Action Ridge and The League of Women Voters Team up to Promote the Vote!

9.8.22 – It’s worth a trip to the Park Ridge Library to see the awesome posters that Action Ridge created in cooperation with the League of Women Voters Park Ridge.  The display cases are located on the second floor around the corner from the Business Office.  The posters contain all the information one needs to register to vote, change your registration, find your polling place, see what’s on your ballot, and where to go to get answers to your questions about voting. 

You can also find information about when early voting starts, mail-in voting, and all the various deadlines.  You’ll see how to access the consolidated bar associations’ evaluations for judges.  And, last but not least, you’ll find the exact wording of the two referendums that are on the ballot – Park Ridge Park District Oakton Park Referendum and the Cook County Forest Preserve District Referendum.

And, if you can’t make it to the library, just look below!

Affordable Housing Advocacy Group Meeting Minutes ~ July 11, 2022

Date: July 11, 2022

Location of meeting:  Via Zoom

Time meeting was called to order: 7:04pm

Attendees:  Kristin Berg, Nan Parson, Kathy Rosling, Marilyn Novak, Jeanne Wells

  1. City moving very slowly on Comp Plan and Housing Plan.
    1. City confirmed that the Community Survey is not related to the Comprehensive Plan.  Drew Awsumb said on 6/17 that the Comp Plan is in a “holding pattern”.  At PZC meeting 6/28, Claudia Hampel said Drew is still working on creating the stakeholder survey
    1. Due to lack of action or communication about the Comp Plan or a Housing Plan, Kristin will email Drew Awsumb and request a meeting to inquire about any timeline, progress, etc.
  • 7th Ward Alderman candidates. At the time of the meeting there was no information as to the selected candidate.  Since then, the agenda for the 7/18 City Council Meeting indicates that the Mayor will recommend that Mwende Lefler be appointed as the Alderman.  Her resume is attached.
  • Infographics, social media posts and timeline for release; strategy for messaging
    • There was a discussion about connecting QR codes to a fact sheet about AH in Park Ridge.  Kristin will work on a fact sheet.
    • Connect QR codes to petition?  We may do that in the future.
    • Kathy has several resident stories through the Center of Concern.
  • LWV representatives from regional LWV groups to meet on 8/15 to discuss the possibility of creating an informal coalition of our local leagues to address local housing needs and initiatives.  Kristin will attend meeting and report back.
  • New Business
  • There was a discussion about the possibility of Action Ridge joining the Chamber of Commerce to increase the visibility of the organization and network with community leaders.  Nan will contact them in September to find out more and if there would a charge.
  • Upcoming Events
    • AR Meeting July 13 at 7:00pm at Sweet & Tart.  We will be hosting Jason Ivy, a musician who told his story in the First-Hand series on PBS.  He will tell us more about himself and describe the hard work required to be a successful artist in segregated Chicago.  We’re hopeful that he’ll share his music with us, too.
    • Conversation about policing and mental health at Sweet & Tart from 2-3pm on July 19.  Action Ridge invites you to the rescheduled conversation hour with members of the Park Ridge Police Department about police response to situations involving people with mental health challenges. Chief Frank Kaminski and PRPD Social Worker Geri Silic will be on hand to discuss the Department’s work in this area and to answer questions about any other policing-related issues.
    • AR Diversity Discussion Group.  Next meeting is July 27th at 7:00pm on zoom.  The group will be reading book is “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” by Trevor Noah. The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.  Books are available now upstairs at the library.     
  • Time Meeting Adjourned:  8:15pm                                           
  • Next Meeting Date:  Monday, August 22nd at 7:00pm via Zoom

Reproductive Rights Resources

Steaming mad about SCOTUS overturning Roe v Wade? The best first thing you can do is make an ongoing donation to a reputable organization on the front lines of this fight. Recurring donations help organizations reliably plan and budget.

Donating to and spreading the word about organizations that help those seeking abortions do so safely is another positive action to take now and on an ongoing basis.

Here’s a list to get you started:

National Network of Abortion Funds

Local Network of Abortion Funds

Planned Parenthood Resources

Can mail abortion-inducing medication; offers advance provision of medication.

If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice
Provides legal advice; confidential help line; legal defense fund.

