October Media Tips - Metropolitan Planning Council

Skip to main content

October Media Tips

State Leaders Must Think Big as They Work to Identify Transit Funding

With just over a week until service cuts and fare hikes may become a reality for Chicago Transit Authority and Pace riders, MPC continues to urge state leaders to agree upon an adequate, sustainable funding source to meet the region’s transit operating needs. MPC supports a one-quarter of one percent increase in the regional sales tax, championed by Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston), which would cost consumers just one penny on a $4 latte.

“A .25 percent increase in the regional sales tax – the first for transit since 1979 – would fund our transit system for the long-term without placing a heavy burden on taxpayers,” said MPC President MarySue Barrett . “By stonewalling this proposal, state leaders are consigning all of us to pay a much larger tax – the congestion tax.”

The “congestion tax” is well documented, but not well understood. In September, the Texas Transportation Institute reported that Chicago loses nearly $4 billion annually (the third highest amount of any metropolitan region in the nation) in time and fuel wasted by traffic jams. The study also articulates the economic value of transit to our region. What’s more, a poll released last week by Smart Growth America and National Association of Realtors shows three-fourths of Americans believe that improving development patterns and public transportation are better long-term solutions for reducing traffic congestion than building new roads.

Despite a 21 percent return on investment from transit, political in-fighting continues to jeopardize keeping trains and buses moving. Barrett urges state leaders to learn from other metropolitan regions, which have responded to similar challenges by redoubling investments in the places and infrastructure proven to pay dividends, and taking calculated risks on big ideas. Contact Barrett at 312.863.6001 or msbarrett@metroplanning.org .

London’s Minister for the Olympics to Keynote MPC Annual Meeting Luncheon

Chicagoland has a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on its selection as the U.S. bid city for the 2016 Games – and Chicago-area corporate, civic, government and community leaders have a great opportunity to learn how at MPC’s Annual Meeting Luncheon, “Going for the Gold: Chicago’s Olympic Destiny,” on Thursday, Nov. 29. Keynote speaker the Rt. Hon. Tessa Jowell, MP Minister for the Olympics and London , was a key force driving London’s successful bid for the 2012 Games. She’ll share London’s ambitions for the wider benefits and sustainable legacy of hosting the Games.

The luncheon, expected to draw more than 1,200 attendees, will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, Grand Ballroom ( East Tower ), 151 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago.

Members of the media may attend the event free of charge but should register with MPC Communications Associate Mandy Burrell, mburrell@metroplanning.org or 312.863.6018. Other guests may purchase tickets at MPC’s Web site or at 312.553.2000.

PDX Lounge at Greenbuild Will Incubate New Sustainable Development Ideas

Some 20,000 people from around the world will descend on McCormick Place in Chicago from Wednesday, Nov. 7, through Friday, Nov. 9, for the Greenbuild 2007 International Conference & Expo . The event will feature keynote speaker former President Bill Clinton, more than 850 exhibit booths showcasing new green building products and technologies, educational sessions and workshops, Chicago tours, and more. One of the week’s highlights will be the PDX Lounge, a “traveling sustainable city” taking up temporary residence within the 20,000-square foot Chicago Illuminating Company, 19 E. 21 st St., in the South Loop.

The PDX Lounge will host a series of business, educational and best-practice engagements for professionals working in and with sustainable industries. Greenbuild conference attendees, business leaders, industry practitioners, and political decision-makers will gather, discuss, share and evolve innovative ideas for sustainable economic development. During the PDX Lounge Sneak Preview event, on Tuesday, Nov. 6, invitees will participate in a Town Hall-style dialogue, broaching a series of big questions facing cities around sustainable economic development: finding solutions to fill funding gaps, bridging barriers to sustainable development, creating new carbon markets, incorporating transportation planning and funding, developing clean energy policies, and more.

MPC is a Bioregional Partner of the Greenbuild conference. PDX Lounge events are by invitation only, but members of the media may register with Stephanie Swanson, principal, MarketShift Strategies, 971.246.1732, 503.232.0820, or stephanieswanson@marketshiftstrategies.com.

Meet the MPC Staff
Supporting Chicagoland’s Homeowners Puts Lillie Jernigan Right at Home at MPC

In the past five years, Lillie Jernigan has advised thousands of people on the dos and don’ts of homebuying, facilitated dozens of Employer-Assisted Housing (EAH) programs across Chicagoland, and personally bought and sold two condos. For reasons both personal and professional, Lillie is sold on the value of homeownership, making her a natural at MPC as she helps expand housing opportunities in suburban Chicago through public-private partnerships.

Jernigan joined MPC in this role in 2006, after four years as homeownership consultant for Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Chicago , where she taught weekly homeownership education courses and counseled clients one-on-one. During this time, Jernigan also managed the EAH program for the University of Chicago and University of Chicago Medical Center, assisting more than 150 employees in purchasing a home near work, utilizing their employers’ dollars as well as state, city and private funds.

Today, Jernigan applies her expertise to her work at MPC, including helping support the nonprofit agencies (REACH partners) providing homeownership counseling to suburban workers referred by employers with EAH programs. MPC introduced EAH in northeastern Illinois in 2000; today, nearly 70 Illinois employers are helping their employees become homeowners through downpayment assistance and free homeownership counseling, all coordinated through MPC.

Jernigan is a native of Arlington, Va., and received a bachelor’s degree in integrative studies with a social sciences specialization from George Mason University in Fairfax , Va. She lives on the South Side with her fiancé, whom she met at a homebuying class. Contact Jernigan at 312.863.6005 or ljernigan@metroplanning.org.

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 http://www.metroplanning.org/news/3782

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

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 »