The ESLARP family meet from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Residents joined us at 4:00 for discussion and dinner.



FY 02 financial picture:



Bonner Foundation:                                    $35K for three years (started 9/1/00)

DCCA                                                            $49K (ended 4/02)

EMPACT                                                       $50K (9/00 - 3/02 – ext. to 8/02)

HUD                                                               $150K (two-year ending 8/20/03)

Illinois Workforce Advantage                   $166K (2/1/02 – 1/31/03)

Illinois Community Technology Fund      $50K (01/01/02 – 12/31/02)



St. Clair County                                            $18K

Empowerment Zone (Digital services)      Undefined (Prairienet)











Outside funded activities










Admin  (UIUC)





Info Systems  (UIUC)





Tech Asst  (UIUC)





WWs    (UIUC)













This year’s actions to last year’s retreat priorities:


Development for NTAC, etc

1.        Need more publicity – improve visibility

2.        New brand name

3.        Banks want to invest

Office relocation

1.        DONE!

2.        New phone system working well

3.        Children don’t come – should make office more welcoming to public

4.        Doors locked due to no one on first floor – Non-profit Coordinator to be there

5.        Recruit senior and student volunteers

Communications – more with less man-hours

1.        Send Excom meeting minutes to all staff

2.        NTAC make minutes available to partners

3.        Communicate through ESLARP campus office (Vicki)

GIS – Update and better accuracy

1.        Need more accurate parcel lines

2.        GIS training more often

3.        Revisit process

Target new faculty to develop ESLARP based classes

1.        New faculty: Laura Lawson, Lynne Dearborn and Stacy Harwood

2.        Must actively recruit minority faculty to Excom

3.        New TOPS programs for junior faculty

4.        Better prepare new faculty to use participatory approach

Smooth transition between directors – ESLARP chair

1.        Rotating vs. permanent Academic Professional position

2.        Continuity?

Service Learning Awareness

1.        No practice gospel

2.        Visible with higher administration

3.        Need more advertising/marketing. ie. Quad Day, resident halls, Greek system, Link with Linc

NTAC – more staff (1 Director, 2 Architects, 2 Planners, 1 Tech. Person, 1 Grant writer)

1.        Added one Technology Coordinator

2.        Hired and lost Director

3.        Adding one Planner

4.        Need another Architect

ESLARP Development – training for NTAC and Faculty

1.        Staff/faculty need to search out training opportunities

2.        Staff can take UI courses

Training costs for community partners

1.        Non-profit in CBA/finances on computer

2.        Grant-writing

3.        Web development

4.        Strategic planning

5.        Business plans

6.        Steve Schomberg funding, UIUC CBA, SLU – Janni

More Outreach Weekend weekends/advertise in ESL/increase tool inventory/higher visibility

3.        Increased to seven weekends

4.        Tool inventory increased

5.        Campus advertising good

6.        Need to increase advertising in ESL

7.        Revisit process

8.        What about ASBs

Create new brochure

1.        DONE!

Summer Party – NTAC 5 year

2.        DONE!


Brand name discussion:


The Resource Development Committee recommended, through Bob Selby, ESLARP change its name to something more descriptive. We came up with some suggestions: Community Development, Neighborhoods First, Neighborhood Action Team, Community Partners or Partnerships, Community Support/Support Communities, Community Matters, Community Builders, Communities First, Great Community, Technical Assistance. Of these suggestions, Community Matters and Neighborhoods First stood out. Community Matters was decided upon.


Discussion of resident members of the ESLARP Executive Committee:


This subject brought up more questions than answers.

1.        What would be the term limit, 1 or 2 years? Staggered terms?

2.        ESLCAN member CBO (outreach/inform).

3.        Expectations and responsibilities?

4.        Number of meetings per year?

5.        Reporting requirements?

6.        Nomination and affirmation.


Work Weekend discussion:


ESLARP presence

        Focus on few neighborhoods

        Not attending neighborhood meetings

        Not engaged with residents



        Selection of projects

        What ESLARP can do

        Publish upcoming WWs in ESL

        Publicize after WWs in ESL

        Get more residents involved

        Have fallback plans

        Link projects to class learning objectives

        First come first considered

        Standard ‘contract’ (scope of work) signed and dated by client

        Make advance WW trips (RA/staff ‘scope’ of projects)


Residents joined at this point


Bob began with an icebreaker: Name brand discussion.


