North Park University Hosts Legislative Briefing

Pres. David L. Parkyn moderated the Sept. 22 forum at the University that brought together elected officials, staff, and constituents to discuss current issues.
North Park University President David L. Parkyn moderated the Sept. 22 forum at the University that brought elected officials, staff and constituents together for discussion of current issues.

Federal, state, local leaders address constituents on range of current topics

CHICAGO (Sept. 23, 2011) — North Park University was the site of a September 22 legislative briefing which brought together area elected political leaders and staff to meet with constituents. The legislators focused on a host of current topics, ranging from pedestrian and traffic safety, concerns about budget shortfalls, pension system issues, new business development, and President Obama's jobs legislation.

About 60 people attended the briefing, held in the University's Hamming Hall. North Park University President David L. Parkyn served as moderator.

"It is our joy to welcome you to the campus of North Park University," he told the panelists and audience. "We have been an institution here at the corner of Foster and Kedzie avenues since 1893." The University was founded in 1891 in Minneapolis and moved to Chicago two years later, he noted.

The University constantly reminds its students that "Chicago is our classroom and all Chicagoans are our teachers," he said. Students from a class in American government attended the briefing, Parkyn noted.

"This has become their classroom today. As our panelists speak and as any of you speak, you are teachers today," he said.

Parkyn commented that the University is reporting a record undergraduate enrollment this year, motivating the University to continue toward its plans to build a new, 95,000-square-foot science and community life building. A fund raising effort, Campaign North Park, is nearing its goal to finance the new building, he said. The University hopes to begin construction in 2012.

"We hope to add not just to our campus, but to our community very soon with that project," he said.

Legislators and staff who attended the forum were Alderman Margaret Laurino, 39th Ward; Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, 10th District; State Sen. Ira Silverstein, 8th District; State Rep. John D'Amico, 15th District; Clarisol Duque, Chicago director for U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois; and Aviva Gibbs, district director for U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, 5th District. Each briefly addressed the audience. They answered questions on topics such as services for senior citizens, gaming revenue, infrastructure needs, pension reform, and liability for workers' compensation.

Briefing hosts were the Albany Park Community Center, Peterson-Pulaski Business & Industrial Council, Pulaski-Elston Business Association, Sauganash Chamber of Commerce, and North Park University. AT&T Illinois was the event's sponsor.


For further information or resources, contact John Brooks, Director of Media Relations and News, via email or at (773) 244-5522. Learn more about North Park University.