June Meeting Minutes: Agenda hosts delegation from University of Utah
Puerto Rican Agenda members met on Saturday, June 4 before summer break for a briefing on several initiatives: ensuring Puerto Rican participation on the Humboldt Park Advisory Council, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) 20 for 20 school funding campaign, urban planning collaboration with the University of Utah, and 1st ward plans for affordable housing.
Thanks to the leadership of community resident, Charlie Billups, more community residents attend monthly Humboldt Park Advisory Council meetings than ever before. Representation could not be more critical at a time when the park is considering new projects and still remains a contested space between longtime community residents and newcomers.
Jessie Fuentes provided an update on the CPS budget crisis it’s impact on CAAC schools. Budget cuts will result in $1.6 million loss and 27 positions at Clemente. As a result, on May 26, 40 Clemente students traveled to the state capital to urge legislators and the Governor to revise the inequitable school funding formula that as CPS losing $500 million annually. The Puerto Rican Agenda, Alderman Roberto Maldonado and Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno sent letters to Governor Rauner advocating on behalf of Clemente.
Former co-chair of the Puerto Rican Agenda, Dr. Ivis Garcia led a delegation from the University of Utah. The group of undergraduate and graduate students are spending six weeks in Chicago reconceptualizing community space in collaboration with community leaders. Projects include:
1) Paseo Boricua (integrating medical and restaurant/entertainment industries)
2) Centro Infantil
3) Public Pathways
Lastly, Alderman Moreno’s 1st Ward Affordable Housing Plan garnered much attention since housing has been an agenda topic for the past year. Among some of his many initiatives, Alderman Moreno is planning for the unveiling of 116 affordable units, enforced a bare minimum of 15% affordable for all development in the 1st ward, established an Affordable Housing Committee to review projects and find money for more affordable units, and provided further detail on two projects: 88 LGBTQ friendly units in the John Pennycuff Memorial Apartments at Robert Castillo Plaza and the repurposed Von Humboldt Teachers Village.
The meeting concluded with sharing more details on the mobilization for the National Puerto Rican Agenda Summit and Democratic National Convention in July. Plans include a rally on Monday, July 25 in Philadelphia following a summit the day before in Camden, NJ. More so than ever, Agenda members expressed concern over the implications of the PROMESA legislation which recently passed out of committee that week. Join Agenda members for mobilization activities by filling out this form.