New Evanston proclamation advocates greater sense of community

Tori Latham, City Editor

Evanston officials will aim to deter young people from violence and create a greater sense of community.

The “Evanston Own It” proclamation, signed by Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and city clerk Rodney Greene, encourages residents to be more invested in their surrounding community, the city announced Monday.

The proclamation came about after a meeting between Tisdahl and community faith leaders in July 2014. It stresses that residents should be able to live in a protected community where everyone takes responsibility for that happens, regardless of where they live.

“The goal of ‘Evanston Own It’ is to build a stronger sense of community,”  Patricia A. Efiom, a pastor at the local Ebenezer AME Church, said in a news release. “We wish to help mold the community to be engaged with one another in all aspects of community life.”

Evanston faith-based organizations will provide support to the proclamation and work with residents to achieve its goals, the city said. They will also help spread the idea that what happens to one person in the city affects everyone.

“We are especially committed to providing opportunities for our youth to have meaningful opportunities to come to know and be in partnership with the larger community,” Efiom said in the release. “We believe that through ‘Evanston Own It’ we will help to create a stronger, safer Evanston.”

To support the proclamation’s message, the faith community will host “Evanston Sings,” a choir concert with about 250 participants. The event will take place at 7 p.m. on June 19 at Evanston Township High School. All proceeds will go to the 2016 mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program.

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