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home : community forum July 27, 2017


Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017
Community forum entry by: Dorothy Laudati

Objects to Pastorís Comments. I don't pretend to know very much about the inner working
policies of the Evanston Public Library, but as a long-time member of
St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Evanston I know a great deal about the
history and inner workings of this institution.

I find the statement made by the Reverend Debra Bullock, the pastor at
St. Mark's for only the past six years and in the June 29 RoundTable, "The Evanston Public Library and St.
Mark's share a history rooted in racism." to be unfair, shortsighted
and inaccurate.

St. Mark's in 1960 was one of the first Evanston churches to become
fully integrated, and our parish is colorblind in terms of policies,
worship, philosophy, friendships, and parish involvement. We accept
all people and strive to move forward with confidence in this
philosophy of acceptance.

In the Reverend Bullock's brief tenure at Saint Mark's it is not possible
for her to adequately evaluate the many years of dedication and effort
that established the church's ongoing practice of
inclusiveness toward all.

Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017
Community forum entry by: Andrew Demopoulos

Small Town Feel in Evanston. Editor:
Last week a crazy friend of mine asked me if Iíd like to meet at 6 a.m. for breakfast at a place called Tedís on Dodge. The idea of a 6 a.m. meeting did not sound the least bit appealing, but am I glad I decided to step ever so slightly out of my comfort zone because as a result I had the wonderful breakfast experience at Tedís. As I arrived the smell of frying bacon met me before I got to the front door and the smell of coffee as I entered.
Upon entering I received a good morning from the woman behind the counter and a friendly greeting from a customer sitting at the counter who had been chatting with my friend.
It was as of I had been transported to a small town in the Midwest or the set of Mayberry RFD, if people of color had been represented.
As people came and went eye contact was made between strangers and pleasantries exchanged, something I have never seen occur at a Starbucks.
Living in a city where most people avert their gaze when passing strangers for fear of having to say hello, it was a truly refreshing experience.
We didnít come just to chat, but to get a good diner breakfast and we werenít disappointed in that regard either.
Breakfast bacon, eggs and hash browns was basic, good and inexpensive. An added treat was a sample of a delicious baked goodie the woman behind the counter had made and was giving out to all the customers.
I keep using the term woman behind the counter because I still had too much big city reserve in me to get her name, but I definitely will when I return. Which will be soon.

Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017
Community forum entry by: Bert Menco

Clarke Possibilities. Editor: I just found these sites through a Dutch art magazine, and I think that they illustrate very well what could be done with the Harley Clarke with imagination and persistence, and what such this very special asset, Evanstonís ďcastle,Ē would mean for the city and far beyond if well done and managed. Visit and
Peruse, enjoy, and study.

Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017
Community forum entry by: Vickie Jacobsen and Jeff Balch

The new protected bike lanes along Chicago Avenue are a positive development Ė a welcome combination of vision and engineering. Congrats and kudos to City staff and other officials for their hard work in creating those lanes.
When the lanes are extended later this summer on Sheridan Road along the NU campus, they will make one of our busiest corridors much safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. The lanes will also help boost Evanston toward its goals of reduced carbon emissions, and expanded options for healthy transportation by travelers of all ages and abilities.
Designing and building streets that work for everybody isnít easy. The City continues to innovate and to improve the design of its bike facilities, and we appreciate the progress Ė even if the changes may take some getting used to. The new lanes really do work for everyone: bikers are truly protected pedestrians have shorter crossings drivers can make a turn with less fear of hitting a biker.
If you havenít seen the new lanes yet, head over to Church and Chicago. They are Evanstonís hottest attraction this summer. (Spoiler Alert: bikers even get their own traffic lights.)
We all benefit from a safe, efficient bicycle network throughout the city. As we continue to improve our streets, Go Evanston aims to work with city officials and the public to make sure there is room for all categories of road users Ė putting Evanstonís newly-adopted Complete Streets policy into action. This latest forward-thinking step is a reason to be proud of our city.

Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017
Community forum entry by: Debbie Hillman

Participatory Budgeting Good Neighbor Fund
In the spirit of renewed interest in civic engagement, this is a recommendation to use a participatory budgeting process to allocate the next installment of the Good Neighbor Fund Ė $1,000,000 for 2017-18. Modeled in Chicagoís 49th ward for the last 9 years (thanks to Ald. Joe Moore, ward residents, and the Participatory Budgeting Project) a PB process would benefit both Evanston and Northwestern, both on the institutional and individual levels.
I know of no other modern method that (a) so easily implements our American ideals of popular sovereignty, (b) so effectively facilitates practical, informed decision-making, and (c) so quickly cuts through public policy stalemates Ė all at once. This latter is especially important at this moment in U.S. history as impasses surround us at every level: Federal (health care, gun violence, climate change) State of Illinois (no budget in two years Evanston as a divided city (mayoral election, equity issues, vis-a-vis police-citizens, library audit, affordable housing).
Participatory budgeting provides a profound personal and communal experience of democracy in action and is a proven, flexible method being used by local jurisdictions all over the U.S., after years of success internationally. In short, a PB process involves real people coming together to make real decisions about real resources and real issues in real time with real results. Itís surprisingly common sense.
The Good Neighbor Fund itself seems an ideal centerpiece for a PB process. Created in 2015 by an agreement between the City of Evanston and Northwestern, the Fund stands as a breakthrough moment in the history of Evanston town-gown relations. The GNF is an annual $1,000,000 donation to the City of Evanston by Northwestern, allocated each year for ďcapital projects supporting city infrastructure and facilities, specific support for existing city services, and special projects.Ē During the first two years (2015and 2016), allocations were made through joint deliberation by Evanstonís mayor and NUís president Ė but with no public discussion and little opportunity for direct public input.
The current agreement runs for three more years with the next GNF installment to be made after July 1, 2017. Positive impacts of using a PB process to allocate the 2017 Good Neighbor Fund are potentially many, with ramifications far beyond the initial investment. Letís try it.
Online Petition: participatorybudgetingfor evanston-northwesternuniversitygoodneighborfund.

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