From Screen Time to Real Time: Understanding Southeast Side stories through today's oral histories

As data analysts and policy professionals, we spend a lot of time at our desks and behind screens, analyzing quantitative data, active or proposed policies and programs, and various written reports and documents. Much of what we analyze and review is -- or becomes -- an aggregation and anonymization of specific places, experience, and impacts, and fails to directly capture the intricacies of an individual’s lived experience. In our work with community-based partners, we’ve committed... Read the rest of this entry »

 

The Problems With the justice40 Screening Tool, and Some Ideas for How to Improve It

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) has been a strong supporter of the concept of Justice40 since its announcement in early 2021. The goal of this program is to direct at least 40% of the benefits of federal investment to communities that have historically been left behind. Defining those communities is critical, and the federal government attempted this with the release of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool in February 2022. Generally, the federal definition of... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Working With CBOs for Transportation Equity

Decisions by transportation agencies have often harmed communities that have not been in positions to advocate for themselves or contribute to decision making. Increasingly, the leaders and staff of transportation agencies recognize this problem and are looking for approaches to improve equity in their transportation decisions. We often hear them ask: “We recognize the need to commit to equity. BUT HOW?” While there is more than one answer to this question, one approach has proven to deliver... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Authentic Collaboration: Critical to Equitable Outcomes

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), an environmental justice (EJ) organization based in the Little Village neighborhood, and Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), a research and data analytic planning organization in Chicago, are creating a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 101 Toolkit for EJ organizations to help them conduct basic mapping and analysis. Throughout toolkit development, the Milwaukee-based EJ organization Milwaukee Water Commons (MWC) is testing to... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Public Agencies are Driving Equity in All Transportation Policy Decisions, Acknowledging More Work Must Be Done

Decisions in the transportation field have often harmed Black and brown communities: for example, freeway construction destroying Black and brown neighborhoods, federal funding policies for public transit that favor rail expansion to affluent suburban communities rather than urban transit service improvements, land use decisions that focus on polluting truck traffic in communities of color, and inequitable traffic law enforcement. To advance equity, we need to push transportation decisions... Read the rest of this entry »

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The Case for More Operations Funding for Transit

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill has been passed by the Senate. That’s an excellent start in addressing our long-neglected physical infrastructure. And now the bill goes back to the House of Representatives for concurrence. In the regular order of business, the House would negotiate and then concur with amendments made in the Senate. But this bipartisan deal did not follow the normal process, essentially negating the ability of House members to negotiate. This is... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Residents Participate in Urban Flooding Data Collection Efforts

The Urban Flooding Baseline Project seeks to clearly define the problem of urban flooding in the Calumet region using available quantitative data sources and first-hand pictorial data from residents to improve flood mitigation plans. At the end of July, we completed the Pilot and Phase 1 of the resident data collection. Each resident data collection leader is assigned a 1.5 mile x 1.5 mile region in the communities for Dolton, Dixmoor, Harvey, Markham, Phoenix, Posen, or Riverdale and is... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Public Transportation's Impacts on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  Public transportation is a climate solution, and CNT’s recent report for the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) shows what an important role it plays in controlling emissions nationwide. Public transit in the U.S. saved 63 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMT CO2e) emissions in 2018—the equivalent of taking 16 coal power plants offline for a year. The new report, TCRP Research Report 226: An Update on Public Transportation's Impacts on Greenhouse Gas... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Update on the Campaign to Stop General Iron

On May 7th, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a decision to delay a decision on a permit that would allow General Iron to move to Chicago’s Southeast side, a predominantly Latinx and Black community, until further environmental analysis can be completed by the Chicago Department of Public Health. Environmental justice advocates, who engaged in a month-long hunger strike to stop General Iron’s relocation, are asking for a full denial of the permit. General Iron, a scrap metal shredder... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Why CNT is Supporting the Campaign to Stop General Iron

Today is Day 12 of a hunger strike led by activists on Chicago’s Southeast side to call attention to the relocation of a major industrial polluter to their community. General Iron, a scrap metal shredder that was repeatedly fined for environmental violations in its former home in Lincoln Park, is awaiting a final permit from the Chicago Department of Public Health to allow it to move its operations to the Southeast side. CNT strongly supports the campaign to stop General Iron, and we urge the... Read the rest of this entry »

 

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