We The People Media

We The People Media

We The People Media

We The People Media was formed as a not-for-profit organization in late 1999 by 10 prominent journalists, scholars, community and business leaders who wanted to ensure the survival of Residents’ Journal and the Urban Youth International Journalism Program.

In June 1999, shortly after the takeover of the CHA by city officials, the new administration terminated CHA’s prior agreement with Residents’ Journal and instructed the staff to either integrate the publication into the agency’s public relations strategy or expedite the transition to publication by an independent not-for-profit organization. The Residents’ Journal staff opted to separate from CHA.

After months of fundraising and other preparation, We The People Media assumed responsibility for Residents’ Journal and the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in August 2000.

We The People’s guidance has enabled the Urban Youth International Journalism Program to hire new staff and redesign its Journalism 101 curriculum to enhance training for young people throughout the city’s low-income communities.

We The People Media
4859 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60615

Phone: (312)745-2681
Fax (773)285-2853
Email: ethan@wethepeoplemedia.org

Website: http://www.wethepeoplemedia.org/


Community Media Workshop

Community Media Workshop

Who We Are

The story of Chicago is often seen as the Tale of Two Cities. Unfortunately only one of these stories usually gets told in all its detail; the glorious downtown, the skyline, the glitz and glamour, the restaurants, the opera, the tourist Chicago, the chic Chicago, where problems are forgotten and escapist fantasy reigns.

Then there’s the other Chicago,where most residents live, where schools and little else work as well as they should, where the infrastructure and housing crumbles, where too many children die either of boredom or neglect or too much violent excitement, the neighborhoody Chicago, the gritty real Chicago, where problems linger, and solutions are created by citizens noisily exercising their democratic rights.

The Community Media Workshop, founded by a journalist, Hank De Zutter, and a community activist, Thom Clark, is a small institution trying to link the two Chicagos by encouraging the media to tell the stories of the other Chicago, the oft-neglected neighborhoods and back streets of Chicago, where the problems are felt most deeply and where solutions are most likely to be born.

The Workshop trains people working on these problems to tell their stories to the media, tips sensitive journalists to the importance of these stories, and tries to create better relationships between the media and the diverse communities which make up Chicago and the Midwest.

Since our start in a Malcolm X College classroom in 1989, over 800 nonprofit organizations have received hands-on training and coaching for their newsworthy efforts. Over 2000 groups have subscribed to Getting On The Air & Into Print, the comprehensive Chicago media guide. Another Workshop publication, Newstips, is now distributed twice-monthly to over 700 reporters, editors and producers around Chicago.

Now at Columbia College, we tap the talent and experience Columbia’s communications-oriented student body and faculty can offer to the city’s nonprofit community.

Columbia College Chicago
600 S. Michigan
Chicago IL 60605 (walk-in: 619 S. Wabash)

Email: cmw@newstips.org

Phone: 312-344-6400
Fax: 344-6404


Chicago Gateway Green

Green Gateway Logo

Chicago Gateway Green is a non-profit organization dedicated to the beautification of the Chicagoland area, benefiting the environment and improving the quality-of-life for millions of residents and annual visitors.

In August of 1996, Gateway Green and the City of Chicago dedicated the award winning Donald J. DePorter Gateway, formerly the North Orleans Triangle, located at the base of the Kennedy Expressway and the Ohio and Ontario Street feeder ramp. This “Gateway to Chicago” was transformed through extensive landscaping and the relocation of the famed sculpture “Being Born” by Virginio Ferrari.

Due to the excited reception of the creation of this new ‘gateway’ to Chicago, Gateway Green was approached to develop a similar ‘gateway’ near the McCormick Convention Center. In 1998, Gateway Green dedicated its second sculpture-enhanced ‘gateway.’ The dramatic 60’ wide sculpture Arris, created by artist John Henry, serves as the focal point of the McCormick Gateway, greeting visitors to Chicago’s McCormick Place at the intersection of Indiana Avenue and Cermak Road.

Ultimately these projects became the launching pad for an intense redevelopment of much of Chicago’s front lawn. In 1999, Gateway Green developed the Expressway Partnership program, which joins the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois with Chicago’s corporate community to “transform our Expressways into Parkways.” Distinct from traditional ‘adopt-a-highway’ programs in other states, Gateway Green develops and maintains each sponsor’s site through the run of the program. The Expressway Partnership program includes various sites along the Kennedy, Eisenhower, Stevenson, Dan Ryan and Edens Expressways.

