President’s Message

The role and value of strategic planning.

The work done by the MBRA Board of Directors is guided by a framework of ensuring the “day-to-day” activities of the neighborhood are handled in a coordinated, deliberate way.

However, a key piece of our work is how we look at our future aspirations as a neighborhood – how we ensure the legacy of Moss Bradley for future generations.  We must begin to create a road map that tells us where we are going and what kind of neighborhood we are going to be.  We simply cannot continue to hold on to the ways of the past and hope we remain a vibrant neighborhood.  This presents a great challenge for us.

The first step in this process will soon be implemented.  We are getting ready to launch a short survey which will provide us some insight into what you believe are important issues about our neighborhood.  It’s not going to ask about renters/landlords or traffic/speed as we know those are very real and present issues that have plagued us for quite a while.  What this survey will do is help us identify issues that are important to you – finding out attitudes and reactions, to measure your satisfaction and to gauge opinions about various issues.

We will post the survey online for those of us who utilize the internet as our preferred means of communication.  Notification will be made via email and our Facebook account.  For those individuals who prefer, we will have hard copies available at both the March and April Membership meetings.  Our plan is to also have individuals canvas the neighborhood and reach those individuals that are not currently members.

The results of this survey will provide the Board of Directors a better understanding of its membership and their concerns.  It will also serve as a guide for how we approach the coming years in a strategic manner.





2018 MBRA Volunteer of the Year Award and MBRA Beautification Award

Call for Nominations

Nominations due no later than March 31st, 2018!

Nominees for the awards should meet the following criteria:

Volunteer of the Year Award:

  • Resident of the Moss-Bradley Residential Neighborhood or member of the Moss-Bradley Residential Association.
  • Record of neighborhood involvement i.e., past service on the MBRA Board*, member of the MBRA Social Committee, contributor to the MBRA newsletter, volunteer for the Moss Avenue Sale, 4th of July Celebration, Neighborhood Clean-up, Christmas Party, Tri-Corn Park, or Annual Meeting, etc. Record of community involvement which serves the interests of the neighborhood i.e., Bradley University liaison, West Bluff Council, Peoria Historical Society, Westminster Food Drive, River City Marathon, Historic Preservation Commission, City Council, Moss-Bradley Revolving Fund, etc.

Past Award winners include Paul Masick and Ed Bannon & Joanne Tarbuck

Beautification Award:

  • Property within the Moss-Bradley Residential Neighborhood.
  • Exterior improvements that have enhanced the appearance of the property and of the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Exterior maintenance that enhances the appearance of the property and of the surrounding neighborhood.

Past Award winners include Andrew & Mary Muir, and Wayne Johnson


Photographs are encouraged.  If possible, submit a photo with your nomination.  Current MBRA board members are not eligible for nomination. Submit the nomination form to the chair of the MBRA Award Committee by March 31st, 2018 by clicking here.

Winners of both awards will be announced at the Annual Meeting

Councilman Chuck Grayeb

With the vernal equinox and Spring upon us, it behooves us to look at the opportunities ahead.

First, the Chase Bank Building downtown will be restored with historic tax credits. It will become the headquarters for roughly 18 OSF hospitals and a further testament to the strong commitment of the Sisters of the Third Order to our great city. When retrofitted, it will house 750 OSF employees who will be a stone’s throw from our neighborhood.

Great things are happening! I see a vibrant corridor of opportunity stretching from Western and Main and extending to the new OSF development as well as Warehouse District.

Many additional high paying union jobs will be created during the retrofit stage, complementing the work at Bradley’s Convergence Center site.

A built out NEW Bradley student housing development at Main and Garfield will enhance the vibrancy of West Main as we approach the Main and Sheridan intersection and result in even more jobs! A new cross signal will soon be installed to help residents and shoppers cross a very busy and vibrant West Main Street and facilitate a safe crossing for the Central Illinois Ballet students.