Bob asked the residents to answer the question, “What do we do”  in one or two words. The following is the result:


Serve Community

Assist Community

Technical Assistance

Action Research

Disseminate Information

Empower Community



Service Learning

Community Organizing

Community Partners


Bob presented ESLARP’s earlier discussion and the name “Community Matters.”


Resident involvement



James Jones provided the following:

Some of the University of Illinois’ Community Partners attended a meeting to discuss the University of Illinois’ relationship with the residents and organizations of Alorton, Brooklyn, Centreville, East St. Louis and Washington Park.  The following is a list, in no specific order, of concerns, recommendations, etc. that those in attendance wanted to convey.


·         The East St. Louis Action Research Project used to have more of a presence in the community.  That presence has diminished and should be reestablished.

·         ESLARP should have a clearly defined process for activities in the East St. Louis area.

·         More deference should be given to those individuals and organizations that are regular participants in ESLARP activities.

·         Residents need more assistance with door-to-door organizing.  This assistance should be in the form of secondary support.

·         Residents should have a more organized approach in dealing each other and the University.

·         ESLARP should prioritize – there are too many projects and not enough staff.

There should be a clearly understood process that is strictly applied i.e. first come, first served.

·         Community partners don’t know what others and the University is doing.  The newsletter is helpful.

·         There is a lack of communication between ESLARP and Community Partners and between Campus and NTAC.

·         There should be East St. Louis residents on the ESLARP Executive Committee.  They don’t have to make decisions that are prohibited, but they should participate in all discussions related to ESLARP.

·         There is too much dependence among community partners; ESLARP should offer more training or technical assistance only.

·         There needs to be more capacity building.

·         ESLARP should stay with a project or organization until that project is completed and not rush to another project or organization.

·         There have been ad hoc changes in ESLARP’s goals and/or objectives.  Often those changes have not been communicated to the community partners.

·         Projects are chosen subjectively.  Staff priorities should be removed.

·         There should be a longer range planning process (perhaps a year or two) where students and classes work with a project until completion.

·         A list of potential projects should be created so that interested faculty and students could select projects that interest them.

·         There should be clearly defined expectations of what the limited NTAC staff can do.

·         Should eliminate value judgments in selecting one project over another.

·         ESLARP staff should not over-commit.

·         The ESLARP staff is trying to do too much and satisfy too many people.

·         The Newsletter is good.

·         NTAC staff should complete one project before moving on to another.

·         There needs to be more commitment at the administrative or executive committee level.  We need more staff and more assistants.

·         Groups should be classified according to their interests.

·         We need more customized training for groups with the same or similar interests.

·         The University (campus) should look at its urban commitment.


The residents were split into four groups. Each group took the above list and narrowed it down to three or four points they felt most important. A representative of each group then reported which areas they felt should be addressed.  Mike then grouped each area into three action categories:

Communication, Management and Process. The results and goals follow:




Lack of communication between NTAC and partners

NTAC presence at neighborhood meetings

NTAC “list” of services

More e-mail communications between UIUC and NTAC and partners

More telecommunications (teleconferences) between same

Improve newsletter and distribution

Faculty/administrative commitment


Expectations from NTAC and partners

Have EXCOM minutes and newsletters readily available at NTAC in paper or electronic form




“Teach a man to fish” (reduce dependency on NTAC)

Invite residents (or resident) to sit on EXCOM

Provide a list of UIUC goals and objectives

Provide students all year – not just during work weekends

More staff

Introduce other fields of study, ie. History, Science, Environmental Engineering, Political Science, Education . . .

Recruit African Americans to join the EXCOM (African American Cultural Program)

Limit scope of work for NTAC staff

UIUC urban commitment




Prioritize better

Simplify and clarify activities and responsibilities

Maintain list of projects

Serve active residents/CBOs

Long range planning


Another meeting or retreat will be held at the end of the summer to discuss the above lists.