Affordable Housing Advocacy Group Meeting Minutes ~ September 29, 2022

Date: September 29, 2022

Location of meeting:  Via Zoom

Time meeting was called to order: 7:03pm

Attendees:  Kristin Berg, Nan Parson, Jeanne Wells, Kathy Rolsing, Kate Kerin, Chris Parson

  1. City moving very slowly on Comp Plan and Housing Plan.

There was a discussion about the delay by the city to begin work/hearings on the Comp Plan and Housing Plan (to be filed with the state).  The last correspondence with Drew Awsumb (July 2022) noted work with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (MMC) was to begin in September, with other preparatory work ongoing.  There has been no mention of this in public meetings.  We want to start talking with officials about AH sooner rather than later.  Two action items came out of this:

  1. Kristin will email Drew Awsumb for the latest updates/timeline and confirm that 2 people can meet with 1 official at a time and it will not violate the Open Meetings Act (OMA).
    1. Nan and Kristin or other members of this group and Action Ridge will meet with officials, especially the newer ones, to introduce them to the principles of Action Ridge and providing educational resources and information about AH.
  • Action Ridge joining the Chamber of Commerce

Most of the group is in favor of Action Ridge joining.  Chris Parson stated that there could be times when the Chamber might oppose what we are advocating for and that could set up an unfavorable situation.  Kathy mentioned that the Chamber rarely takes a formal position on issues so it should be a moot point.  She pointed out that John McNabola, ED of the Center of Concern, is on the board. Kristin stated that there are other nonprofits, community groups, and churches that are members, not just businesses.

Reasons to join include:

  1. Higher visibility for AR within the community
    1. The Community Guide is mailed to every household in PR
    1. Access to the member email list
    1. New residents could find AR as they are looking for engagement opportunities
  2. The Chamber puts out a weekly newsletter that AR could advertise events in
  3. Alerts and updates on the Chamber website
  4. Networking opportunities at lunches, events that gives AR a chance to talk to other community members about issues important to us

It was decided that Nan will ask the Action Ridge leaders to discuss the issue and come to a consensus on whether or not to join the Chamber.

  • Infographics, social media posts and timeline for release; strategy for messaging
    • AH Fact Sheets.   Discuss revisions.

The group went through the fact and information sheets distributed prior to the meeting and made some edits.  The Park Ridge Housing Facts will be reduced to 1 page with a couple of the US facts from page 3 combined with page 2.  The first page has been converted to a pdf and will be a stand-alone for Park Ridge specific information that will continue to be updated.  The Salary information sheet will be edited to include hospital workers such as medical technicians, and teachers at Kathy’s suggestion.  Kate suggested Glassdoor as another source to obtain salary information (besides Ziprecruiter).

We agreed that personal stories that we have gathered are especially important and that we should begin to get them in writing.  The most effective presentation will be if the residents will speak at a public meeting, but some may, understandably, be reluctant to do so.

  • LWV representatives met 8/15 to discuss the possibility of creating an informal coalition of our local leagues to address local housing needs and initiatives.
    • Each attendee is to report back with 2 goals to locally move the needle on AH forward.  Proposed goals to LWVPR:
      • Park Ridge filing a Housing Plan with the state
      • Language in the Comprehensive Plan that encourages the expansion of housing options in Park Ridge and the inclusion of clear objectives to increase diversity in housing options.

The comment was made that it is very positive to have AH issues discussed and promoted by multiple regional groups.  Kristin will attend the next meeting on 10/24 and report back.

  • Upcoming Events
    • AR General Meeting October 12th at the Community Church at 7:00pm.  Michael Rabbitt presentation.
    • AR Diversity Discussion Group.  Next meeting is October 26th at 7:00pm on zoom.  The group will be reading “Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized America” by Ryan Busse, suggested by Noreen Gayford of the Gun Violence Prevention Committee.
    • The next Coffee with the Chief is October 18th at 2:00pm at Beer on the Wall.
  • Time Meeting Adjourned:  8:12pm
  • Next Meeting Date:  Thursday, October 27th at 7:00pm via Zoom

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