Meeting Mintues & Folded Map Project ~ March 9, 2022

Minutes below. First, Action Ridge is grateful to be included in the Folded Map Project during which we will visit our “twin community,” Blue Island.  If you were unable to take part in our March 9th meeting, where we introduced the project and formulated groups to visit Blue Island, please take a look at the attached minutes and let us know if you’d like to join us.  For more information, visit:

We also encourage folks to donate to The Folded Map Project.  It’s important to support their good work, which eases the negative effects of segregation.  You may donate by clicking on the blue letters below:

action kit – Folded Map ProjectGuided by the Folded Map™ project, the Folded Map Action Kit is a packet of items to help you further your understanding of the disparities between Chicago neighborhoods, the structural reasons behind them, and ultimately to make new connections to an area you’ve never been or where you have only a narrow
Donate by clicking the blue “action kit” text above

Our next meeting will be on April 13th.  Tonika Lewis Johnson will be present to lead the discussion.  PLEASE JOIN US FOR THIS IMPORTANT, INTERESTING MEETING! 

Meeting Minutes 3.9.22

Meeting began at 7:00pm. Participants were in person at the Park Ridge Community Church and virtual via Zoom.

Nan welcomed everyone and read this Land Acknowledgement.

“Welcome Everyone!

This evening, as we learn about the Folded Map Project, we affirm that our present neighborhoods were once home to many Native Tribes, including the Illinois, Miami, Winnebago, Sauk, Kickapoo and Pottawatomie.

We acknowledge that we have played a role in shaping the histories of local Native Americans by acquiring this land and commit ourselves to developing deeper partnerships that advocate for the progress, dignity, and humanity of Native Americans.

Making this Land Acknowledgement is one small way of supporting Indigenous Peoples and their history in the United States. We honor, with gratitude, the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations.

The land that surrounds us is part of who we are; it reflects our historiesWe need to protect and honor the history and people of these places!”

She then introduced the Folded Map Project. The group watched a short film that described the project.

Feature Presentation: The Folded Map Project

The Folded Map project was conceived by Tonika Johnson, who grew up in Englewood on Chicago’s South Side. Her experiences as a young black woman attending Lane Tech High School made her think about why the South Side neighborhoods looked so different from where she went to school on the North Side, even though they shared the same north/south street names. As an adult, she conceived a project around segregation that would bring people in opposite sides of the city in conversation with one another.

If you were unable to donate to support the Project at the in-person meeting, please open this link to do so.  It’s important that we support the good work that Tonika and her team are doing to change the negative effects of segregation. Please click here.

After the movie, Action Ridge members in attendance discussed their impressions of the film and shared their own experiences with living in segregated neighborhoods.

Nan, Chris and Kristin presented their work on finding a “twin community” through The Folded Map Project toolkit which guides individuals who want to take part in the project on their own. A strict map folding pairs Park Ridge with another mostly-white suburb. Instead, Nan suggested Marquette Park and Blue Island as candidates.  (Kristin had done research about Blue Island.) Marquette Park is a good geographic proxy inside the Chicago city limits. Blue Island is also a suburb adjacent to Chicago which was established through brickmaking. The group chose Blue Island.

There was also a suggestion to do a Folded Map project within Park Ridge, given that the north side and south side have different racial and socio-economic profiles. This may be an idea for the future.

Fourteen people elected to take part in the project with Blue Island. Over the next month, small groups will visit Blue Island to get a feel for the city through activities like grocery shopping, eating in restaurants, and touring the area on foot.

Tonika Lewis Johnson will join the April 13th Action Ridge general meeting and lead us in a discussion of our experiences in Blue Island.  We’ll plan next steps so that we can continue to get to know our southside neighbors.

Committee Updates

Policing and Criminal Justice – Alissa Goldwasser and Kristen Olson

Alissa introduced Kristen Olson as the co-chair of the Policing and Criminal Justice committee.

AR became aware at the end of February that the Park Ridge Police Department had requested funding from the City to contract with Lexipol, a company that helps police departments update and disseminate policies and procedures.

February 28. There was community concern about the conservative, risk-mitigation culture of the company and whether it would take PRPD in the wrong direction. Alissa and Kristen did research, discussed the concerns with community members, and had a conversation with Chief Kaminiski. In summary, Alissa and Kristen are comfortable that PRPD will use Lexipol as a tool and will not let it change its willingness to embrace reform. The Policing Committee will make it part of its work to understand any policy changes and make sure they align with progressive policing.

Diversity Discussion Group/Civil Rights – Karen Banks-Lubicz and Cynthia Kater

Karen and Cynthia Kater, who has just joined the Civil Rights Committee, would like to plan a 2022 monthly schedule for book discussions. Please send any ideas for books to read to Karen or Cynthia.  Cynthia will create a calendar for future discussions and Karen will order books from the library so that participants have plenty of time to read the book.

Affordable Housing – Kristin Berg and Nan Parson

Kristin and Nan met with Jim Hanlon, chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission. He wants to move forward with affordable housing in the comprehensive plan and is committed to an open and transparent process. Kathy Rosling and Jeanne Wells drafted a public comment in favor of having diverse options for housing in the comprehensive plan. This will be ready to circulate for signing by individuals and groups when appropriate. AR is collaborating with the League of Women Voters and others to have a critical mass when it is time to re-visit the comprehensive plan.

Voting and Elections – Chris Parson and Pat Lofthouse

Chris: The primary in June is fast-approaching. AR will work with the League of Women Voters to register voters. In May, Chris will send out to AR members opportunities to learn more about the candidates.

Pat: Fun fact – the Academy Awards use Ranked Choice Voting! The redistricting process that is going on now ties into RCV.  Pat expressed hope that RCV will be adopted by more communities and organizations over the next election cycle.

Environmental/Sustainability – Tim Milburn

The sustainability workshop process at the state level is wrapping up. There will be a concrete list of things Park Ridge residents can do once this process is completed. Sierra Club is organizing local government dialogue to move toward action plans.  Tim and Jeanne will keep us informed of next steps toward adopting good environmental policies.

Jeanne Wells

As a follow up to the Discussion Group reading of What the Eyes Dan’t See, Jeanne has been investigating whether Park Ridge water is safe.  She found that Park Ridge homes built before 1986 could have lead pipes. The City is not conducting house-by-house tests but advised contacting Suburban Laboratories. They will test samples for a fee. The City adds phosphate and advises that 15 parts per billion is an acceptable lead level. The City suggests letting the faucet run for 5 minutes in the morning before using water. In 2024, the City will have a map showing where lead pipes are located.  Flint, MI isn’t the only city where lead in the water is a problem.

Gun Violence Prevention – Noreen Gayford and Joan Bludeau Lavelle

Noreen requested that we urge Sen. Laura Murphy and Sen. Robert Martwick to be co-sponsors of HB4729, an awareness campaign about safe gun storage.  So that we can contact their offices, they’ll send out the links in the next Action Ridge blurb.

Membership – Kate Kerin

Kate continues to push to expand and diversify membership. Please invite someone to the next meeting.  We are hoping to attract younger people and people of color, especially.

Meeting adjourned at 9:04pm

Minutes respectfully submitted by Alissa Goldwasser and Nan Parson.

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