CHICAGO (CBS) — There seems to be growing anger about who’s moving in to Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.
Some residents seem to fear they will be forced out and the signs of that fear are ugly, reports CBS 2’s Mike Parker.
Little by little, the mostly Latino Chicago neighborhood known as Pilsen is changing.
Recently amid the brightly colorful signs of its Hispanic businesses, something a little different: a small, gourmet coffee shop known as Bow Truss appeared in 2014.
Rudy Cordero, the operations director of the chain of Bow Truss shops, now spreading even to California, says the place has been hit by graffiti four times, three in the past week.
“I’m disgusted,” said Alderman Danny Solis. “I think it’s totally unacceptable. Intolerance at this day and age, vandalism, we’re not going to put up with it
There are obviously strong fears about gentrification here, fears that if the wealthy move in, rents and prices will go up and drive out the others.
“I understand that there are concerns any time a neighborhood is being developed or changes,” Cordero said. “We have helped contribute to the neighborhood.”
There was this recent statement from a group called the Pilsen Alliance: “While the racial character of the message must be rejected, the sense of frustration must be noted. Low income families are being displaced from Pilsen and replaced by wealthier, white, single people.”
Alderman Solis says, “Pilsen has always been a community that’s accepted different groups, different ethnic groups, different racial groups.”
He’s right. It began as an enclave for German and Irish immigrants, then became mostly Czech, Lithuanian and Polish. Latinos are the most recent newcomers.