Community Advisory Council

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West Side United’s mission is to improve neighborhood health by addressing inequality in healthcare, education, economic vitality and the physical environment using a cross-sector, place-based strategy. Partners include healthcare providers, education providers, the faith community, business, government and others working together to coordinate investments and share outcomes.

Integrating West Side community voices into its governance structure has always been an imperative for West Side United. As such, a Community Advisory Council was created to insure that the voices of ordinary West Side residents are taken into account as we move toward our mission to build community health, economic wellness, and healthy, vibrant neighborhoods on Chicago’s West Side.

Community Advisory Council Member

The Community Advisory Council (CAC) is a 18 member committee whose primary role is to track the pulse of the west side community as it relates to West Side United (WSU) initiatives and strategic plans. The CAC functions as a major channel for the community’s input and works closely with the Backbone Structure of WSU to integrate community feedback into planned or proposed initiatives. The CAC also insures that community voices are embedded at all levels of WSU’s governance structure—from Leadership Council, to Working Group.

The primary responsibilities of the Community Advisory Council are:

  • Nominate representatives from CAC membership to Leadership Council.
  • Meet quarterly with Backbone Structure to discuss WSU initiatives.
  • Gather feedback from the larger West Side community and provide to WSU recommendations on proposed or ongoing initiatives.
  • Serve on another WSU Committee or Working Group (e.g. Leadership Council, Operations Committee or initiative Working Group).
  • Provide strategic guidance and tactical assistance to Operations Committee and Working Groups as needed (e.g. resource and community referrals.)

CAC members must be at least 18 years old and live and/or work in at least one of the 10 neighborhoods comprising the West Side (Austin, Humboldt Park, West Town, Belmont/Cragin, East Garfield Park, West Garfield Park, North Lawndale, South Lawndale, Near West Side, Lower West Side).

Members possess a passion for social justice issues and demonstrate a clear call to service. They plays a role in the West Side community that gives them the ability to credibly reach a multitude of West Side residents (i.e. long-time resident, educator, faith leader, youth leader, community based org employee, small business owner, healthcare provider).

Members may also have some experience as a leader in their community and have some working knowledge in one or more of the following fields: Education, Economic Vitality, Healthcare, and Community Development.


Each member of the CAC is asked to serve out a term of 2 years with an option to renew for a 3rd year and is expected to attend all required meetings. Members should plan on dedicating 5-10 hours per month to WSU activities.

General questions about the CAC or West Side United should be sent to