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Lake County United

Ed Chambers (1930–2015)

Many of our lives have been touched by the leadership of this great organizer who passed away in April, 2015. You may find inspiration in these articles about Ed:

Who We Are

Lake County United is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of civil society institutions: Churches, synagogues, mosques, civic and labor groups. Formed in April of 2003 our member organizations commit both dues and leaders (based on their size) to work for a just society through active citizenship. Our membership is growing and is open to all who share our goals.

As a broad based citizens organization we build relationships across Lake County, identify community concerns and needs and work together as a united power for human dignity, social justice and the greater good. In particular we encourage conversation across religious, ethnic, economic, generational, and political lines believing that it is possible to create a shared vision for the county. And we are realists about power: The ability to translate the hopes and interests of our members into action and results.

March 2015 Update

LCU Housing Team:

  • Obtained approval from Illinois Housing Development Authority for tax credits to fund 40-unit attainable housing in Mundelein initiated by LCU.
  • Met with Village staff to obtain final approval for plans. Expect details to be finalized by May.
  • Identified 20 religious institutions in Mundelein and will start visits to share information on the project, build local support, and raise LCU's profile.

Next steps:
Meetings with local and state officials.
Planning a ground-breaking assembly.

LCU Mental Health Team:

  • Determining how to identify the most urgent needs surrounding access to mental health care in Lake County.
  • Researching mental health issues related to incarceration and treatment of mentally ill inmates in Lake County jail.
  • Conducting internal analysis consisting of 17 "Listening Sessions" in member institutions.
  • Conducting external analysis starting with 10 research actions and interviews with elected officials, experts and agencies including Sheriff Mark Curran; Tony Beltran, executive director of Lake County Health Department, and Steve Fabbri, assistant director of the Adult Probation Services.
  • Partnering with sister organizations United Power, DuPage United, and Fox River Valley Initiative to sponsor presentations by Judge Steve Leifman from Dade County (Miami), Florida. Judge Leifman has been recognized for his work with the "Criminal Mental Health Project" that has made significant changes in way the criminal justice system deals with the mentally ill.

If you would be interested in learning more about how mental health is impacting the community, and participate in a research action, please email Lindsay Crawford at


  • LCU member Waukegan to College is leading a neighborhood walk to determine what issues are most important to the community. Residents will be encouraged to get out to vote for city and school elections. There will be NO endorsements of any candidates.
  • On March 7, W2C led a Candidates Forum for the Waukegan Public School Board Election. The event turned out 160 people at Most Blessed Trinity Academy. Both Puro Futbol and Lake County Sun News were present at the action. A parent of the school district was quoted,
    “I’ve never paid attention to these elections before... I’m registered to vote but haven’t voted in years. now I can’t wait to vote!”

LCU Leadership:

Last May, Amy Lawless Ayala took the position of Lead Organizer (Interim, part-time) and last November, Lindsay Crawford was hired as associate organizer.

Noteworthy Dates:

  • March 24: Steering Team Meeting at Christ Episcopal, 6pm
  • March 28: Waukegan to College, Neighborhood Walk at Christ Episcopal from 9am to 12pm. Please see flyer for more details.
  • April 21: Follow up meeting to Waukegan to College, Neighborhood Walk at Christ Episcopal, 6pm.
  • April 9: Mental Health Team Meeting at Christ Episcopal, 5pm
  • June 15- 19: Five- Day Midwest Regional Leadership Training at Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. Please see flyer for more details.
  • See the Calendar for more information on these events.

If you are interested in attending a meeting or seeking more information for involvement please contact Lindsay Crawford at

See previous editions of Update in the Update Archive.