New Congressman Quigley Requests Millions In Earmarks

New Congressman Quigley Requests Millions In Earmarks

Just days after being sworn in as the newest Democratic member of Congress, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley submitted requests for tens of millions of dollars in funding for projects in his district.

Quigley, who built his reputation largely on combating waste in Cook County government, laid out his requests far more openly than most of his colleagues, issuing a press release and posting them online, with an explanation for each appropriation sought.

And speed was essential, as Crain's Greg Hinz notes:

The 2010 budget is well in progress in Congress, and if Mr. Quigley was going to get any money, he likely had to act quickly.

The full release from Quigley, outlining his earmark requests:

CHICAGO, IL - U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) released a list of his appropriations requests for Fiscal Year 2010. Quigley's requests include local education, public safety and transportation, health care and environmental projects.

As a Cook County Commissioner, Quigley led the fight to increase transparency and accountability across the county. In 2007, he passed ethics reforms requiring both the Assessor and Board of Review to post all appeal decisions online, including owner name, attorney name, property address, and reasoning for the decision.

"While I believe federal funds are vital to improve education, public safety, health care, veterans and environmental projects like these, I also believe taxpayers deserve to know how their dollars are being spent. I have spent the last 10 years reforming the Cook County Board to protect taxpayers' interests," said Quigley. "From rooting out fraud to promoting transparency and accountability, I believe that I have made a difference for Cook County and that is a fight I will continue here in Congress."

Following are Quigley's complete earmark requests for Fiscal Year 2010:

Lincoln Park Zoological Society Population Management Center
Recipient: Lincoln Park Zoological Society, located at 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614
Request: $250,000 from the Agricultural Research Service.
Description: This is a joint project between the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which has become nationally known as a primary resource that enables zoo managers with all levels of training and expertise to make science-based decisions for managing endangered species. The Population Management Center currently provides scientific and planning assistance to 200 of the 450 managed populations under the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The demand from zoos and other organizations responsible for conserving diminishing populations of wild animals is rising at a rapid rate. Federal funding will ensure that this Center is able to provide the best science available to help protect endangered species in managed populations around the world.

Village of Melrose Park Police Department Wireless Surveillance System
Recipient: Village of Melrose Park Police Department, located at 1 North Broadway, Melrose Park, IL 60160
Request: $2,165,977 through the Department of Justice's COPS Law Enforcement Technology and Interoperable Communications account.
Description: The installation of a Comprehensive Wireless Surveillance System will afford our police officers state-of-the-art "real time information" technology to monitor and fight crime in our community and protect our residents. This 21st century technology to protect our children, residents, and commuters who shop in Melrose Park's shopping centers, patronize the numerous multi-cultural restaurants, and frequent the ten-screen movie theater.

Uhlich Children's Advantage Network (UCAN) Violence Prevention and Youth Leadership Program
Recipient: Uhlich Children's Advantage Network (UCAN), located at 3737 N. Mozart St., Chicago, IL 60618
Request: $300,000 through the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention account.
Description: This money would be used for Uhlich Children's Advantage Network (UCAN). UCAN's mission is to build strong youth and families through compassionate healing, education and empowerment. The School and Community Based Violence Prevention Program is a peer mentoring and leadership training program designed to empower young people to choose alternatives to violence and to publicly advocate for violence prevention solutions. UCAN will serve Senn, Steinmetz and Sullivan High Schools and Lovett, Herbert, Lewis and Gale Elementary Schools.

McCook and Thornton Reservoirs, IL
Recipient: Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, located at 100 East Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60611
Request: $5,000,000 through the Corps of Engineer's General Construction account.
Description: These Reservoirs are a key component of the Army Corps of Engineers' Chicagoland Underflow Plan (CUP), the flood control element of the District's Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP). TARP, approved by the USEPA and the Illinois EPA, is a long-term control plan to address sewer overflow discharge for Chicago and its 51 surrounding communities to meet the goals of the Clean Water Act. It is comprehensive in achieving both flood damage reductions and pollution control benefits via the conveyance and storage provided in tunnels and storage reservoirs. Once completed the project will provide more than $130 million per year in benefits to over 3 million Illinois residents and will protect over 1.3 million structures from flooding.

US Army Corps of Engineers Cook County Environmental Infrastructure Fund
Recipient: US Army Corps of Engineers (Chicago District), located at 111 N. Canal Street, Chicago, IL 60606
Request: $1,000,000 through the Corps of Engineer's General Construction.
Description: This fund works to modernize, enhance, and improve Cook County's aging environmental infrastructure system. This project specifically provides technical planning, design and construction assistance to non-federal interests who have environmental infrastructure needs in Cook County, Illinois. Projects include the development and protection of water supply and waste water systems, combined sewer overflows, and remediation of adverse water quality impacts and storm water impacts to waste water systems.

US Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago Shoreline Protection Program
Recipient: US Army Corps of Engineers (Chicago District), located at 111 N. Canal Street, Chicago, IL 60606
Request: $1,000,000 through the Corps of Engineer's General Construction.
Description: This project provides storm damage protection to the Lake Michigan shoreline and in particular Lake Shore Drive, a major transportation artery, in the City of Chicago. The existing Shoreline structures have deteriorated and no longer protect against storms, flooding, and erosion.

North Park University
Recipient: North Park University
Request: $1,716,263 the Department of Homeland Security
Description: During the massive storm of September 2008, unprecedented flooding struck much of the campus of North Park University resulting in severe and widespread damages. Even though the state and federal governments declared Cook County an official disaster area, North Park's insurance did not cover any of the millions in costs nor did it receive any of the FEMA flood relief. The flooding caused the temporary loss of key buildings, a communications center, classrooms and offices These funds will help North Park University cover many of the costs related to the destruction of electrical systems and building damage that occurred during the flood.

Pre-disaster Mitigation for Swedish Covenant Hospital
Recipient: Swedish Covenant Hospital, located at 5145 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL 60625
Request: $5,000,000 through the Department of Homeland Security.
Description: This request would replace two 30-year-old obsolete generators and the automatic transfer switches and service entrance switchboards that support and operate them. In a very short time frame, Swedish will no longer be able to order parts for the equipment, nor will they be able to service them. These units are the primary back-up source for electricity in the event of a power outage or major area disaster. Specifically, these generator units are the back-up source for power that provides electricity for the intensive care units, patient rooms and operating theaters. In the event of a disaster, these generators will save lives. Additionally, this request would allow Swedish to undertake fire alarm upgrades.

Chicago River North Branch Restoration Project
Recipient: Chicago Park District, located at 541 N. Fairbanks, Chicago, IL 60611
Request: $1,500,000 through the Fish and Wildlife Service's Construction
Description: The natural plant communities in the north branch of the Chicago River have been completely altered from pre-settlement conditions and drastic changes in hydrology through draining and filling have created a system where tolerant and invasive species are dominant. Simplification of stream morphology and removal of riparian wetlands and plant communities have caused major decreases in native aquatic species richness and abundance. This project would restore 5.4 acres of habitat and will restore diverse riverine and palustrine wetlands to the Chicago River riparian corridor.

City of Northlake Water Main Replacement
Recipient: City of Northlake, located at 55 E. North Avenue, Northlake, IL 60164
Request: $750,000 through the EPA's STAG account.
Description: The City of Northlake's existing pipes are nearly 75 years old, deteriorating and undersized by today's standards. This request will help the Northlake's Water Reliability Program replace the City's 4 inch cast-iron water mains with 8 inch ductile-iron mains, the current industry standard. Existing 4 inch pipes do not allow sufficient volume and flow to serve present needs, plus corrosion and sediment accumulation over the years has reduced water quality. By upgrading to 8 inch main both water flow and pressure will increase, as will fire safety. Replacing the outdated mains makes fiscal sense because it will reduce system failures and cut down on maintenance costs. Fewer water main breaks will result in a decreased likelihood of water contamination and is a step towards protecting the health of Northlake's residents.

Lincoln Park Zoological Society
Recipient: Lincoln Park Zoological Society, located at 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614
Request: $500,000 through the EPA's STAG.
Description: The Historic South Pond offers one of the Chicago area's primary opportunities for the community and visitors to experience and learn about the area's natural ecology. The South Pond, which is currently in a state of dangerous disrepair, is being transformed into a nature boardwalk at the Lincoln Park Zoo. This request will rehabilitate the South Pond back to its original ecological state, it will enhance the surrounding area, and provide beneficial environmental education to visitors and residence of the Chicago area.

Westbrook Storm Sewer Improvements
Recipient: Village of Franklin Park, located at 9500 West Belmont Avenue, Franklin Park, IL 60131
Request: $500,000 from the EPA's STAG account.
Description: The Village of Franklin Park completed a study of the Scott Street Basin in March of 2001 and found that the entire basin of 362 homes is subject to sewer backups due to the undersized combined sewers. The residents in the basin were experiencing 20 or more backups per year. The damage sustained on an annual basis was approximated to be $150,000. The Village has currently invested $3,000,000 in completing two phases of the project to address the problem. This request will help fund the third and final phase of the project - the construction of storm sewers on Westbrook Drive. Once Westbrook is completed, the potential of the creek backing-up into the now separated sewers is negligible and the sewers have the capacity to carry both the storm and sanitary flows during rain events exceeding the 10-year rain event. The reduction of sewer backups has already been significant with the construction of the first two phases and completing this last phase would alleviate a long standing problem.

