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Who is DuPage United?
Founded in 2003, DuPage United is a non-partisan organization made up of organizations including church, synagogue, and mosque congregations, education associations, and civic organizations. Also eligible for membership are business associations, parent-teacher and student organizations, labor unions, health care and educational institutions and other community organizations.
Why was DuPage United formed?
DuPage United‘s “purpose is creation of a broad-based, non-partisan, civic organization with sufficient relational power to take collective action for social and economic changes that will benefit the people of DuPage County.” Translated: DuPage United’s member organizations work together to influence decision-makers in DuPage County to improve the social and economic situation for DuPage County residents. Member institutions highlight issues and concerns to the steering team which decides which issues to pursue.
Key issues DuPage United is currently addressing
- Built support on the Downers Grove Village Council to unanimously vote to cede $1.3 million of its Bond Cap money to the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). Funds will be used to assist low- and middle-income first time home buyers in Downers Grove.
- Influenced county board members to reinstate and increase funding for the County Human Service Grant Fund. This fund provided grants of 1.3 million in 2009 to nearly 50 non-profit agencies including PADS, People's Resource Center, Bridge Communities, Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services, Loaves and Fishes, DuPage Homeownership Center, and Northern IL Food Bank.
- Led a get out the vote effort to inform voters of the issues and increase voter turnout for the 2009 COD Board of Trustee election. DU will not endorse specific candidates.
- Attend COD board meetings to push for open governance, encouraging COD to play a more central role in job training during this economic crisis, and make sure COD is affordable and accessible to all the residents.
- In conjunction with DU’s sister organizations in Cook and Lake Counties, DU is leading Re-Imagining Illinois, a statewide effort focused on Five Pillars:
- Rooting Out Corruption
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Tax Fairness & Adequate Revenue
- Priorities for People
- New and Diverse Faces in State and Local Government
- Establishing a positive working relationship with key IL lawmakers, including Patrick Collins, David Hoffman, Rep. Tom Cross, Governor Quinn, to address reform and support the five pillars. Patrick Collins will speak at the DuPage United Delegate Assembly Nov. 8
- Actively recruiting people to apply for key state boards and commissions and pushing the Governor to fill the vacancies with talented citizens who are not part of the status quo. Four have been appointed by the Governor so far.
- Educate DuPage Country residents about the 10% is Enough National Anti-Usury Campaign kicked off July 2009 to influence legislation that would eliminate the ability of credit card and payday loan companies to charge more than 10% interest on loans and outstanding balances.
- Applying community organizing skills learned through DU to our synagogue community in the form of Listening Sessions. Learning about members’ interests and concerns so we can address those through CEC and DU.
Mary Hason is co-chair of DuPage United’s Steering Team and leader of Etz Chaim’s DU working group. DU wants to know what you care about. Contact Mary to let her know which issues you think DU should pursue, learn more about DuPage United, or find out how you can get involved.