Annual Meeting of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference
September 9, 2012
Bios of new members
Notes (not official minutes) of the September 9, 2012 Annual Meeting
By Gary Ossewaarde, board member
The meeting was convened by President Jane Ciacci at 2:30 p.m. at 5638 S. Woodlawn
The Treasurer's Report was accepted.
President's Report. Ciacci noted this is the organization's 63rd Year. The presence of Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) was acknowledged.
Election of Directors. The rules were read. Ciacci thanked directors stepping down: Jane Ciacci, Paul Durica, David Nekimken, and Brenda Sawyer (soon).
The Nominating Committee (Jay Ammerman, Anita Hollins, George Rumsey, and Jack Snapper) reported the slate. (Bios had been distributed):
Continuing: Camille Hamilton-Doyle, Jack Snapper, and Ismail Turay
New: Joy Clendenning and Trish Morse
No additional nominations were submitted from the floor. Rumsey and Hollins distributed and collected the secret ballots to those whose memberships were in good standing and proceeded to count.
The minutes of the 2011 meeting were distributed and approved as presented.
Aldermen Hairston (5th) and Burns (4th) gave lengthy reports on the states of their wards and answered many questions of concern to Conference members.
The nominating committee slate for next year was reported from the Executive Committee These include Jay Ammerman, Pat Marin and Ismail Turay from the Board and Leslie Bloch and Jane Ciacci from the Membership. There was room for one additional member. None were offered by members in attendance.
Officers reports. Mark Granfors explained that the budget was balanced with a $5,500 surplus, largely because of a large surplus from the Book Sale. We have 120 members, which is up due to pursuing renewals, but we need to reach out.
President Ciacci noted highlights from her distributed repots. These include two meetings on collaboration in the community that drew representatives and ideas from 20 organizations in the community that she hoped will result in more effective pursuit of common goals.
One outcome was a Friends of Hyde Park Kenwood Public Schools that organized school supply drives (and received a generous $1,000 grant from Harper Court Arts Foundation) and worked with the Schools Committee on networking and informational meetings. Another was work with DARE assisted housing and other organizations to start a set of "walk and roll" sidewalk surveys. Another was collaboration with Coalition for Equitable Community Development to commission a unique Survey of Rental Market supply and demand in the neighborhood. HPKCC cooperated with parts of Hyde Park Historical Society's Oral History Project including a share-and-tell on the history of the Conference. (The Conference originally had skits at its annual meetings.) She hoped the Conference's umbrella role will continue and prove increasingly valuable. Some of our members are also working in the 5th Ward Participatory Budgeting process. And we, especially the Development-Preservation and Zoning Committee have played a role in many community decisions such as Woodlawn Avenue and the University's Planned Development 43 and development projects, collaboratively, by communication, and by going to many meetings. The Garden Fair and Used Book Sale Committees were especially productive and were thanked.
Election results were announced: Elected the three-year terms were Joy Clendenning, Camille Hamilton-Doyle, Trish Morse, Jack Snapper, and Ismail Turay. Officers and the nominating committee will be elected by the Board at its October 4 meeting. Committees will also be reconstituted then.
All were encouraged to buy a whistle for safety, buy at the Garden Fair and Book Sale. Concern was expressed about a possible school strike and the lack of park councils for Promontory Point, Harold Washington, and Burnham parks.
The meeting was adjourned until September 2012.
Elected to the board by secret ballot:
Reelected to a second permitted term:
Camille Hamilton Doyle
Patricia (Trish) Morse
Bios of new members
I have been a Hyde Park resident for 12 years and my four children attend Chicago Public Schools (ray, Whitney Young, and Kenwood Academy). My children are also involved in various activities at various organizations in Hyde Park and Chicago. My husband, Michael Scott, was born in Chicago and raised in Hyde Park (attended Murray, Bret Harte, and Metro High School) and I first visited his family in Hyde Park in the 1980's. I was a bilingual (Spanish) social sciences teacher in public schools in Massachusetts and California before moving to Hyde Park. Over the years I have volunteered at my children's schools and other events, adn have been active with the Ray PTA, Friends of Ray, and Friends of Latin at Ray. I am currently a parent representative on the Ray LSC. At Kenwood I am involved with the PAC (Parent Advisory Committee). For teh past year I have been attending HPKCC Schools Committee meetings, have attended both HPKC summit meetings, and am the co-chair of the subcommittee Friends of Hyde Park-Kenwood Public Schools. I am passionate about public education and specifically interested in supporting and strengthening neighborhood schools.
Patricia Morse is the co-captain of the Wildflower Department of the Garden Fair Committee and a member of the Used Book Sale Committee. She has also served as the secretary of the Conference in her earlier terms on the Board. Trish set up the Facebook page and is setting up a Twitter account for HPKCC to assist in social media outreach for the Conference. Trish hopes that returning to th board will enhance the flow of information for these on-going projects. She has live din HydE Park from 1974 to 1989 and again from 1994 to the present. She has a Ph.D from the Department of English at the University of Chicago and works for the University of Chicago Press as the Managing Editor of the American Naturalist, a journal of ecology and evolutionary biology. She is interested in Hyde Park history and the issues of urban planning and occasionally blogs on both (though a larger writing project has sidetracked the blog lately).