Children's Memorial Hospital Comprehensive Cardiac Unit
Recipient: Children's Memorial Hospital, located at 2300 Children's Plaza, Chicago, IL 60614
Request: $3,500,000 through Health and Human Service's HRSA account
Description: The funds from this request will help construct a one of a kind Comprehensive Cardiac Unit (CCU) in Children's Memorial Hospital. This project will provide services to children throughout the region that could not be obtained elsewhere. Additionally, it will stimulate a convergence of world-class clinical care, research, education and advocacy in a unique environment and has the potential to alter the future of pediatric health care for the region and beyond. This project will also generate approximately 15,500 new jobs.

Heartland International Health Center Behavioral Health Program
Recipient: Heartland International Health Center, located at 2645 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Request: $220,000 through Health and Human Service's HRSA account.
Description: A substantial portion of the population on the north side of Chicago, and in the 5th Congressional District in particular, is low-income, uninsured or underinsured, and speaks a language other than English. Residents facing these challenges are particularly likely to have untreated behavioral health needs, and neighborhoods in this area often have higher mental health hospitalization rates than in Chicago as a whole. Access to services is limited and decreased further in FY09 when state funding for mental health and substance abuse programs was reduced by $1.2 million dollars. This funding will be used to develop Heartland International Health Center's behavioral health program. This program will provide services to patients with a comprehensive range of mental health services regardless of their ability to pay.

North River Commission After School Enrichment Program
Recipient: North River Commission, located at 3403 W. Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Request: $150,000 through the Department of Education's FIE account.
Description: The Illinois After-school Initiative 2002 Task Force Report shows that 1.6 million students are not in out-of-school-time programs. Knowing this, NRC created the North River After School Collaborative (NRASC) program for enrichment projects in local schools, partially funded by the Illinois State Board of Education. This request will provide funding to continue after school programs in art, theatre, music, literature, publishing, and science in Chicago Public schools particularly for students who have minimal opportunities to engage in positive afterschool activities.

Our Lady of Resurrection Medical Center, Pediatric Primary Care Clinic Practice
Recipient: Our Lady of Resurrection Medical Center, located at 5645 West Addison St., Chicago, IL 60634
Request: $135,000 through the Health and Human Service's HRSA account.
Description: This request will cover the start-up costs of a Pediatric Primary Care Clinic Practice, including program design, personnel, supplies, and outreach at Our Lady of Resurrection Medical Center (OLR). OLR will also provide a non-federal match for all costs and will sustain clinic operation through the savings realized by reducing uncompensated emergency room visits, sliding scale patient co-pays, and other factors. The pediatric clinic will promote better quality of care through earlier interventions and preventive services, and reduce ER use for routine needs. OLR anticipates serving at least 2,400 children in the first year. Because a clinic visit costs 90% less than an emergency room treatment, this clinic is conservatively projected to save more than $500,000 in the first year.

Resurrection Health Care Outreach Materials
Recipient: Resurrection Health Care, located at 2233 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622
Request: $130,000 through the Health and Human Service's HRSA account.
Description: Resurrection Health Care (RHC) serves several diverse ethnic communities. Approximately 23% of the community RHC serves, speaks Spanish in the home and nearly 40% are Polish. Unfortunately all current patient/family education and community outreach materials are only printed in English. This funding will provide RHC's Spanish and Polish speaking communities with critical information about stroke signs and symptoms, and will help educate the community about the importance of immediate diagnosis and treatment.

A Safe Haven Foundation: Veterans Afflicted with Substance Abuse/Alcoholism
Recipient: A Safe Haven Foundation, located at 4846-56 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL 60639
Request: $899,000 through the Health and Human Service's SAMSA account.
Description: This funding will help guarantee supportive housing and recovery management services to Veterans who are afflicted with substance abuse and alcoholism. In addition, it will provide mental health services to afflicted Veterans. Studies have shown that by addressing the issue of substance abuse and addictions, taxpayer saves money at a 7:1 ratio.

Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders (SAGE)
Recipient: Center on Halsted, located at 3656 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60613
Request: $475,000 through the Health and Humans Service's HRSA account.
Description: This century has seen a growing number of seniors dealing with not only the challenges of becoming older, but also with challenges unique to being LGBT seniors. These challenges include dealing with the consequences of financial inequities directed toward LGBT community as well as lingering stigmatization, particularly among providers of senior services. This funding will be used to improve the quality of life for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors through a well-established model of wellness care.

