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Affordable Housing Advocacy Group Meeting Minutes ~ April 7, 2022

Date: April 7, 2022

Location of meeting:  Via Zoom

Time meeting was called to order: 7:00pm

Attendees:  Kristin Berg, Nan Parson, Melani Kaplan, Jeanne Wells, Kathy Rosling, Karen Banks-Lubicz

Agenda Items:

  1. Kristin spoke with Drew Awsumb regarding the process and timing of the Comp Plan and the main points were as follows:
    1. Much has changed since 2019 when the Plan was started: the pandemic, new commissioners, new aldermen
    1. There will be public meetings ahead of the PZC discussions
    1. There will not be an overall consultant on the Plan, but some sections and some data might be given to a consultant for updating
    1. The city is surveying commissioners and aldermen to see where they should start as some chapters were close to being done.  Drew agrees that much was not resolved in the Housing Chapter and new things have come up, such as the possibility of adding more 3-flats that could affect Land Use.
    1. Drew agrees that officials need educating, as does the public.  He will encourage educational sessions and is in favor of bringing in officials from other suburbs who have gone through updating their housing language in Comp Plans and Housing Plans.
    1. He advised that we wait to make public comments until the topic is discussed in meetings
  • Kristin talked about how the year old Libertyville Comp Plan update has some very specific language on AH and in some cases call it “Attainable Housing”.  That Plan and page references to the language was sent to the group following the meeting:

Libertyville-Comprehensive-Plan—Approved-32321

Here are the pages that mention AH or Attainable Housing:

Pages 112-115

Page 168, 177 and 188-89

  • The LWV of Illinois held their annual Issues Briefing sessions in March and one of them was on “How to Make Your Voices Heard”.  A former state legislator talked about how logic and reasoning did not persuade him.  What won him over were the personal stories.  The group discussed friends, family, and associates personally known to them that are struggling to pay their rent, unable to live in or near Park Ridge, and have to commute long distances to work in Park Ridge, visit family, etc.  We will attempt to gather these stories and either ask people to tell them at a future PZC and/or City Council meeting or agree to have them recorded and submit them in writing or on video.  Local churches, businesses, social service agencies, and restaurants all may have stories to share.
  • The LWVE updated their Housing Statement and distributed it to local officials.  One of their references was the LWVCC “Findings and Recommendations on Affordable Housing and Residential Desegregation”.  They asked the question “What can Cook County Government do to promote affordable rental housing for families with children while reducing segregation?”.  Kristin mentioned this to the LWVPR at their Annual Meeting on 4/9/22. It turns out that the LWVPR AH Statement is also based on this report.  They will add the reference and post the report on their website.  This is a document that could be distributed to Park Ridge officials at the appropriate time in the Comp Plan discussions.
  • Kate worked on an infographic, and it was shared with the group.  Group feedback included:
    • Add the AR email address for people who want more information.
    • Add “single family homes” under the heading “Types of Affordable Housing”
    • Correct a typo in the property value blurb – it should be nearby, not nearlby
    • A second infographic to address the emotions connected with lack of AH, questions such as “How would you pay for your child’s school if you had to spend 50% of your income on rent?”, include faces of people, statistics on income vs rent/mortgage costs in PR
  • Upcoming events/updates:
    • AR Meeting April 13 at 7:00pm at the Community Church and virtual on zoom. Tonika Johnson and Maria Krysan of the Folded Map Project will be meeting with us. Nan is thinking of ways to include people of color who live in PR in Action Ridge events, committees, etc.
    • AR Diversity Discussion Group.  Next meeting is April 27 at 7:00pm on zoom.  The book is 3 Girls from Bronzeville.
    • Earth Day cleanup event in Blue Island on April 23rd.  Contact  Action Ridge for more information.
    • Vacancy for 7th Ward Alderman
    • HODC Open House May 20th, 3-6pm at HODC office building, 5340 Lincoln Avenue, Skokie.  A “save the Date” flyer was emailed out and the detailed invitation will follow.

Time Meeting Adjourned:  8:40pm                                                              

Next Meeting Date:  Thursday, May 12th at 7:00pm via Zoom

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Meeting Minutes ~ April 13, 2022

Action Ridge General Meeting

April 13, 2022

The meeting began at 7:15pm. Participants were in person at the Park Ridge Community Church and virtual via Zoom.

Nan welcomed everyone and read the Land Acknowledgment. She then introduced Tonika Lewis Johnson, creator of the Folded Map Project, and Maria Krysan, Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Feature Presentation: The Folded Map Project (Live!)

Maria Krysan provided background for the project, including the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which made it illegal to discriminate based on race, religion, national origin, sex, (and as amended) handicap and family status.

However, segregation is basically unchanged from then, though it looks somewhat different. Segregation is now baked into policies due to social engineering of segregation.

Three explanations for segregation:

  • Economics (assimilation perspective)
  • Preferences
  • Discrimination (stratification perspective)

Preferences (social factors) would still lead to segregation even if economics and discrimination didn’t exist.

Our media, social networks, and lived experiences are all informed by race. They are the reason we know what we do about whether a place is “good” or “bad”.

  • Media is more than news – movies, TV, advertisements for stores or jobs, list serves.
  • Social networks – living near family/friends, but also knowing where people you know live.
  • Lived experiences – where you live or lived, worked, places you go.

People have a tendency to use one known fact about a place to fill in for lots of things they don’t know about a place.

The Folded Map disrupts these thought systems.

Tonika also spearheaded the Don’t Go… Project. She and Maria interviewed 30 people about going to neighborhoods on the south and west sides of Chicago. Many articulated reasons for not going that were not known or true.

Tonika played a video of a segment related to the Firsthand: Segregation series. Chicagoans who have gone where they weren’t “supposed” to go discussed their experiences.

Tonika presented another project she worked on called Belonging: Power, Place, and (im)possibilities. Inspired by news reports of downtown Chicago business that were banning teens, she interviewed and photographed nine Black and brown youth and asked them about places where they have been profiled.

Reflections of AR members who went to Blue Island

Several Action Ridge members went to visit Blue Island in small groups over the past month. Action Ridge had identified Blue Island as Park Ridge’s map twin at the previous meeting.

Sharon Kemerer

There was a lot of community energy. The people at City Hall were welcoming. She had grown up in the community. Her mother had grown up in Blue Island. She visited the funeral home that had done her family’s funerals.

Chris Parson

Chris spent most of his time in downtown Blue Island. Almost all of the people working in the library were white. Many library patrons looked like they might be homeless. He saw many historic homes in the residential areas. It struck him that a very diverse community had figured out how to be stable.

Kristen Olson

Blue Island reminded her of Des Plaines in the way that it exhibited racial diversity and revitalization of the downtown area. She came in by way of more affluent suburbs, Homewood and Flossmoor. There she saw golf courses and overpasses. By contrast, Blue Island had a junkyard at its edge and she had to wait 10 minutes for a freight train to pass. The library had a big collection of books for job seeking and study guides for the military entrance test.

Nan will collect reflections from all of the AR members who went to Blue Island and will send out the compendium to the group.

Upcoming Events

Blue Island will be hosting a community clean up. There was a discussion about whether it is appropriate for people from Park Ridge to participate. Would it be a useful way to get to know people in Blue Island or could it be perceived as a do-gooder activity that might offend? Tonika thought it would be a good idea to go. Nan will send out more information as it becomes available.

At the May 11 Action Ridge meeting we will work through some of the action-oriented materials from the Firsthand series study guide.

Cynthia Kater discussed two events that respond to recent drops of anti-Semitic flyers in the north and northwest suburbs. The Niles Coalition asked if Action Ridge wanted to be involved.  There will be a rally on April 24 at 5:30pm at Gallery Park in Glenview. Several elected officials are expected to attend. Then, on the afternoon of May 15, there will be a rally in Jonquil Park in Niles.

Tonika Johnson will be recording a live episode of her podcast, Inequity for Sale, on April 28 at Kennedy King College. Her guests will include Marisa Novara, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Housing; Robin Simmons, who led the charge for the Evanston reparations program; and Amber Hendley, a researcher on the paper, “The Plunder of Black Wealth in Chicago”.

The Smithsonian exhibit, “The Bias Inside Us”, will be at the Evanston Public Library. Nan is organizing a group from Action Ridge to attend.

Meeting adjourned at 9:10pm

Minutes respectfully submitted by Alissa Goldwasser and Nan Parson.

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General Meeting ~ April 13th

On April 13th, at 7:00, Action Ridge will host an informative meeting to look at the causes and effects of segregation.  We will meet with Tonika Lewis Johnson, who created The Folded Map Project, through which a northside community is matched with a “twin” southside neighborhood. 

As the Folded Map Project Website says, this twinship simply, but effectively, helps everyone “understand how our urban environment is structured and (explains the impact of segregation) on our social networks”. Tonika “wants to challenge everyone to think about how change may be possible and to contribute to a solution”.

Through their work with the Project, Action Ridge members have chosen Blue Island as our “twin city”.  Six groups of two or three have visited Blue Island to get a feel for the community and to compare similarities and differences between Blue Island and Park Ridge.   On the 13th, Tonika and her colleague, Maria Krysan, will guide participants in a discussion about their experience in Blue Island and will help all of the attendees find ways to create a more beloved, inclusive, less segregated city.   

