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Elizabeth Tisdahl, Mayor, City of Evanston

Keeping Evanston diverse is a primary commitment Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl has made to the community.

With that goal in mind, the Mayor has undertaken long term projects to help maintain the City's diversity.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl has seen the effort that she, Aldermen Delores Holmes and Ann Rainey, and then Alderman Lionel Jean-Bapiste put into the NSP2 grant making great progress in Evanston neighborhoods. Rehabilitation on scattered-site housing has moved forward. Foreclosed properties are in different phases of the rehab process and families have started to move in.

The NSP2 grant also covers the building of Emerson Square, a mixed income dwelling area set to begin construction in Spring 2012. NSP2 brings more than housing to Evanston. Jobs are being created. A minimum of 25 percent of construction subcontracts are awarded to minority-owned, women-owned, or Evanston-based businesses.

US Senator Dick Durbin, US Senator Roland Burris and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky supported and helped guide the grant proposal. Senator Durbin came to Evanston for a neighborhood tour to see the progress and was impressed.

“The hard work of Senator Durbin and Congresswoman Schakowsky along with a strong NSP2 application submitted by city staff is paying off starting with this great, newly rehabbed property on Grey Street. This indeed is proof positive that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is working,” says Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl.

The goal of the NSP2 funding is to purchase 100 foreclosed or abandoned properties and to rehabilitate these buildings for affordable housing, either for purchase or for rental. In addition, the funds enable Evanston to redevelop local businesses and renegotiate mortgages.


I wish I could bring some of my senate colleagues who go on the senate floor everyday and say the president’s stimulus was a failure... They ought to come here and take a look at this, and realize that what’s happened here is we’ve not only saved neighborhoods, but we’re helping the city in areas that might have gone into blight or worse.- US Senator Durbin


NSP2 - Rebuilding Evanston one home at a time

NSP2 - The First Family

The first NSP2 home was sold on January 5, 2012. The Meeks family had been renters in Evanston but are now the proud new owners of this bright, new home.

“This is exactly the outcome we had hoped for with NSP2 in that these properties would encourage Evanston residents to stay in Evanston, buy up these great new properties and help revitalize the community so hard hit by the recession and foreclosures,” said Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. Photo credit: City of Evanston

CommUNITY Picnic

Unity is a big part of what makes a community work. Each year the City of Evanston along with volunteer organizations, such as the Kiwanis, and local businesses put on the CommUNITY picnic in Ingraham Park, adjacent to the Evanston Civic Center.

The picnic takes place in late August and celebrates the community's diversity and the beginning of the school year. Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl has participated in the picnic since she was an alderman. It’s a chance for the whole community to come together to enjoy food, games, activities and entertainment. Kids and parents have an opportunity to meet the people who work to keep them safe in Evanston’s Police and Fire Departments. Photo credit: City of Evanston

Ethnic Arts Fair

Each July, Evanston’s Ethnic Arts Festival transforms Dawes Park on the lakefront into a global village. Surrounded by the flags of more than 100 nations honoring the diversity of world, attendees experience the colors, sounds, and aromas of diverse cultures. Every continent is represented in song, dance, spoken word, visual arts and food.

Ethinic Arts Festival Photo Album - City of Evanston

Town and Gown Relations

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro have collaborated to demonstrate that Evanston is proud of the university and that NU is part of the Evanston Community.

Freshman at NU start their first term with in a day of community service. NU wants their freshmen to consider Evanston their home for the next four years and to participate as active members of the community.


Economic Development