During the Wednesday, November 20 broadcast, Channel ABC 7 News aired a segment highlighting the 30-year life expectancy gap in the City of Chicago. They showcased the difference between living in downtown compared to some neighborhoods in the South and West Sides. ABC’s I-Team investigated West Side United’s work as one of the economic engines focused on addressing the structural issue on the West Side of the city.
Dr. David Ansell, executive leadership board member of West Side United, commented, “Segregation is at the root cause, I call it structural racism. We’ve divided up opportunity in the city by neighborhoods. So, if you live in a white neighborhood in Chicago, you’re nine times more likely to have capital investment as black wards in the city.”
The segment also highlighted West Side United’s mission of decreasing the 16-year life expectancy gap between the loop and West Side by 50% by the year 2030. The organizations’ forthcoming initiative of piloting school-based community hubs and their current local hiring initiative were also mentioned.
Executive Director at WSU, Ayesha Jaco, said the goal is to “work with them [West Side residents] to make their communities more livable, more safe, while providing economic means and academic support that allow every west side resident to be healthy and thrive.”