JUSTICE TEAMS

Justice Teams in several of our communities have taken off! All are working to provide "best practice" resources to municipalities, engage our partners and increase civic engagement among the teams.


For more details about the Justice Team in your community, contact Gail Schechter
(847) 502-3194 or ghschechter@gmail.com


Deerfield

The Deerfield Justice Team is working on affordable housing and education.


Evanston

The Evanston Justice Team most recently met with the Mayor of Evanston on ensuring racial equity in all decision-making.


Highland Park/Highwood

The Highland Park Justice Team, a grassroots group of residents and religious leaders, is continuing efforts to establish a Curt's Cafe in Highland Park, a first for Lake County. Curt’s Café (Cultivating Unique Restaurant Training) is a nonprofit innovative hybrid education, restorative justice, transitional jobs and community building program that since its founding in 2012, has transformed the lives of over 250 young adults, aged 15 to 24, through its two Evanston cafés. Curt’s goal is to prevent incarceration and to reduce recidivism rates. With 97% of its students employed or in school after a year compared to only 14% of those exiting the justice system (and for a fraction of the cost), Curt’s is succeeding. The cafés are also bustling community gathering places.

The team is looking for:

  • faith leaders to get involved

  • a site

  • funds for the initiative

Contact us! Andy Amend, David Borris, and Alena Laube at curtscafehp@gmail.com


Lincolnwood

Lincolnwood founded their Justice Team and has collaborated with Morton Grove and Skokie.


Morton Grove

The Morton Grove Justice Team has organized annual interfaith walks and support for raising the minimum wage and providing sick leave to these workers.


Northbrook

Following a spirited discussion, the Northbrook Justice Team is moving forward with:

  • New affordable, fully accessible housing development.

  • Interfaith “walk” or other multi-congregation awareness-raising event in support of people with disabilities.

  • Push for an inclusive, mixed-income development at 1000 Skokie Boulevard: We adamantly do not want to see a “campus of exclusivity” (to borrow Northbrook Plan Commissioner Steve Elisco’s phrase). Instead, we want to work pro-actively to ensure that the Village of Northbrook employs its own Comprehensive Plan goals on “housing, neighborhoods and diversity” in shaping development at that site. To that end, we plan to:

    • Organize a facilitated community forum, modeled after Skokie’s Community Forum of November 2014, to identify community needs and aspirations that could be furthered at this site.

    • Reach out to other stakeholders in the Village, including neighbors, the Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, and congregations to invite them to join in this process.

    • Encourage neighbors to sign the Invest Taxpayer Funds Wisely at 1000 Skokie in Northbrook petition.

Learn more about the development at 1000 Skokie Blvd here >

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Park Ridge

In partnership with the Park Ridge Housing Initiative (PRHI), the Team is in the procress of obtaining a house in Park Ridge that will be affordable to a family earning less than the area median income (AMI). Our goal is to raise awareness of the need we have right here in our community for lower priced housing.


Skokie

The Skokie Justice Team is working on “integrating our diversity,” as described at the Skokie Community Forum of 2014.

The Team decided to aim for “integration” in which the varied cultures of our community can be celebrated and together contribute to a new culture for all. 

The Skokie Justice Team is:

  1. connecting with the Niles Township Parents’ ELL Center and PLUS (Parent Leaders Uniting Schools) as models for empowering immigrants.

  2. aiming to make our Boards and Commissions inclusive, diverse, and transparent. The team is working to strengthen the League of Women Voters (LWV) presence in Skokie by increasing membership in the League and forming a LWV observer corps.

  3. exploring the idea of creating a community garden as a way to celebrate and bring together different cultures.

  4. joining community conversations and actions for diversity and against racism. The team will join the Stand Against Racism contigent on April 29.

  5. countering the gun range in Niles


Wilmette

Success! The Wilmette Justice Team helped bring about grassroots support for Cleland Place, a proposed affordable housing development on Wilmette Avenue approved by the Village Board. Working in coalition with the League of Women Voters of Wilmette and WIlmette Cares, the Justice Team also helped build support for an increase in the minimum wage.