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General Meeting ~ 7pm June 10

Dear Intellectually Curious Folks,  This is your chance to learn what the term “Affordable Housing” really means and how more housing at various price points can benefit Park Ridge.  Our guest speaker, Sue Loellbach, of the “Joining Forces for Affordable Housing Program” will  teach us so much about housing in Park Ridge and nearby suburbs.

For Zoom link, please email:  actionridge2017@gmail.com

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Meeting Minutes & Video ~ 5.13.21

Action Ridge Meeting Agenda

May 13, 2021

Attendance via Zoom

Link to video Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euX11pVe7MY&t=19s

7:00pm – 7:05 There were 33 people on the call at 7:10.  Nan welcomed all of the participants, especially those who haven’t attended regularly.  Then she went over a brief calendar.

  1.  The Diversity Discussion Group will be talking about Evicted on May 26th.
  2. On June 2nd, the Housing Advocacy Group, will plan initiatives regarding Affordable Housing in Park Ridge.
  3. (Addition to the minutes) On June 3rd, the WIP (Work in Progress) Group will continue to explore ways to structure Action Ridge to ensure its longevity.
  4. Our next General Meeting will be on June 10th.  More later about that meeting.

7:03pm – 7:05pm   Current and Upcoming Actions

  1.  The BIO Bill is still pending.  Noreen has asked us to submit a request to our legislators to pass the bill.  Nan has included it in this email.
  2. “The Long Shadow” will be shown in collaboration with the Park Ridge Library, including a discussion group with the producer.
  3. The Public Comment urging the new Council to keep in mind issues of inclusion, respect and equity when forming policies was read into the record at the Council Meeting on May 10th.  139 people signed the comment.

7:05pm – 7:10pm–Introductions of the panelists and an overview of SAFE-T (Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity — Today) Act—Alissa

7:10pm – 7:55pm            Panel discussion about the SAFE-T Act with

Chief Frank Kaminski, Park Ridge Police Department

Peter Hanna, American Civil Liberties Union, Illinois

Sara Knizhnik, Newtown Action Alliance

1. Introduction of Chief Kaminski, who spoke about the positive aspects of the Act.

  1. Decertification to get rid of bad cops is good.
  2. Body cameras are helpful.  The officers like them.
  3. Training is good but it’s hard to do it consistently because of cost and the need to take officers off the street.
  4. Duty to aide is necessary and it’s good that it’s mandated by the law.

2. Peter Hanna of the ACLU

  1. He feels this is a good step forward. The elimination of cash bail is especially important.
  2. He agrees with the Chief’s assessment of the positive aspects of the bill.
  3. He added that implementation is the key.  Just having a law isn’t enough.

3. Sara Knizhnik

  1.  Criminal Justice reform can’t be separated from policing reform and gun violence prevention.
  2. This bill is a wonderful example of what a bill can do to effect systemic change.
  3. It restores balance to the criminal justice system.  It begins to right a long list of wrongs committed against the people and takes into account their needs, which is good for law enforcement and for those in the system; and it will reduce gun violence.  When the people are helped, gun violence goes down.
  •  Alissa asked about the use of body cameras in the school system.  Chief Kaminski stated that the SROS don’t have to use body cameras, despite the requirement in the bill.  He said that an exception can be made.  To protect student privacy, the schools don’t want them.
  • Chief Kaminski was asked whether training will increase because of the bill.  So far, the department is waiting for direction from the Training Board.  He feels that role-playing training is most effective and hopes that will be implemented. Virtual/interactive training might be used, as well.
  • Peter Hanna said that training is very important but isn’t helpful unless there’s enforcement and discipline of officers who don’t comply.  We need accountability and transparency.  The solution is interlocking the law and follow-up.
  • Sara agreed with the previous comments.  She said that training is good but once the officers get on the street, they may do things as they’ve always done them.  The culture needs to change.
  • Alissa asked Peter to talk about how to change police culture.  He said that there’s a need to have a preventative mindset so that certain situations can be avoided.  The police officers who aren’t willing to change need to be called out.  For a very long time, a 1,000 people have been killed by police each year, which is much more than in any other country.  That needs to change.
  • Chief Kaminski said that, in his long career, he’s seen very good cops and rogue cops.  He feels that leadership has to be willing to call out bad apples.  One bad cop can affect the whole force.  The arbitration process was difficult to deal with; but this new law will help Chiefs be able to get rid of bad cops.  There needs to be a mission statement, which everyone knows, understands and abides by.  The Chief needs to lead the way.
  1. The new law makes room for co-responder cooperation.  Alissa asked if the Chief can imagine a day when the police will not always be called—that a Social Worker or community support might be called, instead.  The Chief didn’t really answer this question but said that all of the officers get CIT (Crisis Intervention Training).  Now an officer always goes out with the Social Worker.  He is wondering if the day will come when there are more Social Workers.  He feels satisfied with the CIT and that it has changed the culture.  Now the officers know how to deescalate a situation. 
  1. Jac Charlier
  1. Jac worked on the aspect of the bill that deals with mental health and substance abuse issues.  He’s an expert on the intersection where policing deals with mental health issues. 
  2. Deflection by organizations and mental health professionals  in the community must be used more often.  The bill expands deflection so that states can get funding for their EMS initiatives.  There are 3 ways that deflection is done.

1. Officers have ready access to someone in the department to help those with mental health issues.

2.  Co-responder approaches, such as a police officer and another medical or behavioral health professional respond together.

3.  Community responders—police don’t respond and community leaders, such as churches, mosques, agencies like the Institute for Non-Violence (note-takers’ suggestion) and EMTs or a behavioral health professional respond.

Jac said that we must get “upstream” of police response and deal with the causes of the problems.

  1.  Alissa brought up the issue of “qualified immunity” which tends to allow bad apples to continue on the job.  It makes it hard to prosecute a rogue cop because he/she is protected by immunity. 
  2. Peter Hanna said that we need to be deferential about the difficulty of policing.  A police officer who makes a good faith error should be protected.  But “qualified immunity” should not be used when a police officer has violated a citizen’s constitutional rights.  Now there’s a “Bad Apple Bill” before the state legislature which can also make it easier to get rid of bad cops.   
  3. Chief Kaminski worries that good cops might not be protected when they are trying to do their jobs.  He worries about the profession and hears that good cops are afraid that, when they make a good-faith mistake, they could be prosecuted, jailed or fired.  Senior police are leaving and it’s hard to find new police, he said.  He hopes that a task force can address this concern. 

A team of Chiefs of Police are working on trailer bills to correct some of the weaknesses of the bill.  Police are in favor of police reform; but he feels that there are inconsistencies that need to be clarified.

7:55pm – 8:15pm            Discussion about Law Enforcement and Youth in Park Ridge

  1.  Alissa asked the Chief about the use of Restorative Justice principles in dealing with youth and the SROs at Maine South and Maine East.  The Chief feels that the SRO program is successful.  But he agrees that the program should be evaluated on-going.  He supports the idea of focus groups to make improvement. 

Alissa suggested that evaluation of the program is important, including outcomes.  Ginger Pennington, a City Council Watch Dog, suggested, at the last Council meeting, ways to evaluate outcomes.  The Chief says that the schools need to be onboard with any evaluation plan; but thinks they should be considered.

  • Alissa asked about the way that young people are dealt with in large groups and wondered if they were being “criminalized”.  The Chief said some of the kids aren’t from Park Ridge. He feels that police need to be involved.   Most of the kids are fine.  They do their best not to “criminalize the teens”.
  • Alissa asked if the citizen patrol groups receive implicant bias or culturally competence training.  The chief said that they are just “ordinary citizens” and don’t receive training.  He’s considering providing that training.

8:15pm – 8:30pm            Q&A (questions via chat function)

  1.  Is the police academy training adequate?  The Chief feels that it’s good enough.
  • The Chief is in favor of creating a teen center again.
  • As the law enforcement profession feels more pressure for reform, is there a way to allay the fears of good officers while dealing with the “bad apples”.  The Chief said he tries to allay their fears; but police personnel are still worried about whether they’ll be treated fairly.

The meeting ended on a positive note with Alissa speaking about the importance of the SAFE-T-ACT in bringing about positive change in policing.


8:45pm                             Meeting Ended

Respectfully submitted by Nan Parson.

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Activities of the Action Ridge Discussion Group

Compiled on February 21, 2021

Our decision to initiate a Discussion Group came from our workshops with the Anti-racist Educators–Corrie Wallace, Sarah Dennis, Yvonnie Dubose and Jena Doolas.

We had been helping The Institute for Non-Violence by giving them Christmas presents and working in their Christmas shop.  We wanted to have more interactions with them; but realized,  as we learned more, that, before we engaged further with them and other helping agencies, we needed to be aware of our own racist biases and to study the history of racism.

