Village Viewpoint  


 One thing about this job is that every day is different.  I can never really get into a rhythm because things pop up all the time. Here are some examples from one week at BAPA.  


Each day we receive several phone calls from neighbors asking us for recommendations for a plumber, electrician, a roofer or anything in-between. If you are not aware, we have a full list of trades referrals that we have vetted and have provided customer testimonials. BAPA has known and worked with these local businesses for over 20 years. They are also listed on our website, but we are happy to listen and connect you with our local experts if you call.  


BAPA has been doing this for years before there was Google and someone named Angi.  


This past week I met with a neighbor who was concerned about recycling, and how we can reduce waste. We spoke about her concerns, and she shared her ideas on how we as a community could do better and lead the city in helping our climate. We had a wonderful conversation and came up with some ideas that I will do my best to implement. I was thrilled and I’m pretty sure she felt better and was happy to have a place to go to share her passion.   


If you are passionate about something that can help our community, I encourage you to call me so we can “put your passion into action.”  


BAPA is passionate about housing preservation and after my last viewpoint about my brother’s birthday party for his house, I received several emails. One suggested the BAPA host a home renovation lecture series for neighbors with new OLD houses that need restoring.  Another email was asking if we could have a local shop with tools and restoration items. I plan to work on both ideas. Every day, BAPA is listening and working for you.  


This month, we will be working on two other goals of BAPA. The first is our New Neighbor Meet and Greet. We will be hosting anyone who is new to the neighborhood at our office for an informal get-together on Thursday, October 26.  This is an opportunity for BAPA to connect you to other new neighbors, and answer any questions about your new home or the neighborhood.  If you are new or know someone who is new to our community, please reach out to us. We’d love to meet you! 


October 22 will be the first Teen Corps meeting at the BAPA office for this school year. We have been building this initiative over the past few years, and this year we are hoping to give it the formal structure and resources it deserves. Any teens from grades seven through 12 are encouraged to come and be a part of this program. There will be opportunities for service hours, and you will learn about the importance of giving back to your community while gaining skills for your future.   


All of these examples reminded me of the eternal question: What does BAPA do? Why should I give money to BAPA?   


Everything I just mentioned is in addition to the community events like the Porch Concerts and Home Tour, and the small business events such as our Sip and Shop and Margarita Mile.   


Here are some words to think of when you think of BAPA — we listen, support, connect, advocate, promote, strengthen and work for our community.   


For everyone reading this paper, (which has a circulation of 15,000 households in the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood) only 3% are BAPA members. Thank you to our members! I hope you can realize that BAPA does the best we can with the dollars that we have, but we could do so much more if we had more financial support. If you are not a member, I hope you will consider supporting us.  


I want to give a huge thank you to my staff: Sheri Jendra, Davia Douglas, Eileen Kenah, and Tina Bell. These are the incredible people who help me make all of this happen.  I’m very lucky to have them.  


Thanks for listening!  


Happy October,  


Mary Jo    



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