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Great Cities Institute has Released Seven Reports Over the Last Month

Great Cities Institute at CUPPA has released seven new reports over the last month. In addition to their highly publicized report on youth unemployment in Chicago during the COVID-19 pandemic, Great Cities Institute has published a number of new reports in partnership with various organization at UIC, other public institutions, and community organizations.

Great Cities Institute partnered with Mujeres Latinas en Acción to create the organizations first ever position paper titled ¡Actívate! A community-data driven guide to help Latinas and their families thrive. Mujeres Latinas en Acción is the longest standing Latina-led organization in the country. ¡Actívate! is intended to inform the advocacy priorities of the organization by assembling data on the lived experiences of their community members. GCI's team was led by Norma Hernandez, who has since been elected to the Illinois State House of Representatives.

In partnership with the Grand Victoria Foundation, another GCI team led by Thea Crum conducted and released their report on the Illinois Racial Justice and Equity Landscape Study. Their study focused on 81 communities outside of Chicago and Cook County where 30% or more of residents identify as Black. The study aimed to shed light on the lived experiences of these communities to support their efforts toward equity and justice.

Another report authored by UPP Professor John J Betancur and Alexander Linares tracked the changing population characteristics associated with gentrification in the community of Pilsen. Who Lives in Pilsen? The Trajectory of Gentrification in Pilsen in the Last Two Decades found that low-income Latino renters, especially families with children, have been being displaced by single and two-person non-family households. Rising educational attainment levels also suggest that the area is experiencing an influx of professionals.

The Great Cities Institute's Rob Paral prepared a report with the Illinois Department of Human Services that provided a number of recommendations for how the state can improve services for immigrant communities. The Illinois Immigrant Impact Task Report was released by Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Immigrant Impact Task Force on May 3rd.

Released for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, a team from the Great Cities Institute, UIC's Freshwater Lab, and the Sustainable Engineering Lab produced From Waste to Water: A Framework for Sustainable Freshwater Supply in Northeastern Illinois. The report supports water recycling for maximizing the available water supply in situations of scarcity and addresses the technical, political, and economic barriers to implementing this.

Finally, GCI's Latino Research Initiative produced the Puerto Rico Town Databook to serve as an information source for pursuing state designation as a cultural district for Puerto Rico Town. Alongside a demographic and socio-economic profile of Puerto Rico Town, the report identifies a number of challenges to preserving Puerto Rican heritage in the community. In addition to receiving state designation as a cultural district, the report aims to support the efforts of the Puerto Rican Agenda and other community organizations working to prevent displacement and create economic opportunity for Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico Town.