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"Obama Library In Bronzeville" Campaign

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Bronzeville advocate says bid for presidential library is not a tug of war

By: Stacia D. Smith, Medill News, Mar 6, 2014. The only remaining piece of the Michael Reese...

U. of C. says it's deferring to Obamas on library

President should pick Chicago location, university official says March 07, 2014|By Dahleen Glanton...

Mayor Emanuels Moves To Control Selection Process

POSTED ON JANUARY 22, 2014 Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Chicago needs to put forth a unified bid...

Presidential Library Sought for Bronzeville

Presidential Library sought for Bronzeville Residents living in one South Side community said they...

Black Metropolis Presents Bronzeville's Case

Bronzeville pitches Michael Reese site for Presidential Library The Black Metropolis Convention...

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Bronzeville Visitor Information Center Activities

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Celebrate the Arts in Bronzeville

Celebrate the Arts in Bronzeville! in a weekend of events at the Bronzeville Visitor Information...

Illinois Governor's 2014 Conference on Travel & Tourism

Illinois Governor's 2014 Conference on Travel & Tourism

The Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism The Illinois Governor’s Conference on...

Discussing The Book "High Rise Stories"


Reliving Bronzeville's "Jazz Age"

Jazz @ BVIC Approximately 80 avid jazz lovers converged on the Bronzeville Visitor Information Center...

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African-American Heritage Tourism Initiatives

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Bike Share in Bronzeville

Bike Share in Bronzeville

  Bike share, not white share: can Chicago’s program achieve diversity? - The Community expresses its interest.   Eboni Hawkins (standing right in photo) from provides...

43rd St. El

News from the Alderman regarding  Heritage Entertainment Zone 3 I am happy to announce that the 43rd Street El Station will be the  first station on the Green Line to receive a facelift as part of...

A Green Rosenwald

This is an innovative, creative vision of the Rosenwald Building becoming a self-contained green building project anchoring the western end of the 47th Street commercial business district in Bronzeville....

U. S. Travel Promotion Initiative

Published on Department of Commerce ( The travel...

City Treasurer visits BVIC

Written by Romell Downer Sunday, 07 December 2014 18:02

Kurt Summers visits BVIC

Yesterday, in the warm, embracing atmosphere of the Bronzeville Visitor Information Center, Bronzeville "Native Son" Kirt A. Summers presented his campaign platform for Chicago City Treasurer.
An attentive, inquisitive and articulate audience of approximately 40 Bronzeville and city -wide resident stakeholders, engaged in a spirited dialogue with Summers.  In return engaged participants received in depth, thoughtful and knowledgeable responses to questions like: how this city treasures intends to hold Wall Street accountable for the $50 billion Chicago investment on Wall Street, on specifics about how it will provide a return on investment on Main Street?
City Treasure Kirt Summers also spoke privately with Ms. Shaquitta Smith, the youthful Executive Director of the Bronzeville Adult & Youth Community Engagement Project (BAYCE), about possibilities on launching regularly scheduled financial literacy and empowerment workshop classes for economically disadvantage youth at the Bronzeville Visitor Information Center.



City Treasurer Kurt Summers

Written by Romell Downer Saturday, 06 December 2014 14:29
Advocate for financial empowerment
By J. Coyden Palmer
Story Posted:12/06/2014

City Treasurer Kurt A. Summers, Jr. has hit the ground running during his first week in office. 

A graduate of Whitney Young High School, Summers received his MBA from Harvard and took time to visit the Crusader on Dec. 2. Summers replaces Stephanie Neely, who resigned and accepted a vice president position with Allstate. 

Most recently, Summers served as senior vice-president at GCM Grosvenor, and before taking his first position in public service with Cook County, he was managing director at Ryan Specialty Group, a specialty insurance services firm. 

During his visit, he explained his job as City Treasurer involves three phases: investor, banker and advocate and revealed a 90-day plan he has put into place of which he will be evaluating its effectiveness on a regular basis. 

In Summers’ role as a banker, about $7 billion annually is invested on behalf of workers and retirees in pension funds, and the office deposits the capital with banks around the city and lends monies. As an advocate, Summers explained, the office advocates for financial empowerment. 

“We will focus on financial empowerment for youth, but it is also about empowering working families, adults, businesses, and retirees as well,” Summers said. “I’m advocating for investing in Chicago. That’s the slogan of my campaign: ‘Investing in Our Chicago.’”

Summers said 15 percent of the $7 billion can be invested into municipal bonds, but none of that says it has to go into Chicago. He believes that concept is part of a disconnect and the message that is being sent to other investment entities. An example of the impact of not having that investment means the city cannot finance a new park or expand infrastructure.

“As an investor, we have to look at investing in our own city,” Summers said. 

He believes informing the community about what his office does is important because most people do not really know how important of a job it is. The Treasurer is responsible for all of the money in the city’s coffers, and citizens have a right to know how their money is being spent and invested. 

