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Meeting  Notes for April 20, 2021
The Light for April 20, 2021
By Linc Janus
President-elect Linda Gerber presided.  Chris Joyce was unable to preside as Joy injured herself recently and is having mobility issues.

Susan Prout presented the Thoughts for the Day, which emphasized the dawning of a new future as the long pandemic journey begins to wind down.

Linda announced that our district is sponsoring a golf tournament on Friday, May 14, at the Village Links course in Glen Ellyn. Steve Goranson, Steve Carlson, Neil Gambow, and Don Gwinn have formed a foursome. Others may set up a foursome as well – please let Chris Joyce know. All proceeds support scholarships for high school students attending RYLA.
Linda also announced on behalf of Brad Weiss the next Golf Road cleanup on Saturday, April 24, at 8:30 a.m. Please assemble in the TJ Maxx parking lot.
Susan Prout announced the Community Service Committee had met and determined how to distribute an additional $8,000 around the theme of “meeting urgent needs in the community” to worthy organizations, ncluding C&W Market, Meals on Wheels, Bundled Blessings, Hillside Pantry, Edible Evanston, Ebenezer AME Church, and others.  
Marv Edelstein announced a Technology Committee meeting immediately following the breakfast meeting.
Sue Bova invited members to join the International Service Committee for its next meeting at 7:15 - 8:30 a.m. on Monday, April 26, when the committee will introduce a Global Grant project for hydroponic farming in a drought-stricken area of Guatemala.  Everyone is invited. Sue extends a special invitation to  newer members who are interested in Rotary service abroad.
Steve reminded the club that he had distributed information last week about The Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach program. Volunteers remove thousands of pounds of litter from the shorelines and gather data about the nature of the litter collected to assist researchers. Volunteers should gather at 10 a.m. at Lighthouse Beach. The clean-up will take one - to - two hours. Contact Steve with any questions.
Ann Weatherhead thanked members who attended the first session of Affordable Housing last week, which focused on the importance of affordability.  The second part of the program focuses on how to support the creation of more affordable housing.  The workshops will be offered again on May 13 and 27.  You can sign up on the Joining Forces website or contact Ann for additional information.
Linda recounted that recent news stories featured topics related to homelessness and thanked Kristin Brown for writing a RoundTable article:  "Pandemic Silver Lining: Ending Homelessness in Evanston" and for the contributions of our guests today:  Jennifer Kouba, Connections for the Homeless, Sue Loellbach, Director of Joining Forces for Affordable Housing, and Larry Donoghue, Chair of the Evanston Housing and Homelessness Commission.  Linda expressed thanks to Bruce Baumberger for circulating the Chicago Tribune article, "Surprising Silver Lining."  She said the club proudly collaborates with Joining Forces, Connections, and Reba Place Development in advocating for increased Affordable Housing.
Bill Glader and Randy Usen presented updates on Taste of Evanston. They said the date for the event has been changed to September 19. Bill and Randy asked the membership to help find sponsors by supplying them with names of representatives of organizations to contact which could potentially serve in that role. Sponsorships range from $500 to $10,000, with $1,000 to $5,000 being typical. Family offices of wealthy individuals could potentially serve as sponsors.
Topic: City Government in Evanston
Speaker: Mayor-Elect Daniel Biss
Bill Glader introduced the mayor-elect to the club, citing his educational and professional experience leading up to his election as mayor. Biss addressed the issue of affordable housing. He noted that while he is not a housing expert, his campaign website articulates his views. See <>.
He thanked the club for its work on this issue, stating that the city needs partners to address housing affordability.
He argued that we need to eradicate homelessness, but that we also need to make Evanston a more attainable destination for people who want to live here and to make it a better place to live for people already here.
Biss contended that increased density is a good thing for Evanston, although he said that not everyone living here may want that. He stated the goal of seeking greater population diversity.
He said that the city has an affordable housing fund pursuant to a city ordinance.
He argued that the city needs to plan better and articulate its housing goals with greater specificity.
He cited ordinances that encourage inclusivity by requiring private developers to have set aside housing units offered at below-market rates or, alternatively, by requiring them to contribute to the housing fund.
He shared that he lives in a townhouse on Central Street in northwest Evanston, pointing out that zoning prohibits such townhouses in some parts of the city. He argued that the city needs to consider changing zoning ordinances to encourage greater equity and supply. He cited Cambridge, Mass., as a place that has done so. Nonetheless, he contended that the city cannot just focus on increasing housing supply; it should also focus on providing additional monetary subsidies.
In response to questions, he said the city has liberalized rules with respect to coach houses in order to increase the housing supply. Another issue the city could address is “tiny houses” with the same goal in mind.
Bill Glader asked about temporary housing for the homeless found at venues like the Margarita European Inn. Biss responded that homeless people need such housing, but additionally a suite of services to address their needs from mental health counselling to job training  and the like.
Keith Banks asked about the city’s assisting non-profits that address housing. Biss responded that the city should not simply focus on maximizing its tax base. Sue Loellbach asked whether a dialogue was underway with Northwestern University and NorthShore University HealthSystem. Biss responded that he has had some preliminary conversations with individuals in these organizations. He would like them to think about housing for their lower-paid employees.
Marv Edelstein asked whether the mayor-elect was familiar with opportunity zones In Evanston. Biss said that he was not. Marv will reach out to him on this subject. Ann asked about housing data; Biss said we fall short in this area.
Guests and Milestones
Visiting Rotarian
Dan Gigant, Buffalo Rotary Club
Other Guests
Jennifer Kouba and Sue Loellbach, Connections for the Homeless
Randy Gott, Cleanslate
Daniel Biss, our speaker
Fran Cann, Steve Goranson, and Jim McGuire, April 18
Kathy Tate-Bradish, April 24
Charlotta Koppanyi, April 26
Club Anniversaries
Helen Oloroso – 12 years
Bill Vernon – 15 years