Here’s a list of all of the things we’ve done to reach our current place of evaluating and planning for the future of the Discussion Group:

  •  April 2019—Corrie Wallace, an anti-racist consultant with numerous area school systems, including in Evanston and here at D207, led us in an interactive workshop to explore racism.
  • Summer 2019—Jena Doolas led a book discussion of What It Means to be White.
  • November 14, 2019—We held a panel Discussion with Sarah Dennis, Yvonnie Dubose, Letesha Dickerson and Jena Doolas to teach us how unconscious bias affects us all.
  • Sarah Dennis led a book discussion of Showing Up for Racial Justice.
  • During the winter we conducted discussions led by Nan.  We read:
    •  So You Want to Talk About Race—Ijeoma Oluo
    • Just Mercy—Bryan Stevenson (Some of us also saw the movie.)
    • Home Going—Yaa Gyasi
    • Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race—Debby Irving
    • How To Be Anti-racist—Ibram Kendi
  •  We saw:
    • “When They See Us”—film
    • “The Hate You Give”—film
    • “The Long Shadow”—film.
    • Shame of Chicago” and “The Color Tax” and “No Place to Live” by Bruce Orenstein
  •  On June 6th we participated in the Prayer/Peace Vigil organized by the Ministerial Association and in a Black Lives Matter rally on June 27th.
  • In November we participated in the library presentation with Ibram Kendi.
  • In December Sarah Dennis and Yvonnie Dubose conducted a Healing Circle with several Discussion members.
  • In January and February, we combined the Discussion Group and the General Meeting by hosting Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn and Jerry Kellman to discuss “Building the Beloved Community”.
  •  In March, we are planning to once more combine the Discussion Group and the General Meeting with a training with the Institute for Non-violence.

  •  
Featured

Meeting Minutes ~ 2.18.21

Action Ridge General Meeting

February 18, 2021

7:00pm

Review of Recent and Upcoming Items

February 22nd, 7:00–The Sustainability Task Force is asking for support.  Call 847-318-5200 to register for the Council meeting or sign up online at

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6782738111268885003

February 24th, 7:00—The Discussion Group will meet to decide next steps.

We are forming a group to plan ways to advocate for increased Affordable Housing.  Email actionridge2017@gmail.com to join in.

Pat Lofthouse, Julianna Lopez de Philbrook, Kate Kerin, Linda Ritts, Liz Swanson and Nan Parson are meeting next week to talk about possibly incorporating.

Alissa Goldwasser is researching the Criminal Justice Reform Bill (HB3653) and will report to us soon.

Liz and Nan have talked to Ashley Perkins, of The Institute for Nonviolence, about conducting a Nonviolence Workshop.  A tentative date of March 24th has been set.

Lisa Page is negotiating with the library about showing The Long Shadow, followed by a discussion with the writer/producer.

On March 18th, the Park Ridge League of Woman Voters will sponsor a candidate forum.  Action Ridge’s Julianna Lopez de Philbrook will take part.  They are asking for volunteers.  If you’d like to help, email the Park Ridge League.

There was an article in Journal Topics that reviewed the recent Maine South High School video meeting about diversity and inclusion.

Karen Hein mentioned that The League of Woman Voters is holding its annual Issues Briefing on February 22 and February 27. Information and registration are at lwvil.org.

Special Guest Gerald Kellman

Sue and Mike McGovern introduced Gerald (Jerry) Kellman. Jerry is an organizer who has been working for social justice in areas including affordable housing, restorative justice, and violence prevention for decades. He co-founded the Gamaliel Foundation and brought Barack Obama to Chicago in 1985. He currently works for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, an organization that advocates for financial institutions to make investments in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Jerry described his journey in social justice work:

Grew up in New Rochelle, NY, which was geographically segregated and, as a result, had segregated neighborhood schools. The fight to integrate the schools was his introduction to organizing.

Much of his work has been rooted in faith-based initiatives.  He worked with churches. More recently he believes that Evangelical churches have turned from social justice to tyranny and that the Catholic church has not engaged where it should.

Fast forward a decade or more…

Recruited by NCRC to address economic racism, namely the difficulty of people of color to get loans. NCRC is the principal organization that holds banks accountable for reinvesting in communities. About to complete the largest agreement to date with PNC Bank– more philanthropy, more lending to communities of color, alternatives to payday lending.

Also working on workforce initiatives for NCRC. SNAP employment and training is a program with bipartisan support that is being underutilized in several states including Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Observations/Beliefs

Community groups (churches, unions, etc.) are not as strong as they used to be. The internet has, to a degree, supplanted the information flow that came through these institutions. Organizing has to change as a result.

On transitions: Moments of questioning are uncomfortable, when what you thought you knew shifts. If you sit with it, you can move through to something possibly more worthwhile. Barack Obama’s election began a transition that we are currently moving through.

An organizer’s skill is listening – what people want, need, care about.

Relationships are the key to inspiring and sustaining movements. There is a need to be in a relationship with those we want to help and people who want to help us. It is important to be around people who are different than we are and to hear their point of view.

Define yourself, don’t let others define you.

Addressing Local Issues

Easier to do affordable housing if you have the partnership of your municipality. In most towns, this isn’t possible. The good news is that you can still pursue affordable housing in Park Ridge without the city’s help – the laws are very strong. If there’s the money and zoning to put up a building, the city couldn’t stop it. Could get support from Cook County.

Waukegan had a law that you could only live in a dwelling with immediate family. Jerry’s group sued and eventually the city had to give in.

The economics of affordable housing initiatives don’t work unless you get a subsidy – of land, most likely. If not, then you have to get grants. Park Ridge may not get block grant funds, but Cook County may and could allocate to this initiative. It is also possible to pursue bequests as a source of funding. A four-unit building would require a subsidy of approximately $40K-$50K per unit. Fundraising is key.

Jerry believes that change can happen locally as well as nationally.

What is the real goal behind promoting affordable housing – is it to bring diversity to Park Ridge or give better housing to a lower income community? The approach might be different depending on this answer. It is important to build coalitions outside of Park Ridge.

Banks could also be partners. Corporations have re-assessed racial inequality as something they want to take up. This change came from the Black Lives Matter protests and a response to the danger posed by Donald Trump.

A way to motivate an institution (police, elected body) is to identify who is doing it better and challenge Park Ridge to be a leading community.

How do you assess a community’s needs?

Train how to interview, listen, and assess what has been heard

  1. What is the immediate impact on people’s lives?
  2. How can the goal be defined in a specific way?
  3. Is the goal realizable?

If the goal is to increase diversity in Park Ridge, some of the approaches might be:

  • define diversity broadly and address each front
  • invite people in
  • educate
  • work through existing relationships with sister churches
  • advocate for housing diversity

The next Diversity Discussion Group–February 24th at 7:00.

Next General Action Ridge meeting – March 24th at 7:00.

The topic will likely be a workshop with the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago

Meeting concluded at 8:39pm

Respectfully submitted by Alissa Goldwasser and Nan Parson

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Upcoming Meeting ~ 2.11.21

Our next speaker in our series on Building the Beloved Community is unable to make it as planned for this General Meeting. Instead, we are encouraging members to tune into a zoom call being held by Dr. Ben Collins, Principal of Maine South, and his staff.  They have been working hard to build a more Beloved Community at Maine South and want to report on their progress and are seeking our support. The changes made at Maine South raise our spirits and give us hope for a more Beloved Community right here in Park Ridge; so please read the note from Dr. Collins below and join him and his team on the 11th, at 6:30.

For a link to the call, please contact actionridge2017@gmail.com.

 From Dr. Collins:

I hope this message finds your family healthy and managing this challenging time well. We are working hard to navigate this year for our students at Maine South and to grow into a better and more caring environment for all students and staff… This
special meeting happening … will address where our school is at with our efforts towards equity, inclusion, diversity and anti-racism. We have a banner that will go up soon which has been designed by our students. We are also deep into staff training and have instituted some direct actions this year because of student listening sessions. All of these efforts will be discussed, including plans for the future. 


For this work to be successful, we need engaged and committed community members to help us in our journey. We need you!

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Transcript of Guest Interview with Bernardine Dohrn (BD) & Bill Ayers (BA) January 27, 2021

NOTE: To request an audio file of this guest interview, please email actionridge2017@gmail.com.

Guest Interview 

Bernardine Dohrn (BD) 

  • Impressed with Action Ridge’s organization and commitment to social justice. 
  • Went to Washington four years ago to protest Hillary Clinton’s policies as presumed winner of the 2016 presidential election. Ended up as counter demonstrators to a Trump rally. 
  • Women’s March the following day – serious, silly, inventive, jubilant. Came back invigorated and inspired to talk with neighbors. Left leaflets on block to invite people to brunch to talk about what to do next. Learned that neighbors they had known for years were active in many different efforts to improve the world. 

