Woodstock Institute and its board of directors are pleased to invite you to the 2012 Community Investment Awards Reception and screening of David Sington’s documentary The Flaw. With the ongoing turmoil in the housing market and continued household financial insecurity, The Flaw highlights what community reinvestment stakeholders in the Chicago region have long recognized—that perverse incentives to make unsustainable loans and an overreliance on credit to drive economic growth will not self correct without government intervention.
Immediately preceding the screening of The Flaw, we would also like to recognize the accomplishments of community leaders who have contributed greatly to community investment in Chicago. This year, we are honoring Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, BPI’s Adam Gross, and the Chicago Tribune’s Mary Ellen Podmolik with Community Investment Awards. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will deliver the keynote address.
In November 2002, Attorney General Madigan became the first woman elected to serve as the Illinois Attorney General, and one of only a handful of female Attorneys General in the country. In 2010, she was elected to her third term as Attorney General and now is the senior-most female Attorney General in the country. Madigan has made protecting consumers during tough economic times a priority. Her efforts to safeguard consumers include filing lawsuits to stop financial fraud and recover losses on behalf of harmed consumers, mediating consumer complaints, and educating consumers—especially seniors—on prevalent financial scams and product recalls. With tens of thousands of Illinoisans facing foreclosure, Attorney General Madigan has combated the devastating results of predatory lending and mortgage fraud. Read more
Bridget Gainer is the Cook County Board Commissioner for the 10th District, representing the North Lakefront and Northwest side. Commissioner Gainer has over 20 years of experience in the non-profit, public and private sectors and her career has provided her a strong foundation in finance, human services and the workings of local government. Commissioner Gainer’s most recent accomplishment has been the passage of the Cook County Vacant Building Ordinance, the County’s most comprehensive policy to address vacant and abandoned buildings. Moving forward, Commissioner Gainer will build on her housing policies by working to launch a Cook County Land Bank. A native of Chicago, Bridget lives on the North side with her husband and their three children. Read more
Adam Gross directs Business & Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI)'s Affordable Housing Program, which works to create and preserve affordable housing and to ensure that it is distributed equitably throughout the Chicago metropolitan region. In recent years, much of Adam’s work has been devoted to developing and building support for state and local policies to address the foreclosure crisis. He has drafted several pieces of state legislation and amendments to the City of Chicago’s Vacant Property Ordinance, helped to develop the Cook County Circuit Court’s foreclosure mediation program, and begun to develop a land bank. He received his B.A. from Yale University, his Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Read more
Mary Ellen Podmolik has been covering the local housing market for the Chicago Tribune since July 2008. On her second day on the job, she quickly learned she’d be writing about more than buying and selling homes when she interviewed a Logan Square homeowner who had fallen five months behind on her mortgage payments and was worried about losing her home to foreclosure. She previously worked for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Southtown Economist, and was a contributor to Crain’s Chicago Business and cnbc.com. Podmolik holds a journalism degree from Marquette University. She lives with her husband, three sons and overgrown puppy in a 104-year-old Oak Park “starter” home they bought more than 15 years ago. Read more