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November 2009 Blog posts

MPC's Thanksgiving list

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and the MPC staff will be enjoying a couple of days off on Thursday and Friday to unwind, feast with friends and family, and reflect on what a truly great year it's been. Around here, we have much to give thanks for. In January, we moved into a beautiful new office in the Marquette Building, 140 S. Dearborn, where we have fantastic neighbors and a birdseye view of all the action at Federal Plaza. During the Illinois General Assembly's spring legislative session, we secured a win for water use data and helped advance support for state transportation investment criteria -- which we'll renew the fight for in February when Springfield is back in business. Our Annual Luncheon in September, which featured top White House officials, was a smashing success,…

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An investment in MPC is an investment in our region’s future

According to a Nov. 2 Reuters article, the Midwest economy is in a “fragile recovery,” following many months of economic upheaval. Our local communities have been battered economically as well as socially. As we look to 2010, business and civic leaders will continue to face unprecedented challenges to remain viable and competitive. We need to accelerate this recovery, but this will require vigilance and creative action. MPC is passionately committed to Chicagoland’s diverse communities and the region’s prosperity, whether the need is innovative public-private solutions, infrastructure investment, or neighborhood stabilization. Please consider a year-end, tax-deductible contribution to MPC that will help keep these issues on track, as well as provide…

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Support the Livable Communities Act

The Livable Communities Act of 2009, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), would foster equitable and sustainable development by providing resources to local and regional communities to coordinate land use, housing, transportation, and infrastructure planning. The legislation also establishes the Office of Sustainable Housing & Communities at the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, and an Interagency Council on Sustainable Communities. Within months of its introduction, the Act has garnered co-sponsors from across the nation, including Sens. Harkin of Iowa, Landrieu of Louisiana, Menendez of New Jersey, Merkley of Oregon, Bennet of Colorado, Akaka of Hawaii, and Schumer of New York. Contact your legislators, members of the Senate Banking committee and others,…

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Illinois' financial situation among worst in the nation

We’ve known for awhile that Illinois’ fiscal situation is a disaster. Now we know just how badly we’re doing compared with other states: Last week, the Pew Center on the States named Illinois one of the 10 most financially troubled states in the nation. The report, "Beyond California: States in Fiscal Peril,"compared California (which recently had to make payments to state vendors with IOUs) with the rest of the states. Illinois, with a projected budget deficit of $13.2 billion for FY2010, ranked fourth worst in the nation. Authors of the report cited state leaders "lack of fiscal discipline to balance its state budget" as the main reason for the ranking. The State Doesn’t Pay Its Bills Essentially the state has run a deficit every year since 2001, dodging…

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Private or public, water conservation is the real issue: part 2

A few weeks ago rumors – which to my knowledge are still only rumors – started to surface about Chicago exploring privatization of its water system (in the last few days both the Chicago Tribune and Crain’s have touched on the subject as well, see MPC’s letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune for our response to the former). When the rumors popped up I wrote here that if the goal of privatizing the water system is to conserve water, reduce leakage and loss, and be a better steward of our Lake Michigan water supply; and if a private firm can do that better than a public agency, then it’s worth exploring. It’s a question of goals, not of whether private management is inherently better or worse than public. Northeastern Illinois’ water supply…

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For 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area’s toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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