Bill Ayers (BA) 

  • Admires Action Ridge’s efforts to build a beloved community. Part of democracy is talking to others and inviting people in to dialogue.  
  • There is the saying “If you’re not pissed off, you’re not paying attention.” But if all you are is angry, you can’t build the kind of networks and community to move forward.  
  • Cycle of effective activism: 
  • Open your eyes…to what exists in the world beyond your own experience. 
  • Be astonished… by beauty and suffering. 
  • Do something. 
  • Rethink…the actions you took and the circumstances that now exist. 
  • “Open your eyes” is something that has to be done continually, not just once. Don’t be smug and assume you know the path. Knowing comes with a burden. 
  • “Be astonished” means don’t normalize injustice. Don’t take for granted that we see homeless kids; respond to the horror of it. 
  • “Rethink” – begin process again. Believes that they failed in their youth to rethink. 
  • Progressive people get caught up in thinking that politics is about elections. Believes in voting, but we spend too much time looking at sites of power we don’t have access to (government) and ignoring the sites of power we do have access to (religious institutions, universities, community centers.) 
  • Change comes not from hearts on top, but from fire below.  Obama, Roosevelt and Lincoln all changed positions because of pressure bubbling up from grassroots sources. 

AR: How have conditions for social justice change changed in the past several decades? 

BD 

  • Movements have coalesced in Chicago for the past thirty years. Immigration rights, Women’s march, BLM, coalitions that Barbara Ransby put together. Chicago has been a hotbed of activism and thoughtfully intersectional. 

BA 

  • Bill and Bernardine are not nostalgic, but he still holds his membership card from Students for a Democratic Society.  They are of the present. Learn from young people.  
  • R3 is 36 organizations that meet and hammer out common interests. Struggle for black freedom – upsurge is bigger than they have ever seen. 
  • Now is what matters. Looking forward is what matters. Link arms in solidarity – not in service or charity. James Baldwin taught that white people will be freed when Black liberation is realized — freed from privilege. 
  • When Occupy movement happened, it accomplished a lot. Raised the question of the 1%. No one had presented it like that. Movements are places of public education. Creating a public square is necessary. Learning together and making mistakes together. 

BD:  

  • Wouldn’t have imagined the emboldened and out front white supremacist activity three years ago; seeing a new power of neo-facism and white supremacy.  

AR: How do you stay motivated and energized to continue the work of social justice? 

BA 

  • Movements have created changes, like the end of death penalty.  
  • They weren’t active in the movement but were disgusted by celebratory environment around John Wayne Gacy’s impending execution. Went to Statesville prison and found very few people there of like minds. Bill had never felt more marginalized. A few years later, George Ryan cleared death row. BA’s mindset wasn’t winning the issue, it was about preserving our humanity. 

BD:  

  • Larry Marshall wanted to have conference of people who were exonerated from death row. Another Kind of Innocence effort was around juvenile justice. Launched effort to end juvenile death penalty (having committed crime under 18) but didn’t want to redirect efforts to abolish death penalty. Stayed away from states that were on the way to do that. 

BA 

  • Reframed the idea of juvenile life without parole – “Sentenced to die in prison.” 

AR: What is the legacy you hope to leave and value most highly? 

BA 

  • Family – sons, grandchildren, and each other. 
  • After controversy during the Obama campaign, wrote for therapy and published “Public Enemy”, which is really a book about parenting. 

BD 

  • After kids left, they cared for their parents.  

AR: Are there practical tools you use to keep yourself motivated and inspiring youth? 

BA 

  • Youth inspire THEM. 
  • They are personally happy and the world is broken. Necessary to put yourself proximate to the suffering you see.  
  • Their work is challenging the dominant narrative – white superiority and Black inferiority. 
  • Have to stay hopeful, not optimistic, because that implies you know what outcome will be. The day before the revolution, it is unthinkable. Looking back, it is inevitable. 
  • When Jon Burge was convicted of torturing Black men into convictions is sparked a movement for reparations.  BLM took it over the top. City apologized and paid reparations. Amazing accomplishment happened because many movements came together. 

AR: White people are trapped in history we don’t understand. What is the danger of being too passive or too active?  

BD 

  • Reminder that we as white people need to check in with others on a regular basis.  
  • Benefits of white supremacy requires us to use the steps Bill articulated. 
  • There is peril in not getting buy-in from everyone who is a stakeholder to an issue, but is not a reason for inaction.  
  • Going back and evaluating consequences of actions is important. 

BA 

  • The 1619 Project is essential. Trump responded by forming the 1776 commission, report released on MLK day. Has his students read them side by side.  
  • You don’t have to do everything – can you do something? Connect to other somethings. Join with other like-minded people.  

BD 

  • If you are a single issue person, you are vulnerable and weaker.  
  • When two big issues come together you are stronger. Intersectionality – consider how issues are connected. 

BA 

  • Value in reframing the issue 

BD 

  • Corporate interests and military are counter to just society — need to take back everything that makes US a world power to make the country better. Take pentagon budget and put into climate and education. Need to build grass roots power and be wary of corporate power. 

BA 

  • Need to be willing to engage in dialogue 
  • Thinks he is in the majority of the country on the top 10 issues. 
  • Example of speech at the University of Georgia. Hell’s angels took places in the front row to intimidate him. Reframing of issue led to an interesting and substantive conversation.  They went to lunch together to continue the discussion. 

BD 

  • Expect the unexpected. Elimination of cash bail in Illinois – setting agenda for the country. Be ready for opportunities. 

AR: What are the best ways to leverage social media? 

BA 

  • Ask a 10 year old. They are not proficient at using social media 

AR: What advice do you have about how to forward an Affordable Housing agenda after all the actions AR has taken? 

BA 

  • Movement building – research, thinking, engaging others. Rahm Emanual closed schools but proposed cop academy. Young people in Garfield Park asked a different question – what would you do with $95M? Reframe the issue.  

BD 

  • Sports, music, theater – conscious efforts to reach out beyond the obvious and comfort zone can make a difference what you are building and where support comes from. 
  • Witness what youth poets are doing in Chicago at Louder Than A Bomb Youth Poetry Festival – amazing community building fueling movements. 

BA 

  • If Biden is going to champion progressive initiatives it will be due to popular fire from below. Environmental justice advocates got the administration appointments they wanted. Obama was against gay marriage at first;  advocates kept on working and changed the narrative.  

AR: What are resources to teach children about social justice? 

BA 

  • Alison Bechdel published Fun Home and Dykes to Watch Out For. Bechdel test for whether media is anti-sexist – two woman characters that have names and talk to each other about something other than men. 
  • Black Lives Matter in Schools and An Indigenous Peoples History  of the United States for children 
  • (On engaging with people with different world views) Don’t see having a civil conversation with people who want to overthrow the government. Hells Angels experience – usually a way to reframe the issue.  

BD 

  • Humor is also an excellent way to break the ice. 

BA 

  • Lecture is didactic; humor is inclusive. 

BD 

  • Mothers of people on death row were instrumental to overturning death penalty. Humanized the people on death row. 
  • The Feminist on Cellblock Y is a film that humanizes the incarcerated.  

BA 

  • Often accused of being an idealist. He wants to have an ideal that he is looking toward. He is not naïve, wants to learn and see more. 
  • Utopia always moves away as you step towards it. What good is walking toward it? Keeps you walking. Need to love the world enough to keep working to change it. 

Nan thanked Bill and Bernardine and the participants in the discussion. 

She acknowledged Melvin Lars who wrote Just an Ordinary Joe’George and is a host for Civic Dinners.  Sign up on-line for Bridging the Racial Divide. 

Meeting ended at 8:55pm 

Meeting minutes submitted by Alissa Goldwasser and Nan Parson 

Featured

Meeting Minutes ~ 1.27.21

Action Ridge Meeting 

January 27, 2021 

7pm 

Welcome from Liz Swanson and explanation of the plans for the evening 

Ongoing Actions – Nan Parson 

  • Thank you’s to Jackie McNeily, Cynthia Kater, Alissa Goldwasser 
  • Alissa Goldwasser will research and report on law enforcement reaction to the passage of criminal justice reform legislation in Illinois. 
  • Liz Swanson and Nan continue to strategize around having a social justice banner at Maine South, like the other district high schools. 
  • Action Ridge continues to work with NWS4REJ on holding City of Chicago accountable for stipulations of the consent decree. 
  • Noreen Gayford is keeping tabs on gun violence legislation. The BIO bill did not get taken up by the State Senate, but work will continue. 
  • Kristin Berg and Nan continue to forward efforts to create affordable housing with the Planning and Zoning Committee and City Council; partnering with Reclaim the Suburbs 

Upcoming Events – Nan Parson 

  • Next Core Leaders Meeting: February 4 
  • Next General Meeting: February 11 
  • Next Discussion Group: February 24 
  • Mike McGovern is working with Better Arguments Project (building better civic conversations); Action   Ridge could possibly have a training on February 11. 
  • General meeting in March may focus on the election. 

Introductions of Guest Speakers – Valerie Halston and Fran Stott 

Bill Ayers is an educator and activist who has written many books on education, race, and social justice. He blogs on his website (bilayers.org) and produces a podcast called Under the Tree

Bernardine Dohrn is an activist, educator, legal scholar, and children’s  and women’s rights advocate. She was formerly a law professor at Northwestern University where she started the Children and Family Justice Center. 

