I am running for Village President because I value the importance of good governance, transparency and accessible public deliberations. I have consistently championed these values because in their absence, we end up with village issues like the undeveloped lot at Lake and Lathrop, a divisive committee process such as the Deer Committee, and a failure to advance diversity initiatives.
As Village President I will connect and collaborate with villagers to advance River Forest rather than “continuing slow progress”.
During my 4 years as village trustee we began to address many big issues: economic development and zoning, the Comprehensive Plan, the Affordable Housing Plan, the Twin Village Covenant with Maywood, establishment of the senior commission, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives. More work is needed and I am the person to lead the effort.
Building on this foundation to advance real change demands intentional planning and implementation. I will bring residents into the solutions by creating a culture and system that values and recruits input from all. Together, we will achieve real gains on economic development, diversity, sustainability, and much more.
If you want a leader who models integrity and transparency, please vote for me April 6.
Integral to the strength of our Village is the representation of all in our community. The core pillar of my candidacy is intentional inclusion so that everyone within our community feels their voice, perspectives, ideas and concerns are considered and inform our Village agendas, policies, expenditures, community outreach and engagement.
Representation is not just listening to and amplifying the voice of others. As Village President, I will be proactive to ensure that the “seats at the table” are occupied to reflect the holistic makeup of our community. Critical to this representation is creating a more open and transparent process for choosing Commissioners. As Village President, I will be intentional in publicizing commission openings and collaborative in seeking a diverse composition of community members and perspectives on each of our Commissions. In addition, I will improve Board and Commission training and establish term limits to balance institutional memory with new engagement opportunities.
Representation requires transparent communication between the Village Board, our community and our neighboring communities. As Village President, I will be proactive to increase community engagement. I will consistently “push out” open and detailed information to better inform and invite residents to engage on a broad range of community topics before deliberations begin at the Board table. I will explore additional avenues for residents to interact with Board Members to ensure that Village-related ideas are shared, concerns heard and questions answered. I believe in the value of building genuine relationships with our neighboring communities. As President, I would encourage opportunities for residents to come together and will seek ways to collaborate within our community and alongside our neighboring communities.
Representation of community perspectives is imperative to economic development in our community. “Smart” development yields stabilized property taxes and improved property values. It requires fiscal responsibility, proactive policies and deliberate marketing outreach to attract the development that our community wants and not merely the ones that casually come our way. As Village President, I will ensure that we are strategic in how we support existing River Forest businesses and that we are intentional in how we encourage community input at all stages of planning conversations. I will ensure that new development meets the highest possible sustainability standards.
Representation is at the heart of our community’s health, safety and well-being. At the most central: our approximately 11,172 residents. Immediately adjacent in the minds of our community members: our Village first responders and staff, the postal workers who visit each home and business, our teachers, our healthcare workers, our child and elder-care providers, and the many who contribute to our individual and collective well-being. As Village President, I will consider equally the heart and mind of our community in our policies, engagements and outreach. I will advocate budget decisions for all of the Village Departments (including Fire, Police and Public Works) that maintain and improve community safety and well-being that also incorporate environmental best practices.
Representation requires intention. This intention is manifested in comprehensive policies and codes which are critical to achieving strategic, yet fair, Zoning policies. As Village President, I will champion information and transparency to enhance our Zoning process. I will work with the Board and respective Commissions to establish workshops for residents (e.g. those considering additions) and to develop better guidelines for granting variance requests. I commit to the enforcement and enhancement of the recently-passed, anemic Affordable Housing Plan. I firmly believe it is possible for River Forest to have an Affordable Housing Plan that preserves property values and that is intentionally inclusive of all community members.