Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0540
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Full Text of HR0540  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of
4dedicated community activist Bettye Baker Houston; and
5    WHEREAS, Bettye Houston and her family moved to the
6Roseland-Rosemoor community in 1966, and for the next 55
7years, she dedicated her efforts to the area residents,
8promoting community awareness and pride, while galvanizing the
9community to address unmet needs; she was married to Herbert
10Houston for over four decades and was the proud parent of
11Sebastian and Tasha Baker, who follow in her footsteps by
12serving as community activists; and
13    WHEREAS, Bettye Houston served as a director of the
14Calumet Center Community Board for Metropolitan Family
15Services Calumet Center for 38 years and as a Director
16Emeritus for the past two years; she also served on the
17Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NRC) National Advisory
18Council and the NRC National Resident Round Table; she
19participated in NRC's national focus group discussions on
20increasing resident participation in the planning and
21decision-making process for neighborhood development; she
22assisted in developing the Back to Basics Program, which
23provides grants for community organizers/coordinators; she



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1served on the Community Leadership Institute planning
2committee and conducted a workshop on mobilizing residents; in
31980, Governor Thompson appointed her to serve on the Illinois
4State Medicaid Advisory Board; during her tenure, she assisted
5in redesigning the Illinois State Medicaid Program and
6rewriting the Public Aid Code; she was appointed by three
7Chicago mayors to serve on the Chicago Community Development
8Advisory Committee (CDAC); and
9    WHEREAS, Bettye Houston held several leadership positions
10with organizations such as the Frank I. Bennett Shedd PTA, the
11Rosemoor Community Association, the Metropolitan Family
12Services Calumet Center, Roseland Neighborhood Housing
13Services, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, the
14Chicago State University Community Council, the Roseland
15Redevelopment Planning Board, the Roseland Mental Health
16Advisory Board, the Cook County Advisory Council, and the
17Greater Roseland Area Planning Commission; she was
18instrumental in planning and facilitating a community-wide
19planning meeting that pulled all facets of the community
20together to develop a revitalization plan; this plan resulted
21in reinvestment in Roseland, including the development of
22major retail businesses; she recruited numerous volunteers to
23attend educational workshops; she personally provided
24leadership training to residents, community stakeholders, and
25students seeking degrees in Community Development; and



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1    WHEREAS, Bettye Houston successfully lobbied for many
2causes, including for new educational institutions such as
3Corliss and Julian High Schools, new elementary schools,
4Chicago State University, and the Carter G. Woodson Regional
5Library, the elimination of shutting off utility services
6between November 1 and March 30, the construction of a new
7fully equipped Roseland Public and Mental Health Center, the
8improvement of public transportation, the equal distribution
9of the Chicago Community Development Block Grants to the
10neighborhoods, the establishment of an FHA reform program to
11reduce foreclosure rates in Roseland, an effort to end
12segregation in the Chicago Public Schools that included
13assisting in drafting the Chicago Public School desegregation
14plan, the million-dollar renovation of the Roseland YMCA, the
15funding for the Pullman Bank College Bound Youth Program, and
16a community NeighborWorks clean up project that attracted the
17attention of several retail vendors; and
18    WHEREAS, Bettye Houston received numerous awards and
19recognitions, including the Illinois State Parent Teachers
20Association (PTA) Life Membership Award in 1977, the
21Neighborhood Housing Service of Chicago Neighborhood
22Leadership Award in 1987, the Rosemoor Community Association
23Dedicated Service Award 25 Years in 1992, being inducted into
24the 111th Street YMCA Wall of Honor for Outstanding Community



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1Service in 1993, the Roseland Business Development Council
2Community Leadership Award in 1997, the State Farm Insurance
3Company and V103 Radio Station Home Town Hero Award in 1999,
4the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation Dorothy Richardson
5National Resident Leadership Award in 2002, the Human Resource
6Development Institute (HRDI) Outstanding Community Service
7Award in 2006, the Roseland Community Hospital Foundation
8Community Service Award in 2010, the Metropolitan Family
9Services Calumet Center Community Service Award in 2011, the
10Years of Service Award in 2021, the Each One Reach One
11Neighborhood Leadership Award in 2013, the Illinois State
12Board of Education Volunteer of the Year Award in 2015, the Pi
13Alpha Alpha Volunteer Service Award in 2017, and having the
14Community Impact Award named in her honor in 2019; in
15September of 2021, the Metropolitan Family Services Calumet
16Center recognized her at their annual meeting for her
17steadfast service and commitment to the Calumet Center, the
18Roseland community, and its residents; therefore, be it
21we mourn the passing of Bettye Baker Houston and extend our
22sincere condolences to her family, friends, and all who knew
23and loved her; and be it further
24    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be



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1presented to the family of Bettye Houston as an expression of
2our deepest sympathy.