Miscarriage and Abortion Hotline
Support and resources for self-managing miscarriage or abortion

Digital Defense Fund
Provides digital security services to keep reproductive healthcase choices secure and private

I Need an A
Locates nearest abortion provider

Meeting Minutes ~ June 8, 2022

Action Ridge General Meeting
June 8, 2022

Meeting commenced at 7:00pm.

Nan introduced Dr. Ben Collins.

Featured Speaker: Dr. Ben Collins, Principal of Maine South High School
Dr. Collins discussed the ways in which Maine South, along with the other Maine Township high schools have been working to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the school.
The work has been challenging but invigorating at Maine South. There are approximately 2,500 students representing 1,900 families, so many different backgrounds and viewpoints co-exist.

Maine South is fairly diverse culturally. There are many students whose families have recently come from Eastern Europe, some from Ukraine. Many students are first generation. There are also many students who come from families who have been in Park Ridge for generations.

The school has a multi-pronged plan to help all students thrive.

Acknowledge, recognize, and celebrate different cultural backgrounds
• The school observes a diversity of holidays, celebrate customs.
• Departments weave discovery about different people, places, and events in the course curriculum.

Foster individual student identity
• The school holds listening sessions organized around student identities, but anyone can come.
• This was the fourth year of this practice and additional listening sessions have been added over the years.

Advisory Sessions
• There is time set aside each month in students’ schedules to work directly with students on lessons about acceptance and inclusion.
• One month, the students watched a video about microaggressions and discussed it.
• Next year, the school will build on these lessons for sophomores, juniors and seniors. At the end of four years there will be leveled curriculum for each year at the school. This not only improves the climate at Maine South, but prepares students to enter the world beyond high school where an understanding of different people’s experiences will be vital.

• The school loosened the dress code to allow for religious expression as well as individual student identity.
• Disciplinary measures have moved away from punitive consequences and moved toward restorative justice.
• Changes in the grading process consider equity.

Staff Education
• The school holds training for teachers about how to address instances of bigotry.
• Maine South is involved with SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity), an organization that helps train educators to promote principles of social justice in their schools.
• Maine South is also working with the primary schools that feed into the high school (sending schools) on equity initiatives.
• Each department and team has book studies that help them better understand issues of equity.

District 207 and Maine South have district- and building-level equity teams made up of staff. Next year, Maine South is considering building a student equity leadership team.
Maine South has a chapter of SOAR (Student Organized Against Racism).

Why isn’t there a ‘no hate’ banner at Maine South, but there are at Maine East and Maine West?
Maine South has a different student-designed banner. The idea of the “We believe…” banner was a source of strong differences across the school community and a distraction from the work that was taking place inside the school.

How does Maine South attract and retain a diverse teaching staff?
They have done intentional recruiting and more people of color have applied. Changing the overall diversity of the staff will be slow since they don’t hire that many new teachers at a time.
They hold listening sessions for teachers belonging to different identity groups, as they do with the students. The feedback has generally been that interactions with the students and staff have been good. Parents, however, sometimes treat teachers of color differently. The school endured harassment from parents last year about many different issues; they will not tolerate it going forward.

How do you explain the diversity, equity, and inclusion work to parents?
The administration listens to the concerns of parents and genuinely is attuned to understanding where the school has fallen short. Most people who initially push back against DEI initiatives understand, if not support it, after a meeting with administration.

How does Maine South address the danger presented by the potential for school shootings?
The key is to make every student feel like they are a part of the school. They have to watch for humor that turns into teasing which ends up in bullying.
The school has strong safety protocols in place. Mental health has never been worse among high school students. Suicide remains a major concern.

Do students talk to their parents about equity?
Some do and some don’t.

Other Items
Amy Bartucci explained the mission of a group led by parents and community members called Maine South Community for Equity. The group aims to support the equity initiatives within the school. Anyone interested can contact Amy at

Nan reported that Jason Ivy, a Chicago-based musician who was also profiled in the WTTW Firsthand: Segregation series, may join Action Ridge at the July 13 meeting.

Committee Updates
Environmental – Tim Milburn
Park Ridge is developing ordinances that are making it easier to have solar panels.
There is planning underway for a Solar Tour on September 25. Currently, 70 homes in Park Ridge have solar panels, up from just seven, five years ago.

Park Ridge may also take up EV-readiness, including the availability of electric vehicle charging stations. Tim is the project manager for this effort in this area.

There are legislative initiatives in Springfield. Some may come up in November, including equity and the environment and shutting down coal power plants.

