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Ramirez-Rosa Discussed Need for Better Urban Planning at Streetsblog Party

5:40 PM CST on December 7, 2015

Daniel Ronan, Alderman Ramirez-Rosa, and Steven Vance. Photo: John Greenfield

Thanks to all of you came out to support Streetsblog Chicago and Moxie, the LGBT group for LGBT urban planning and public policy professionals, at our holiday party last Thursday at El Morro Lounge in the Hermosa neighborhood. Steven and I had a great time talking transportation with SBC readers at this cozy pub.

"We were encouraged by the strong turnout of Moxie as well as Streetsblog Chicago followers, as well as 35th Ward alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, who came to raise funds for our two organizations pushing for concrete change in Chicago,” said Moxie founder Daniel Ronan. "'Moxie' really defined the night's spirit, with $300 raised for each group, and hundreds of dollars spent to support local businesses on the Armitage Avenue corridor.”

Photo: John Greenfield

Alderman Ramirez-Rosa addressed the crowd during the party:

You guys are a group of policy wonks that are LGBTQ and have intentionally come together and created a space where you can talk about policy through a lens that a lot of policy makers don’t necessarily have. I’m a politician. I haven’t studied urban planning. But I need smart individuals like yours to come forth and bring the solutions that I can then champion for my community.

If I had a dollar for every time an alderman or a policy maker said, "Oh, I don’t like that idea,"

"Well why don’t you like it?"

"Oh, I just don’t like it."

If we could remove that personal bias and instead focus on outcomes and data-driven analysis, and really have good conversations about what it is that we’re trying to achieve, and what’s the research, and what’s the path that we’re going to take to get there, I think we’d be in a much better place as a society.

And I think that if we had more people that had been pushed to the margins say "I want to play a role in policy," I think that we’d be in a much better place as a society.

Steven and I would like to thank Daniel for organizing the event, and the alderman for showing his support. We’d also like to give thanks to everyone who donated prizes for our raffle: Gabe Klein and Island Press, who provided copies of Klein’s book “Start-Up City”; Sam Schwartz’ and Public Afffairs who donated copies of Schwartz’s book “Street Smart”; Boulevard Bikes, which provided a fancy set of Planet Bike lights; and Green Machine Cycles, which donated a Kali helmet and a water bottle cage.

Streetsblog Chicago will be doing monthly meet-ups all through the winter as part of our efforts to raise funds for next year’s Streetsblog coverage. Stay tuned for info about our next event in early January.

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