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University of Illinois Extension serving Cook County

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Extension Meetings

Cook County Extension Council Meeting Minutes: May 8, 2015

Friday May 8, 2015 • 1:00 PM

This meeting has passed.

University of Illinois Extension

Cook County Extension Council Meeting

Friday, May 08, 2015

Extension Office

8751 S. Greenwood, Suites 112-122

1:00 p.m.

Attendees: Melvin Jefferson, Marvin McNeil, Geri Redd, Dedra Ries, Dion Smith, Reginald Summerrise, Martha Madkins

Staff: Willene Buffett, Aida Peralta, Amy Osterman

Meeting called to order by Summerrise at 1:13 p.m.


Everyone went around the room and introduced themselves.

Minutes from the previous meeting

Geri Redd's name was omitted from the March 6, 2015. It was moved by Marvin McNeil seconded by Dion Smith that the minutes be accepted with this correction.

Old Business – Outreach to Elected Officials

Summerrise reached out to representatives Elgie Sims, and State Representative Evans about concerns regarding the budget for Extension. Summerrise requested that these officials speak on Extension's behalf about budgets when they go to Springfield for the upcoming budget meetings.

Director Buffett reached out to State Representative Will Davis and Senator Toi Hutchinson to speak on Extension's behalf. Moylan from northern suburbs has requested that the Community Health team present a seminar to his constituents. This was a result of him wanting more information about Extension's work. As an FYI, he is on the appropriations committee.

Mr. Hughes sent the following update via email regarding activities in Washington DC. Director Buffett read the email during the meeting.

As you know, I had the opportunity to visit Washington D.C. on behalf of the University of Illinois Extension Services and what an experience it was. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some important findings from my visit with the following congressional delegates.

Congressman Bobby Rush- First District: My team and I had the opportunity to spend some forty-five minutes with the congressman and his Senior Policy Advisor, John P. Marshall. The congressman was very receptive of the efforts of the Extension services in his respective district. In addition, he indicated that he was supportive of the current Agricultural bill as well as the centennial of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914. We dialogued on some of the program experiences that the team had a direct involvement. I shared the effort of the Extension, injunction with the Department of Human Services Teen Parent Program to educate some three-hundred teen moms on baby wellness. The congressman was interested in what specifically the two entities were doing on behalf of "Black Males" within his district. This may be an opportunity to create a program and possibly receive funding. Congressman Rush expressed an effort to receive information on the Extension's involvement with the planning and implementation of the Cook County 4-H fair (would like it ASAP). Finally, the congressman would like very much if he and key members of his staff could receive a calendar of events that note program activity. Finally, it was agreed that a follow-up meeting will be conducted during the summer break.

Congressman Danny K. Davis-Seventh District: Congressman Davis personally and staff, greeted the team by stating that he is in support of the Smith -Lever Act and his knowledge of the Extension's master gardener program. He expressed his desire to see the program expand and his full understanding of the value to feed hungry people. Congressman Davis would like for the extension to respond directly to Jill Hunter-Williams, Legislative Director and or Caleb Gilchrist, Deputy Chief of Staff regarding Extension concerns.

Congressman Randy Hultgren-Fourteenth District: The visit started with Mr. Brandon F. McKee, Special Projects. Mr. McKee was enlighten by some very talent 4-H personnel. Each stated their respective interest in 4-H from the stem program to raising farm animals. Fortunately for the team, the meeting with Congressman Hultgren, was a timely one. The congressman had just emerged from a meeting. He immediately invited us to his office for a photo as well as his committed support of the Extension as a whole. For example, he enlightened us of his past week visit with his son who was competing in an Extension sponsored robotic completion in Elgin. He encouraged the team to continue its effort and to feel free to contact his office at any time to express concerns.

Senator Mark Kirk: The team met with Jacqueline Muhammad (Legislative Correspondent) who happened to be from Chicago and attended the Southern Illinois at Carbondale. Ms. Muhammad expressed the commitment of Senator Mark Kirk toward the effort of the Extension in addition, to what the Extension stands for especially, when it comes to the issue of health and education concerns for the state of Illinois. Ms. Muhammad would like information on the child and teen parent program regarding the various workshops. She also expressed an interest in visiting with Extension educators as well as see the extension at work. It would be advantageous for Extension to put together a packed and send directly for review.

In response to the email, Melvin Jefferson suggested that the 4-H fair information sheets be sent directly to these elected officials. Dion Smith will hand deliver the invitation to Danny Davis at an upcoming event.

Election of Officers

Slate of nominees is listed on the slate in the folder. Geri Redd questioned based on the bylaws whether we needed to vote today as the bylaws states that the voting will take place at the June meeting. Vice Chair, Summerrise appointed Marvin and Geri as the nominating committee to run the election.

