The Department of Legislative & Community Affairs (LCA) is the central community liaison for the Park District. The work that the LCA team performs involves working closely with Governmental Bodies, Community and within the Chicago Park District. LCA acts as the liaison between the Park District and federal, state and city governments. At the State level, the LCA team manages legislative matters introduced in Springfield that impact the Chicago Park District. We work with legislators, staff, State officials, the Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Park District’s contract lobbyists in order to see that any legislation of interest to the Park District is monitored and is our best interest. At the City level, the LCA team interacts with aldermen to address any park issues within their ward. This is accomplished by attending City Council meetings, relevant Committee meetings and other requested meetings with aldermen. The LCA team also introduces and tracks any Park District projects that require City Council approval. Additionally, they coordinate with various City departments and sister agencies on Park District projects, as necessary.
LCA also works within the community. We are the liaison between the Park District and Park Advisory Councils and various community groups and organizations. LCA is responsible for working with the community to create Park Advisory Councils (PAC’s). This involves organizing and attending PAC meetings, overseeing elections of members, assisting with creation of bylaws, developing fund raisers and any other function of the council. Additionally, the LCA team is responsible for organizing the annual Advisory Council Appreciation Day, which recognizes and rewards AC members for their hard work and dedication to their parks. LCA further enhances its interaction with the community by attending various community meetings to represent the Park District.
LCA is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the Volunteer in the Parks (VIP) program, the community relations phone line and responding to inquires made through the park district’s web-site (also known as Webmin). We also manage the DFA process and Corporate Volunteers. The LCA team interacts with the Region and HQ Park District departments. We work with each department to develop the Federal and State Agendas. The LCA team oversees other areas that help improve the parks as well. We are represented on the Park Enhancement Committee. This committee reviews and inspects requests for new park features or improvements and submits recommendations to the General Superintendent for approval. We also monitor and coordinate numerous donations and contributions from elected officials, advisory councils and community groups.