August Media Tips - Metropolitan Planning Council

Skip to main content

August Media Tips

Time-Strapped Transit Riders Warily Eye Sept., Advocates Continue Funding Fight

Elliott Hitchcock understands the value of the adage “time is money.” As landlord, property manager, Catholic school teacher, sole proprietor of his own small business, and caregiver for his diabetic father, Hitchcock is what some may classify as a “multi-tasker.” To remain so proficient and productive, he relies heavily on the convenience and efficiency of the Stony Island Express bus. However, Hitchcock—like thousands of riders around the Chicago region—will be forced to find alternative means of transportation as a result of impending Pace and Chicago Transit Authority route suspensions, fare hikes and an estimated 700 job cuts scheduled to occur on Sept. 29 and Sept. 16, respectively.

“The Stony Island Express is exactly what I need to make my schedule work,” says Hitchcock, a 25-year-old South Side native, of the express service. “A lot of times I have to be in two places at once, and the ability to get back and forth between the Daley Center and my house on 83 rd is essential.” Hitchcock teaches at a private Catholic school on Stony Island while also caring for his diabetic father, and like thousands of other Chicagoans, must commute regularly between outlying parts of the city and downtown. With the impending threat of service cuts and fare hikes, Hitchcock anticipates that “something is going to break.”

This Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m., Chicago-area transit advocates will hold a news conference in Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s neighborhood, at the Francisco Brown Line station (west of the Chicago River, east of Sacramento) to urge the governor and legislators to approve a long-term solution to funding regional transit. MPC supports SB 572, a bi-partisan bill that would increase the regional sales tax by one-quarter of one percent and allow the City of Chicago to increase its real estate transfer tax to fund transit. For further information concerning the news conference please contact Mandy Burrell at 312.863.6018 or

MPC Roundtable to Highlight Public-Private Solutions to Affordable Housing

Chicago-area families often must endure their own “needle in a haystack”-like pursuit when searching for communities that offer affordable homes as well as good jobs and quality schools. To ease their search, the State of Illinois has developed a housing policy that rewards communities and employers that work together to create more housing opportunities near jobs. Mayors in 10 north and northwest suburbs are partnering with local employers to provide homes at all price points, and MPC will host a discussion about this work on Friday, Aug. 24 at “Bridging Boundaries: Mayors Partnering to Close the Jobs-Housing Gap,” a luncheon roundtable at Charter One Bank, 71 S. Wacker Dr., 29 th Floor, Chicago.

The event will be moderated by Stephen M. Porras, vice president of acquisitions and affordable housing for Related Midwest; and include panelists, DeShana Forney, executive director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority; Mayor Rita Mullins of Palatine; Mayor Michael Belsky of Highland Park ; and Arthur J. Sullivan, program manager of the East King County, Wash.-based ARCH (A Regional Coalition for Housing). At the event, attendees will learn what is happening in Chicago’s north and northwest suburbs, as well as hear about workforce housing models from other parts of the country.

General registration for this event is closed, but media may attend at no charge. Get complete details on MPC’s Web calendar, or contact MPC Communications Associate Mandy Burrell at 312.863.6018 or for more information.

Meet the MPC Staff
Peter Skosey Is in the Know on Politics and Policy in Chicago and Springfield

Now in his 11th year with the Metropolitan Planning Council, Peter Skosey , vice president of external relations, has witnessed and participated in the transforming of MPC, the Chicagoland region, and the state of Illinois as a whole into a more transit-rich, policy-friendly, and community-conscious place.

Skosey started at MPC in the capacity of urban development director in 1996. He was initially charged with restructuring the Council from its foundation of exceptional research into an advocacy group for sound public policy. The Hyde Park native has watched MPC go from what he describes as “a more research-oriented group to one that not only writes policy recommendations but also is committed to making recommendations actually happen.”

After serving three years in his initial role, Skosey accepted a promotion to his current role, and has worked closely with everyone from community leaders and policy makers to aldermen, mayors and even, on occasion, the governor to accomplish a wide array of policy initiatives. In addition to his official titles, Skosey also spent several months as the interim director of transportation, and while doing so, accumulated a wealth of knowledge concerning transportation financing and planning.

As a graduate of the University of Chicago, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in behavioral science, and the University of Illinois at Chicago , where he earned his master’s degree in urban planning, Skosey has spent many years living in the city that he now strives to improve. In his opinion, his job isn’t necessarily work. “I truly enjoy improving policies to add to the bigger picture of making the city and region a better place for everyone,” he said. For further information, tips and insight into Chicagoland and state issues, contact Peter Skosey , MPC vice president of external relations, at 312.863.6004 or .

More posts by Mandy

All posts by Mandy »

MPC on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter »

Stay in the loop!

MPC's Regionalist newsletter keeps you up to date with our work and our upcoming events.?

Subscribe to Regionalist

Most popular news

Browse by date »

This page can be found online at

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616

Sign up for newsletter and alerts »

Shaping a better, bolder, more equitable future for everyone

For more than 85 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has partnered with communities, businesses, and governments to unleash the greatness of the Chicago region. We believe that every neighborhood has promise, every community should be heard, and every person can thrive. To tackle the toughest urban planning and development challenges, we create collaborations that change perceptions, conversations—and the status quo. Read more about our work »

Donate »