I was born in Wilmington, Delaware, with a deep connection to my community. I experienced the importance that community can have in the development of youth early in life; my mother is a teacher who works with primarily Black and brown elementary children, and my father – a veteran turned chef – would often volunteer as a coach for youth sports, acting as a father-figure for many of the boys in the community. After graduating high school in Delaware, I attended Northwestern University and graduated with a degree in Social Policy in 2018 with a concentration in health policy.
I worked as a medical assistant for Howard Brown Health, working with LGBTQ+ people who deserved equitable and informed healthcare. As the 2020 election approached, I decided that I wanted to be a part of larger systemic change and made a difficult decision to leave my work in health to join the Elizabeth Warren campaign for president and was based out of Evanston. When the general election came around, I joined the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris campaign, where I worked as a digital organizer for their Florida team through to their inauguration.
Note: The following lists are not exhaustive but are meant to be a discussion tool.
City of Evanston Housing-Related Committees, Commissions, Etc.
Who Is Doing What on Housing?
Housing-Related Actions Underway
Planning Processes—City of Evanston
Comprehensive Plan—RFP is out
Strategic Plan—RFP is out
Affordable Housing Plan--??
Here to Stay Committee--??
Shelter System Planning—in process
Equitable Zoning Review
As unique as it is, Evanston shares a problem with most other university towns--non-student households don't want groups of students living in their neighborhoods. The obvious solution would be to create physically separate housing options for students and non-students.
In Evanston, it’s illegal for more than three unrelated adults to live in one house or apartment. The ordinances in the City’s zoning code that impose this restriction are collectively referred to as "the 3-Unrelated Rule," or more interestingly, "the Brothel Law."
Joining Forces for Affordable Housing thanks Alderman Don Wilson for referring the 3-Unrelated Rule to the City’s Plan Commission for possible repeal. As a result of this referral, the Rule was most recently discussed on February 24 at the City's Zoning Committee (a sub-committee of the Plan Commission). The rule is examined every few years and, typically, no change is made and the rule stands. This time, this law should be repealed.
In January, Joining Forces for Affordable Housing made several calls to action. Here is an update on results. Many thanks to those of you who participated!
See our Fact Sheet on 51 New Units of Affordable Housing: The Emerson, at 1900 Sherman.
November 18, 2020
According to the DePaul University Institute for Housing Studies, there is a shortage of more than 6,900 affordable units in Evanston and Skokie combined. (Click on the link at the bottom of this page to access this data in the Appendix to the study cited.)
Dear City of Evanston Aldermen and Mayor Hagerty:
Members of Joining Forces for Affordable Housing would like to reiterate our support of the The Emerson at 1900 Sherman, up for your vote on Monday, November 23.
Last, January, Joining Forces members spoke at a special City Council meeting, exhorting the City to "Choose Affordable Housing!" Shortly, after that, the pandemic set in, and momentum on most issues stopped. Now, however, there are inklings of action, and it is time for the City to respond by choosing affordable housing-usually over other easier or more popular options. Here is one great opportunity.
On October 14, the City's Plan Commission deliberated on whether to recommend approval of a new residential apartment building on Emerson and Sherman by the Housing Authority of Cook County.