Guest Interview 

Bernardine Dohrn (BD) 

  • Impressed with Action Ridge’s organization and commitment to social justice. 
  • Went to Washington four years ago to protest Hillary Clinton’s policies as presumed winner of the 2016 presidential election. Ended up as counter demonstrators to a Trump rally. 
  • Women’s March the following day – serious, silly, inventive, jubilant. Came back invigorated and inspired to talk with neighbors. Left leaflets on block to invite people to brunch to talk about what to do next. Learned that neighbors they had known for years were active in many different efforts to improve the world. 

Bill Ayers (BA) 

  • Admires Action Ridge’s efforts to build a beloved community. Part of democracy is talking to others and inviting people in to dialogue.  
  • There is the saying “If you’re not pissed off, you’re not paying attention.” But if all you are is angry, you can’t build the kind of networks and community to move forward.  
  • Cycle of effective activism: 
  • Open your eyes…to what exists in the world beyond your own experience. 
  • Be astonished… by beauty and suffering. 
  • Do something. 
  • Rethink…the actions you took and the circumstances that now exist. 
  • “Open your eyes” is something that has to be done continually, not just once. Don’t be smug and assume you know the path. Knowing comes with a burden. 
  • “Be astonished” means don’t normalize injustice. Don’t take for granted that we see homeless kids; respond to the horror of it. 
  • “Rethink” – begin process again. Believes that they failed in their youth to rethink. 
  • Progressive people get caught up in thinking that politics is about elections. Believes in voting, but we spend too much time looking at sites of power we don’t have access to (government) and ignoring the sites of power we do have access to (religious institutions, universities, community centers.) 
  • Change comes not from hearts on top, but from fire below.  Obama, Roosevelt and Lincoln all changed positions because of pressure bubbling up from grassroots sources. 

AR: How have conditions for social justice change changed in the past several decades? 

BD 

  • Movements have coalesced in Chicago for the past thirty years. Immigration rights, Women’s march, BLM, coalitions that Barbara Ransby put together. Chicago has been a hotbed of activism and thoughtfully intersectional. 

BA 

  • Bill and Bernardine are not nostalgic, but he still holds his membership card from Students for a Democratic Society.  They are of the present. Learn from young people.  
  • R3 is 36 organizations that meet and hammer out common interests. Struggle for black freedom – upsurge is bigger than they have ever seen. 
  • Now is what matters. Looking forward is what matters. Link arms in solidarity – not in service or charity. James Baldwin taught that white people will be freed when Black liberation is realized — freed from privilege. 
  • When Occupy movement happened, it accomplished a lot. Raised the question of the 1%. No one had presented it like that. Movements are places of public education. Creating a public square is necessary. Learning together and making mistakes together. 

BD:  

  • Wouldn’t have imagined the emboldened and out front white supremacist activity three years ago; seeing a new power of neo-facism and white supremacy.  

AR: How do you stay motivated and energized to continue the work of social justice? 

BA 

  • Movements have created changes, like the end of death penalty.  
  • They weren’t active in the movement but were disgusted by celebratory environment around John Wayne Gacy’s impending execution. Went to Statesville prison and found very few people there of like minds. Bill had never felt more marginalized. A few years later, George Ryan cleared death row. BA’s mindset wasn’t winning the issue, it was about preserving our humanity. 

BD:  

  • Larry Marshall wanted to have conference of people who were exonerated from death row. Another Kind of Innocence effort was around juvenile justice. Launched effort to end juvenile death penalty (having committed crime under 18) but didn’t want to redirect efforts to abolish death penalty. Stayed away from states that were on the way to do that. 

BA 

  • Reframed the idea of juvenile life without parole – “Sentenced to die in prison.” 

AR: What is the legacy you hope to leave and value most highly? 

BA 

  • Family – sons, grandchildren, and each other. 
  • After controversy during the Obama campaign, wrote for therapy and published “Public Enemy”, which is really a book about parenting. 

BD 

  • After kids left, they cared for their parents.  

AR: Are there practical tools you use to keep yourself motivated and inspiring youth? 

BA 

  • Youth inspire THEM. 
  • They are personally happy and the world is broken. Necessary to put yourself proximate to the suffering you see.  
  • Their work is challenging the dominant narrative – white superiority and Black inferiority. 
  • Have to stay hopeful, not optimistic, because that implies you know what outcome will be. The day before the revolution, it is unthinkable. Looking back, it is inevitable. 
  • When Jon Burge was convicted of torturing Black men into convictions is sparked a movement for reparations.  BLM took it over the top. City apologized and paid reparations. Amazing accomplishment happened because many movements came together. 

AR: White people are trapped in history we don’t understand. What is the danger of being too passive or too active?  

BD 

  • Reminder that we as white people need to check in with others on a regular basis.  
  • Benefits of white supremacy requires us to use the steps Bill articulated. 
  • There is peril in not getting buy-in from everyone who is a stakeholder to an issue, but is not a reason for inaction.  
  • Going back and evaluating consequences of actions is important. 

BA 

  • The 1619 Project is essential. Trump responded by forming the 1776 commission, report released on MLK day. Has his students read them side by side.  
  • You don’t have to do everything – can you do something? Connect to other somethings. Join with other like-minded people.  

BD 

  • If you are a single issue person, you are vulnerable and weaker.  
  • When two big issues come together you are stronger. Intersectionality – consider how issues are connected. 

BA 

  • Value in reframing the issue 

BD 

  • Corporate interests and military are counter to just society — need to take back everything that makes US a world power to make the country better. Take pentagon budget and put into climate and education. Need to build grass roots power and be wary of corporate power. 

BA 

  • Need to be willing to engage in dialogue 
  • Thinks he is in the majority of the country on the top 10 issues. 
  • Example of speech at the University of Georgia. Hell’s angels took places in the front row to intimidate him. Reframing of issue led to an interesting and substantive conversation.  They went to lunch together to continue the discussion. 

BD 

  • Expect the unexpected. Elimination of cash bail in Illinois – setting agenda for the country. Be ready for opportunities. 

AR: What are the best ways to leverage social media? 

BA 

  • Ask a 10 year old. They are not proficient at using social media 

AR: What advice do you have about how to forward an Affordable Housing agenda after all the actions AR has taken? 

BA 

  • Movement building – research, thinking, engaging others. Rahm Emanual closed schools but proposed cop academy. Young people in Garfield Park asked a different question – what would you do with $95M? Reframe the issue.  

BD 

  • Sports, music, theater – conscious efforts to reach out beyond the obvious and comfort zone can make a difference what you are building and where support comes from. 
  • Witness what youth poets are doing in Chicago at Louder Than A Bomb Youth Poetry Festival – amazing community building fueling movements. 

BA 

  • If Biden is going to champion progressive initiatives it will be due to popular fire from below. Environmental justice advocates got the administration appointments they wanted. Obama was against gay marriage at first;  advocates kept on working and changed the narrative.  

AR: What are resources to teach children about social justice? 

BA 

  • Alison Bechdel published Fun Home and Dykes to Watch Out For. Bechdel test for whether media is anti-sexist – two woman characters that have names and talk to each other about something other than men. 
  • Black Lives Matter in Schools and An Indigenous Peoples History  of the United States for children 
  • (On engaging with people with different world views) Don’t see having a civil conversation with people who want to overthrow the government. Hells Angels experience – usually a way to reframe the issue.  

BD 

  • Humor is also an excellent way to break the ice. 

BA 

  • Lecture is didactic; humor is inclusive. 

BD 

  • Mothers of people on death row were instrumental to overturning death penalty. Humanized the people on death row. 
  • The Feminist on Cellblock Y is a film that humanizes the incarcerated.  

BA 

  • Often accused of being an idealist. He wants to have an ideal that he is looking toward. He is not naïve, wants to learn and see more. 
  • Utopia always moves away as you step towards it. What good is walking toward it? Keeps you walking. Need to love the world enough to keep working to change it. 

Nan thanked Bill and Bernardine and the participants in the discussion. 

She acknowledged Melvin Lars who wrote Just an Ordinary Joe’George and is a host for Civic Dinners.  Sign up on-line for Bridging the Racial Divide. 

Meeting ended at 8:55pm 

Meeting minutes submitted by Alissa Goldwasser and Nan Parson 

Featured

Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance Passes!

On January 28, 2021, Cook County Commissioners voted unanimously to extend protections to 245,000+ suburban renter households in Cook County! The Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance (RTLO) will:Create safeguards against illegal lockouts and guidance on when a landlord can enter a unit Create procedures for withholding rent until building problems are addressed. Protect against lease terms that waive the basic tenant right to notices. Prevent landlords from charging outrageous late fees for late rent payments. Prohibit excessive security deposits and certain non-refundable “move-in” fees…and more. The RTLO goes into effect June 1; however, the anti-lockout provision takes effect immediately.For thirty years, renters living in Chicago, Evanston, and Mount Prospect have benefited from municipal ordinances defining basic tenant-landlord rights and responsibilities. Now, the Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance (RTLO) will protect suburban Cook County renters, as well.Overall, the proposed ordinance clarifies the roles and responsibilities for both renters and landlords—making the rental landscape easier and fairer to navigate for everyone.
Learn more »
Featured

June 2020 Letter to Editor

‘No one is free when others are oppressed.’ Martin Luther King Jr.

