Evanston, IL POP-UP NEWSLETTER: Participatory Budgeting, Lakefront Misconduct, UBI, Local Foods
April 9, 2022
CONTENTS: Four new blogs + 2 news items on the following topics:
— Local Foods
— Participatory Budgeting
— Universal Basic Income
— Lakefront Misconduct Report
— Evanston voters, media, political groups, businesses, activists, institutions
— Residents in my neighborhood (Nichols Neighbors)
— Some non-Evanston voters with Evanston connections & interests
Hi, all —
I don’t know how much more energy I’ll have for these Pop-Up Newsletters, but here’s my latest.
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1. BLOG: LOCAL FOOD INFRASTRUCTURE: A Menu of Climate Tactics
Commissioned by Wild Onion Market and Our Evanston, this editorial went unpublished (for unknown reasons) in the magazine’s spring “sustainability” issue.
Actually, what’s most needed in Evanston is a “solidarity economy” issue. Please consider this editorial as the beta version. It’s still a useful, succinct checklist of all the ways Evanstonians can support “local foods” — any one of which reduces our climate footprint.
2. LOCAL FOODS NEWS
a. Wild Onion Market — location found!
By now most people have heard the news — that the food co-op that’s been in the planning stages for 8 years (first as Rogers Park Food Co-op, now Wild Onion Market) has obtained a location: 7007 N. Clark at Lunt. VERY accessible to public transportation.
The board, etc., are fast getting the site ready, running a robust capital campaign, and seeking more owners — all with an eye towards opening in late 2022.—Check out the website—Sign up for the newsletter—Join: a lifetime membership is only $250 (time payment possible)—WOM accepts tax-deductible donations from any Illinois resident
b. Curt’s Cafe — Job Posting: Executive Director
CURT’s CAFE — short for “Cultivating Unique Restaurant Training” — is seeking a new Executive Director to replace founder Susan Trieschmann, who is planning to step down this summer. Job training + life skills for at-risk youth, young adults through food & farm skills.
Locations in Evanston and Highland Park.
NOTE: Unfortunately, the job description doesn’t seem to include any (a) references to public policy expertise, or (b) plans for Curt’s Cafe to get engaged in public policy (politics, democracy, civic engagement — whatever you want to call it). In my opinion this is a missed opportunity. For 17 years I’ve watched almost every new U.S. food & farm project concentrate on programming, until they realize that (a) every problem they’re trying to solve is caused by bad or outdated policy, and (b) there’s less and less funding, also caused by bad and outdated policy at multiple levels.
Personally, at the age of 71, I agree with the findings of a 2007 book (updated in 2012), Forces for Good, which identifies best practices for “high-impact nonprofits”. One best practice is working simultaneously on programming AND policy.
3. BLOG: Participatory Budgeting in Evanston, IL: The 2022 Version
Having studied and supported participatory budgeting for the last twelve years, I’m delighted that Evanston has committed to a PB process. I wrote this to support our newly formed Participatory Budgeting Committee and to help Evanstonians get up-to-speed quickly on what to expect, what not to expect, a new innovation in PB (Divest & Invest), etc.
4. BLOG: FUNDED SOVEREIGNTY: Universal basic income for participatory democracies
One of my shortest blogs because UBI as funded sovereignty is (a) easy to understand and (b) a no-brainer in a self-governing democracy.
5. BLOG: Lakefront Staff Misconduct in Evanston, IL: Final Reflections on Investigation & Report
I think the independent investigation and report has put the City on the right track on a number of issues related to this civic fiasco and civic misconduct. But I also think some things were overlooked, both nuances and big picture issues.