It’s so hard to tell if Bucktown is on the rise or not.
Since the beginnings of Bucktown’s history, it was always seen as a hip place to be in Chicago. With Wicker Park, many of the boutiques, hip restaurants, and overwhelming urban feel, Bucktown has always been a popular place of notability.
The past few years has caused the image of Bucktown to take on an image of danger and a hangout for people with little regard for humanity. While some areas are doing their best to provide a pleasant environment for the residents, all that Bucktown has been in the news for as of late has been shootings, robberies, law enforcement and political corruption, restaurants closing, and everyone who lives in the district has become a little anxious and on edge.
The schools are underfunded, the teachers are paid so low that there aren’t any good teachers to mentor the youth for such little money. Fred Ramirez, a former Bucktown teacher quit his job as an elementary school teacher for just that. His pay was well below what he felt he was worth, and found he can earn about 20% being an exterminator in Berkeley, California. Even with the tax rates, he says the money is well worth it after tax season. With Bucktown losing residents seeking higher wages elsewhere, people are looking elsewhere for a place that could provide them more value.
The youth of Bucktown have been very involved in strings of crime all over. Recently, six teenage boys joined together to rob a man at gunpoint at 8 o’clock on a Sunday. This all to common of an occurrence especially living so close to hot proximity of crime in Chicago.
Schools like Roberto Clemente Community Academy is one of those schools that is working to transform the lives that many youth would lead if they weren’t so stable. “It has been a team effort” so so says the principal Marcey Sorensen.
Previously, the school was on an academic probation with low ratings. Until June of 2011, when Marcey stepped in, there began an improvement. The rate of graduation for the students is now above the average of other schools. It sits at 80%, where the average is 76% and they sat at 56 previously. The Academy is a selective school that is not as selective as others. Which means, there is low pressure for the children to get in. Especially considering that selective schools have been proven by University of Chicago that they aren’t always better for the children.
While the youth is the beginning process of things that should be taken care of, there is a big problem with the adults of the area. Certain politicians aren’t putting their people first and instead are putting themselves first when handling problems.
As of recent news, the citizens of Bucktown and law enforcement departments have been in conflict. The department has done a poor job of providing the public with data needed to provide adequate abilities for the public to properly oversee the departments. They have also been gravely underemployed to be able to handle all the problems that go on day in and night out across the town. Wicker Park has been a primary area of focus and it is cleared out each night by the department in an effort to slow down DUI’s, drug trafficking, graffiti artists and other common problems. But by being spread out to take care of mundane tasks such as these, there hasn’t been enough police to improve the safety of the rest of the citizens that are commonly affected by crime in the city.
Bucktown has a lot to improve on if it wants to become an attractive place to be once again.