Affordable Housing Advocacy Group Meeting Minutes ~ Nov. 28, 2022

Date: November 28, 2022

Location of meeting:  Via Zoom

Time meeting was called to order: 7:02pm

Attendees:  Kristin Berg, Nan Parson, Marilyn Novak, Melani Kaplan, Kathy Rolsing, Kate Kerin, Julianna Lopez de Philbrook, Pat Lofthouse, Molly Phalin

  1. City moving very slowly on Comp Plan and Housing Plan.
    1. The PZC is discussing Land Use in the Uptown B4 district.  The next PZC meeting is December 13th.
    1. Nan and Kristin met with Mwende Lefler on 11/19 and gave her the AH information sheets.  She was receptive to our thoughts about AH in Park Ridge.  We plan to meet with Alderpersons Biagi and Sanchez, and eventually the mayor in the new year.  Gail Wilkening has apparently chosen not to run again so there will be a new alderperson for the third ward.
  • Action Ridge joining the Chamber of Commerce
    • Cynthia Kater designed an ad for the Chamber newsletter, and it appeared in the latest issue.  Meeting dates will be posted in future issues.
    • Nan, Kristin, and Liz Swanson will meet with Anne Scallon, Chamber Ambassador.  One topic will be to discuss how the Chamber can help us gain visibility in the community.
  • Infographics, social media posts and timeline for release; strategy for messaging
    • AH Fact Sheets.   Discuss further revisions.

The Salaries Table will be revised to list the occupations in order of the annual salary, lowest to highest.

  • Collection of written stories of those in PR that need AH.

There was a suggestion to try to find residents that hold jobs listed in the Salaries Table to tell their stories about the difficulty of finding housing they can afford in Park Ridge.  Melani suggested making a video that highlights the stories of need.  It could be made in a way that does not reveal the full identity of the storyteller.  Kathy noted that the Center of Concern can offer help and resources to those living in substandard conditions and others who need it.  There is a full time social worker employed by the city who also might be able to help if people feel comfortable sharing their situations with her.

Kristin will research city code to find out what the regulations are around who and how many people can live in a single family residence.

  • Upcoming Events
    • AR General Meeting December 14th at the Community Church at 7:00pm.  AR will be hosting the Institute for Non-Violence Chicago on Wednesday 12/14.  The Institute for Non-Violence has an approach to ending violence that is hyper-local, restorative, trauma-informed, and rooted in principles of nonviolence.  Our friend Tara who has joined our meetings in the past and some of her colleagues will be with us on the 14th.  Join us on 12/14 to learn more about what the Institute is doing and bring a new toy for children newborns on up to age 17. The Institute is also hosting a wrapping day for those toys, and we are invited!  Be sure to save the date of Friday, 12/16 and look for more details about carpools to the wrapping party.
    • AR Diversity Discussion Group.  We will be meeting on January 25th to discuss “My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of our Bodies and Hearts” by Resmaa Menakem . From Goodreads, “In this groundbreaking book, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology.” 
  • Time meeting adjourned:  8:23pm
  • Next Meeting Date:  Thursday, January 5th at 7:00pm via ZOOM

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