Policing and Criminal Justice – Alissa Goldwasser and Kristen Olson
A reminder that Action Ridge will host a coffee conversation with the Park Ridge Police Department on June 14 at 2pm at Off The Wall. The theme of the meeting will be the intersection of mental health and policing. Geri Silic, the Department’s social worker, will be on hand to answer questions.

Affordable Housing – Kristin Berg and Nan Parson
The comprehensive plan is moving slowly; there isn’t a specific timeline. The effort will start with City Council, not Planning & Zoning.
There is a survey on the city website asking about what is important in the community. Several people in attendance had questions about what it is for and whether it can capture interest in affordable housing.

Voting and Elections – Chris Parson
Sunday is the last opportunity to register to vote for the general primary elections on June 28. Early voting begins on Monday. The next two years could be the most important that this country has ever had to elect leaders. Consult the League of Women Voters’

Book Discussion Group – Karen Banks-Lubicz
The group will discuss See No Stranger by Valarie Kaur. Copies of the book are in the reader service’s section of the library. The discussion will take place on June 22 via Zoom.

Gun Violence Prevention – Noreen Gayford and Joan Bludeau Lavelle
Nationwide March for our Lives events are taking place on June 11. Chicago-area marchers can take part at the Federal building on Dearborn or in Palatine on Quentin Road. Both marches begin at noon.

HR7910 would Increase the age to 21 to buy an automatic rifle, prevent gun trafficking, regulate ghost guns, mandate safe storage, and close the bump stock loophole.

There are efforts in other parts of the country to pass legislation that would arm school personnel. This effort hasn’t been strong in Illinois, but it could gain momentum.
Activists should be ready to contact schools/districts in opposition.

Meeting ended at 8:25pm.

Minutes submitted by Alissa Goldwasser and Nan Parson.

Affordable Housing Advocacy Group Meeting Minutes ~ June 6, 2022

Date: June 6, 2022

Location of meeting:  Via Zoom

Time meeting was called to order: 7:04pm

Attendees:  Kristin Berg, Nan Parson, Kathy Rolsing, Karen Banks-Lubicz, Kate Kerin, Jeanne Wells, Melani Kaplan, Marilyn Novak

Agenda Items:

  1. City moving slowly on Comp Plan and Housing Plan
    1. There is no new information on when the city will begin work on the Comprehensive Plan or a Housing Plan to be filed with the state.  The City Manager stated that work on the Housing Plan will begin with the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus, but no dates were given.  It will start with City Council, who will then decide what role PZC will take.
    1. The city is reviewing the requirement that comments on city agenda items be submitted 72 hours prior to the meeting.  With agendas coming out less than 1 business day prior to meetings at times, this does not allow enough time for citizens to submit timely comments.
    1. There is a new Community Survey posted on the city’s website.  “The 2022 Community Survey will be used to help the City Council make decisions that affect our community. The results will be used as a baseline to help clearly define the City’s vision and mission.”  The survey has not been well-advertised and there is no indication of who wrote it and why it is coming out now.  The survey is open until 7/20 and residents should fill it out.  There are only a couple of questions that mention Housing (7 and 8), but a couple of other questions allow limited opportunities to write something in.  Kristin will try to find out more about it.
    1. Wilmette is working on an update to their Comprehensive Plan.  One of HODC’s board members lives in Wilmette.  Kristin will ask him if they are using the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus or another group as a consultant.
  • Infographics, social media posts and timeline for release; strategy for messaging
    • There was a discussion of 2 draft social media posts, and it was decided that:
      • The QR code should link to a page on the AR website that has contact information for people to email City Council and PZC, since that is what we are asking in the post.
      • The QR code or another type of link should also allow viewers of the post to get to the Petition created in support of AH in Park Ridge.  We will need to explore the technology necessary to accomplish this.
      • The white lettering in the red box should be in a bolder font.
      • The image should use “alt text” so that it is described in text for those who cannot see it.
  • Upcoming Events:
    • AR Meeting June 8 at 7:00pm at the Community Church and virtual on zoom. Maine South HS Principal Dr. Ben Collins will talk about how MS is working to make sure all feel comfortable at school.
    • Gun Violence Prevention – Wear orange on June 3,4, and 5 in support of sensible gun laws.
    • AR Diversity Discussion Group.  Next meeting is June 22nd at 7:00pm on zoom.  The group will be reading “See No Stranger”.  
    • Policing and Criminal Justice.  Meet with Chief Kaminski and social worker Geri Silic as they discuss how police respond to situations involving those with mental health challenges.  June 14th at Off the Wall, 2-3pm.