In 2005, with the continued growth of the Expressway Partnership, Chicago Gateway Green launched an entirely new landscape design concept on Kennedy Expressway. Contiguous, undulating mow lines were implemented to connect O’Hare Airport to the Loop. The effect was to lessen harmful pollution emissions, as well as expand existing plants beds, creating a tiered landscape inclusive of native Illinois grasses. The effect is reminiscent of Midwestern prairies. With the success of this new design, similar concepts will be developed on the Eisenhower (2006) and the Dan Ryan.

As sponsors continue to join our efforts, and as the overall profile of the organization is further raised through our fundraising events and promotions, the scope of our mission continues to expand as well. Our goal is to transform Chicago’s reputation from a gritty city of “big shoulders” to 21st century metropolis leading the way in responsible environmental development as one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

The AMA Building
515 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60610
312-645-8993 (Fax)

American Friends Service Committee

American Friends Logo

The American Friends Service Committee is a practical expression of the faith of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Committed to the principles of nonviolence and justice, it seeks in its work and witness to draw on the transforming power of love, human and divine.

We recognize that the leadings of the Spirit and the principles of truth found through Friends’ experience and practice are not the exclusive possession of any group. Thus, the AFSC draws into its work people of many faiths and backgrounds who share the values that animate its life and who bring to it a rich variety of experiences and spiritual insights.

This AFSC community works to transform conditions and relationships both in the world and in ourselves, which threaten to overwhelm what is precious in human beings. We nurture the faith that conflicts can be resolved nonviolently, that enmity can be transformed into friendship, strife into cooperation, poverty into well-being, and injustice into dignity and participation. We believe that ultimately goodness can prevail over evil, and oppression in all its many forms can give way.

We seek to understand and address the root causes of poverty, injustice, and war. We hope to act with courage and vision in taking initiatives that may not be popular.

We are called to confront, nonviolently, powerful institutions of violence, evil, oppression, and injustice. Such actions may engage us in creative tumult and tension in the process of basic change. We seek opportunities to help reconcile enemies and to facilitate a peaceful and just resolution of conflict.

We work to relieve and prevent suffering through both immediate aid and long-term development and seek to serve the needs of people on all sides of violent strife.

We ground our work at the community level both at home and abroad in partnership with those who suffer the conditions we seek to change and informed by their strength and vision.

We work with all people, the poor and the materially comfortable, the disenfranchised and the powerful in pursuit of justice. We encourage collaboration in social transformation towards a society that recognizes the dignity of each person. We believe that the Spirit can move among all these groups, making great change possible.

Seeking to transform the institutions of society, we are ourselves transformed in the process. As we work in the world around us, our awareness grows that the AFSC’s own organizational life must change to reflect the same goals we urge others to achieve.

637 S. Dearborn, Ste. 3
Chicago, IL 60605

Phone: 312-427-2533
Fax: 312-427-4171
Email: Chicagoinfo@afsc.org

Civic Consulting Alliance

Civic Consulting Logo

The Civic Consulting Alliance (CCA) is a not-for-profit consulting firm working to improve government in the City of Chicago and our region. CCA provides general management consulting services (strategic planning, operational improvements, and organizational design) using a combination of CCA staff consultants, client employees, and consultants “on loan” from Chicago’s top private sector corporations and consulting firms.

The Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago, local philanthropic organizations, and members of our Board support CCA financially and with loaned resources.  As a result, CCA delivers its valuable services at no cost to our clients.

CCA establishes its goals and projects on a regular basis by reviewing emerging issues with its Board and aligning project prospects with the needs of local government agencies and available resources. Examples of engagements include:
Chicago Transit Authority: Capital Improvement Program Redesign (1998)
Chicago Housing Authority: Plan for Transformation Organization Redesign (2001)
Chicago Park District: City-wide Programming Strategy (2003)
Chicago Public Schools: Renaissance 2010 Strategic Planning (2004-2005)
City of Chicago Mayor’s Office and Office of Budget and Management (joint): City-wide Performance Management (2005-2006)
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning: start-up strategy and
operational support (2005-2006)
Since its inception, CCA projects have saved the City of Chicago and its sister agencies more than $1 billion. Projects have also led to numerous service improvements, enabling government to run more effectively and improving the everyday lives of citizens.

Because CCA focuses solely on local government agencies, we provide continuity that maximizes the impact of our partners’ “on loan” resources.  The result is high leverage for loaned resources, making CCA an attractive partner for corporations that want to make a difference in Chicago.  Over the past year alone, partners contributed $3 million in services to the City and sister agencies through CCA.

