At his State of the State address on Wednesday, Feb. 6, Gov. Patrick Quinn focused on Illinois’ economic stability, asking the assembled members of the House and Senate, “Do we want, in the years to come, a prosperous Illinois where working people continue to have good jobs, where businesses thrive, and where all our children have a world-class education? Or do we want to stop the progress and watch our economic recovery stall?”
Of course, it’s a rhetorical question – we have no choice but to move forward. Working hand-in-hand with government, business and community leaders, MPC is helping strengthen our region’s and state’s economy on multiple fronts. We’re working with decisionmakers to shape where and how we invest in modernizing our infrastructure – from reliable, multimodal transportation options to quality homes for all residents and updated, efficient water systems. For instance, in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood and the south suburb of Blue Island, we're working with community leaders and private property owners to test how concentrating green infrastructure improvements – such as rain barrels, rain gardens and green roofs – in areas prone to flooding can help reduce stormwater's impact on local sewers, and perhaps even defray the cost of "grey" infrastructure investments (sewers, pipes, etc.)
In Cook County, we're helping to advance the Cook County Land Bank, which promises to help communities jump start economic growth through the redevelopment of resident, commercial, and industrial land. We’re also working at the local level to support vibrant neighborhoods – like Bronzeville, which the governor made special mention of in his speech – to help retail thrive and neighbors work together to create great public places.
And we’re taking a stand on the toughest issues threatening to impeded our state’s growth, such as the critical need for pension reform. Without a long-term solution to the state's pension funding crisis, we cannot make future plans for essential services or address capital needs for transportation, housing, and other infrastructure.
Getting Illinois on sound financial footing is critically important, not only to run state government day-to-day, but also for a strong economy that attracts businesses and supports healthy communities. Read MPC's 2013 Plan for Prosperity to learn more about our proposed solutions for an economically competitive, livable Chicago region.