Confronting Suburban Poverty in America at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

  • 2
  • September 17, 2013

The number of very low-income residents in Chicago’s suburbs almost doubled during the 2000s. For the first time, there are more people living in poverty outside the city of Chicago than in it.

  • Do suburban municipalities and service providers in the region have the capacity and resources to respond to growing and changing community needs?
  • Are lower-income, suburban families getting adequate support in a manner that promotes economic opportunity and inclusive communities — with high performing schools, increased human capital, good jobs and a range of housing options?
  • How can engaged public officials, community leaders, funders, and service providers learn from each other, and address barriers and challenges identified in Confronting Suburban Poverty in America?

On September 26th from 12:30 to 5PM, leaders from various sectors (e.g. government, financial, philanthropic, social service, economic development) will convene at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to discuss current and future approaches to addressing poverty at the right scale by (i) integrating services and service delivery, (ii) collaborating across sectors and jurisdictions, and (iii) using limited resources strategically.

This event is invitation only. Please contact BRicK Partners at or (847) 268-8633 for more information about event registration.


12:30 pm—Registration   

1:00 pmWelcome

Valerie Van Meter, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Co-chair, Corporate Social Responsibility Council, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

1:20 pmOpening Remarks

Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle

1:40 pmOverview: Confronting Suburban Poverty in America

Elizabeth Kneebone, Fellow, The Brookings Institution, co-author of Confronting Suburban Poverty in America

2:00 pmPanel 1: Confronting Suburban Poverty: Regional Progress

Communities and organizations in the Chicago region have begun implementing innovative strategies to address poverty in the region’s suburban communities.  This panel will explore a few efforts that are already underway.  They reflect the book’s recommendations of integrating services and service delivery, collaborating across sectors and jurisdictions, and using limited resources strategically.  The speakers represent the wide range of leaders who are needed to assist in a fundamental shift in approaching anti-poverty efforts.

Robin Snyderman, Principal, BRicK Partners, LLC, Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution (Moderator)
Nancy Fishman, Executive Director, Grand Victoria Foundation
Candace King, Executive Director, DuPage Federation on Human Services Reform
Joe Neri
, Chief Executive Officer, IFF
Mayor John Ostenburg, Village of Park Forest                  

3:20 pmBreak

3:30 pmPanel 2: Confronting Suburban Poverty: What’s Next

Addressing the varied needs of the suburban poor population requires the concerted effort and coordination of government officials, philanthropy, the private sector, and non-profit organizations working both collaboratively and strategically on housing, education, social services, planning, and transportation issues.  This panel looks at how current initiatives could be expanded or changed in order to build upon existing efforts and create a stronger infrastructure for confronting suburban poverty.

Alan Berube, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution, co-author of Confronting Suburban Poverty in America (Moderator)
Herman Brewer, Bureau Chief, Cook County Bureau of Economic Development
Rick Guzman, Assistant Chief of Staff, City of Aurora
Sid Mohn, President, Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, Chair, Illinois Poverty Commission
Jeannette Tamayo, Regional Director, U.S. Economic Development Administration

4:45 pmClosing Remarks

Terry Mazany, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Community Trust; Director, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

5:00 pmAdjourn. Attendees are invited to stay for a Networking Reception.  

RSVP Survey Summary

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Background Materials/ Additional Reading

Illinois’s 33%: Report on Illinois Poverty (January 2013)

New Neighbors, New Challenges, and New Opportunities in the Suburbs (February 2012)

Poverty Matters (September 2013)

Suburban school districts see jump in low-income student populations (September 2013)

Suburban Housing Collaborative: A Case for Interjurisdictional Collaboration (November 2011)

Supporting and Sustaining Interjurisdictional Collaboration for Housing and Community Development (December 2012)

Chicago Southland’s Green TIME Zone (2010)

The OECD Innovation Strategy: Getting a Head Start on Tomorrow (2010)

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