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June 2011 Blog posts

Miss MPC's Annual Luncheon? Read the media round-up

In spite of the media feeding frenzy surrounding yesterday's big news—the jury's "guilty" verdict in a string of corruption charges against Gov. Rod Blagojevich—MPC's Annual Luncheon managed to snare great coverage from local business reporters. If you missed the event, check our web site soon for an MPC recap; in the meantime, here's what made headlines: Luncheon coverage Walmart exec says Chicago suits chain's growth plans Chicago Sun-Times (also ran in the SouthtownStar and on AllVoices.com) Wal-Mart to start minority-supplier program in Chicago Chicago Tribune (also ran on WGN-TV online) Smaller formats targeted for Walmart growth, exec says The Times of Northwest Indiana (Also ran on Evergreen Investments) Wal-Mart aims to foster minority-owned business with…

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Funding sources for local water protection projects or initiatives

People from many walks of life frequently ask me about funding sources for local water protection projects or initiatives, so MPC developed this list. While extensive, it is not exhaustive, and it's very possible that we are missing some. If that's the case, please contact me with relevant information to be added to this list. FEDERAL Catalogs The US EPA has a catalog of federal funding sources for watershed protection. Potential applicants can search by criteria such as the type of assistance sought and the type of organization seeking assistance (in this case, local government). If they select to “Get [search] results in table format”, the resulting table will provide the name of the funding program, a brief overview, and the funding levels for fiscal year 2011. …

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People want to walk

It’s been a good week for pedestrians. Last week was Bike to Work Week – and no, MPC did not top the list of winners of the Bike Commuter Challenge, but yes, I did ride in and enjoyed the requisite exchange with an impatient driver who didn’t appreciate my presence in Roosevelt Road’s bike lane. Also last week, the Urban Land Institute noted the findings of three surveys that walkable communities are growing in popularity. They all agreed that people increasingly want to be able to walk to stores and restaurants, or just take a walk with no particular destination. People, in other words, want to walk. Finally, last night marked the kick-off of the Chicago Department of Transportation’s Pedestrian Plan public meetings. We at MPC were excited to be there to…

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June marks celebration of National Homeownership Month but few Latinos at the party

Photos by Olga Lopez

“Prices are low! Mortgages are cheap!” The headline from a recent report from CNN Money enticed would-be homeowners. However, as the headline concluded, reality set in: “But you can’t get one.” While times are tough for homeowners from all walks of life, editors could have qualified the “you:” The article reports that approximately 25 percent of all loan applications are turned down nationally; however, that number jumps to nearly 30 percent for Latinos in metro Chicago applying for conventional loans, according to Latino Policy Forum analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data. Further analysis of HMDA data puts the loan-rejection rate at 15 percent for metro Chicago overall, which indicates local Latinos are faring worse than their…

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Growing blue: Water, economic development, and corporate stewardship

Ryan Griffin-Stegink

Laurent Auguste, President and CEO of Veolia Water Americas, lays out his vision for aligning water conservation with water-dependent economic development.

I do my best to conserve water at home. I try to be smart about actual water use—only running full loads of laundry, keeping a pitcher of water in the fridge so I don't have to wait for cold water, etc.—but I rent, so I'm not in a position to retrofit my apartment with too much in the way of water-efficient plumbing fixtures. That said, I have installed faucet aerators and a low-flow shower head, and I put a used 2-liter soda bottle in my toilet tank to trick it into thinking it requires less water with every flush. Between all that, I'd guess that I've reduced my daily water consumption by 15 gallons or so (of course, because I don't receive a water bill, I don't really know for sure). Over a year, that's 5,475 gallons of water, which is pretty good. The Hyatt Regency in…

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