President's Report - Jane Ciacci
A hallmark this year has been making connections and collaborating with formal and informal community groups that share teh Conference's concerns and goals. The Board hosted meetings in October and March at which representatives of twenty organizations and groups learned more about each other's goals and figured out how to work more effectively together.
One of the results of this activity was the formation of the Friends of Hyde Park-Kenwood Public Schools, and its adoption as a subcommittee of the Schools Committee. This group, which is composed of parents of public school children, has conducted two successful school supply drives to assist our local schools, and is monitoring the thorny issues that surround public education in Chicago. The Schools Committee under the able leadership of Nancy Baum and Camille Hamilton-Doyle has carefully developed and maintained relationships with most of th public schools in Hyde Park-Kenwood, and provides networking opportunities to principals, teachers, and parents.
Another result of these meetings was a co-operation with our sister organization, the Coalition for Equitable Community Development, a group which several of our board members have been involved in. As you probably know, the CECD has commissioned an ambitious study of affordable housing in the Hyde Park-Kenwood area. The Conference is proud to be a financial supporter of this study, and we look forward to seeing the results, which are due out this fall, and helping educate our neighbors about what this report means.
It was clear from these meetings that the Conference has a role to play as an umbrella organization and that this work of bringing diverse groups together is useful. I'm hopeful that it will continue in the coming year; ideally we would offer a quarterly community meeting, although we didn't achieve that this year.
Something else we have not managed to revive is our Transit Task Force. This is a topic that is very suited to collaboration. But it is always good to have a goal.
The Disabilities Task Force led by George Rumsey conducted its first Walk and Roll assessment of the accessibility of our neighborhood streets. This was another successful collaboration, with residents, staff and board members of the DARE Home on 55th St., as well as Conference board members and friends participating. Small groups covered 55th St. from Ellis Ave. to South Shore Drive and submitted a detailed report of accessibility problems to our elected representatives and to City departments. We plan to do similar studies of other streets. We are delighted that DARE residents are volunteering no only for Walk and Roll, but for the Book Sale as well.
Another collaboration this year has been established between the Conference and the HP Historical Society Oral History Committee. The Conference's history was the subject of the very well-attended Oral History meeting at Montgomery Place on August 26. I learned from Corky Benedict, the daughter of original Conference member Thelma Dahlberg that at Annual meetings in the 1950s, skits were performed. Corky shared with me an original typescript in which a couple living in the suburban wastes of Winnetka agonize over whether they'll be able to buy a house in Kenwood or not. Sorry that there wasn't time to write a skit! The board has had some discussion this year about whether and how support of the arts fits in with the Conference's mission, so perhaps we ought to consider dramatic production!
Unhappily, we have lost several of our senior members this year, and with them some of our collective memory -- We believe that Gerda Schild was our oldest member. Ozzie Badal was involved in the founding and early days of the Conference, and Carol Benade was a longtime member.
Last fall we donated several years' worth of our papers to the University of Chicago Archives, which has now organized all our papers, and produced a fine finding aid, so that's the place to go if you want to learn more bout our history.
As you know, development is a key concern of the Conference, and the Development, Preservation and Zoning committee, led by Jay Ammerman, continues to monitor 53rd St., Harper Court, the City Hyde Park development and the University of Chicago's campus construction and development plans. Recently a working group has begun an exploration of the rental housing climate in the neighborhood. The conference is well-represented at every public meeting and every opportunity to gather information or offer input on development. Some of our board members were very active participants in Alderman Hairston's series of meetings about the future of Woodlawn Avenues just east of the U of C campus. I think I can speak for the board and say that we are encouraged by increased transparency in the University's dealings with teh community, as evidenced in those Woodlawn Avenue discussions. We thank Alderman Hairston for leading the process of bringing the University and the community together for constructive discussions.
Moving on, I'd like to ask all teh Book Sale committee members and volunteers in the room to stand up! Last year's sale was our most successful ever, and we're working hard to bring you another great sale, October 6, 7 and 8. We have reorganized along the lines of the Garden Fair with captains for pickups, sorting and packing, volunteers, setup, recycling, etc. and it seems to work well. Co-chair George Davis, is compiling a manual which should be helpful for anyone who eventually as to take this over. Volunteer, and you'll get a cool t-shirt. If you are interested in donating books, you'll find a flyer on the sign-in table. And on behalf of George who isn't here, and the Book Sale Committee members, I thank ALL our volunteers!
This year we put some focus on administrative matter, updating the look of our website, starting a Google Calendar, and making it easy to f ind information about our committees. If we have your email address, you're on the mailing list for our electronic newsletter, which has been issued more or less twice a month since February. A few weeks ago we introduced the use of PayPal for accepting donations and memberships online. Trish Morse continues to maintain our Facebook presence. We also changed our membership renewal solicitation to once a year. If you renew between now and the end of December, you'll get all of 2013 as well. Solicitations will go out early in the calendar year.
After a very enjoyable two years as president, Ia m about to pass the flaming baton, and with it comes the banner-holder for the 4th on 53rd parade (in which the Conference participated for the first time this year)?