Bio for Laurie A. Bonnett

Name: Laurie A. Bonnett

Area:  9th Ward

How long have you lived in Lawrenceville?  Since, March 2016.

Why did you move to/ stay in Lawrenceville? Partner took a position with Carnegie Mellon University

Current Employer/ Job Title: Administrative Assistant to Deputy Director of Department of Human Services.

Please list Community Service, Non-Profit, or Board Experience: Unit 4 School Board of Education President/ Member; 40 North Arts Organization Secretary; Champaign County CVB Board Chair; Champaign County Alliance Vice-Chair; Dr. Howard PTA President.

What makes Lawrenceville unique? Why? We moved here with plans to invest of our time and future. We fell in love with our neighborhood and continue to enjoy our neighbors, walkability, history of Pittsburgh, and proximity to all things that are meaniningful.

What is was one thing you would like to work on within the neighborhood? Why? Affordable housing and inclusivity within. See my notes below as to affordable housing. As to inclusivity, I believe that the more varied voice and cultures we add to a conversation, the better logic and reasoning to our decisions come forward. I’d choose to live in a diverse neighborhood vs one where everyone looked like me and talked like me. Inspiration comes from diversity in thought.

What LU program or project most interests you? Why?  Working as a single mom, raising 3 children, affordable housing has long been a challenge. While I may have had a great job, high visibility with my work, I made very little money. One should be proud of their home and feel safe in their surroundings. Not everyone has that ability for a variety of reasons. LU has the clout and voice to impact our neighborhood in this way. Having been in fund development for the Urban League of Champaign County, I would be interested in lending my time to this committee as well.

What is one fun fact that others might be surprised to know about you? In my race for school board, I won by 4 votes. In speaking with the person I beat, he did not want a recount and for that I was grateful. We’ve continued to stay connected. But the lesson I was gifted was that a win is a win only if you use wisely. I was honored every day to do work to positively impact the education of future leaders in our community.