We work at the nexus of government, business, community, and philanthropy. Our unique role as a connector unlocks a cross-section of Chicagoland’s best ideas.
People with disabilities deserve transportation choices
Accessibility helps everyone. Sidewalk curb cuts, for instance, as they’ve been widely implemented over the past thirty years, haven’t just helped people using wheelchairs; they’ve made journeys easier with suitcases, strollers, rollerblades, and more. Chicagoland’s complex patchwork of transit and paratransit networks are ripe for improvement. That’s why we convened stakeholders from across the region to learn together about Toward Universal Mobility: Charting a Path to Improve Transportation Accessibility, including 32 policy recommendations and human-interest stories. The stories hit a nerve, featured in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Daily Herald, Curbed, the Daily Line, WTTW, CBS2, and WBEZ. We’re advocating for better audible cues, a cross-agency accessibility coordinator, cellphone tracking of paratransit vans, and more.
Practitioners learn nation’s best practices for clean, affordable drinking water
First it was Flint. Then other cities’ tap water struggles cleaved into national news. The reality is, when a mayor is elected, he or she is likely not an expert when it comes to the complex, important work of delivering water to their constituents’ taps. How should water bills be written and sent, for ease and affordability? How can a mayor tackle pollution, lead, and rapidly depleting aquifers? That’s why we released the very readable Drinking Water 1-2-3 guidebook in 2018, sharing best practices from around the nation. And why, in 2019, we added a “mobile classroom,” four training workshops held in Joliet, Orland Park, Elgin, and Barrington to help the region’s elected officials, water managers, and practitioners learn shoulder-to-shoulder. The attendees came from Buffalo Grove to Richton Park. Because our community’s tap water is precious.
Returning citizens deserve stable housing to keep prison in the rear-view mirror
Did you know that in Illinois, nearly 40% of people return to prison within three years, each time costing taxpayers over $150,000? An important piece of the puzzle in giving people a shot at stability and reducing that price tag is housing for formerly incarcerated individuals. That’s why we partnered with the Illinois Justice Project and over 60 organizations on Re-Entry Housing Issues in Illinois, a detailed report outlining challenges and solutions. This project marks the first time the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois Housing Development Authority have tackled re-entry housing issues together.
“In order to effectively serve their constituents, governments need to be informed by accurate, bipartisan information, and supported with the tools and the staffing to run the programs that our communities rely on. With partnerships with organizations like MPC, the Village of Summit is able to function at a higher level, and authentically represent the interests of our residents.”
—Sergio Rodriguez, Mayor, Summit, IL
Our team is poised to assist and to empower new leaders
Our subject matter experts stay sharp, regularly informing each other around the office, and formally lending a hand when called. This year we armed leaders at multiple levels of government with the tools they need to lead well. We were a resource to new Deputy Governors and State of Illinois agency heads on best practices across the U.S. We educated Chicago aldermanic candidates on housing, transportation, water, and equity, through a Webinar series. And we crafted a go-to Mayoral Briefing Book and loaned staff to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s transition teams. You’ll see the fruits of that work in news stories, political talking points, and government action all around us.