What area financial institutions are giving out home improvement and mortgage loans?

4. What are the reasons often most by the local financial institutions for not providing home improvement loans and mortgages?

5. What steps do you think should be taken to improve the housing in Emerson Park?

C. Street Conditions, City Services, and Schools:

1. Rate the quality of the following:

1=Excellent, 2=Good, 3=Fair, 4=Poor, 5=deteriorated, 6=No opinion.

Streets: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Street lights and signs: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Curbs and gutters: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Sidewalks: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Drainage: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Traffic lights: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Could you give examples?

2. What steps do you think should be taken to improve these services?

3. Rate the quality of city services within Emerson Park. 1=Excellent, 2= Good, 3=Fair; 4=Poor, 5=nonexistent; 6= No opinion.

Police protection 1 2 3 4 5 6

Fire protection 1 2 3 4 5 6

Snow removal 1 2 3 4 5 6

Mass transit 1 2 3 4 5 6

Garbage removal 1 2 3 4 5 6

Could you provide specific examples?

4. What steps do you think should be taken to improve these services?

5. Rate the quality of the local schools (East St. Louis Board of Education) available in Emerson Park. 1=Excellent, 2=Good, 3=Fair, 4=Poor, 5=Inadequate, 6=No opinion.

Elementary: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Junior high: 1 2 3 4 5 6

High school: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Community college: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Could you provide specific examples?

6. What steps do you think should be taken to improve education services in Emerson Park?

7. Rate the quality of social services in Emerson Park. 1=Excellent; 2=Good; 3=Fair; 4=Poor; sparse availability; 5=Nonexistent, 6= No opinion.

Health services: 1 2 3 4 5 6

preventative & emergency

Recreation / parks: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Day care centers: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Drug and alcohol programs: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Job training programs: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Could you provide specific examples?

8. What steps do you think should be taken to improve social services in Emerson Park?

9. Rate the quality of utility and shopping services within Emerson Park. 1=Excellent, 2=Good, 3=Fair, 4=Poor, 5=Nonexistent, 6= No opinion.

Water service 1 2 3 4 5 6

Gas service: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Electric service: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Telephone service 1 2 3 4 5 6

Local convenience shopping: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Could you provide specific examples?

10. What steps do you think should be taken to improve these services?

Employment:

1. How would you describe unemployment in Emerson Park?

2. What do you are the major causes of unemployment in Emerson Park?

3. What steps do you think should be taken in developing jobs for Emerson Park residents?

E. Neighborhood Organizations and the Community Improvement:

1. What Emerson Park groups have been most active in trying to improve the neighborhood?

2. What should the goals of an Emerson Park improvement plan be?

3. What specific steps should be taken to achieve these goals?

4. What problems must be overcome in meeting these goals?

5. Which neighborhood groups / organizations should be recruited to participate in this effort?

6. Which organizations should be in charge to carryout a community improvement program within the neighborhood? Why?

A. City of East St. Louis Community Development Office ____

B. Metro-East Area Project Board ____

C. Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood Center ____

D. Emerson Park Development Corporation ____

E. Other, please specify ____

7. Would you or your family be willing to become involved in such a community improvement program?

8. What role would you like to participate in this effort?

9. Please describe what skills you or your family members have that might be helpful in such a community effort?

10. What final comments or recommendations would you like to offer Emerson Park residents who are working on this community development plan?

11. Next month there will be a public meeting got discuss the neighborhood improvement plan. Would you like to be included in this meeting?

Yes ______ No ______

Addresses and phone numbers of additional individuals who are interested in attending?

Name Addresses #'s

1. __________________________________________________________________

2. ___________________________________________________________________

3. ___________________________________________________________________

Data:

(Respondent) M___F___R___

Address: ________________________________ Years at residence: _______________

Years in neighborhood: __________________

Own or rent current residence: ________

Rent a month: A: 0-100$ B: 101-200$ C: 201-300$ D: 301-400$ E: 401-500$ F: over 500$

Mortgage a month: A: 0-100$ B: 101-200$ C: 201-300$ D: 301-400$

E:401-500$ F: over 500$

Weekly food bill: A: 0-100$ B: 101-200$ C: 201-300$ D: over 300$

Monthly utility bill: A: 0-100$ B: 101-200$ C: 201-300$ D: 301-400$

E: 401-500$ F: over 500$

Monthly transportation bill: A: 0-100$ B: 101-200$ C: 201-300$ D: 301-400$

E: 401-500$ F: over 500$

Years of education completed: _______

Employment: ___________________________ Full or part-time: __________

Location of employment(neighborhood, city, region) ________________________________

________________________________________________________________________

One or more parents working full time: Yes_________ No ___________

Thank you for your time and input. Your comments will greatly improve the quality of the Emerson Park improvement efforts.

(this question was added after the survey form was printed)

Monthly household income: A: $0-249 B: $250-499 C: $500-749 D: $750-999

E: $1000-1249 F: $1250-1499 G: $1500-1749 H: $1750-1999 I: over $2000



Document author(s) : Adebayo A. Adanri, Kenneth R. Braunfeld, Mary Katherine Henning, Joseph E. Hooker, Nicholas Kalogeresis, Richard F. Koenig, Robbert E. McKay, Kathryn A. Pearson, Wendell M. Stills, Karen L. Stonehouse

Document editor(s): Mary Katherine Henning, Joseph E. Hooker, Richard F. Koenig, Kenneth M. Reardon, Ph. D.

HTML by : Deb Samyn

Last modified: May, 1991


Planning

East St. Louis Action Research Project
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