As I See It . . . Spring 2000
By Mike Glasser, President, Rogers Park Builders Group


Mike Glasser Head ShotSince moving back to the community two months ago, my dog Shorty and I have begun Rogers Park takes pride in being different. Where else in the city can someone live in a relatively affordable three story walk-up and be only a few blocks from the lake? This didn’t just happen by chance; a group of neighborhood visionaries in the 1950s gathered together to protest plans to build high-rises. This group later became the Rogers Park Community Council and successfully fought off those proposals and helped retain a vital part of our neighborhood charm.
In this sense, the Rogers Park Builders Group is truly a“Rogers Park” type of organization because our origins differ from similar builders groups elsewhere. Most building owners associations are created to promote networking opportunities for building owners and/or the exchange of information about running or operating specific buildings and developments. But in the case of the RPBG, we engaged a public relations firm to bring a much needed message to Chicago (and the world) about Rogers Park. For several years, we conducted breakfast meetings attend-ed by hundreds of real estate professionals promoting Rogers Park. Finally, we published and distributed our-multi-page full-color brochures touting the positives of our community. At monthly board meetings, egos were characteristically checked at the door. There was too much to do and it made little sense to get caught up in personality conflict. Instead, we banded together and looked out for the greater good of our community. I am proud that we still continue to do that.
We devoted this year’s January meeting to getting a sense of the neighborhood’s big picture. I asked members and guests in attendance to consider what are our community’s biggest issues from a real estate development perspective. We listed two top issues: parking/transportation, and the need to promote commercial/retail development (see story on page 1). There are other important issues, but these are our primary priorities.
Of course, one of the most enjoyable aspects of belonging to our organization is the tremendous opportunity it affords us for networking. Many of us do substantial business with people we meet through our work with RPBG.(In fact, we are compiling a list of members, divided by occupation and trade, to promote networking opportunities among existing members). Our monthly board meetings are often terrific idea-generating sessions, where we meet people who have already experienced problems we may be facing, and who can offer solutions. Most important, we form valued friendships with each other and with members of community organizations with which we collaborate. Though our primary task is to consider broad development issues that face our community, the strong personal bonds and invaluable friendships sustain us from year to year. In fact, seven years later, many founding members of our organization remain active, solid members.
If you own or manage real estate in this community,or area tradesman, contractor or merchant active in the community, and if you share the goals articulated in our mission statement (on page 4), please consider joining our organization. And if you are interested in learning more about our community, we welcome you to check us out at a future board meeting. Contact our membership chair-man, Dan Dooley at (773)764-5247, or mail in the form on page 4 to Mary Jane Sacks.