Mark Whaley lived in several places before he settled in Milwaukee. With family in several states, it makes sense that Whaley is familiar with Detroit, Michigan, East St. Louis, Illinois, and Gary, Indiana. When asked which city he considers home, his first reaction was Chicago, where he was born, raised and spent most of his life. But next in line is Milwaukee, the city where he has lived for the last three years. Although he still travels to Chicago to visit his siblings and old friends, it's important for him to live on Lisbon Avenue because he is close to his girlfriend and the friends he met while working at the Milwaukee Public School system.
Mark Whaley doesn't have lots of friends in the community and he seems to focus on the relationship he has made inside his own house. Still, he has opinions like any other member of the community. In the last three years he's been living on Lisbon Avenue, Whaley has come up with many ideas to improve the neighborhood. Whaley feels that the presence of the police in the streets can make everyone feel safer. Greater safety would attract more businesses to this neighborhood and bring more jobs too.
Although he believes the neighborhood has improved, there are still some things he would like to change. He believes that people don't interact the way they did in his generation. He doesn't think neighbors are close anymore. During his childhood in Chicago, people in his community had a good and respectful relationship. According to him, every community member, from children to adults, should get involved in activities and programs to improve the community.
Mark Whaley, Interviewed by Maisa Bastos, Yiming Tang, June 2016
Name: Mark Whaley
Born: Chicago, IL, 1965 (age 51)
Lives in: Milwaukee, WI (2013 - present)
Occupation: Works at International Free and Accepted Modern Masons
Children: 6 Children
Education: Dumbar Vocational High School, Chicago, IL
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL