Jim Capraro is an American Community Organizer and activist. In the early 1970s he worked as a community organizer, pursuing the passage of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).
Jim Capraro assumed his position as the founding Executive Director of the Greater Southwest Development Corp. (GSDC) in January 1976, and continues as its Chief Executive Officer today. GSDC has been designated by the National Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation as a national "model" for commercial revitalization and was also selected by the Chicago Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) as the recipient of the “Outstanding Community Development Organization” award.
GSDC has achieved over $500 million in community development projects and created or retained over 6,000 jobs in its Southwest Chicago neighborhood, over the past 30 years. GSDC’s development projects range from small business to the creation of elderly housing, siting major retailers, and the $300 million expansion of the world's largest bakery, Nabisco.
- Chicago LISC "Friend of the Neighborhoods" award, for lifetime achievement
- One of the 25 national community leaders to receive the special National LISC 25th anniversary "Mike Sviridoff Leadership Award."
- Federal National Mortgage Association Foundation "James A. Johnson Fellow."
- Chicago Magazine "Chicagoan of the Year." Also selected alongside of Jim were Oprah Winfrey, former Chicago Bears Linebacker Chris Zorich, and rock star Liz Phair.
- "Chicagoan of the Year" Chicago Magazine, January 1995
- Race, Chapter "The Park" by Studs Terkel
- "Dealin' in the hood" by John McCarron the Chicago Tribune, June 26, 2001
- New Urban Leaders, by Joyce Ladner, The Brookings Institute, 2002
- "Community Organizing + Community Development = Community Transformation" by James F.Capraro, The Journal of Urban Affairs, Volume 26, Number 2, 2004
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