This past year has been one of listening, watching, education, and relationship building.
WHAT WE DID
We continued to show our video: Embracing Our Diversity, Preserving Our Heritage, Keeping Our Promises to civic and religious organizations.
WHY WE DID IT
It is evident that we still need to be made more aware of the Village plan to increase affordable housing in Wilmette, what the status of that plan is now, the benefits that affordable, inclusive, and accessible housing can bring to our village and the lack of those benefits at present.
Organizations that were exposed to the video and our printed information with accompanying discussion questions showed high interest in wanting to be more knowledgeable about affordable housing needs and being candid about their own opinions on the issue.
WHAT WE DID
We began and continue a sustained advocacy in support of Housing Opportunity Development Corporation’s (HODC) proposal to build affordable units at 1925 Wilmette Avenue. We spoke in support of HODC when they presented the proposal at the Village’s Plan Commission meeting in November. We attended and spoke at several meetings called by HODC to present the proposal to the general community to get feedback to consider any needed revisions. Wilmette Cares held a special meeting where the executive director of HODC answered questions about the proposed development.
WHY WE DID IT
The answer is simple: We need this in our village. Just over 4% of housing in Wilmette is considered affordable.
The proposal was taken off the table and community meetings held. HODC has not yet re- submitted it. We are prepared to stand with HODC when it does resubmit the proposal.
WHAT WE DID
We were invited to participate in community events to share our views and our handouts.
WHY WE DID IT
We are committed to take every opportunity afforded us to share what we have learned about the high need we have and the true benefits to a community with adequate affordable housing.
We have received numerous supportive statements and 140 petition signers in favor of affordable housing in Wilmette. Some comments can be viewed on our website.
– GROWTH –
We have stated earlier, the need to continue to listen, educate and interact with like-minded individuals and groups in order to grow.
– FINANCES –
The report will be made at the annual meeting. We begin the new year with $6127.75.
– GOING FORWARD –
Education will be our primary focus this coming year. Wilmette Cares intends to research and learn more about how other communities that have had some success in moving their communities to do something about more equitable housing have achieved that and how we might learn what aspects of their plans can be translated to our community. We will continue to educate individuals and groups that express an interest in wanting to know more about what we have learned.
We eagerly anticipate the realization of a co-sponsored project that will award prizes to Wilmette students who craft outstanding models of how they envision a community that is affordable and sustainable.
We stand ready to support HODC when it resubmits the proposal to develop the 1925 Wilmette Avenue property. We will put great energy into supporting the approval by the Village of the proposal.
We will stay alert to the Wilmette Housing Assistance Program now under the aegis of a 501(c)(3) board: Housing Our Own. Pleased, that the Village has moved to keep the program viable, it will take some time to see whether this alternative plan, having the program administered by a private board and not having it as a budget item of the Village, will be sustainable in the long run.
to all who have advised, helped or supported us in any way over this past year: John Adler, Karen Berman, Senator Daniel Biss, Lisa Braganca, Mike Braiman, Mike Broxson, Nancy Burton, Catherine Buntin, Gerald Buster, Sue Carlson, Carter Cleland, Marilee Cole, Matt Cole, Kathy Cornyn, Jack Daniels,
Sally Daniels, Lynn Davis, Debbie De Palma, Samuel Dorevitch, Mary Doucette, Vic Doucette, Ann Dronen, Rose Dubin, Vivien Eisenberg, Lisa Fabes, Representative Robyn Gabel, Juliet Gentzkow, Van Gilmer, Rich Goodwin, Scott Goldstein, Caroline Goldstein, Jim Griffith, Jim Hardee, Alan Hatchett, Peter Hawkinson, Emily Hayden, Carolyn Holtermann, Jessica Hotaling, Susan Iskowich, John Jacoby, Julia Joehl, William Johnson, Barbara Kanter, Jack Kelly, Richard Koenig, Kimberly Kurrus, Brandy Lawrence, Elizabeth Leider, Elaine Lenz, Jan Mahler, Heather Martello, Karleen McAllester, Lorelei McClure, Stuart McDermott, Ed McManus, Ellen McManus, Hannah McNulty, Christine Moran, Colleen Nathan, Aimee Neumann, Norm Nexon, Open Communities, David O’Toole, Jennifer Peters, Betty Phillips, Maya Plaksina, Susan Remek, Alicia Resnick, Viki Rivkin, Brendan Saunders, Karen Schneidman, Gail Schechter, Jes Scheinpflug, Cornelius Scott: Generation Copy, Dianne Seppelfrick, Mimosa Shah, Irma Simuni, Gerald Smith, Judy Smith, Puran Stevens, Gerry Stokes, Olga Stokes, Dan Sullivan, Kate Thomas, Paul Traynor, Rev. David Van Brakle, Missy Ware, Lali Watt, Leslie Weyhrich, Rector Kristin White, Wilmette Public Library, Gloria Woodson, Elise Yaworsky, John Yaworsky.
We acknowledge and are grateful to others who have supported us and preferred to remain in the background.