Time Meeting Adjourned:  7:42pm                                                         

Next Meeting Date:  Monday, July 7th at 7:00pm via Zoom

Affordable Housing Advocacy Group Meeting Minutes ~ May 12, 2022

Date: May 12, 2022

Location of meeting:  Via Zoom

Time meeting was called to order: 7:00pm

Attendees:  Kristin Berg, Nan Parson, Kathy Rosling, Karen Banks-Lubicz, Kate Kerin, Jen Panattoni

We all introduced ourselves as we have a new member, Jen Panattoni.  She asked if we had language or talking points used to communicate with others about affordable housing.  Kristin will send her the petition we developed and other information on affordable housing.  We discussed the need for a “one pager” of talking points.

Agenda Items:

  1. Drew Awsumb’s presentation to City Council on 5/5 on an Affordable Housing Plan
    1. Gave council a memo created by one of the city attorneys that describes the mandated Housing Plan. (Memo and presentation are available in the city archives on the meetings page of the city website)
    1. There were questions from council members about updating the number of affordable units in Park Ridge as maybe we are at or above 10%.  IHDA will not be updating the numbers until 2023, and we have to go by the 8% number determined in 2018 when they last updated.  A plan should be filed by the end of the year.
    1. The city will get started by bringing in the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus to function as a consultant to update data and advise as to how other nearby communities have addressed a shortage of affordable housing in their plans.  They will present to council either 5/16 or 5/23
    1. It is not clear whether council or PZC will be drafting the Housing Plan.  Kristin will check in with the City Manager about that.
  • PZC cancelled its last 2 meetings (4/26 and 5/10) so has not taken up the Comp Plan yet
    • No information as to when the commission will discuss the Comp Plan
    • Kristin will continue to review their agendas when posted
  • Infographic for Affordable Housing
    • There was a discussion about the infographic and what the timing should be on when to post around town and in social media
    • Jen, our new member, has experience in marketing and social media and has offered to create social media posts to help spread the word about the need for affordable housing in our town.
    • We will begin to share posts when closer to the city holding public discussions on the topic.  We don’t want to lose momentum by distributing too long before the city takes it up
    • Kate will look into possible “table events” such as the Farmer’s Market that we could attend and have information on housing available
  • Stories from those who need AH in Park Ridge
    • We discussed developing a second infographic focusing more on the personal, emotional aspects of those in need of more affordable housing
    • We continue to gather stories from those who may be willing to share their experience either in writing, at public meetings, or on video.
  • Upcoming Events:
    • AR Meeting May 11 at 7:00pm at the Community Church and virtual on zoom. Action Ridge will present three stories taken from the PBS documentary series, First-Hand.
    • Neighbors Unite Against Hate at Jonquil Terrace Park, Sunday May 15th at 3:00. We’re hoping for “all-hands-on- deck” at this neighborhood event, the local version of the rally in Glenview, expanded to rebuke hate against others in all its forms.
    • AR Diversity Discussion Group.  Next meeting is May 25 at 7:00pm on zoom.  Our new book is “Why are all the Black Kids sitting together in the Cafeteria?” 
    • Vacancy for 7th Ward Alderman – 11 applications
    • HODC Open House May 20th, 3-6pm at HODC office building, 5340 Lincoln Avenue, Skokie
    • Memorial Day Parade.  Save the date and join Action Ridge in the Memorial Day Parade, Monday 5/30.  We will have position 65, South side of Talcott, just East of Prospect.  Vehicle S/B in place by 9:30. Lead unit steps off at 10:AM.  South Park fieldhouse restrooms will be open.

Time Meeting Adjourned:  8:25pm                                                         

Next Meeting Date:  Monday, June 6th at 7:00pm via Zoom

Meeting Minutes ~ May 11, 2022

Action Ridge General Meeting

May 11, 2022

Meeting commenced at 7:00pm

Nan welcomed everyone and thanked Scott Grau for figuring out an improved video setup.

Viewing of Nan’s segment on Firsthand: Segregation.

Discussion of Nan’s segment from the Firsthand discussion guide

Question prompt: What are the factors that have created segregation in Park Ridge?

