November Media Tips - Metropolitan Planning Council

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November Media Tips

CMAP Coordinates Regional Response to Statewide Water Supply Threats

To forward the work begun by Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s executive order calling for a statewide study of water supply issues, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) will host a public forum on Friday, Nov. 17, to kick off a three-year regional water supply study in northeastern Illinois. The forum is a critical first step toward making recommendations on water resource policies and plans in an 11-county region (Boone, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will).

The initiative is being led by CMAP, which has been commissioned by the Ill. Dept. of Natural Resources to facilitate the water supply planning process for northeastern Illinois. Troubled Waters – a 2006 report co-released by the Metropolitan Planning Council and Openlands, in conjunction with the Campaign for Sensible Growth – recommended the creation of a statewide framework for water supply planning. The report also shed light on the fact that new regional growth is occurring in areas potentially lacking adequate water resources to meet growing demand.

CMAP’s forum will take place Nov. 17, 2006, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Hamburger University, McDonald’s Corporate Campus, 2715 Jorie Blvd., Oak Brook, Ill. This day-long event will feature continental breakfast and presentations in the morning, lunch, and an afternoon of breakout sessions. Guests must observe a business casual dress code. Members of the media are welcome.

MPC contact: Scott Goldstein, Vice President Policy & Planning, 312 .863.6003, sgoldstein@metroplanning.org
CMAP contact: Tom Garritano, Public Information Officer, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, 312.386.8602, tgarritano@chicagoareaplanning.org

National Support for Public Transit on Election Day Reinforces Local Need

Americans overwhelmingly said “yes” to expanding their transportation systems on Election Day, even though it meant taxing themselves, according to the American Public Transportation Association . Voters approved more than 70 percent of transportation-related ballot initiatives on Nov. 7, authorizing $40 million in new expenditures to support the development and maintenance of strong transportation networks in 13 states. These national results strengthen the argument for significant transit investment in Illinois.

“On Election Day, Americans made it clear that they want more public transportation – and many states answered the call,” said MarySue Barrett, MPC president. “To remain an economic heavyweight, Illinois must invest in our own transportation network, particular in public transit, our first line of defense against congestion.”

In northeastern Illinois, the Regional Transportation Authority and its partners in the “Moving Beyond Congestion” campaign (including MPC) are calling 2007 “The Year of Decision” for critical transit investments. Successful national ballot initiatives and continued growth in ridership figures are hopeful signs that Illinois will answer “yes” to the demand for more transit, says Barrett.

MPC contact: MarySue Barrett, President, 312.863.6001, msbarrett@metroplanning.org

Highwood Makes Strides to Preserve Affordable Housing on North Shore

The North Shore community of Highwood recently negotiated a preliminary $300,000 commitment to the city’s general fund for housing initiatives, from the developer of a new condominium development currently going through the city planning review process. The city also has adopted the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus ’ groundbreaking Housing Endorsement Criteria. These criteria were created to help communities attract, identify and support housing that is well managed and well designed, near jobs and public transit, and affordable to the local workforce.

Historically, Highwood has benefited from a balanced housing stock: as of the 2000 Census, Highwood housing stock was 28 percent affordable overall, a rare asset on the North Shore. However, housing costs already have escalated to a point of pricing many working families out of the village, and development pressures are threatening to significantly reduce the availability of housing affordable to the workforce in the community.

The Highwood City Council commissioned the Metropolitan Planning Council to assess the existing and future housing market trends and develop recommendations to address the local need. To ensure Highwood continues to serve and attract residents with a range of incomes, city leaders are developing strategies to improve their existing affordable stock and spur new investments that provide quality housing options for buyers and renters alike.

MPC contact: Joanna Trotter, Manager, Community Building Initiative, 312.863.6008, jtrotter@metroplanning.org

MPC President Offers Post-Election Analysis at Union League Club Event

On Tuesday, Dec. 5, MPC President MarySue Barrett will join an esteemed panel – WGN Radio’s political analyst Paul Green, Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell, and CapitolFax’s Rich Miller – to analyze the 2006 election’s impact on public policy. The event is part of the Union League Club’s “Breakfast@65West” program, and will take place at 8 a.m., at the Union League Club, 65 W. Jackson Blvd., in Chicago’s Loop.

Each panelist will briefly offer his or her take on how Election Day results will influence public policy and the upcoming legislative session. Then the panel will have time to respond to one another’s comments, followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience, moderated by Chris Robling of Jayne Thompson and Associates.

The event is open to the public, and costs $20. A breakfast buffet will be served starting at 7:30 a.m. To register, call 312.435.5946 or e-mail reed@ulcc.org .

MPC contact: Mandy Burrell, Communications Associate, 312.863.6018, mburrell@metroplanning.org

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