MPC's deepening commitment to Gary, Northwest Indiana highlighted in today's news
Two articles in today’s edition of The Times of Northwest Indiana highlight MPC’s deepening commitment – in partnership with The Times and community, business, institutional and state leaders in northwest Indiana – to strengthen this vital part of the region.
In his State of the City Address yesterday, Gary Mayor Rudy Clay acknowledged the daunting challenges facing his city, but also cited several bright spots, including MPC’s ongoing efforts – as a key partner in The Times’ One Region: One Vision initiative – to design a clearer economic road map for Gary. Stabilizing Gary is essential to economic recovery in northwest Indiana and greater metropolitan Chicago. The city has weathered decades of disinvestment and population decline, but has retained several assets that could be key to Gary’s redevelopment, including a strong transportation network and access to Lake Michigan. The federal government also has made significant investments in Gary through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which is helping communities nationwide recover from foreclosures. The MPC and Times' initiative will bring local, regional, state and federal officials and experts to the same table to identify Gary’s best opportunities for near-term and long-term stability.
As part of this ongoing initiative, MPC has been coordinating with the Regional Development Authority in northwest Indiana, which is focused on supporting local community reinvestment plans, the Gary/Chicago International Airport, and more robust transit service throughout Northwest Indiana and to downtown Chicago. In the midst of these efforts, the recent closure of Cline Avenue – a key thoroughfare connecting communities and lakefront casinos and industry in northwest Indiana – has presented an unprecedented opportunity to improve connections between Illinois and Indiana, reinforce local and regional development goals, and generate economic benefits. As MPC’s Kristi DeLaurentiis pointed out in today’s guest op-ed in The Times, “Northwest Indiana is an integral part of the greater metropolitan region, but unfortunately, most Chicagoans and suburbanites only experience Hammond, Whiting, East Chicago, Gary and other local communities through the windows of their cars, as they speed along the Skyway or Borman headed to Michiana and beyond. Not only does this fail the return-on-investment test, but it wastes real opportunities to strengthen communities on both sides of the border.”
Stay tuned for more updates on MPC’s developing partnership with northwest Indiana, a vital part of the greater metropolitan region.