Region turns out 1,000 strong to go ON TO 2050 -- together
Following the Board and MPO Policy Committee vote on October 10, a crowd of some 1,000 people from across the seven-county region gathered at Chicago's Millennium Park to celebrate the launch of ON TO 2050.
CMAP Executive Director Joseph C. Szabo welcomed the crowd and introduced the event's theme, "Let's Go ON TO 2050," which focused on how the region can work together to put the plan into action. Keynote speaker Clarence Anthony, CEO and executive director of the National League of Cities, emphasized the importance of ensuring every community in our region has the resources it needs to be a place its residents are proud to call "home."
ABC7 Eyewitness News Anchor Judy Hsu emceed the event and moderated a discussion about plan implementation priorities with a panel of local speakers: DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin, Civic Federation President Laurence Msall, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, Resurrection Project CEO Raul Raymundo, Regional Transportation Authority Executive Director Leanne Redden, and Vice President of External Affairs and Large Customer Services at ComEd Melissa Washington. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CMAP Board Chair Jerry Bennett, Mayor of Palos Hills, emphasized the need for new regional revenues -- and a state capital plan -- to support continued investment in regional assets.
Sixteen-year-old John Hatcher, Jr. -- who participated in the GO TO 2040 launch eight years ago and is now a junior at Marian Catholic High School -- earned a standing ovation from the crowd for a speech that reflected on the importance of implementing ON TO 2050 for his generation. "Chicago is the perfect place to start the change America so desperately needs," he said. "I am willing to be part of the solution. The only question is will you stand with me?" Students from the A Capella Choir at the Lindblom Math and Science Academy in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood sang the crowd out with beautiful renditions of "Lizela" and "One Day."
A video of the program will be available soon on CMAP's website.
New grants to fund local technical assistance enhancements
At the ON TO 2050 launch event, CMAP Executive Director Joseph C. Szabo announced that, as one of the first implementation activities of ON TO 2050, CMAP will enhance our technical assistance to local communities.