M I S S I O N S T A T E M E N T
Skokie Voice is a community-wide residents’ association established in 2010.
Our goal is to maintain a clear channel of communication with Village officials in order to keep Skokie a safe and thriving place to live and conduct business.
With a broad base of resident participation, Skokie Voice will strive for:
School safety in quality learning environments
Open, transparent communication with Village officials
Resident participation in Village planning
Click the icon below to download a PDF of the Skokie Voice mission statement.
Skokie Voice is nonpartisan and registered with the State of Illinois as a civic organization.
Published on SkokiePatch 6/27/10 http://skokie.patch.com/articles/the-birth-of-skokie-voice
The Birth of Skokie Voice
Lisa Lipin on the ever-growing grassroots organization
For the first time in recent memory, Skokie residents and village officials had a community-wide dialogue where more than 500 people attended the Skokie Town Hall meeting at Niles West High School on June 24.
The genesis of the event was a dozen residents taking initiative.
Earlier this year, we asked village officials for a public discussion about the state of our community. While working together to organize the town hall meeting in the months that followed, our grassroots group became known as Skokie Voice.
Some of us are newer to Skokie, but most of us have lived here for more than 20 years. We are parents, professionals and homeowners. We have been active in different PTA groups and other school organizations, have served on village commissions and led other local grassroots efforts. Some of us went to elementary through high school in Skokie; most of us have children who have gone through or are now attending these schools. All of us deeply care about the future of Skokie.
We originally established Skokie Voice for the sole purpose of organizing the Town Hall meeting. By listening to concerns expressed by our neighbors, friends, co-workers and other parents in our school districts, we understood that such a forum was needed.
Our meetings took place around a dining room table. We also distributed fliers in our neighborhoods and elsewhere and sent e-mails asking fellow residents to come to the town hall meeting and listen to village officials. More importantly, we wanted to give our residents a chance to voice their concerns.
Our outreach efforts to get the word out were supported by all of the public school districts in Skokie as well as private schools, the Skokie Park District and dozens of merchants who made room for our flier in their storefront windows. Homeowners associations, churches and synagogues also helped spread the word.
The Town Hall meeting was a success, in our view – not only because of the magnitude of the turnout, but also because it enabled dialogue.
Mayor George Van Dusen, Village Manager Al Rigoni, Police Chief Barry Silverberg, among other officials, presented important information about economic development, crime and safety as well as Section 8 housing in Skokie.
Although these presentations ran considerably longer than we had requested in advance of the meeting, they were followed by more than two hours of questions and statements from residents on these and other topics, and village officials took note.
The Town Hall meeting has already begun to yield results. At the meeting several residents raised concerns about safety in certain Skokie parks. A week later the Skokie Police Department and Skokie Park District announced that four parks – Gross Point, Lee Wright, Tecumseh and Winnebago – would close at dusk, as suggested by residents, instead of 10 p.m.
Moving ahead, the goal of Skokie Voice is to continue to foster ongoing dialogue between residents and village officials in order to ensure a clear channel of communication so we can build on Skokie's many strengths.
To that end, on Sept. 21 we will hold a Skokie Voice Residents' Open Meeting at 7 p.m. at Devonshire Cultural Center, 4400 Greenwood Ave. At this meeting, we will introduce ourselves and encourage all Skokie residents to join us in building a community wide organization. Together, we will discuss how to shape the direction of the dialogue going forward.