While Summers acknowledged that his office cannot tell banks what to do with their money, he believes he has to be an advocate for small businesses in the city; businesses that in many cases cannot even get a loan. 

Next week, he is meeting with all of the banks who have municipal depository business, which is taxpayer money. Summers said these banks may not be lending to communities in Chicago, and he cannot confirm that because regular reporting on lending has not been received by the city since 2010. Summers said he will ask for those reports during his meeting with the banks. 

“I’m going to ask to see where they are lending and where they are giving,” he said. 

Currently touring 77 communities in 77 days, Summers stated that during one of his recent visits to the Austin community, a resident asked him to find out what properties the banks own or have foreclosed on in the community. He said the information he receives back from the banks will be used in part to determine where he deposits city monies. 

“Some of it is going to be based on their ability to collateralize; their ability to do it at the lowest fee possible or generate some income for us. But, part of it is going to be where they are investing…we’re going to perform a quarterly reporting process where we release information to the community in terms of how we are doing and how they are doing,” Summers said. “We can tell them the criteria in which they will be judged upon, and if they want to continue to do business with the city, what we will be expecting from them.” 

Summers said one of the goals of his office will also be to touch every child in Chicago in a way that gives them impactful financial information. He has already started discussions with all of the major thought leaders in the city and CPS administrators to come up with a plan for financial curriculum. He believes if they want to impact the city’s kids, it will require a team effort from a lot of entities. He said CPS has been working on a three-year plan, but have not convened with other sources like, Junior Achievement of Chicago, Facing History and Ourselves to help implement their plan. Summers believes he can be a conduit for all of the entities to come together. 

“Our next meeting of all the groups is this week, and we are going to meet every other week until we have a plan in place with real financial information for Chicago’s children that they can use,” Summers said. “Rather than having entities invest in a specific school…if we work on the curriculum for financial education with the same amount of money and resources, you can impact hundreds of thousands of children versus the hundreds of children in a particular school.” 

Summers said what he expects is that many of the students will then be able to take the information home to their parents and teach them as well. He believes that getting people to believe in the CPS system will be a key to the success.

Trail Tour

Written by Romell Downer Tuesday, 14 October 2014 17:12

The Black Metropolis Pullman Porter Great Migration Blues Trail

Tour dates: October 17-19, 2014 & October 24-25, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

Book your tickets online at Eventbrite :



BVIC Summer Recap Cont...

Written by Romell Downer Sunday, 14 September 2014 13:07

Labor Day Event

Bronzeville International Innovation Metropolis Summit

Latanya Gray, Senator Donne E. Trotter


Paula Robinson speaking at the Summit

Summer Events

Written by Romell Downer Sunday, 14 September 2014 11:42

BVIC Summer Events Recap

Summer was in full swing the Bronzeville Visitior Information Center (BVIC) was in full effect. Check out our top three events along with the photos and be sure to visit our website for more information on our upcoming fall events.

Father's Day Event

Rev. Gillespie was born and raised in Chicago where he attended Chicago Public Schools.  He is also the Pastor of Chosen Tabernacle Full Gospel Baptist Church, which keeps him involved, proactively in numerous community events and activities. Rev. Walter Gillespie Jr is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center of Higher Development (COHD).

Rev. Gillespie, LaTanya Gray, Calvin Jackson


July 4 Event (Gospel Fest)

BVIC volunteers with Bruce Rauner the republican nominee for Governor




Job Fair

Written by Romell Downer Thursday, 21 August 2014 14:32


Photo caption from left to right in photo Harold L. Lucas, Uber Representative Eric Wong, Jeanine Robinson, Chief of Staff State Representative Christian Mitchell, Bruce Montgomery.












Beyond the Loop

Written by Romell Downer Friday, 25 July 2014 14:11

Beyond the Loop: Bronzeville

Courtesy of Choose Chicago

This episode of Beyond the Loop explores the historic Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago’s south side. We get things started appropriately at the annual Gospel Music Festival, after all, the community is considered by many as the birthplace of Gospel Music. Holly and Edgar head over to Gallery Guichard to learn about the history of Bronzeville through this African diaspora art gallery. Holly goes to taste some of Chicago’s finest chicken and waffles while Edgar heads over to Pearl's Place to try the soul food with local musician JC Brooks from the band JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound.

Click the link to view the video: Beyond the Loop Adventure

Obama Presidential Library

Written by Romell Downer Tuesday, 24 June 2014 14:45

HOK Proposes Obama Presidential Library for Bronzeville site in Chicago


To read more about the design and the proposed plan click the link below.




Obama Library Bid

Written by Romell Downer Monday, 23 June 2014 13:59

Obama Presidential Library Bid


Check out Paula Robinson as she talks about the Obama Presidential Library bid.

CBS NEWS: Chicago

FOX NEWS: Chicago

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