MPC 2006 Election Guide Outlines Top-Priority Issues for Voters, Candidates
With the governor’s office, two-thirds of state Senate, and the entire House
of Representatives on the line in Illinois ’ upcoming elections, voters will
turn to local newspapers, radio and TV stations for the information they need to
elect officials committed to building healthy communities. The Metropolitan
Planning Council’s (MPC) 2006 Election Guide is a free 10-page booklet on five
issues that will shape Chicagoland and Illinois in coming years: affordable and
workforce housing; transportation priorities; education funding and tax reform;
water quality and quantity; and eminent domain.
MPC staff members are available to field one-on-one follow-up questions
sparked by the guide, and to host a workshop or briefing for newsroom staffs
covering one or more of these key issues. To learn more, please contact Mandy
Burrell , MPC communications associate, at 312.863.6018 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To print your own copy of the
Metropolitan Planning Council’s 2006 Election Guide, please visit www.metroplanning.org/articleDetail.asp?objectID=3095
MPC Backing Bill Aimed at Opening New Doors to Illinois Homebuyers, Renters
As modern consumers, we demand that the shelves at our local grocery stocks
be stocked with a range of items, from Stilton cheese and lobster tails to Ramen
noodles and skirt steak. Similarly, we expect to have a range of options when it
comes to where and how we live. Yet Illinois’ housing market is far from
offering a satisfactory level of choice, leaving families to struggle with
financial burdens, overcrowding, and traffic congestion.
To ensure a range of housing
options exists in all neighborhoods, especially near good jobs and transit, MPC
supports passage of the Comprehensive Housing Planning Act, SB2290/HB5268. The
act is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), and in the
House by Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston). It would turn into law Gov. Rod R.
Blagojevich’s 2003 executive order to enact the state’s first comprehensive
housing plan, giving the order staying power beyond this governor’s term.
“Great strides have been taken as
a result of the plan. H
the bulk of this activity has been on paper, rather than on the
,” said Robin
Snyderman, MPC’s housing director. “We have new laws and resources at the state
level, and new ordinances taking shape through city councils across the state;
activity continues to underserve many
households because this work takes
e need this
act to leverage efficiencies and private sector support.”
The Comprehensive Housing Planning Act would require key
state agencies to coordinate resources, encouraging on-the-ground activity among
municipalities and developers. To learn more about this and other pending
legislation to support affordable and workforce housing in Illinois , visit www.metroplanning.org/articleDetail.asp?objectID=
MPC contact: Robin Snyderman, Housing Director,
Guv’s Capital Plan Falls Short of Meeting Key Criteria for Funding, Planning
As Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich
prepares for his Budget Address this Wednesday, Feb. 15 – when the governor is expected
to give specific details on his proposed capital spending package, which he sketched out
at his Jan. 18 State of the State address – the
Metropolitan Planning Council, Chicago Metropolis 2020, and Chicagoland Chamber
of Commerce are hopeful the refined plan will meet four guidelines they
identified as necessary for a strong state capital investment package. The plan
- be well-planned, reflecting regional priorities;
- deliver balanced investment for roads, transit and
- be fully supported by new revenue; and
- emphasize innovation.
So far, the governor’s proposal has fallen short of meeting some of the
guidelines, and coalition members say it will be worth the wait if state leaders
take the time to forge an improved plan.
“A new capital program is urgently needed to complete overdue repairs and
expansion,” said MarySue Barrett, MPC president. “However, if the program is
merely a list of projects without a coordinated strategy for targeting new
investment, the limited dollars available would be wasted – as would
opportunities to balance economic growth and create more livable communities.”
“In addition to more careful planning, an effective capital program needs to
be fully supported by new revenue,” said James C. LaBelle, deputy director of
Chicago Metropolis 2020. “Relying on existing gas tax revenues to pay off future
debt is politically attractive in the short run. But it’s unreliable and will
only put us further in debt long-term because the state isn’t even raising
enough to maintain today’s infrastructure, let alone finance tomorrow’s debt.”
To read the coalition’s guiding principles for a state capital investment
package, visit www.metroplanning.org/resource.asp?objectID=3061.
For a list of frequently asked questions on the governor's proposal, visit www.metroplanning.org/resource.asp?objectID=3115.
MPC contact: MarySue Barrett, President, 312.863.6001, email@example.com
James C. LaBelle, Deputy Director, Chicago Metropolis 2020, 312.332.8156, firstname.lastname@example.org
Legislative primary elections will take place March 21, giving voters a
“first cut” at determining which candidates for the Illinois’ Senate and House
of Representatives will serve the best interest of our children, families and
communities. At two upcoming candidate forums hosted by the A+ Illinois campaign
for statewide education funding and tax reform, voters will have the opportunity
to test the mettle of local candidates on the issue of school funding reform.
The Greater Peoria Candidate Forum will take place March
4, 9 to 11 a.m., at Illinois Central College-North Campus,
Arbor Hall Auditorium, Room #A261, 5407 N. University St., Peoria, Ill.
Candidates for legislative seats representing the following communities are invited to speak: Canton,
East Peoria, Galesburg, Kewanee, Metamora, Pekin, Peoria, and Washington.
The Near West Suburban Candidate Forum will take place March 6, 7
to 9 p.m., at the Nineteenth Century Club, 178 Forest Ave., in Oak Park, Ill.
Candidates for legislative seats representing the following communities are invited
to speak: Bellwood, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, Maywood, Oak Park, River
Forest, and Austin (in Chicago).
For more information about these forums and other A+
Illinois events – including a March 16 event featuring noted educator, activist
and author Jonathan Kozol – please visit the A+ Illinois calendar at www.aplusillinois.org/calendar/calendar.asp.
A+ Illinois contact:
Batchu, Campaign Manager, 312.863.6014, email@example.com