We are Action Ridge and our purpose is to promote principles of democracy: inclusion, respect, equity and the health of our planet.  We believe that truth matters. The truth is that racism is wrong, painful and hurts everyone.  The truth is racism exists and denying it and blaming others does nothing to change the truth or the systems that perpetuate policies of injustice. 

In 2016, the divisive, fear mongering, and oppressive tactics seen in the presidential campaign shifted many of our perspectives.  A few of us pledged to work together to affect change.  And so we formed the social activist group, open to all, now known as Action Ridge.  As a group and individually we work to build a Beloved Community in Park Ridge and beyond. 

As mostly white, middle class and middle or upper aged individuals, we acknowledge our lack of understanding of what our sisters and brothers of color face every day.  We do know that for each person brutally treated and killed because of racial bias, the pain grows and radiates outward.  The names George, Ahmaud, Breonna, and many others, are now tragically familiar and each represents a family, a story, a beloved life lost.  We grieve and hurt with our sisters and brothers of color.

Our goal is to continue to respect, include, see & listen to each other.  But, importantly, we act.  Some of our actions include a diversity group learning about racial injustices, working on fair and affordable housing practices in our community, advocating to reduce gun violence and more.  Please join us at actionridge2017@gmail.com to stand with us in action against racial injustice.

Nan Parson and Liz Swanson

Meeting Minutes ~ January 11, 2023

January General Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, January 11 at 7:00pm

Call to Order: Nan Parson

Time: 7:10 pm

Welcome

Nan Parson welcomed those in attendance and remarked that this is the 6th anniversary of the forming of Action Ridge.

Review of 2022 actions taken in our areas of interest

Affordable Housing – Kristin Berg

The goal of the group is to address the need for Affordable Housing in the City, primarily adopting a serious AH plan and implementing the state Affordable Housing Planning and Appeals Act that mandates all municipalities to have 10% or more of its housing stock be affordable. Wording regarding ways to encourage the development of more Affordable Housing needs to be added to the new Comprehensive Plan.

Though this issue has not garnered much support from City leadership in the past, there have been changes in the Council membership and P& Z leadership as well as several staff changes which may bode well for the development of more Affordable Housing. Some leaders are now using language that indicates possible support for other housing options.

The group members have developed a petition for social service agencies to consider in support of AH and supportive housing. In addition, other persuasive materials including Housing Facts, PR Salaries table, Housing Authority information, and an infographics piece are ready for distribution and social media sharing. The group is collecting personal stories regarding the need for more affordable housing from current residents and those who work here and wish to live here as well.

Kristin and Nan have met with City and P&Z leadership as well as new aldermen to offer us as a resource for their considerations on these issues.

Education – Ginger Pennington

At the November D 64 board meeting a small group protested the actions of the Superintendent and his hiring of a diversity and inclusion consultant. The group requested his termination, indicating that their perceived concentration on equity and racism was not appropriate. Some of these members also objected to some reading materials in the schools and public library. The group also criticized cancellation of the traditional school Holiday Sing. Actually, the Holiday Sing did take place.

At the December board meeting a large group supported the Superintendent and encouraged reasonable dialogue and education about the issues which concerned parents.

Several board positions will be on the spring ballot. Members are encouraged to become informed about candidates in the future as the LWVPR and Action Ridge plan candidate forums.

Environment – Jeanne Wells

Tim Milburn, Action Ridge Environmental Area of Interest lead and member of the Sierra Club is a wonderful resource for all environmental considerations-solar power, electric vehicles, especially.

SWANCC is also a wonderful resource for recycling information.

There is also some interest in banning leaf blowers.

There are door to door sales-persons selling insect elimination services. It must be noted that they also kill pollinators and should be discouraged.

The topic for Green Drinks this month will be the Tree Programs in PR, Blue Island and Homewood.  It will take place on Tuesday, January 17, 7:00 at Beer on the Wall. Jarid Perrin,  PR Urban Forester, and guests from Blue Island and Homewood will present.  The group will discuss increasing the tree canopy and selling trees to private property owners.

Gun Violence Prevention – Maureen McInerney and Noreen Gayford

Illinois has become the 9th state to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

The age limit stays at 18 for weapon purchases instead of a proposed change to raise it to age 21.

All Democrats voted “yes” in support of the Assault Weapon Ban.  One Republican, Jim Durkin, also voted “yes”.  All other Republicans voted “no”.

Some counties and congress members announced that they would refuse to obey the law.  However, the Governor said that the law will be enforced statewide.

GPAC hopes to encourage other Midwest states to consider similar action.

Policing and Criminal Justice Alissa Goldwasser

Alissa gave an overview of the committee’s work over 2022

  • January and February – Alissa and others investigated and weighed in on the PRPD decision to contract with Lexipol.  The City did sign a contract with Lexipol.
  • April – The Student Resource Officer report needed to be more in depth.
  • July – Coffee with the Chief took place with mental health being the topic. The City social worker, Geri Silic, participated.  We learned about her role with the PRPD and particularly discussed the incident in which a Chicago Policeman physically restrained a 14-year-old boy of Puerto Rican descent.
  • August – Coffee with the Chief.  Youth disturbances in the Uptown area were discussed and AR contributed to work on a forum for addressing youth issues.
  • September – The SRO report was now more comprehensive, and the City acknowledged it’s improvement.  Work still needs to be done.
  • October – Ride-along with the traffic officer, CWC equity in traffic stops (continued data tracking.)
  • December – Coffee with the Chief. Implementation of the Safe-T-Act was the topic of discussion. The abolishment of bail bond is now on hold due to a lawsuit, which is pending.  Otherwise, the full law went into effect on January 1st.

Alissa has been maintaining a database of all PR traffic arrests for a few years, considering age, gender, location patterns.  The sample size is too small to draw firm conclusions. However, she has noted a possible bias toward stopping a greater number of people of color than white drivers.  She is willing to share this data.

Alissa was invited to attend a pilot program called Managing Bias Training which is being conducted by the PRPD.  She will attend with several police officers.

Voting and Elections – Chris Parson

Ranked Choice Voting -The Progressive Reform Network is requesting that we sign their petition to demand ranked-choice voting be adopted locally and statewide. This method eliminates expensive run-offs and creates kinder, more cooperative campaigns because a candidate might have to rely on voter’s 2nd or 3rd choices in order to win. It eliminates the need for spoiler candidates. Link for petition:

https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-on-demand-ranked-choice-voting

Pat Lofthouse will make an appearance before the City Council soon to propose consideration.

More than 200 high school students were registered to vote before the election. Efforts will continue before the local election in the spring.

LWVPR and Action Ridge will present forums prior to the election.

Concluding Remarks

Liz Swanson commented on the 6th anniversary of Action Ridge and shared that she had felt isolated before Action Ridge was established and wasn’t certain of community support for her beliefs.  She commended Action Ridge for bringing together like-minded residents so that there was support for more progressive causes.  She commented that we are building a more “beloved community” among our members and city-wide and that this feels very positive.

When Action Ridge started, there were questions about “who are we?” and “how do we support each other?”.  She continued that there were sometimes disappointments but also eventual successes.  One concern was how to continue during COVID19 and deal with the technology challenges of Zooming.  The result of the determination to continue is a caring, effective organization with more to come in the future.

Mailchimp – Liz Swanson

Liz thanked the group for reading the weekly emails and asked for suggestions for additions and changes to those emails.  She said that we could consider a different host platform, though Mailchimp is easy to use.  Links help shorten the entries. She also asked members to submit information prior to Tuesday when the draft is prepared.  She could use a support person to assist whenever she’s absent.  She thanked Kate Kerin for substituting while she was on vacation overseas this spring. With more time, now that she is retired, she will explore other features of Mailchimp, stats, etc

Membership – Kate Kerin

The goal is to increase membership and update members areas of interest.  Marilyn Novak and Jane Curry have volunteered to help with Membership efforts.

Book Discussion – Karen Bank-Lubicz

The next discussion will take place on January 25 at 7:00.  The current book is “My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of our Bodies and Hearts” by Resmaa Menakem.  We have had very educational readings and discussions.

We may consider shorter or less intense selections; perhaps a series of selections to encourage new participants.

Communication – Nan Parson

A Maine East intern will soon be available to assist with the website.  Kristin made a suggestion for the website- tabs for resources so they are easier to locate.

Martin Luther King Jr Day Event – 1/16 Nan Parson

Join the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago for a two hour introduction to Building the Beloved Community using Dr. King’s Principles and Steps of Nonviolence and assemble toiletry packs for participants and neighbors in need.

A few of us are leaving from Park Ridge and will carpool. If you are interested, email Liz or Nan at actionridge2017@gmail.com.

Presentation of Slate and Vote

Chris Parson made the motion to close nominations at this time and to accept the presented slate, seconded by Kate Kerin, approved by unanimous voice vote.  The slate was adopted and is shown in full below:

Adjournment 8:44 pm

Respectfully Submitted

Kathy Rolsing

Park Ridge Employee Salaries: What Housing Options Exist in Park Ridge for These Employees?

