East St. Louis Action Research Project

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East St. Louis Community Action Network

...collectively address important community issues...

In 1995, leaders from eight neighborhood organizations, in cooperation with ESLARP, established the East St. Louis Community Action Network (ESL CAN). This city-wide coalition was created to help neighborhood leaders collectively address important community issues through direct action campaigns. The first issue on which ESL CAN chose to focus was municipal sanitation code enforcement. Armed with data from ESLARP's surveys of more than 10,000 building lots, ESL CAN had a very active year in 1996-7.

ESL CAN was able to hire a full-time community development planner to lead the coalition’s campaign to reduce illegal dumping and the number of derelict structures in East St. Louis. During the past year, the coalition held several press conferences and a public hearing to raise awareness of the issue. With the assistance of the city, ESLARP and the residents of Olivette Park neighborhood, ESL CAN worked to demolish several abandoned buildings and clear more than twelve trash-filled lots on Veronica Place as part of a demonstration project.

In addition to its organizing efforts, ESL CAN is sponsoring a summer youth employment program to clean- up several sanitation code violations where the property owners are elderly or indigent. This program also exposes East St. Louis youth to academic, career, and public service opportunities in the planning and design professions.

[ Annual Report 96-97 | Previous | Next]

East St. Louis Action Research Project