Posted on September 19, 2008 4:59 AM
Weekly Update, 9/19/08
Chicago 2016 discussion. CMAP Board chairman Gerald Bennett is also co-chairing the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus 2016 Olympic Regional Coordinating Committee. He recently appeared on the Comcast Network's Political Update, along with committee co-chairman Karen McConnaughay and caucus executive director David Bennett. Click here to see the video, which is about 30 minutes long.
Regular Session and Special Session. Illinois State Senate President Emil Jones agreed this week to reconvene the Senate to address the Ethics legislation passed by the House. Governor Blagojevich also called lawmakers back to the capitol in Special Session to address ethics. What’s been rumored is that the Senate may take action during “regular session“ on pending budget issues, including the restoration of funding for parks and historic sites that the Governor cut from the state budget. Stay tuned.
GO TO 2040 Community Conversations. See http://www.goto2040.org/conversations.aspx for an updated list of Community Conversations that CMAP has scheduled for residents to discuss the GO TO 2040 campaign. Next week, we'll have one in Beecher at the Washington Township Center (30200 Town Center Road) on Tuesday, September 23, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. (contact Janet Bright at 312-386-8748 or firstname.lastname@example.org) and one in Chicago at the Gary Comer Youth Center (7200 South Ingleside Avenue) on Thursday, September 25, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. (contact Diana Torres at 312-386-8774 or email@example.com).
FLIP orientation. As you can read in Erin Aleman's blog entry, CMAP welcomed its first class of Future Leaders in Planning (FLIP) at an orientation session last Saturday at the Field Museum. Mayor Bennett addressed our participants, who have committed to spending six Saturdays with CMAP learning about the region and how to plan for a better future. Many of the students were accompanied by their parents, to whom we are also grateful for supporting their kids' participation. We look forward to learning at least as much from the FLIP young people as they will learn from us.
DRI open for stakeholder and public comment. See /programming/minutes for the draft document describing CMAP's Developments of Regional Importance (DRI) review process. The deadline for stakeholder and public comment is December 1, 2008.
Potential state park closures. Another blog entry is by Lindsay Banks regarding the State of Illinois budget problems that could force some state parks and historic sites to close.
City of Chicago climate action plan. Yesterday, the City of Chicago announced its comprehensive plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to 25 percent below 1990 levels." Over the next few years we'll be depending on the commitment and collective action of individuals, businesses and others to do their part," said Mayor Richard M. Daley in a news release. "And, of course, it will be very important for Springfield and the federal government in Washington, D.C. to do their part and provide greater resources for public transportation, building improvements, research on new technologies and other measures." Mayor Daley also pointed out the economic advantages of "greening our economy for the future and creating the jobs of tomorrow."
Fitch Ratings report. According to the Urban Transportation Monitor http://www.urban-transportation-monitor.com/,Fitch Ratings -- a leading global rating agency -- has revised the outlook for the U.S. toll roads sector from "stable" to "negative." Fitch's report "U.S. Transportation Assets: Facing a Temporary Decline or a Permanent Change?" is available by subscription at http://www.fitchratings.com. It addresses some of the economic pressures -- including fuel prices and the dollar's decline -- and their effects on toll-paying traffic, which Fitch says has dropped by up to 16 percent. While reduction of VMTs (vehicle miles traveled) has obvious benefits in reducing congestion and improving air quality, all of these factors also combine in making it harder to fund transportation infrastructure.
GreenTown: The Future of Community. Just a reminder that "GreenTown: The Future of Community" will be held on Thursday, October 2, 2008, at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. The event is targeted to mayors and elected officials, city managers, public works directors, park district directors, planners, developers, engineers, architects, landscape architects, builders -- and many others interested in sustainable development. At 3:30 p.m., CMAP's Hubert Morgan will join Emily Harris of Chicago Metropolis 2020 and the Burnham Plan Centennial Committee and Stephane Phifer, Planning Director for the City of Aurora in a panel called "Burnham’s Grand Vision: From Chicago to Aurora." See http://www.greentownconference.com for details.
Community sustainability seminar. On Thursday, October 9, 2008, the Lower Des Plaines Ecosystem Partnership is presenting an all-day seminar entitled Green Compass: Navigating the Way to Sustainable Communities. Hosted at Lewis University in Romeoville, this seminar will provide practical information and resources for community decision makers and others interested in learning more about the benefits of sustainable development practices and solutions to sustainability challenges. Presenters include local community administrators and planners, land developers, and other innovators who have developed successful strategies from broad planning initiatives to targeted community programs. Topics range from how to engage local residents in stormwater management activities to the economics of conservation development. The seminar includes Q&A sessions with presenters and opportunities to share ideas with other local community representatives. For the agenda, directions to Lewis University, and to register on-line, visit http://www.lowerdesplaines.org/greencompass.html ($25 registration includes resource binder and buffet lunch; please register by September 30.) For more information, contact Lynn Rotunno (630-674-5900 or firstname.lastname@example.org).