JOB TITLEAVERAGE ANNUAL SALARYANNUAL SALARY RANGEAFFORDABLE RENTAFFORDABLE HOME PURCHASE
  25th – 90th Percentile*@ 30% of Annual IncomeCurrent Market Conditions**
Restaurant Worker24,59219,500 – 32,50061562,000
Grocery Stocker27,80723,078 – 34,11669577,000
Hospital Housekeeper28,17023,091 – 36,12770478,000
Public Works33,62825,591 – 44,660840104,000
City Worker34,88425,085 – 54,685872110,000
Hospital Porter37,33427,095 – 48,672933122,000
Administrative Assistant38,33830,102 – 52,679958125,000
Elementary Teacher39,79932,615 – 54,191995129,000
Salon Manager39,87131,607 – 54,184997130,000
Grocery Manager46,22937,627 – 61,2081,156162,000
Restaurant Manager49,49740,643 – 65,2301,237175,000
Nurse56,09846,165 – 83,801$1,400$200,000
Medical Technologist65,34950,177 – 90,3191,634250,000
Source: Ziprecruiter.com
*Those in the 90th – 100th Percentile earn more
** Home Values based on monthly payments (PITI) at 30% of annual income, calculated using the following terms:
20% down payment        7% fixed rate interest payment         30 year mortgage term
$2,400 in property taxes             $1,000 in annual insurance premiums
Terms, especially taxes and insurance estimates, will vary based on sales price, loan size, current market conditions, exact location, credit score, ability to make a 20% down payment, etc.

Housing Affordability – Did You Know?

In the US:

44% of extremely low-income renter householders are seniors or have a disability, and another 44% are in the labor force, in school, or are single-adult caregivers.

Extremely low-income renters face a shortage of approximately 7 million affordable and available rental homes. Only 36 affordable and available homes exist for every 100 extremely low-income renter households.

In Illinois:

442,175 low-income households in Illinois have incomes at or below the poverty level and 68% of poorest renter households spend over half of their income on housing.

Illinois Public Act 102-175: Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act (AHPAA)

The original AHPAA from 2004 expressed the State’s public policy promoting the creation of affordable housing and created an appeal process for developers who believed they were unfairly treated because their proposed development contained affordable housing.  The AHPAA was strengthened in 2021, enacting new affordable housing tax incentives and grant programs and adding a home rule preemption. Park Ridge can no longer ignore the Act due to its home rule status.

The AHPAA identified a Statewide goal for every community to achieve at least 10% affordable housing within its jurisdiction.  If a community already met this goal (per State calculations), it was characterized as “exempt” and not subject to  the mandates described in the law.  If a community was “non-exempt”, it is required to adopt an affordable housing plan which describes measures the community will implement towards achieving the 10% goal.

Park Ridge’s Affordable Housing Share is 8.0% so a Housing Plan is Required

In Cook County:

The number of hours that must be worked weekly at minimum wage (2021 $13.00/hour or $24,960 annual) to rent:

Studio Apartment       One Bedroom Apartment      Two Bedroom Apartment

     60 hours                                66 hours                                    77 hours

Affordable Housing Facts

Affordable housing serving low- and moderate-income people is often mixed-income, indistinguishable from surrounding housing, and designed to house the workforce, older adults, people with disabilities, and families.  Affordable and accessible housing helps promote long term employment retention, cuts down on commutes and air pollution, and helps those who grew up in the community to remain.

Affordable housing does not lower the property values in my community.

  • Numerous studies have documented that contemporary affordable housing developments have no impact on nearby property values and, in some cases, increase property values.

Affordable housing residents will and do fit into the community.

  • Most residents of affordable housing already live or work in the community.

Affordable housing developments are a not a waste of taxpayer money.

  • Affordable units are typically funded by a variety of resources outside of taxes.

Land in the community is not too expensive for affordable housing.

  • The cost of land can be lessened by tools such as community land trusts or land banks.

Affordable housing does not look like “cheap housing.”

  • All housing built in the community has to comply with the same building and design standards.

Traffic will not increase, and the affordable housing will not be a burden on the schools and roads.

  • Studies show that residents of affordable housing drive fewer cars and the developments do not burden schools any more than other types of housing.

Affordable housing contributes to the local tax base.

  • All affordable developments pay taxes in the same way as all other housing. 

Affordable Housing Advocacy Group Meeting Minutes ~ Jan. 5, 2023

Date: January 5, 2023

Location of meeting:  Via Zoom

Time meeting was called to order: 7:04pm

Attendees:  Kristin Berg, Nan Parson, Marilyn Novak, Kate Kerin, Jeanne Wells, Beverly Copeland

  1. City moving very slowly on Comp Plan and Housing Plan.
    1. The PZC is discussing Land Use in the Uptown B4 district.  The commission discussed the 4 Subdistricts in B4 at the December 13th meeting.  The meeting on 12/27 was cancelled.  Discussion of Subdistricts to continue in January, but not listed on the 1/10/23 agenda.  Slides from this presentation are attached.

Kristin and other members to attend the next PZC meeting where Uptown B4 is discussed to suggest that AH be considered a permitted Use.  This could be in the form of Senior, Supportive, or other AH.  There was a discussion about bringing the AH informational documents at this time.    

  • Meetings with city officials to be scheduled.

Nan and Kristin meeting to begin scheduling meetings with Biagi and Sanchez.  Wilkening and Melidosian are not running for re-election (we have previously met with them as well as with Harrington).

  • Action Ridge joining the Chamber of Commerce
    • Nan, Liz, and Kristin met with Anne Scallon, Chamber Ambassador, and discussed why we joined the Chamber.  Anne connected AR to other chamber members who are organized into 4 groups.

The Chamber is organized into 4 PREN groups that are comprised of members of different vocations that advocate for each other.  We will learn more as we attend the meetings beginning in February.

  • Infographics, social media posts and timeline for release; strategy for messaging
    • AH Fact Sheets:
      • Salary Table revised (finalized?)
      • Have our informational documents available at 1/11 AR meeting?

The group agreed that all documents are finalized (at least for now).  We will begin distributing them at the Action Ridge Meeting on 1/11 and post them to the Action Ridge website.  Kate volunteered to print up copies for the meeting.

We can next work on informational documents that define and explain the various tools communities use to create AH.

  • Collection of written stories of those in PR that need AH.
    • City Code regarding occupancy limits and roomers in single family homes.

Kristin reported on what she found in the city code under Fair Housing and Property Maintenance.  Key findings:

  1. A single dwelling unit may be occupied by no more than one Household.  (Article 22 of Property Maintenance Code, 22-2-1)
    1. A Household consists of a parent or parents and children of such parent or parents or a group of not more than 5 persons who are not related as parents and children but who maintain a common household in a dwelling or dwelling unit.  (Article 22 of Property Maintenance Code, 22-2-1)
    1. Permissible Occupancy is defined as the maximum number of individuals permitted to reside in a dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit, or dormitory.  However, no numbers were found except for the 5 persons not related as parents and children (ii.) (Article 22 of Property Maintenance Code, 22-2-1)
    1. There is a provision stating how many square feet are needed in a dwelling unit for each person and that is defined in terms of number of occupants and bedrooms.  (Article 22 of Property Maintenance Code, 22-5-1)
    1. Finding stories for those occupations listed in the Salary Table.

We continue to gather stories.  One written story was sent in by Kathy Rolsing.

  • Upcoming Events
    • AR General Meeting January 11th at the Community Church at 7:00pm.  We’ll review the actions taken in our six areas of interest in 2022 and present the officer slate for 2023.  Let’s come together to celebrate our six-year history and gear up for the future.
    • AR Diversity Discussion Group.  Our next book, “My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of our Bodies and Hearts” by Resmaa Menakem will be available at the library soon and on Hoopla now for listening. 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.”  Maybe you’ve thought about joining this discussion group before but haven’t had the time?  This might be the perfect time to try us! We won’t be meeting until January 25th, so you’ll have more time to digest this important book.  If you have any questions, contact Karen Banks-Lubicz at lubicz@netzero.net or 847 924-0457.  Hope to hear from you!
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day Event 1/16/22.  On this day of remembrance, join the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago for a two hour introduction to Building the Beloved Community using Dr. King’s Principles and Steps of Nonviolence.  Then, in the spirit of Dr. King’s quote, “What are you doing for others?”, support our Beloved Community as we assemble toiletry packs for participants and neighbors in need.  For our volunteer project, we ask each attendee to bring items for our toiletry packs — toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products, soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, socks, and gloves for women and men.
  • Time meeting adjourned:  8:20pm
  • Next Meeting Date:  Thursday, February 2nd at 7:00pm via ZOOM

Meeting Minutes ~ December 14, 2022

Action Ridge General Meeting December 14, 2022.  Meeting began at 7:10 pm. Nan welcomed attendees and Tara Dabney, Director of Development and Communication for the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago.

Membership Report- Kate Kerin

The Membership team met in November and are very happy to report that all current leaders will continue on in 2023.  They are still looking for a Secretary to organize a team to take minutes at meetings.  There are four members who will alternate taking minutes at general meetings.

Gun Violence Prevention Report- Members are urged to complete a witness slip to support House Bill 5855.  See recent Action Ridge emails for more information and a link to complete a witness slip.

