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Austin Residents Look For Hope, Encourage Unity To Revive Community

As Chicago cools down from a violent summer spiked by gang conflicts and homicides, crime-ridden neighborhoods – like Austin on the far West Side – struggle to deal with problems causing residents to live in fear of bloodshed that’s seeping into the rest of the city.

In an AustinTalks exclusive, West Side leaders and advocates of the city’s most-populated community area discuss solutions to the ills plaguing the neighborhood, including encouraging residents to organize, providing opportunities for youth and creating an environment that cultivates hope.

“It’s easy to do what’s wrong; it’s hard to do what’s right,” said Ald. Emma Mitts (37th), one of the community’s four aldermen.

“Neighbors don’t talk to one another because they’re afraid,” she said. “But at some point you have to get unafraid… We’ve got to do something.”

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