October Media Tips - Metropolitan Planning Council

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October Media Tips

A+ Illinois Mobilizes Voters to Cast Their Votes for School Funding, Quality Reform

With Nov. 7 just 25 days away, A+ Illinois  and its partners in the fight for adequate school funding in Illinois are turning up the heat. On Saturday, Oct. 14 , at noon, supporters will gather in downtown Chicago at Federal Plaza (at the corner of Dearborn and Adams streets) to demonstrate to state leaders that our children can’t wait any longer for education funding and quality reform. The march will end at the James R. Thompson Center at Randolph and Clark streets. Sponsors include A+ Illinois, Illinois Action for Children, the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Chicago Public Schools , Chicago Teachers’ Union , Citizen Action, The Golden Apple Foundation, Illinois Education Association, Illinois PTA, NAACP, Protestants for the Common Good, and Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.

On Monday, Oct. 23 , at 7 p.m., A+ Illinois – in partnership with Latino Coalition for Prevention, Clergy Speaks Interdenominational, Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce, South Suburban Action Caucus, and U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis’ (D-Chicago) Education Task Force – is hosting a community forum on education funding and quality reform at Chicago Embassy Church, 5848 S. Princeton Ave. All three gubernatorial candidates have been invited

In the past year, A+ Illinois (co-led by the Metropolitan Planning Council and eight other groups from Voices for Illinois Children to the Illinois Farm Bureau, and joined by tens of thousands of individuals) has become a go-to source for reporters working on stories related to local or statewide school funding and property tax reform. A+ Illinois can provide information ranging from policy analyses to real stories of students, teachers and property owners hurt by Illinois’ broken school funding system.

MPC contact: MarySue Barrett, President, 312 .863.6001, msbarrett@metroplanning.org
A+ Illinois contact: Bindu Batchu, Campaign Manager, A+ Illinois, 312.863.6014, bbatchu@aplusillinois.org

Rail~Volution Conference on Transit-Oriented Development Rolls into Town

As the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) builds regional consensus for increased transit funding, and Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning positions itself to improve the connections between transportation and development decisions, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is excited to partner with RTA as host, from Nov. 5 to 8, to Rail~Volution Chicago 2006, a national conference on building communities around public transit, as well as a pedestrian and bicycling-friendly streets.

Chicago is considered the “granddaddy of transit-oriented development,” the practice of building great neighborhoods around public transit. Rail~Volution Chicago 2006 will feature 22 mobile workshops that take participants (by train, bike and foot) to different locations in the tri-state region where transit-oriented development is shaping communities. Learn more at www.railvolution.com.

“Public transit not only gets us around, but also sparks new development, homes at a range of price points, and community interaction,” said Peter Skosey MPC’s vice president of external relations. “Rail~Volution Chicago 2006 will showcase how transit benefits everyone in the region – not just riders of the system.”

MPC contact: Peter Skosey , Vice President of External Relations, 312.863.6004, pskosey@metroplanning.org

Ogden Avenue Redevelopment Next Step in North Lawndale’s Revitalization

Residents, business owners, and community leaders want to transform Ogden Avenue from a forbidding, expansive speedway to an inviting boulevard that defines and anchors the neighborhood. Working in close partnership with Ald. Michael Chandler (24 th Ward) and the Chicago Depts. of Transportation (CDOT) and Planning and Development, and with the support of the Steans Family Foundation, Harris Bank, and LISC, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is leading a process to gather community input on a new design for this long stretch of Ogden.

North Lawndale has a proud history, but until recently, the neighborhood had been in a vicious cycle of disinvestment. Thanks to the sustained efforts of residents, the future is looking brighter in North Lawndale. Ogden ’s redevelopment will be critical to North Lawndale ’s future, and will demonstrate how “context sensitive” street design can support community redevelopment.

At the first meeting of the Ogden Avenue Coordinating Committee on Sept. 26 meeting, stakeholders shared their ideas with Acting CDOT Commissioner Cheri Heramb and Ald. Chandler, a discussion that revealed the complexity of creating a vision of Ogden Avenue as North Lawndale ’s main street. Much of the project’s success rests on the ability to attract more retail and residential developments to draw users to the street – from people shopping and walking, to bicyclists, transit riders and drivers.

MPC contact: Peter Skosey , Vice President of External Relations, 312.863.6004, pskosey@metroplanning.org

Stay Up to Date on MPC’s Work with New Online Newsroom and RSS Feed

To make it easier for you to get the information you need when you’re working on a story, we’ve updated the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC ) Web site by expanding and improving our online Newsroom, and adding an option to receive updates on our work through RSS.

In one convenient click, the online Newsroom provides access to MPC’s most recent media releases and reports; help determining the right expert on our staff to help you when you’re on deadline; answers to frequently asked questions about the Council; an articles archive; our calendar of events; and a history of our 72-year-old organization. To check out the new newsroom, visit our homepage, www.metroplanning.org , and click on the Newsroom tab at the top.

To subscribe to an RSS feed, organized by our issues, look for the link at the bottom of each program homepage (under the Our Work tab). Just copy the link into your feed reader, or “aggregator,” and you’ll have access to all media news releases, Web articles, and online resources related to your chosen subject.

These new Web features are intended to make life easier for you. However, if digital digging isn’t you’re style, feel free to direct inquiries to MPC Communications Associate Mandy Burrell , who handles our media relations. She can be reached at 312.863.6018 or mburrell@metroplanning.org. Or try MPC Communications Director Kim Bolton at 312.863.6020 or kbolton@metroplanning.org .

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