Our final reader in this two-day 2nd anniversary extravaganza is Bridget Gainer.
Bridget Gainer is a Chicago native and comes from a long line of Southsiders – Englewood meets Roseland and then Beverly. After McAuley and U of I, she started her career as an organizer and has spent the last 25 years between the public, private and non-profit sector all the while working to live up to the example she learned from her parents: show up for people and play the long game.
Bridget was elected to the Cook County Board in 2010 and has focused on revitalizing neighborhoods hit hard by the foreclosure crisis and developing new ways to get young people working. One of the results was the creation of the Cook County Land Bank. Four years later, the Land Bank is a self sustaining social enterprise with 400 homes in development by over 100 community based developers.. Most recently the Land Bank partnered with Arne Duncan and the Emerson collective to buy 20 vacant homes in Pullman and engage 30 young men in the redevelopment.
Bridget is married to Dennis Kibby and has three children and is soon to lose the fight for a dog. A graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana and the University of Chicago, she serves on the boards of the Big Shoulders Fund and the Archdiocese of Chicago school board. Most recently, and with the support of United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Bridget launched a Chicago chapter of Off the Sidelines here in Chicago to encourage more women to ‘take their ideas to action’ and has quickly grown the organization to 2,500 members.
On Night Two, Bridget will tell us about riding around in cars on the South Side and how some things don’t happen even if the people who tell you they will sound like they know what they are talking about.
Join us by RSVP’ing at the links below. We’ll see you at 730pm on Wednesday and Thursday night at Beverly Woods.