July 2, 2018                                         July e-Newsletter
Hooplah on the Agenda
After 18 months of public debate, Elmhurst is close to reaching a decision on hoop houses. In late 2016, city officials determined that hoop houses - temporary greenhouse-like structures meant to extend the garden growing season- are not allowed in Elmhurst. Ever since, advocates have run an extended campaign to change the municipal code. The campaign includes public comments from dozens of supporters, extensive use of social media, and even a documentary.

Last week, after three separate meetings on the issue, the Development, Planning, and Zoning Committee advanced a report to City Council recommending that the city consider a zoning text amendment that allows hoop houses but includes an 8-foot height limit and restriction on square footage. The report is on the City Council agenda tonight, Monday, July 2, 2018. If the City Council approves the report, it will submit an application for a zoning text amendment to the Zoning and Planning Commission, with a public hearing to follow.

Read more about the story and see community lawyer Ben Silver's comments to the city officials in the following articles:
Legislative Update
While this spring was marked by a slow legislative session ahead of this fall's elections, CAC continued to monitor legislation affecting democratic capacities. Read on to learn about the few bills that passed and what we'll be watching for during veto session and when the 101st General Assembly convenes next year.
Upcoming Events
Democracy Night - CAC's Annual  Summer Intern Night
2017 Democracy Night at Wilder Mansion in Elmhurst. 

July 26, 2018
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Wilder Mansion*
211 S. Prospect Ave.
Elmhurst, IL 60126
Join us for an evening in honor of our summer interns as they talk about what they have learned through their work at CAC, and the projects they worked on. Refreshments and appetizers will be served. Please RSVP below. 

This summer the projects CAC interns are working on include:
  • Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act: what protections do we have under state law?
  • Ballot Access: how might access to the ballot be easier, as it is in other states?
  • Public Comment: Can a public body cancel public comment at an open meeting?
  • Right to Assemble: does the requirement for a $2 million dollar insurance policy violate the First Amendment?
  • Economic Impact Statements: what arises to a "material deviation" which would bring the statement into question?
*Free parking available in the parking lots to the north and south of the mansion, and additional free parking is also available on the street. 

Your Help Needed

Seeking Event Planning Volunteers

In 2019, CAC will reach an important milestone: 25 years of making a difference in our communities.  We will celebrate 25 years of impact through storytelling events and a gala next year. Volunteers are needed to help us plan the celebration. If you believe in the work and mission of CAC, will you consider offering just an hour or two a month to assist us? Your ideas and service to plan and execute some memorable events will be very valuable! 

 For more information or to volunteer, please contact: Susan Wakefield at Susan@CitizenAdvocacyCenter.org.

Seeking Lawyer Volunteers

Are you or someone you know an attorney who would be willing to assist CAC with working on some projects this summer? Please contact  CAC@CitizenAdvocacyCenter.org or call us at (630) 633-4080 to speak to a community lawyer.
In Case You Missed It
BIPA & You Forum: Does this IL law reasonably protect user privacy or unreasonably prevent company innovation?
Our fellow, Joseph Hawkins, lead a forum on the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) at CAC last week. He presented information that details the law in Illinois and how it differs from other states, and how biometric data storage can affect internet users now and in the future. Watch the 30-minute video of his presentation by clicking the button below. 
This summer, CAC has a strong incentive for donors. CAC is proud to thank three generous donors for providing a summer challenge grant. Andrea Alvarez and her husband, Tony Pacini and CAC Board Member, Gordon Goodman will match your gift dollar for dollar up to $2000. So for every $1 you give before the end of July, CAC will receive $2 thanks to these generous investors.  
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