February 23rd Meeting
     Our February 23rd meeting will be open for committee meetings.  Committee chairs will be contacting their members with details. 
March 2nd Program
Preventing Community Violence
     Jennifer Cacciapaglia from the Mayor's Office on Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Prevention will discuss "Community Violence Prevention". 
     As Manager of the Mayor’s Office of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Prevention for the City of Rockford, Jennifer Cacciapaglia serves as a key collaborator in coordinating advocacy service organizations, law enforcement, and civic groups to build systems change and policy development in the areas of domestic and sexual violence, child and elder abuse, and human trafficking. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Family Peace Center. Cacciapaglia has spent her entire career focusing on community work and engagement, particularly the area of inter-personal violence. 
     Domestic violence and the growing presence of commercial human trafficking are threats to public safety and quality of life in our community. The statistics paint a grim picture:
  • On average, domestic violence accounts for nearly 30 percent of Rockford’s violent crime.
  • In 2016, Illinois ranked eighth in the United States for reported human trafficking cases.
  • The City of Rockford Human Services Department reports that an average of 25 percent of our homeless population were without a residence as a result of domestic violence.

     Mayor Tom McNamara spoke in great length about these issues during his campaign in 2016-17 and took action following his election in April 2017.  To learn more about the current conditions, investigate regional and national best practices and propose solutions, he commissioned a report on both issues of domestic violence and human trafficking (DV/HT).  That report was presented to City Council in October 2017, along with the recommendation to establish a Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence & Human Trafficking Prevention.  The City Council approved that recommendation several weeks later and a search began for an individual to lead the office.     

     In January 2018, Jennifer Cacciapaglia was hired as manager of the office. She is an experienced attorney, former member of the City Legal Department and a founder of the Rockford Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (RAASE).   The Office brings together the work of numerous agencies and organizations throughout the community to collectively tackle the problems of domestic violence and human trafficking. The office created a Task Force, made up of key stakeholders, to shape the work of the office.

     In 2021, City Council expanded the office’s scope and renamed it the Mayor’s Office of Domestic and Community Violence Prevention.

     The Task Force has already developed many strategies including:

  • Family Peace Center– The Family Peace Center is a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary co-located service center that provides integrated services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Both public and private partner agencies assign staff on a full-time or part-time basis to provide services from one location.
  • Juvenile Enhanced Response Team (JVERT)– JVERT is a multi-disciplinary team that identifies children in trauma from violence in the home and develop pathways to restoration and safety so they do not become involved in the criminal justice system, either as a victim or perpetrator.
  • Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team (DVERT)– DVERT is a nationally recognized model of intervention that places an emphasis on identifying and providing coordinated, multi-disciplinary responses to high-priority/high-risk domestic violence cases.
  • Educator Team– The Educator team plans the annual Educators’ Summit, which is designed to educate local teachers about domestic violence and human trafficking and provide teachers with tools to implement in their classrooms.
  • VOICES Survivor Support Group– VOICES is a committee of survivors of domestic violence who volunteer their time to celebrate their strength and survival. This group of individuals use their collective voice to help others through advocacy, education and empowerment.
     Jennifer will discuss Community Violence and some of the ways that the City is trying to reduce the number of incidents involving both physical and mental violence.  Rockford Rotary members recently took a tour of the Family Peace Center to learn about how the Center is working with various local agencies to help stem the domestic violence in our community.  This will be an interesting and informative program and one to invite a guest or prospective member to join us in person at Memorial Hall or via Zoom.  Elise Cadigan will introduce our presenter and act as Rotary Host.  
Academy Students at RVC
     Rotary Academy students enjoy a pizza lunch while visiting Rock Valley College this week.
     Paul Von Driska's son can be seen helping pass out sodas.
     Students took a campus tour, did a goal setting activity, and played a game related to what they had learned while there.
Rotarians at the Food Bank
Linda Johnson, Dave Byrnes, and Becky Rundquist at the Food Bank.
Artale Wine Tasting
     Artale Wine Tasting Fundraiser on March 3rd.
     Save the Date!
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Feb 23, 2023
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Community Violence Prevention
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Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Nellie Miller
February 2
Tom Clabough
February 2
Ruth Little
February 4
Katrina Olson
February 6
Jo An Todd
February 7
Jennifer Stark
February 8
Beth Thacker
February 15
Rudy Valdez
February 19
Sheryl Thogerson
February 19
Don Kinney
February 21
Eric Fulcomer
February 23
Cynthia Drollinger
February 28
Larry Carlson
February 28
Jim Coffey
February 29
Join Date
Helen Hill
February 1, 1995
28 years
Becky Rundquist
February 5, 2015
8 years
Terry Anderson
February 5, 1977
46 years
Brian Kobischka
February 7, 1985
38 years
John Larsen
February 9, 2006
17 years
Scott Lewandowski
February 9, 2012
11 years
Daniel Ross
February 10, 2022
1 year
John Torrence
February 14, 1991
32 years
John Goddard
February 18, 1993
30 years
Bob Gough
February 19, 1998
25 years
Jim Coffey
February 19, 1998
25 years
Phil Dierstein
February 20, 1986
37 years
John Kleber
February 28, 1984
39 years
Meeting Responsibilities
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