Comments from attendees:

Federal actions incentivized white flight and steered investment to white communities. Also, there were discriminatory local policies both codified (covenants) and informal. Park Ridge never felt the need to accommodate people of color since there were “other” places for them to live in the area.

On a previous panel, one black woman who attended said that she would feel uncomfortable living in such a white community and that she couldn’t afford to live in Park Ridge. (This comment was revised to reflect Nan’s recollection of the woman’s comments at that previous panel.)

Making Park Ridge more diverse is a function of making it more affordable to live here.

There are not many people of color represented in the community already. A member remembered that a family of color that was renting here did not feel welcome – example of man being followed home by a Park Ridge police vehicle which sat outside his home for a while.

A member gave an example of a black man in Arlington Heights whose white friends felt he was accepted in community and were surprised that he wouldn’t ride his bike after dark in his own neighborhood.

A member recalled a black woman in Park Ridge feeling uncomfortable walking down the street.

When a member was living in San Francisco, one of her black friends took her and other white women to a bar where they were the only white people – feeling of discomfort.

A member used to do work at a Native American reservation. When they were first there, they and their hosts had to get comfortable with each other. Over time, they got very used to being with each other. The car she was in was speeding one time and got pulled over by the local police force. The officer had heard about them and ended up letting them off the hook.

Nan provided an update on Blue Island, our twin city. Fifteen people have gone to visit Blue Island. On Nan’s third visit, she felt much more comfortable. She has been speaking with Tonika Johnson and Maria Krysan about matching with individuals in Blue Island for deeper relationship-building.

Ann Kapustiak reminded that people of color may not be as interested in engaging in interactions that ultimately disproportionately benefit white people’s agenda. Nan agreed that it was a fine line.

Viewing of Jason Ivy’s segment on Firsthand: Segregation

General observations of Jason’s story:

Follow Jason on Spotify!

The segment illustrated the power of art for people to make connections, possibly a vehicle to make other connections with Blue Island.

Question prompt: Jason says that his school experiences formed his current views. How has your school experience shaped your view of race?

The member went to Maine East, when it was less diverse.

The member went to St. Paul and then her parents wanted her to go to Maine South, because she would know a few people. Her home was on the dividing line between Maine South and Maine East so it would have been feasible and closer for her to go to ME. She currently works for a non-profit that focuses on student equity and outcomes. She was surprised that the school hadn’t had air conditioning a year before.

The member lives in Niles where they could choose ME or MS for their children. Everyone assumed she would send her kids to Maine South. People talked of gang activity at ME. ME was a phenomenal experience for her son, who is white. Now most of his friends are people of color at college. Her daughter is of Guatemalan descent and has also had a great experience.

Nan’s son, Mark, was not happy at first to be going to ME, but ultimately was glad that he went there.

It is a challenge to think about how to cultivate relationships with people of color. Ann Kapustiak suggested that we try to have Jason Ivy play in Park Ridge.

Committee updates

Affordable Housing – Kristin Berg

At the May 2 City Council meeting Drew Awsumb made a presentation about the affordable housing plan and Park Ridge’s need to file a report.

Park Ridge asked the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus to make a presentation to consult with City Council on ways to create an affordable housing plan.

The committee has developed an infographic and petition that will be ready to circulate when the work gets going in earnest. They are looking for testimonials from people who are in need of less costly housing in Park Ridge.

Gun Violence Prevention – Noreen Gayford and Joan Bludeau Lavelle

They are working closely with GPAC – attending calls and publicizing actions. While Action Ridge can’t endorse candidates, we can collect and distribute a list of all candidates’ opinions regarding  gun legislation. (This comment was updated to reflect Action Ridge’s non-partisan status per Nan.)

June 3 – Moms Demand Action Day – wear orange to support sensible gun legislation.

Several bills were on Pritzker’s desk.

Gun Store Transparency Project – will hold sellers accountable.

There have been recent gun-related incidents in Park Ridge. A gun stolen from unlocked car on Stanley Ave and a loaded gun was found in Olympia Park.

Human Rights – Cynthia Kater

United Against Hate rally at Jonquil Terrace Park on May 15 at 3pm. Action Ridge is co-sponsoring with Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton’s office and Niles Coalition. Nan will open the event with comments.

Cynthia has been in contact with student groups at ME, MS, and Niles West representing student affinity groups. An adult speaker from Niles West will address hate directed towards these students at the rally.

