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September 21, 2017

YOUR OPINION MATTERS. TO SUBMIT A COMMENT, FILL OUT THE FORM AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE!


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, Evanston’s “castle,” would mean for the city and far beyond if well done and managed. Visit artiststudiomuseum.org and iconichouses.org.
Peruse, enjoy, and study.




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

Participatory Budgeting Good Neighbor Fund
Editor:
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 – $1,000,000 for 2017-18. Modeled in Chicago’s 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 – 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. It’s 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 “capital projects supporting city infrastructure and facilities, specific support for existing city services, and special projects.” During the first two years (2015and 2016), allocations were made through joint deliberation by Evanston’s mayor and NU’s president – 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. Let’s try it.
Online Petition: participatorybudgetingfor evanston-northwesternuniversitygoodneighborfund.





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 – 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 isn’t easy. The City continues to innovate and to improve the design of its bike facilities, and we appreciate the progress – 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 haven’t seen the new lanes yet, head over to Church and Chicago. They are Evanston’s 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 – putting Evanston’s 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: Sheril King

Reader Feels Pastor’s Remark Was Inaccurate. Editor: On the first page of June 29 Round Table, the article “Library Board Meeting” quotes the Reverend Debra Bullock of St. Mark’s Church: “The Evanston Public Library and St. Mark’s share a history rooted in racism.”
My family and I have been members of St. Mark’s since the early 1960’s when I was in high school. I was appalled at Reverend Bullock’s assertion. How can this rector make such an inaccurate comment about St. Mark’s, where all have been accepted, welcomed, and included in parish life.




Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017
Community forum entry by: Sabrina L. Reilly

Dismayed at Minister’s Comments. Editor: As a RoundTable subscriber, I was blown away by the ongoing debate encircling the Evanston Public Library and issues of cultural and racial sensitivity.
I am writing to express my dismay that Reverend Debra Bullock, Rector of
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, would publicly malign her congregation by stating that it has a racist past. This has never been my experience.
St. Mark’s integrated in 1960, which makes it a pioneer among most faith communities, regardless of denomination.
In my many years at St. Mark’s, I worshiped with fellow churchgoers and there was never any feeling or sense that St. Mark’s was not welcoming, accepting, nurturing or empowering to all and of all. Reverend Bullock’s negative words can have a negative impact on the growth of St. Mark’s.
As a born and bred Episcopalian who was raised at St. Mark’s and baptized, confirmed, and married there, I take offense to the fact that she would speak of St. Mark’s in this manner. While I no longer live in the Evanston area, I do keep up with the happenings there. Her comment is an affront to me personally and I would assume to many others who know St. Mark’s.
Reverend Bullock has been at Saint Mark’s six years which hardly gives her the perspective or knowledge to offer such blatant comments about the church which employs her.
I hope Reverend Bullock considers retracting her statement and commits to raising up the good name and deeds of St. Mark’s as a beacon of inclusion, acceptance, and Christian values.




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