City to host series of equity town halls starting this week


Katie Pach/Daily Senior Staffer

Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave. Two of Evanston’s five upcoming equity town halls — planned to address “issues of access, equity and empowerment” — will be held in the Civic Center.

David Fishman, City Editor

Following the appointment of Evanston’s first equity and empowerment coordinator, the city on April 5 announced a series of town hall meetings to address “issues of access, equity and empowerment.”

The meetings — which will be moderated by Rev. Dr. Patricia Efiom, who began her new position Feb. 20 — mark a “new mission” to more intentionally address equity issues in the city, according to a news release. Evanston will host five town hall meetings throughout the month.

The first meeting will be held on Monday from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center. On Tuesday, there will be a second meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center. The third meeting will be Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., also at the Civic Center.

Following the first set of meetings, the fourth will occur April 25 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Evanston Public Library. The fifth and final meeting will take place April 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Levy Senior Center.

Efiom, who will lead the meetings, joined the city earlier this year to address issues of equity. In a statement announcing the appointment in February, city manager Wally Bobkiewicz said Efiom had been a “leader” and “conscience of our community” for years.

“She understands the challenges we face in our city, state and nation to provide equitable programs and services to all,” he said in the statement. “Her many years of championing these issues in Evanston will only make the city’s efforts moving forward that much stronger.”

For her part, Efiom told The Daily in February that she would spend her first few months talking and listening to residents. She pledged to “get out there, to really listen and to hear the community.”

“We make far too many assumptions as to what the issues are,” Efiom told The Daily in February. “I want to hear what the community is really feeling, and what the community feels that it needs.”

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