Message from the President
Priorities change and, as neighbors, members of the SOAR Board are aware of the most critical issues at any given time. For many years, SOAR's emphasis was on monitoring the real estate development that sparked the tremendous residential growth in Streeterville over 40+ years. This year, the Board took a closer look at the issues associated with that growth. While we continue to operate task forces on a wide variety of topics, the Board believes that three issues are most critical in 2017: Traffic, Safety and Parks, all the result of the tremendous growth Streeterville has experienced.
TRAFFIC Growth in residential, institutional and commercial real estate continues to cause gridlock in Streeterville. The Traffic Task Force will be working closely with the Chicago Department of Transportation, Alderman Brian Hopkins and Alderman Brendan Reilly and developers to help monitor and fix what isn't working and plan more effectively. Traffic Task Force Co-Chairs are Judy Aiello Fantus and David Lewin. Judy was the Assistant Manager for the City of Evanston for 25 years, intimately involved in Evanston's redevelopment and traffic plans.
SAFETY Bob Johnson heads the Safety Task Force. He is a former fire chief and volunteer firefighter familiar with the concerns of residents, the challenges of living in a mixed-use community and the opportunities to work closely with first responders. He and members of the task force will be both proactive and responsive with regard to addressing safety for individuals and for residential buildings here. The Task Force will work closely with the Chicago Police Department and private security forces in the neighborhood to make certain that Streeterville continues to be one of the safest neighborhood in the City of Chicago.
PARKS Streeterville is lacking in per capita green space. We need more public parks and open spaces for residents to play, rest and reflect. All of the 10+ public parks here require attention to better suit the needs of residents. Karen Burnett, Chair of the Parks Task Force, has been involved with parks since she joined the Board. She and the task force will work closely with the Chicago Park District, our local Advisory Councils, Alderman Hopkins and Alderman Reilly and the SOAR Greening and Sustainability Task Force, whose Chair is Jay Lubinsky.
Each of the task forces will bring programs to members and the community this year and I hope you will attend. But I urge you to do more: join one of these capable and committed leaders to help bring about change. You will find their contact information below. Meeting dates, times and locations can be found in SOAR eNews and SOAR eWeekly. If you are a member, feel free to stop in, meet, greet and participate.
On behalf of the SOAR Board, I thank those of you who contributed generously to the 2016 Annual Appeal.
As always, I will be happy to hear your ideas and respond to your questions and comments when you reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org