In September 1985, Mayor Harold Washington asked the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, comprised primarily of the chief executives form Chicago’s largest corporations, to evaluate the financial health of the City. In response, the Civic Committee and Chicago United established the Financial Planning Committee, bringing together more than 70 executives to study the budget, evaluate long-range financial prospects, and make recommendations for strengthening the financial condition of the City. In 1987, the Financial Research and Advisory Committee (FRAC) organized to implement and improve upon these recommendations. In 2005, FRAC became the Civic Consulting Alliance — a name that reflects both the wider range of issues CCA takes on today, and the unique approach to working with partners across the civic landscape.

21 South Clark Street
Suite 3120
Chicago, IL 60603-2006
312-853-9169 (Fax)

The Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago

Civic Committee Logo

We are the civic arm of The Commercial Club of Chicago — one the oldest organizations representing the business, professional, educational and cultural leaders of the Chicago region. The Civic Committee is comprised of senior executives in the Chicago region’s leading institutions and is dedicated to improving Chicago as a place to live, work, and conduct business.

In 1983, The Commercial Club of Chicago commissioned an unprecedented study into the economic well-being of the Chicago metropolitan area. The study concluded that Chicago was experiencing a gradual erosion of its economic vitality. In response, The Commercial Club formed its Civic Committee to examine the various problems that affected the metropolitan area at the time and to devise a long-term strategic plan for addressing these problems.
Today, the Civic Committee functions as a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to stimulate and encourage the growth of the area’s economy and its ability to provide for its people.

The Civic Committee pursues economic development in its broadest sense by supporting efforts to improve the general business environment – the structure and processes of the local economy – so that businesses can prosper and generate jobs.

The Civic Committee also works to protect and improve those parts of the local environment on which employers depend: sound and effective local government services, superior transportation and communication networks, strong education and training systems, excellent health care delivery and reasonable local tax and regulatory structures.

The Civic Committee gives special attention to efforts and plans that relate to the entire Chicago metropolitan area in the belief that the City of Chicago and its surrounding territory constitute a single and interdependent economic region.

In pursuing these goals, the Civic Committee seeks out partnerships with other public and private sector organizations so as to minimize duplication of efforts and to utilize the strength of coalitions representing different constituencies.

21 South Clark Street
Suite 3120
Chicago, IL 60603-2006
312-853-1209 (Fax)

Every Block A Village

Every Block a Village Logo

The Every Block A Village Online project will address serious health and safety problems in Chicago’s Austin community, an area with a historically high crime rate and poor health indicators. The West Suburban Hospital Medical Center will provide 57 “citizen leaders” with WebTV units and Internet access in their homes so they can obtain and distribute health and safety information to the community residents. The citizen leaders have already been selected and are currently working with the Beat 1524 police to help step-up community policing efforts. Community residents will also have greater access to community health resources through a Network Training Site, a 24-hour health information telephone service and a Wellness Center home page, an email site where physicians can be queried regarding health concerns.

Project Significance

Austin is an economically depressed community on Chicago’s west side. Rates of illness, including AIDS and tuberculosis, are all higher in Austin than in Chicago as a whole. This is a community with tremendous need for a communications infrastructure that reaches people with critical health and crime-fighting information.

The project will explore the impact of giving local leaders the networking tools to track critical health and public safety information. Several health-related factors that impact the progress of the program will be measured. For example, with respect to pregnancy, it will track low birth weight, maternal medical complications, and the trimester period at which prenatal care is initiated. In addition, the project will track the visit rate to the hospital’s Emergency Department, and measure whether the annual rate in major crimes continues to decrease.


The Westside Health Authority (WHA), will work in partnership with the PCC Community Wellness Center, West Suburban Hospital (WSH), and Loyola’s Center for Urban Research and Learning.


Mr. Christopher Masi M.D. 
Erie at Austin
Oak Park, IL 60302
phone: (708) 524-8600 
e-mail: doc.masc@wshmc.org

Food Not Bombs

Food Not Bombs logo

We are one of the fastest growing grassroots political groups in North America. There are over 70 autonomous chapters protesting militarism and poverty by serving free vegetarian food to people in need and in support of on-going political organizing efforts. We believe that society and government should value human life over material wealth. Many of the problems in the world stem from this simple crises in values. By giving away free food to people in need in public spaces we directly dramatize the level of hunger in this country and the surplus of food being wasted. We also call attention to the failures of the society to support those within it while funding the forces of war and violence, including the police. Food Not Bombs was formed in Boston in 1980 as an outgrowth of the anti-nuclear movement in New England. We are committed to the use of non-violent direct action to change society. It is by working today to create sustainable institutions that prefigure the kind of society we want to live in, that we build a vital and caring movement for progressive social change. Food Not Bombs serves food as a practical act of sustaining people and organizations, not as symbolism. Thousands of meals are served each week by FNB groups in North America and Europe.

