|The EPIC Block Club was founded in 1975, its acronym drawn from its name – Every Person Is Concerned. It is one of the oldest neighborhood associations in Edgewater. Its geographic boundaries are the west side of Broadway, east side of Glenwood, north side of Elmdale, south side of Rosedale and both sides of Magnolia to Ardmore. The entire area is voluntarily covered by 11 block captains who distribute flyers announcing meetings and events and gather signatures when petitions are required.
EPIC has been served by 28 presidents, its first the late Kathleen Osterman and its current and most recent John Holden. The EPIC logotype which appears above was designed by Kathy Osterman’s husband, the late Harry Osterman, Sr.
EPIC is governed by an Executive Committee consisting of five officers – president, vice president, corresponding secretary, recording secretary and treasurer. The Executive Committee answers to a constituency of over 600 residents, including property owners and tenants. The block club meets quarterly but calls special sessions when issues so demand and hosts informal gatherings, including yard sales, block parties and potluck dinners. Its annual meeting is held in March when the Executive Committee is elected to one-year terms and membership dues of $10 per household are collected.
EPIC members have been elected to the boards of four community organizations – the Edgewater Community Council, Edgewater Development Corporation, Edgewater Historical Society and Senn Park Advisory Council. -- and the Swift and Senn Local School Councils. At ECC, EPIC members chaired or participated in several committees, including Education, Marketing/Communications, Membership, Planning/Development, Housing, Safety and ad hoc 50th Anniversary Committee and Subcomittees. An EPIC delegate sat on two 48th Ward Master Plan Committees (Public Safety and Housing) Senn High School Strategic Plan Committee and Senn Outreach Subcommittee. An EPIC member chaired Senn’s Centennial Committee, the 100th anniversary observed throughout 2013. EPIC members also regularly attend two monthly Chicago Police Department community policing beat CAPS meetings – 2013 and 2433. An EPIC member also serves as facilitator of Beat 2433 meetings.
In recent years, EPIC has undertaken several initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life in its jurisdictional area. They include:
- Arranging for zoning overlay to limit number of units, height of new construction
- With property owners approval, installing traffic calming devices, including circles and speed humps
- Posting of rear house numbers on garages, gates and fences
- Upgrading lighting on the 1200 and 1300 blocks of West Elmdale
- Distributing energy conservation bulbs in a “light up the neighborhood” initiative
- Recruiting Blue Cart Recycling Program captains for all blocks within EPIC’s jurisdictional area
- Searching for badly needed off-site parking spaces
- Identifying problem buildings for Department of Buildings inspections and Department of Administrative Hearings and/or Housing Court assignment
- With the CPD 24th District, piloting a building burglary assessment project
EPIC, through a poll of its membership, also responds to requests from the 48th Ward Alderman’s office. They have included the approval or disapproval of business and liquor license applications, lifting tavern and packaged goods liquor moratoriums on Broadway between Elmdale and Ardmore, sidewalk cafes, exterior signage, a Tax Increment Financing district, parking meter limitations and no-parking designations.
In the wake of increased crime in the area, EPIC organized and conducted weekly block watches and positive loitering throughout the neighborhood. An EPIC member continues to chair the Thorndale Task Force which has rid the once-troubled 1100 block of West Thorndale of gang bangers and drug dealers.
An EPIC member has voluntarily coordinated the annual Edgewater Yard Sale which traditionally is held the first Saturday of June. In its 22nd year, eight block clubs participated on June 4th in 2016 – EPIC, BARGE Community Organization, Edgewater Beach Neighbors Association (EBNA), Edgewater Glen Association (EGA), Edgewater North Neighbors (ENN). North Edgewater Beach Association (NEBA), Northeast Organization of Neighbors (NEON) and TAHBS Citizens Council plus Edgewater Beach Apartments, the co-op at 5555 N. Sheridan. The 2017 Edgewater Yard sale will be held Saturday, June 3, no rain date. Click here for more details.