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5/25 - Aligning Efforts to Reimagine Public Safety & Invest in Community Planning (CM | 1.5)

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

In the wake of continued police violence, movements across the country are advocating for the defunding of police departments. This panel will explore how these public resources could potentially be reallocated towards visionary and community-based planning, community development and public safety initiatives, among others. Panelists will discuss how current efforts to engage in participatory budgeting and reimagine public safety can be used to build power in historically disadvantaged communities.


DATE: Tuesday, May 25, 2021

TIME: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm CST


(click here to log CM after the webinar)


  • Paola Aguirre Serrano, People's Budget Chicago

  • Farah Muscadin, Director, City of Austin’s Office of Police Oversight

  • Moderator - Joseph K. Hoereth, PhD., Director, Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement


Speaker Biographies

Paola Aguirre Serrano is founder of BORDERLESS — Chicago-based city design and research practice focused on cultivating collaborative design agency through interdisciplinary projects. Paola explores creative civic design and engagement interventions that address the complexity of urban systems and social equity by looking at intersections between architecture, urban design, landscape, planning and civic participatory processes. She is an active educator, and has taught at the Sam Fox School of Design Washington University, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Archeworks. She has been acknowledged by Next City Vanguard’s 40 Under 40 (2016), Impact Design Hub’s 40 Under 40 (2017), Newcity Design 50: Who Shapes Chicago (2018, 2020), Emerging Planner Award by the American Planning Association – Illinois Chapter (2018), Field Foundation Civic Leader for Racial Equity (2019), Chicago United for Equity Fellow (2019), and currently serves as Commissioner of Chicago Landmarks. Paola received a M. of Architecture in Urban Design from the Harvard School of Design.


Farah C. Muscadin, JD is the Director of the City of Austin Office of Police Oversight. Before becoming the Police Monitor, she served as the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Chicago State University (CSU). While at CSU, Farah also served as the Interim Dean of Student Affairs, the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, and the Board Liaison to the Board of Trustees.

Additionally, Farah worked as the Associate Director of Legislative and Government Affairs for the City Colleges of Chicago, Director of Legislative Affairs for the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and Assistant to the Mayor for Richard M. Daley, former Mayor of the City of Chicago. Farah was also an Assistant Public Defender for the Cook County Public Defender's Office and a Guardian ad Litem for the Cook County Public Guardian's Office.

Farah currently serves on the board for the Austin Iowa Alumni Club and the YWCA Greater Austin. She is a member of the Travis County Women's Lawyers Association and a mentor with GirlForward.

Farah holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Iowa and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Farah has demonstrated her commitment to fairness and transparency in the Austin community by developing the City of Austin's Office of Police Oversight in 2018. DivInc recognized Farah's leadership with the 2021 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Leader of the Year award.

Outside of her professional career and community involvement, she is an avid tennis player who enjoys yoga and meditation.


Joseph K. Hoereth, PhD is director of the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. IPCE focuses on transforming democracy by creating a more fully engaged citizenry with more effective leaders. As a catalyst for learning and action, the institute creates opportunities for scholars, concerned citizens, students and government to participate in public discourse and educational programs on current policy issues and social trends. IPCE’s work includes research, dialogues and deliberations, and leadership development.

Dr. Hoereth has served as IPCE director since 2010 and was part of the team that founded the Institute in 2008. Under his leadership, IPCE staff completed extensive training on public deliberations to receive a Center for Public Life designation by the Kettering Foundation. As a Center for Public Life, IPCE has developed the capacity to design and facilitate community and campus dialogue and deliberations. A recent example of IPCE’s work in this space was designing and facilitating 14 community dialogues on behalf of the Office of Illinois Attorney General regarding input on the Chicago Police Reform Consent Decree. Dr. Hoereth is a member of the Independent Monitoring Team for the Chicago Police Consent Decree, leading a survey project of Chicagoan’s sentiment towards police and helping to manage the team’s community engagement.

Hoereth was recently named a Senior Fellow with the National Civic League. He holds a B.A. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, a Masters and a Ph.D. in urban planning from Rutgers University. Dr. Hoereth teaches courses as adjunct faculty in the departments of Urban Planning and Policy as well as Public Administration.

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