Nominations for position of chairman, Reginald Summerrise. Are there any nominations from the floor? Request was made 3 times by Geri Redd. There were no nominations from the floor. Nominations for chairman are now closed.

Nominations for the position of chairman, Reginald Summerrise. Are there any nominations from the floor? Request was made 3 times by Geri Redd. Nominations for chairman are now closed.

Nominations for the position of vice chairman, Timothy Jones. Are there any other nominations on the floor? Request made by 3 times by Marvin McNeil.

Nominations for the position of secretary, Angelo Chavers. Are there any other nominations on the floor? After 1st request, Dedra Ries was nominated. Request was made 2 additional times. Dedra Ries accepted the nomination. Nominations for secretary were then closed.

Nominations for the position of financial recorder, Martha Madkins. After 1st request, Geri Redd was nominated. Request was made 2 additional times. Geri Redd accepted the nomination. Nominations for financial recorder were then closed.

Election Results

Chairman, Reginald Summerrise

Vice-Chair, Timothy Jones

Secretary, Dedra Ries

Financial Recorder, tie (Geri Redd, Martha Madkins)

Run-off for position of Secretary

Mr. Summerrise asked if both nominees accepted the nomination. Both accepted. Ballots were again distributed and a revote was conducted.

Dion Smith moved that we certify election results second by Melvin Jefferson. The final results are as follows:

Chairman, Reginald Summerrise

Vice-Chair, Timothy Jones

Secretary, Dedra Ries

Financial Recorder, Geri Redd

4-H Youth Development Update

The 4-H fair theme is the Circus. Past youth projects will be on display for the general public. Cotton candy, bounce house, misting tent, and face painter are part of the festivities. The 4-H fair steering committee is made up of staff and club leaders from the area. The fair not only celebrates accomplishments of 4-H kids but others as well. The event is June 27th at 9:00 am, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview. Cook County has been designated a new category for innovation. In this category, kids can think outside the box, opens up for kids to show more of what they know.

The 4-H team is recruiting volunteer judges, which includes elected officials, master gardeners. In order to be a judge, you do not need to be an expert, just have a general knowledge. . The training for judges will be Tuesday June 9, at Rolling Meadows court house and June 16th at 6:00 p.m. at 3rd District Court House, 2121 West Euclid, Rolling Meadows, IL. The 4-H team is working on the marketing of the fair. Everyone is invited.

Geri Redd asked if the team can provide a list of categories. Amy Osterman will provide the list of categories to the council. Melvin Jefferson asked what areas are judges needed. Amy said Superintendents, people to run games outside. Melvin Jefferson brought up that 4-H could make a pitch to Target and Menards for sponsorship support.

Marvin McNeil questioned how the location determined is. We need to have one in the city. Willene said that we would need someone to find a location in the city. Marvin McNeil would like to work on the logistics for next year. Marvin would like to work during the selection window, there are several locations in the city we could make something like this happen. Especially for youth in the city who need transportation to Bridgeview.

Summerrise said that we would have to start working now for next year. Summerrise asked if there is a website connected to the fair. Summerrise suggested connecting the advertising to the website. Martha Madkins suggested social media as another venue. Summerrise asked, how would I get a kid involved? Amy said they could contact a 4-H coordinator. Summerrise said this information could all be on a website.

County Director Update


At the last meeting of the County Directors, counties had received only a portion of the match money from the state. Cook County only received one payment this fiscal year. By this time last year, Extension had all the match money. Extension has not received the last 3 payments. Generally those received by June. Geri Redd asked, how much is that? Director Buffett says it is $350,000.65. Extension has only received ¼ of this amount. County Directors were advised to be careful in hiring. The final cut is unsure. There is rumored to be a 2% cut on the remainder FY15. Currently, the cut is set for 20% for FY16.

Director Buffett received and request from a gentleman that was previously on council that is interested in joining again. Director Buffett will direct that contact to Timothy Jones, current chair of membership.

New Business

Space Academy

University of Illinois STEM team is supporting the effort to send 16 kids from Cook County to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. Summerrise got to see the work that the STEM team did to disseminate the information and balanced where applications would come from. Team did a good job. Summerrise felt comfortable that the process was fair.

Summerrise says we need a vote of support to send kids to Huntsville, Alabama. Marvin moved that Extension support 16 students going to Space Academy, August 2-7, 2015. Second by Geri Redd. Motion passed. We will get feedback on how well this activity took place. Director Buffett will check with stem educators, to see if the council can attend a meeting with the parents.

6th Annual Summer Enrichment Institute for Teachers

STEM educators are leading this effort. Science teachers have to think about next generation science standards. Growth in summer workshops has quadrupled. Dion Smith asked can council members attend. Council members should let Aida know that they want to attend.

The Extension-news newsletter will be going out electronically via constant contact.

Geri Redd motioned for adjournment at 2:28 pm second by Dion Smith.