We are delighted to inform you that our public forum at the Nature Museum on 16th of February about the Parker School’s stadium lighting plans will not be necessary. The community has won – for now.
Bowing to the pressure applied by you and the other 530-plus signatories to our petition, Alderman Daley, and the aldermanic candidates, Francis Parker School announced that it was putting its field project on hold. See the announcement here: http://www.fwparker.org/page.aspx?pid=3551
The good news is that construction will not proceed this summer.
The bad news, based upon our meeting yesterday with Principal Dan Frank, is that Parker has refused to give assurances that any of the previously-announced elements of the plan – 6-story light towers, third-party rentals,100 lighted nights, lights as late as 9:00 PM – are off the table.
We asked the school to include a representative from the Francis Parker Neighbors group in its new planning process, and Parker Principal Dan Frank refused.
We asked if Parker would give the community 90 days to review their next proposal, and Principal Dan Frank refused to guarantee any specific time-limit at all.
The Way Forward
Francis Parker Neighbors has retained Thomas Ramsdell, the lawyer who won the Latin playing field case. He has written to Parker requesting that this time around the school engage in continued, meaningful dialogue with the community. The minimum protection requested by Ramsdell is 90 days notice.
In our own letter to Frank, we have reiterated our request that Francis Parker Neighbors be formally involved in the process of re-thinking these field plans.
We cannot take the pressure off Francis Parker School. In the coming months, we will be speaking with building boards and community groups about what we have learned, and continuing to demand that Parker abandon its plans for stadium lighting. In May, we will deliver the petition you have signed to the new Alderman. We will update the website regularly, so please do check back for the latest information.
The pressure from the community has delayed the school's lighting plans. Only continued pressure from the community, however, will ensure that those plans are halted for good. Please take the following steps:
· Please email Parker Principal Dan Frank (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Board President Jonathan Marks (email@example.com) to thank them for putting this project on hold and to request that they eliminate stadium lights from their plans.
· Please call or email the following aldermanic candidates to underscore your opposition to stadium lights on the Parker field.
Bita Buenrostro firstname.lastname@example.org – (773) 747-8929
Chuck Eastwood email@example.com – (773) 733-0302
Tim Egan tim@eganforward43@.com – (773) 327-4343
Michele Smith firstname.lastname@example.org – (312) 450-9703
Rafael Vargas email@example.com – (773) 980-6129
· If you’d like to share your letters to the aldermanic candidates or to Parker with us, our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Please tell your friends and neighbors about this issue and ask them to sign the online petition. Click here: http://www.gopetition.com/petition/42090.html.
We call upon the Parker School to fulfill the ideals of civic engagement and democratic process upon which it was founded. Here is an opportunity for Parker to act according to the wisdom of its founder: “Everything to help and nothing to hinder.”
Deborah Cohen, President
Catherine Anderson, Secretary
Paul Eberly, Treasurer