Food Not Bombs is one of the fastest growing revolutionary movements and is gaining momentum throughout the world. There are hundreds of autonomous chapters sharing free vegetarian food with hungry people and protesting war and poverty. Food Not Bombs is not a charity. This energetic grassroots movement is active throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Food Not Bombs is organizing for peace and an end to the occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. For over 25 years the movement has worked to end hunger and has supported actions to stop the globalization of the economy, restrictions to the movements of people, end exploitation and the destruction of the earth.

The first group was formed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1980 by anti-nuclear activists. Food Not Bombs is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to nonviolent social change. Food Not Bombs has no formal leaders and strives to include everyone in its decision making process. Each group recovers food that would otherwise be thrown out and makes fresh hot vegetarian meals that are served in outside in public spaces to anyone without restriction. Each independent group also serves free vegetarian meals at protests and other events. The San Francisco chapter has been arrested over 1,000 times in government’s effort to silence its protest against the city’s anti- homeless policies. Amnesty International states it will adopt those Food Not Bombs volunteers that are convicted as “Prisoners of Conscience” and will work for their unconditional release. Even though we are dedicated to nonviolence Food Not Bombs activists in the United States have been under investigation by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, Pentagon and other intelligence agencies. A number of Food Not Bombs volunteers have been arrested on terrorism charges but there has never been a conviction.

http://www.windy-city.com/fnb/ or


c/o Dave @ The Autonomous Zone
3012 W. Chicago Ave.



StreetWise Logo 

Since 1992, we have provided employment to more than 3,600 homeless men and women, enabling them to secure housing and buy food, clothing and personal necessities. Most importantly, StreetWise has served as the opportunity for their journey back to self-sufficiency. Since the first edition of our paper was issued on the streets of Chicago, we have relied on the support of the community’s businesses, philanthropic organizations and volunteers to create a successful program. At the heart of it all is the motivation of our vendors to help expand and evolve our offerings. For these vendors, we are a bridge to full-time employment, economic stability and self-respect. StreetWise has created and delivered a unified voice that has expanded awareness of homeless issues to a diverse Chicagoland readership


1201 W. Lake St.
Chicago, IL. 60607
(312) 829-2526

Chicagoland Transportation and Air Quality Commission

Born out of the nonprofit Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), CTAQC was founded to focus on opportunities for the public to impact regional transportation planning. With the advent of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) in 1991, CNT recruited seven core partners dedicated to bringing federal mandates to northeastern Illinois. By 1994, CTAQC was formed with 33 members.CTAQC published its first Citizen Transportation Plan in 1995 based on recommendations of stakeholder task forces. The plan called for more community-building projects, with greater emphasis on maintaining existing communities and more transit, bicycle and pedestrian investment. Six years later, to update our understanding of public opinion, Connecting Communities Summits were held in eleven local areas of the northeastern Illinois region to facilitate public involvment in transportation planning. The comments of the summits were synthesized into a report, Changing Direction: Transportation Choices for 2030, and published in 2002. Today over 190 organizations have endorsed the ideals of the plan.As the Tranportation Efficiency Act periodically comes up for re-authorization, CTAQC looks forward to strengthening federal policy to the benefit of local stakeholders. CTAQC has developed a two-pronged approach, combining public involvement with advocacy. We do this because we recognized the need to help residents understand policy makers as well as the need to aid policy makers in understanding taxpayers.CTAQC has taken a lead in formulating unique public involvement guidelines and tools that have been successfully applied in real-life community-building situations. CTAQC has designed, tested and implemented charettes as one type of instrument for participants to make proactive and creative suggestions to improve thier communities. Using the processes outlined, participants learn the context and lexicon needed to effectively communicate with their elected officials and transportation planners. We provide our constituency with the tools to reach consensus; our constituency provides the consensus.CTAQC has published literature synthesizing the public’s wishes into clear, concise, and comprehensive documentation that resonates with decision makers. We are also involved in monitoring public meetings of regional transportation policy agencies. CTAQC seeks a region in which taxpayers are seen as a critical constituency and are sought out by decision makers for input on the design of their communities and region. This vision can be achieved by building a trust between taxpayers and policy makers and by initiating a permanent dialogue that addresses the needs of all users and potential users of the area.We believe in: inclusive planning, equitable access to regional resources, investment in quality-of-life goals, development of a safe and accessible travel environment for all and preservation of open space. Website: http://www.cnt.org/tsp/trans/ctaqc/index.php c/o Center for Neighborhood Technology 2125 W. North AveChicago, IL 60647 Phone: 773-278-4800 x2030
Fax: 773-278-3840
Email: ctaqc@cnt.org