DuPage United in suburban Chicago won a $250,000 appropriation in the Illinois State Budget to fund a traffic signal and protected pedestrian crosswalk in front of Marian Park Apartments and St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Illinois. African American and African-born residents of Marian Park Mercy Housing (a dues-paying member of DuPage United) began organizing apartment community residents in February 2023. They also formed relationships with area churches, resulting in two new member institutions. They also formed a new relationship with State Senator Seth Lewis ( R ). Through actions relating to the City of Wheaton and neighboring St. Francis College Prep High School, Marian Park leaders have made significant progress in crossing the busy street in front of the 500 resident apartment community and school a less deadly proposition.


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Marian Park resident leaders and Wheaton DU leaders at Wheaton City Council meeting February 26th, 2024 after successfully organized for city to prioritize this traffic safety improvement. (With Senator Seth Lewis.)

Ms. Deborah Suggs, resident leader from Marian Park Apartments, testifying at Illinois State Senate Budget Hearing May 8, 2024. (with State Senator Seth Lewis-R)

Pictured left to right: Nick Jenz, Beatrice Ndayisenga, Elsa Hailu, Debbie Suggs, and Chantise Davis.