CHICAGO (CBS) — Curious handmade signs appeared around Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, prompting a question that’s sparking community-wide conversation.
Lined along streets where the homeless and homes under construction are practically side by side are signs that ask the same question: Love Logan?
Each sign, however, lists different answers. Many include answers that have to do with economics, stating demands like “know your renter’s rights” or “form a tenant union.”
One sign, however, is starkly different. “Love Logan?” it questions, followed by the statement “Don’t call the cops.”
Juliet De Jesus Alejandre with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association says she interprets the signs as messages of encouragement for residents to gain a sense of community.
“Think twice about what you’re doing. First thing shouldn’t be to call the police. Get to know your neighbors,” De Jesus stated.
She says she doesn’t know who posted the signs, but suspects gentrification, which isn’t always welcome in the neighborhood, is the reason behind the mysterious messages.
“People have said they would call police on flower vendors,” she said.
Ashley Vargas, who has lived in the community for 19 years, says her neighbors do not have the same demeanor as they used to. The life-long resident says she’s heard horror stories about calls to 9-1-1.
“Now young people get the cops called on them, they can’t be in the same area,” she said.
“Talk, talk talk,” advises Vargas, “everyone should be open to saying ‘hi’ and asking questions.”
De Jesus Alejandre agrees. “Just respect them. Get to know each other. You’re in a community with people unlike you. Let’s have a conversation.”
Logan Square hosts community events like “Six o’clock on the Block,” which was created to help spark conversations in Logan Square and allow newer residents and old-timers to get to know each other to peacefully co-exist.