Nan reminded members to send letters in support and attend the D64 Board meeting on 12/15.  See recent Action Ridge emails for more information

The Book Club will be meeting on 1/25/2023 to discuss, “My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of our Bodies and Hearts” by Resmaa Menakem. 

Presentation:

Tara Dabney gave an excellent presentation about the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago.  Their goal is to reduce shootings and homicides by providing services in the following neighborhoods: Austin, West Garfield Park, Back of the Yards and Brighton Park.

They connect with communities and individuals by offering a variety of programs, including outreach and conflict management, case management, victim services, nonviolence training, and community organizing. They collaborate with local organizations, the Mayor’s office and police.   They also partner with Northwestern and the University of Chicago Crime Lab to evaluate their programs and ensure that their programs eliminate violence in the areas they serve.

Their guiding principle is that healing is possible when we support, uplift, and empower one another. By standing united to bring Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community to life, we can build a more peaceful and just Chicago for everyone.

They currently have a holiday toy drive and Action Ridge members generously contributed over 50 gifts.  We were invited to help wrap gifts on Friday December 16 at 819 N. Leamington St. Chicago starting at 10:00 AM.

For more information about their programs or to make a donation, go to their website: https://www.nonviolencechicago.org/

Meeting concluded at 8:15 PM.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Kate Kerin

Meeting Minutes:  Coffee with the Chief ~ Dec. 5, 2022

Location: Park Ridge Public Library

Meeting Moderator:  Alissa Goldwasser

Guest: Chief Frank Kaminski, Park Ridge Police Department

Attendees:  Noreen Gayford, Joan Bludeau LaVelle, Nan Parson, Ginger Pennington, Chris Parson, Liz Swanson, Lee Joosten, Bill Baty, Shel Neuman and Caroline Kubzansky (reporter for the Herald-Advocate)

Start Time:  2:05

Chris Parson opened the meeting by asking the Chief for his thoughts about the Resolution to ban assault weapons that is being brought forward by the Northwest Metropolitan Conference (NWMC) and was to be discussed at the Park Ridge City Council that evening.  The Chief feels that the Resolution needs further work and clearer wording.

The Chief said that his opinion depends on the final, exact wording, of the Resolution. He thinks that, in general, legislators do not engage in sufficient collaboration with law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders during the drafting of legislation, using the Resolution and the Safe T Act as two examples.  He said that the Chiefs of Police are frustrated by the lack of clarity.  The Chief said he had spent the morning reading the trailer bills to the Safe T Act but he had yet to study the Resolution. There’s lots of confusion about both.

Regarding the Safe T Act, the Chief said that he has no problem with the no bail part of the bill. But he would rather that Illinois had followed New Jersey’s example. He believes that their bill is much clearer. The Chief wishes more time had been spent considering the impacts of the bill and wishes that there was a 6-month delay to allow more details and procedures to be worked out before implementation.

Ginger Pennington pointed out that various aspects of the bill were discussed with multiple stakeholders, including Chiefs of Police, over the last 5 years—beginning with the Illinois Supreme Court and a Task Force. The Chief replied that some aspects were discussed but noted that various confusing aspects still needed to be changed, for example, the provision on tazor use, which conflicted with safety instructions from the manufacturers.  He stated that, early on, the Park Ridge Police Department had been considering provisions that are now in the bill.

Each community/Circuit Court District does things differently and the Chief finds this very confusing, as well. He wishes there could have been a chance to do dry runs or to implement the bill in sections. It’s been overwhelming, he said.  He noted that the precise paperwork changes/forms have not been provided for our district.

Alissa Goldwasser asked the Chief to comment on how things were done in Park Ridge before the Act and how they’re done now and how the Act will affect the future. The Chief said that previously the police were the “gate-keepers” during police actions; but now, if a perpetrator isn’t dangerous, isn’t committing a felony, he/she should be released. The local departments have less decision-making power.  For lower-level offences (Class B and C misdemeanors and petty offences), Officers are to issue a ticket at the site rather than bringing offenders into the department. He does not understand how fingerprinting is to be handled for Class B misdemeanors or exactly what counts as proper identification under the new law.

Liz Swanson summarized the problem as being complex, with a lot of vague verbiage. The Chief talked about the problem with trespassing, for example. Now it’s been clarified that the police can bring someone in, if there is a danger to the public or the perpetrator has obvious mental health issues or if they continue to violate the ordinance. He said that this clarification has helped. In the past, the officer tried to deescalate a situation and only take someone in if necessary. This is still the case.

Also, he said that there was so much confusion, since the bill was passed, regarding who can be detained and who can’t. If there’s clarification, the Chief will be happy with trailer bill #3. He still doesn’t understand about press releases, however. Now the police are not allowed to talk about what happened in court. The Chief isn’t clear why there is this limitation and when and if they can issue press releases.

Some departments are concerned about the 3 phone calls requirement. Police Departments worry that the calls could jeopardize a case. Departments often want to delay the process till things can be cleared up; but now an arrestee can call three people right away, perhaps warning others, etc.

There’s also concern about having enough staff to implement this bill. For example, if the police are going to charge a person with a felony, the State’s Attorney’s office must approve the charge (felony review). The Chief said that he has no problem with felony review, that checks and balances are necessary. However, there were once local offices that could be contacted to do the review; but now the office is centralized in Chicago and staffed by people the local departments don’t know. This centralization makes felony review more difficult. Also, there are a lot of inexperienced State’s Attorneys now. The Chief said that checks and balances are good; but we need good people to do it. He worries about inexperienced attorneys having so much responsibility.

Alissa asked how the Chief expected things to go once anonymous complaints against police officers are allowed under the SAFE-T Act as of January 1, 2023. The Chief said that they have always been allowed and still are in Park Ridge. But now that requirement is codified. There is sometimes a need to limit frivolous complaints so sometimes departments have not allowed anonymous complaints. Now all departments are required to allow them.

Noreen Gayford asked how a robbery is handled. She gave as an example, someone robbing a gas station. The Chief said that nothing has changed in a situation such as that. The robber is detained, and a judge decides if the person should continue to be detained, pre-trail. When there’s harm or potential harm to other people, the police are clear that the person will be detained.

Chris Parson asked about the FRO (Firearms Restraining Order)—how has this bill affected that? The Chief said that there hasn’t been much use of the FRO in PR., partly because restraining orders often require the removal of a firearm; so the bill has not affected the use of a FRO in Park Ridge.

The Chief agreed that a person should be 21 in order to be issued a FOID card at the State Level and everyone should be finger-printed. There should be portals for FOIDs and they should be shored up more. Someone asked who’s responsible for removing FOID cards and guns? The Chief replied that removing the card and guns creates a volatile situation. Police do it, if necessary; but it’s risky.

Bill Baty asked if we can prevent people from buying a gun. The Chief said that it’s hard if a person has a FOID card in Illinois. People often go to Indiana to get guns, where the requirements are less strict. That’s why there should be federal laws controlling gun sales. Many states require nothing in order to buy a gun.

The Chief accepts the Act but doesn’t like the lingering points of confusion and speed at which they are required to make changes. Ginger Pennington asked if the difficulties with clarifying the bill, the negative rhetoric, and the spread of disinformation regarding the bill, have created problems for the police and the public at large.  She pointed out that multiple stakeholders have been negatively affected by the vitriol and disinformation that has been spread. 

Also, someone asked whether these caused potential applicants not to want to be policemen and women? The Chief said that the negative rhetoric has caused dissention in many ways and has hurt police recruitment. He and others in the meeting expressed worry about technology taking over if we don’t have enough personnel and if they can’t be safe. We could have “Robocops” someday. Many agreed that the shortfall of not having enough police will not go away. This is a long-term problem.

Ginger said that it would be a win-win situation, for everyone, if there could be less divisive rhetoric and more communication and cooperation among responding agencies (police and other social services). Getting everyone to a center position is tough, however.

The Chief said that he’s proud that the Park Ridge PD is fully staffed—very lucky at the expense of other communities, he realizes, who have more difficulties recruiting candidates. He’s also very happy with the cadette program. Police officers want to come to PR for a variety of reasons, one being because it’s less dangerous than Chicago, particularly.

Shel Neuman, of the Fire and Police Board, talked about why police officers want to work here and how much easier his job is now that the PRPD is fully staffed.

Lee Joosten brought up whether the department conducts safety checks and active shooter drills for officers, schools and other institutions. He cited what happened in Uvalde, Texas as an example of needing to have safety drills; so police are clear about protocol in potentially violent situations. The Chief assured the group that the Park Ridge Police Department does conduct those drills.

The meeting ended on a high note with agreement from the Chief that the Safe-T-Act, once it’s clarified and less confusing, can bring about positive change in law enforcement.  The Chief reiterated that he supports many aspects of The Safe T Act, that his main issues are with the processes.

As the meeting concluded, all in attendance thanked the Chief for taking time to talk to the group and address our questions.

Meeting ended at 3:15

The date of the next Coffee with the Chief is TBD.

Respectfully submitted by Nan Parson, Alissa Goldwasser and Ginger Pennington

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