Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Educating Our Aldermen

As a community-based agency serving people who have often been disenfranchised, LPCS takes its role as an advocate seriously. We are members of Lakeview Action Coalition, and as such LPCS staff members, guests, and graduates stay involved in systems issues such as affordable housing, access to health care, and livable wage employment.

On Thursday, July 7, I had the privilege of co-moderating the first-ever People’s City Council meeting, organized by LAC and nearly 20 other community groups across the city. The Meeting was a chance to educate our actual City Council (where many members are new) on issues that directly affect our guests.

20 of 50 Alderman attended the meeting, where the “People’s City Council” engaged in a debate about fair jobs, affordable housing, education, and public safety. Over 1,500 people consistently “voted” in favor of creating new revenue streams that will enhance services, establishing accountability for large corporations and banks, and otherwise prioritizing strengthening communities through investing in working class families.

It was an excited and energetic crowd! LPCS guests reported feeling very powerful in influencing our elected officials to act on their behalf. All 20 Alderman signed on in support of our “resolution,” and another 10 have expressed their support since the meeting. Taking part in collective action is just one way that LPCS guests are able to regain control of their lives, re-connect with support systems, and achieve their goals.

For more info about the People’s City Council meeting, check out these links:

 --Erin Ryan, LPCS Executive Director

No comments: