Economic growth Discussed at the July 16 Meeting of the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Leader Forum
United States Congressman Daniel Lipinski and María Choca Urban, Director of Planning and Development for Cook County’s Bureau of Economic Development were featured speakers at the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Leader Forum “Toast With The Most” meeting held July 16 at The William Tell Hotel and Conference Center in Countryside IL.
The event was attended primarily by municipal and business leaders from the Chamber’s 8 area communities of Countryside, Hodgkins, Indian Head Park, La Grange, La Grange Park, McCook, Western Springs and Willow Springs, sponsored by AT&T.
Congressman Lipinski provided a succinct but rather sobering overview of the major issues facing the country and the country, then opened the time to questions. In addition to other major roles in the House, Congressman Lipinski serves on important transportation subcommittees. He related the difficulties he and other moderates willing to work with the opposition party have had in implementing anything close to a solution or set of solutions to meet the “fiscal cliff” we seem headed for, and he implored the gathering to challenge their elected officials to develop and act on those solutions.
María Choca Urban, Director, Director, Cook County Planning and Development, talked about economic growth, planning and transportation then opened the time up for questions.María Choca Urban was recently appointed by the Cook County Board of Commissioners to be the new Director of Planning and Development within the County’s Bureau of Economic Development. Ms. Choca Urban’s extraordinary scope of responsibility came after several years with the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the Chicago Transit Authority and the City of Chicago Department of Planning. The Bureau of Economic Development was created by Board President Toni Preckwinkle to locate the work of Planning, Community Development, Capital Planning and Building & Zoning all in one place, with a focus on economic growth for Cook County. María covered multiple strategies the Bureau has defined for pursuit of improved long-term planning as well as deployment of County resources, with particular emphasis on a national municipal movement toward “Transit-Oriented Development.”
Steve Erickson, Executive Director of the West Suburban Chamber stated that the Chamber and its 8 communities are nearing the formation of an area Economic Council and asked for María’s participation, which she welcomed. He further stated, “’Toast With The Most’ was the latest in their effort to bring business, legislative and community leaders together in a productive exchange of ideas, challenges and solutions, on behalf of our ‘Great 8’ communities.
For more information on the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Leader Forum, please go to their website at: www.westsuburbanchamber.org