Cynthia suggested organizing around issues of reproductive rights given the likely overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Diversity Discussion Group – Karen Banks-Lubicz

The group will discuss “Why are all the Black Kids sitting together in the Cafeteria?”  by Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD on May 25 at 7pm via Zoom.  The book is available now at the library upstairs at Reader Services.  The group will also discuss meeting in person for future sessions.

Policing and Criminal Justice – Alissa Goldwasser and Kristen Olson

School Resource Officers – Alissa and Kristen continue to push for more rigorous reporting for the annual SRO evaluation. Their conversations with stakeholders have so far pointed to a program that is yielding positive outcomes for the school communities.

Lexipol – The police department just started working in earnest with Lexipol to update its hundreds of general orders based on current law and practice. Alissa and Kristen hope to get insight into the process in real time, but are prepared to compare new and old language once it is available to the public.

Uptown disturbances – Many of the uptown businesses have restricted young people’s access to their stores following incidents ranging from disrespectful behavior to property destruction. Police are trying to balance public safety without criminalizing young people. They are Increasing patrols, activating citizen watches, and establishing a more visible presence. They are not being heavy-handed when dealing with youth. 

Coffee Series – Action Ridge is piloting a series of monthly informal coffees for anyone who wants to come and have a discussion with leadership of the Park Ridge Police Department. Each month there will be a loose theme, but we expect that other questions and concerns will come up. The first session will take place July 14 at 2pm at Off the Wall at 104 Main Street. It will be an opportunity to meet with Geri Silic, the PD’s social worker and better understand the work she does and how it ties into the larger conversation of mental health and critical incident response.

Voting and Elections – Pat Lofthouse and Chris Parson

Rank-choice voting is gaining popularity. It is on a referendum in Evanston.  Park Ridge is unlikely to be a vanguard of this approach. Laura Murphy introduced in the State.

If you have moved, make sure that you register to vote; it can be done online. Mail-in ballots are currently available and early voting starts June 18. The League of Women Voters and Action Ridge may hold a candidate forum before the November elections.

Membership – Kate Kerin

Kate continues to push to expand and diversify membership. Please invite someone to the next meeting.

Upcoming events

May 12 – Affordable Housing Action Meeting

May 15 – Neighbors United Against Hate

May 25 – Book Discussion Group

May 30 – Memorial Day Parade

June 7 – Loving Together (a program celebrating LGBTQ+ faith affirmations) 7-8pm, First Methodist Church (418 W. Touhy)

Ann Kapustiak is working with the Maine Township high schools to engage interns around qualitative research related to affordable housing. Separately, she gave a presentation for a social studies class at Maine South about her research on segregation in Park Ridge.

Meeting ended at 8:56pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Alissa Goldwasser and Nan Parson.

Action Ridge Assists Cook County Efforts to Unite Against Antisemitism at Rally April 24, 2022

On April 24th, 2022, over 200 people gathered in the Attea Middle School Cafeteria in Glenview to show their support for neighbors and community members that had received antisemitic literature at their homes. Speakers included Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Illinois State Sen. Laura Fine of Glenview, Illinois State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (9th District) of Evanston and others.

The event, which was launched by Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton (14th District) of Glenview after he received antisemitic literature at his residence on March 3, was also sponsored by Action Ridge and the Niles Coalition. Media coverage included the WLS ABC Chicago evening news, the Chicago Tribune online, and Patch Glenview news.

The Action Ridge Human Rights team was honored to provided assistance with planning, messaging, and running the event, including the development of the county-wide United Against Hate symbol, website and pledge, which was announced at the rally.

The event concluded with the audience participating in taking a Pledge Against Hate, which you can find here: https://www.cook county united against

General Meeting ~ May 11, 2022

On May 11th, at 7:00, both in-person and virtually, Action Ridge will present three stories taken from the PBS documentary series, First-Hand.  One of the stories was told by Nan Parson, co-founder of Action Ridge.  In the video she talks about segregation and ways to mitigate it, using Park Ridge as an example of a segregated suburb. 

After viewing the videos of the stories, participants will engage in discussion regarding their experiences with segregation and will explore the effects of it locally and in society at large.

Action Ridge Committee Chairs will also bring attendees up to date about the recent activities of the organization, including participating in a rally to fight against anti-Semitism that took place on April 24th.   Please join us to explore the causes and effects of segregation and to learn more about Action Ridge.  If you aren’t on the Action Ridge mailing list, and wish to attend virtually, request the Zoom link at .

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:


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