Vida/SIDA: Puerto Rican Cultural Center
Recipient: Puerto Rican Cultural Center, located at 2703 W. Division, Chicago, IL 60622
Request: $150,150 through the Health and Human Service's CDC account.
Description: The Puerto Rican Cultural Center's Vida/SIDA program, providing services to those with HIV/AIDS, has received both local and national acclaim. Meanwhile, as funding has declined overtime, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has remained under addressed in the community. The funding for this project would reconstitute Vida/SIDA's HIV/AIDS education and outreach program to a community that has been identified as having the highest infection rate in Chicago.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)/ Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Recipient: Illinois Department of Health and Family Services, located at 201 South Grand Avenue East, Springfield, IL 62763
Request: $12,000,000 through the Department of Veteran's Affair's Medical Service account.
Description: The State of Illinois is a pioneer in providing necessary mental health services for veterans with PTSD and TBI that have been inaccessible through private insurers and the federal VA. A new program has been launched to provide a 24-hour hotline staffed with clinical professionals to assist veterans and their families with mental health needs. This funding will help conduct PTSD and TBI screening and refer those at risk to a network of qualified treatment providers.

Chicago Transit Hub (Circle Line - Ogden Streetcar)
Recipient: CTA located at 567 W. Lake, Chicago, IL 60661
Request: $12,150,000 through the Federal Transit Authority's New Starts account.
Request: $3,000,000 through the Federal Transit Authority's Alternatives Analysis account.
Description: The construction of the Chicago Transit Hub (Circle Line - Ogden Streetcar) will help to manage the growing need for more public transit options. It will also help to prevent overcrowding, provide more efficient transit options to destinations throughout the city, and quicken commute times. Additionally, this project will connect CTA Red and Brown Lines near North/Clybourn with the existing CTA track and structure near Lake/Paulina. The project will also connect the existing CTA Orange Line near Ashland with the existing Pink Line Cermak Branch near 18th Street. Finally, the project will add new CTA and Metra transfer stations along new and existing CTA tracks to the northwest, west, southwest, and south of Chicago's Central area.

Paratransit Vehicles
Recipient: Pace, located at 550 W. Algonquin, Arlington Heights, IL 60005
Request: $960,000 through the Federal Transit Authority's Bus and Bus Facilities account.
Description: Pace provides federally mandated ADA paratransit service to the disabled in Chicago. This funding will help Chicago acquire enough vehicles to serve the area. With a complete fleet, the total operating cost of the Chicago paratransit service would decrease significantly.

Union Pacific Northwest Line (UP-NW) Enhancement Project
Recipient: Metra, located at 547 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60661
Request: $5,000,000 through the Federal Transit Authority's Small Starts account.
Description: Funding for improvements to the UP-NW line will provide more and faster service on the branch, as well as attract new riders in a growing area and reduce station access times for existing area riders. The project also includes upgrading signals on the main line of UP-NW to allow more express trains to downtown and improved suburb-to-suburb and reverse-commute services. In addition, the two new rail yards will allow for more train capacity and more efficient maintenance.

Village of Franklin Park Central Business District Pedestrian Overpass
Recipient: Village of Franklin Park, located at 9500 West Belmont Avenue, Franklin Park, IL 60131
Request: $1,100,000 through the Housing and Urban Development's Economic Development Initiatives account.
Description: This funding would help construct a pedestrian overpass in the heart of the Village of Franklin Park Central Business District (CBD). The CBD is booming with new condominiums, a junior high school, businesses and residences on the south side of the project; and a Metra transit station, high school, public pool and numerous businesses and residences on the north side of the project. Every day, over 100 trains pass through the area, many of them slow-moving. Numerous pedestrians are observed illegally crawling - or "hopping" - tracks. According to the Village of Franklin Park Police Department and the Illinois Commerce Commission, two fatalities and numerous personal injuries have occurred at area crossings in the recent past. In addition to improving the safety of the area, an overpass would also connect the Central Business District, currently split by 4 railroad tracks.

Village of Melrose Park, Main Street Corridor Improvements
Recipient: Village of Melrose Park, located at 1000 North 25th Ave, Melrose Park, IL 60160
Request: $912,000 through the Housing and Urban Development's Economic Development Initiatives account.
Description: With the increase of homeowners and shopkeepers to the Village of Melrose Park, Division Street has become the area's default "Main Street." Funding this project by adding aesthetic improvements as well as upgrading ADA compliant sidewalks will change the driving experience for local commuters and patrons to area businesses. Additionally, this project will improve pedestrian safety while enhancing the experience of residents and visitors to the Division Street area.

These requests will be available for members of the public to view on Quigley's Congressional website once it is up and running. Constituents, other members of the public, and members of the press may request a copy of this release by calling the Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-4061.

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