The work on West Moss Brownstones is commencing,  and we will have a new Douglas A. MacArthur Bridge by November.

On a different note, we must again beat back the reckless and grossly irresponsible recommendation

to close the Science Lab on North University. Two hundred government scientists must be allowed to continue their life saving research. Working with our Congressional and Senatorial delegations, we can win this battle again.

We also have a new Acting Police Chief.  Loren Marion III has assumed the position, and I will continue to work closely with him to assure that he has a complete understanding of some of our security challenges.

I wish all of you the best and will see you soon.



An Open Letter

From Rod Lorenz

Peoria Public Schools Proposal

At the Moss Bradley Residential Association February 7 membership meeting representatives from Peoria Public Schools (PPS) presented a proposal to utilize the Westminster Parish Hall for a new PPS program.  The new program, called a “wrap-around center,” would be installed in the Parish Hall, the building next door to the church.  The basic concept is that PPS serves many children and families that need a variety of social services currently provided by as many as 10 different agencies.  In a wrap-around center each of these agencies would maintain a presence so that an individual family could be served by multiple agencies at the same location, i.e. a one stop shop for social services.  The appeal of this concept is partly related to the belief that most families who might benefit from these services lack a vehicle or other means of transportation; thus, it is difficult for them to get access to multiple agencies.  PPS Superintendent Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat was careful to indicate the proposal is in early stages of discussion after Westminster Church offered access to the Parish Hall that is mostly unused today.

The proposed center at Westminster would serve children (and families) directed to it from PPS primary schools throughout town though most of the children would be residents of South Peoria, or zip code 61605.  The children served at the proposed facility would be those with problems that severely impact their learning and need lots of assistance.  The wrap-around center might also include rooms for “respite” instruction, i.e. a substitute schoolroom for a child that “just needs a break” from the usual classroom setting.  A wrap-around center for older students is already planned or in operation at Manual Academy.  PPS staff expects that most families using the Westminster facility would get there by school bus, or by City buses that stop at the intersections of Moss with Western and University Avenues.

At first look the wrap-around center concept seems logical.  Anyone who interacts frequently with young children from central Peoria understands the magnitude of the problems they may have and the potential benefit of easing access to helping hands.  PPS is to be commended for their genuine desire to help overcome the barriers to academic success, and for having the courage to step into what they could easily regard as someone else’s job.  We should also admire Westminster’s commitment to serve their community.  This proposal’s potential for positive impact on the future of certain children is not proven but could have important benefits for this community and should be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, many questions were not asked or couldn’t be answered at the meeting.  How many children/families would be expected to access the center each day, week, or year?  How many might be at the center on a given day, and how would the volume be regulated?  Exactly where in the city would these families likely reside?  What will be the operating hours?  Have the social service agencies committed to having staff at this facility, and who will bear those new costs?  Who will be responsible for the cost of operating and maintaining the facility? What will be the cost to the PPS budget for furnishing and operating the facility?  Has there been a search for suitable facilities for this program and is Moss Avenue the best location?  What impacts of wrap-around centers have been observed in other communities and how have impacts been measured?  It is hoped there will be opportunities to hear answers to these and many other questions before decisions are made.

The February 7 meeting was disappointing because of the small number of Moss Bradley residents present—probably less than 10% of owner-occupied residences in the neighborhood were represented.  It should be understood that Moss Bradley remains a vulnerable neighborhood.  The fraction of residential properties that are rentals, mostly owned by landlords who live elsewhere, is thought to be approaching half.  Most of these properties are not maintained to the same standard as owner-occupied homes.  We cannot take for granted that the positive trajectory seen in Moss Bradley over the past 15 -20 years will continue automatically.  Residents must remain involved for this neighborhood to thrive and keeping themselves and their neighbors informed about proposals such as this one is an important first step.  Attending MBRA meetings is one way to do that.

Stay tuned and ask questions.