Berwyn District Civic Association Meeting
May 21, 2020
Meeting came to order at 7:35 p.m. Meeting held via Zoom due to Coronavirus. BDCA Board Members in attendance: Bob Catlin, Jim Nealis, Lily Fountain, Karyn Keating, Ron Cameau, Chad Stern, Tim Triplett. Other attendees included Kevin Young, Maya Cerna, Kelly Jordan, Kyle and Emily, Mary Theis, Liesl Koch. Speakers included Mark Goodson, Mayor Wojahn, Senator Jim Rosapepe, Legislators Mary Lehman and Joseline Peña-Melnyk.
Bob Catlin called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. He asked for approval of the April minutes but they were not available. Chad Stern (Treasurer) said he had a $225 newsletter printing fee to pay from earlier this spring, and there was $1,628 in the BDCA account at the end of April.
Mark Goodson spoke about a
newspaper he has begun publishing called ‘College Park – Here and Now.’ It came in the mail a few days ago. He lives
then spoke in support of the expensive ‘Kirwan Plan’ to spend money on
improving state public schools. He also
claimed he had helped pass laws to increase funding for historically black
colleges, helped expand unemployment, more funds to fight coronavirus. He admitted the state’s Unemployment Office
has had problems with data management and staffing due to the increased demands
brought about by the virus. He supports
expanded virus testing and said
Peña-Melnyk is Vice-Chair of the state’s Health Committee. She helped create a ‘health-exchange’ in
Mary Lehman is on the state Environmental Committee, but also deals with some housing issues. She wants the state to close five oyster sanctuaries to allow oyster numbers to recover. She wants to ban plastic bags also. She helped pass a law saying landlords cannot discriminate against renters using Section 8 housing vouchers.
Lily Fountain asked about access to PPE (protective equipment) for front line and grocery workers, and the need for more masks. Joseline said the CDC recommends using cloth masks and leaving N95 masks for health care workers, and she said health care workers have told her they have enough supplies for now.
Karyn Keating asked how folks needing help with the unemployment situation can find that help? Mary said the system is working better now but still has glitches. Contact Lehman’s office for assistance.
Stern asked if landlords can specify a minimum income renter must have? Lehman said she would check, but Rosapepe said he believed you can demand a minimum income
but not ask where it comes from – i.e., Section 8 vouchers.
Nealis asked what had happened to the bill to end gerrymandered election
Wojahn said our city’s July 4th event has been canceled due to the
virus. He encouraged folks to complete
the 2020 census. He thinks the UM
students may not be returning to campus for Fall, 2020! Or UM may reduce dorm populations by 1/3 for
health safety. He said the city will
vote on a new budget next week, may give local businesses tax breaks, waive
permit fees, etc., to help them weather the virus. A survey is underway about building a path on
the east bank of Paint Branch Creek – see the city web site. Work has begun to fix the
Chad Stern asked if the Purple Line Metro project will be affected by the rumored departure of the main contractor. Rosapepe did not think that would be a problem.
Karyn Keating asked if more “Walking Tour of Berwyn” flyers could be printed? Bob Catlin said he’d had no luck in three years of trying, but Mayor Wojahn said he would look into this. Note: Two days after this meeting the mayor told Karyn the city will be printing up more of the flyers.
Meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.
Notes compiled by Jim Nealis