Roundtable Series to Feature Property Taxes, Transportation, Media
MPC knows how important it is to bring people to the table to discuss the
Chicago metropolitan region’s most pressing concerns. In that tradition, the
Council is pleased to announce the 2004 Fall Roundtable Series, which features
three distinct sessions focused on property tax reform, ground transportation
around O’Hare, and media coverage of regional issues.
At each roundtable, a panel of
speakers will present their thoughts on current issues, followed by a moderated
question-and-answer session. Lunch will be served.
“The Fall Roundtable
Series is designed to offer
said Peter Skosey, MPC vice president of external
relations. “Public officials, business leaders, residents, and schools are feeling the
squeeze from mounting local property
and participants in the first roundtable will learn why now is the time to
system. In the second roundtable, the audience will hear about critical plans to
improve ground transportation around O’Hare, which are often overshadowed by the
airport’s expansion. And, in what’s sure to be a rousing finale to our fall
series, three of the Chicago area’s finest journalists will give ‘the inside
scoop’ on how and why they cover the stories they do, and those they
“Settling the Bill: Or,
Why Property Tax Reform is Needed Now” takes place Wednesday, Oct. 27, noon to
1:30 p.m., Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP, 190 S. LaSalle St.,
Floor, Room 1, 2, 3 west, Chicago.
“Preparing for Take-Off: A
Discussion of Ground Transportation Around O’Hare” will be held Thursday, Oct.
28, noon to 1:30 p.m., Beau Jolie, 9950 W. Lawrence Ave., Schiller Park, Ill.
Between the Lines: The Inside
Scoop on Media Coverage of Regional Issues” takes place Friday, Nov. 5, noon to
1:30 p.m., Harris Bank, 111 W. Monroe St., 20
Floor, Room 20C,
To register for the roundtables, please call
312-863-6011 or visit www.metroplanning.org/calendar.asp. The cost for each roundtable is $12 for MPC
members, $25 for nonmembers. Media may attend free of charge, but a reservation
is appreciated in order to plan for lunch.
MPC Contact: Peter Skosey, Vice President of External Relations
312.863.6004 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Carbondale School District Suffering From School Funding Woes
A+ Illinois is
spotlighting schools across the state forced to make unacceptable choices that harm
Illinois’ outmoded, property tax-dependent
school funding system.
Elementary School District 95
Ill., is doing its best to maintain fiscal
responsibility. It balanced its $21.5 million budget the past two years and
plans to balance it again this year. In the face of increasing reliance on an
ever-weakening property tax base, rising enrollments, and a spike in special
education needs, how does the district do it?
Not without significant pain –
they do not fill positions made vacant by retirees, they siphon funds formerly
used for important programs such as summer school, and they sell school
buildings, crowding students and teachers into inadequate space.
“It’s not just inner-suburban
schools that are in crisis,” said MarySue Barrett, president of MPC, a member of
the A+ Illinois campaign for statewide education reform. “In fact, 80 percent of
schools across the state are deficit spending, in communities rich and poor,
rural, suburban and urban. Even in districts that have balanced their budgets,
such as Carbondale Elementary School District 95, they are doing it by depriving
their students of the best education possible.”
District Superintendent Elizabeth I.
Lewin agrees, noting that her district is further penalized for its fiscal
responsibility because it is not seen as being as needy as some other schools.
Therefore, the district does not win the competitive private and government
grants that are increasingly vital for schools districts to provide student
To ensure that Carbondale children start receiving the
education they deserve, Lewin and Carbondale Elementary SD 95 have signed on as
members of A+ Illinois. The campaign urges state leaders to make the tough
decisions necessary to ensure that every child in Illinois receives the best
education possible. To learn more about A+ Illinois, visit www.aplusillinois.org.
A+ Illinois Contact: Bindu Batchu , Campaign Manager, A+ Illinois
312.863.6014 or email@example.com
Contact: Elizabeth I. Lewin, Superintendent, Carbondale
Elementary School District 95
618.457.3591 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Campaign for Sensible Growth Co-Sponsors Second Annual Partners in Planning
the state, rapid growth is putting pressure on government and community leaders
to encourage development that not only strengthens the economy, but that also
provides quality lifestyles for
residents while protecting natural
resources. It’s a tall order, and most would tell you that they can use all the
help they can get to plan their growth.
That’s why the Campaign for Sensible Growth, along with the Illinois Association
of County Board Members and Commissioners, Illinois Association of
Regional Councils, Illinois Association of County Zoning Officials, and
Illinois Association of Resource Conservation & Development Areas will
co-sponsor “Building Better Communities,” the second annual Partners in
Planning Conference, Oct. 27 and 28
The conference will feature sessions on stormwater management, impact fees,
Geographic Information Systems and more, as well as keynote addresses by U.S.
Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Peoria) and Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn.
More than 200 people attended last year’s conference,
and event organizers expect an even bigger turnout this year. “The
that so many state leaders attend this conference points not only to
the quality of ideas being discussed, but also to the fact that growth is
putting pressure on communities across the state, not just in northeastern Illinois,” said Ellen
Shubart, manager, the Campaign for Sensible Growth.
The conference kicks of with a reception Wednesday, Oct.
27, at the Holiday Inn City Centre, 500 Hamilton Blvd. , Peoria , Ill. On
Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, there is a full day of sessions. Visit the Campaign’s
Web site, www.growingsensibly.org,
for more information or to register.
Campaign Contact: Ellen Shubart, Manager, Campaign for
312.863.6009 or email@example.com
Contact: Kelly Murray, Executive Director, Illinois
Association of County Board Members and Commissioners
217.528.5331 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chicago Renames Park to Honor MPC’s First Executive Director
The Metropolitan Planning Council is pleased to announce that the Chicago
Park District Board of Commissioners voted on Oct. 13, 2004 to
Park #316, located
at 2914 N. Leavitt
in honor of MPC’s first executive director – and the first director of the
Chicago Housing Authority – Elizabeth Wood.
truly was a visionary. She pioneered the rehabilitation of the city’s slums
during the 1930s and became the first in a long line of bold leaders who shaped
the Council – then called the Metropolitan Housing Council – as one of the
region’s most effective nonprofit planning groups.
By 1937, only three years after
its incorporation, the Metropolitan Housing Council influenced passage of the
Illinois Housing Cooperation Act of 1937, which led to the establishment of the
Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). Wood, by then a legend among housing activists,
was tapped in 1937 to become the CHA’s first executive secretary, its top
Wood would serve in that role for
17 years until 1953. During her tenure, more than 60,000 Chicagoans would leave
the slums and relocate to new, affordable public housing units. She also worked
closely with the Chicago Park District to develop city parks to serve CHA
Wood resigned from the CHA in 1953
after the authority and aldermen resisted her plan to scatter integrated public
housing units throughout the city. In the wake of Wood's resignation, the CHA
would spend some 30 years constructing high-rise units, which Wood vehemently
denounced. Today, MPC’s housing staff works to support the CHA’s “Plan for
Transformation,” which is changing the face of public housing through new
“Elizabeth Wood was ahead of her time and understood
that healthy communities need more than simply decent housing to thrive,” said
Ann Armstrong, MPC development director and resident historian. “She was
characterized as ‘no-nonsense’ and a ‘fighter.’ It is our
sincerest hope that, through the Park
District’s recognition of Elizabeth Wood, generations of Chicagoans will come to
know her as one
city’s most effective housing reformers.”
MPC Contact: Ann Armstrong , Development Director
312.863.6010 or email@example.com
Contact: Lydia Hall, Communications Officer, Chicago
312.742.4791 or firstname.lastname@example.org