October 2, 2017                                        October e-Newsletter
Fly Quiet Program: Not So Quiet?
Nothing brings neighbors together quite like the boom of commercial jets flying low over their homes at 3:00 a.m. on a school night. In recent weeks, Elmhurst residents have been subjected to the latest test of the O'Hare airport "Fly Quiet" program. The program is testing three sets of nighttime runway rotations in order to relieve the residents who live in the traditional flight paths to the east and west of the airport.

The program is anything but quiet for residents in the northern part of the city, as nighttime flights now frequently take off or land on paths over Elmhurst. Dozens of residents have spoken out at public meetings, and hundreds continue to register noise complaints with the proper authorities; others have contacted Citizen Advocacy Center for additional guidance.

When residents contacted us, we helped them navigate the FOIA 
process as they sought information from their local public officials about what has been done and what the city plans to do. We have also advised them to contact their representatives at the state and federal levels, as the city does not have direct authority over runway decisions. In response to citizen concerns, the city of Elmhurst published a page on their website to help residents file complaints and oppose the current test, which is still pending results.
Poverty in DuPage County & What Can We Do About It?
Saturday, September 23: Poverty in DuPage and What Can We Do About It!
From left to right: Ben SIlver, Gaby Hernandez Chico, and Candace King.
Community lawyer Ben Silver shared ideas about what actions attendees can take to fight poverty in DuPage County in an event organized by Immigrant Solidarity DuPage. The poverty rate in DuPage County has been increasing every year, yet public officials and residents have not elevated discussion on the topic.

Ben began the discussion by asking the attendees why they think that poverty is an issue that is overlooked in DuPage County? Many attendees said that they don't feel this issue is addressed. One of the attendees emphasized that many people are unaware of the issue. Another pointed out that those who are affected by poverty work long hours and sometimes have more than one job, leaving them without time to attend public meetings where elected officials make policy decisions.

Having identified these barriers and others, Ben emphasized the importance for caring individuals to bring the topic to the attention of their elected officials all over DuPage County, and to talk about poverty with neighbors and other community members. He also suggested that they can write letters to the editor as a means to bring the issue to the attention of greater numbers of people. He spoke about being involved in the planning process to influence where new jobs and transportation options are planned. He talked about direct democracy opportunities as well as the option of running for office to make a difference from within the system.

Read our citizen guides on your rights protected by the Open Meetings Act, and our guide on Public Comment: May I Address the Elected Officials at My Public Body? 

To read more about the discussion and some statistics provided by Candace King from the DuPage Federation on Human Services, see our Twitter account (link is available in the footer of the email).
A More Perfect Classroom: Addressing the Disparate Racial Impact of Student Discipline
Community lawyer Ben Silver will present a teacher professional development session at the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago's 2017 Annual Conference for Teachers in Civics, Law, and Government, "Free Speech in the Trump Era," on Friday, October 20. Last year, the Illinois General Assembly passed a new law aimed at disrupting the "school-to-prison-pipeline." The law, known as SB100prescribes new requirements for student discipline, aimed at keeping students in the classroom as much as possible. Ben Silver will facilitate discussion on the classroom impacts of SB100 in the greater context of racial disparities in discipline and policing, including the potential lifelong consequences of extended suspensions and expulsions on students.
A New Guide to  Economic Development Corporations:
Hot off the presses! CAC announces release of a new resource on economic development corporations, explaining what they are and what their significance is in Illinoisans' lives. See the guide on our website to learn the ABC's of EDC's.
CAC Looking for Young Professionals in Illinois:
The Citizen Advocacy Center's Young Professionals Leadership Board (YPLB) supports the  mission and values of CAC by building democracy for the 21st century by creating greater civic engagement, open and transparent government, and assisting citizens as they seek to organize, advocate, and become active in civic matters. 

Interested professionals under the age of 35 are invited to get involved. For more information about the Young Professionals Leadership Board, contact our development associate Susan Wakefield at susan@citizenadvocacycenter.org.
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