What People are Saying

Megan Keskitalo

"I first noticed Patty Dassinger Henek over two years ago when my neighbors and I were meeting with village administration and Union Pacific regarding the UP Third Mainline Expansion. She stood in the back of the room and observed our hours-long heated exchange. She didn’t have to be there, she came because she cared about her constituents, no matter who they were, no matter that she didn’t know us. She showed up and listened because it mattered to her.

In the following years, I have seen her stand up for citizens, transparency and process. Even when standing up isn’t popular. Patty Henek isn’t afraid to ask tough questions. Patty Henek is a careful deliberator, one who strives to make measured decisions and has a passion for getting things right the first time with all of the information she needs at hand. Patty Henek thinks through the long term consequences. Patty is deeply concerned with fairness and equity and has been consistently deepening that engagement as long as I have been observing her work on the River Forest Village Board of Trustees. I think Patty Henek would make an admirable Board of Trustees President."

Phyllis Rubin

“I have developed a tremendous appreciation for Patty during my years in River Forest attending Board meetings. I watched her during the hearing on the Affordable Housing Plan. She was incisive, and tied together various threads that were important to the issue, bringing to the fore questions that deserved to be answered. Only by asking the right questions do we get the right answers, and Patty asks them. I’ve also watched her recognize inconsistencies in how the Board follows through on promises. Patty has an incredible memory for the history and progression of issues before the Board. She takes note of the Board’s failure because acknowledging failures can lead to better governing when you right them. Patty calls on the Board to honor its promises, to cross the T’s and dot the I’s: i.e., to do better. She wants the Board to do the things right - - not fast, but right. I call her our “Katie Porter” (California US Representative who asks highly relevant and pointed questions). Patty is measured, very thoughtful, and someone who thoroughly does her homework. Every governmental body needs a “Katie Porter”. With Patty as the Village Board President, the right questions will be asked and River Forest will be in top-notch, competent hands.”

Heidi Peterson

“When I first learned of Patty’s intent to run for River Forest Village President, I was incredibly pleased and confident that this was exactly the right choice for our community. As long as I have known Patty, she has genuinely been involved in all aspects of community life. Whether it was participation in volunteering for school functions, her presidency of the PTO, church affiliation, organizer of LemonAid, Holiday Gift Basket, A House in Austin, and Village of River Forest Trustee she has always been willing to roll up her sleeves to get the job done, not just to the best of her ability but with what was best for all involved. She is not one for rushing in and getting the quick fix but was willing to ask all the hard questions and seek the answers that would be most conducive to the overall success of the task at hand.

Her integrity is above reproach and she sincerely seeks to help everyone have a seat at the table and allows their voices to be heard. Her warm personality draws many into conversations with her that have led her to do the research necessary to make informed choices and sound solutions for every organization she has been involved with. It is my privilege to endorse Patty Henek for Village President."

Shana & Richard Taveras

“When considering the qualities a leader should possess integrity, thoughtfulness, vision, rigor, and empathy rise to the top. It is readily apparent that Patty possesses all of these qualities throughout all of our interactions with her.

It became clear to us throughout the planned development process for the Harlem & Chicago senior living facility that Patty utilizes a comprehensive set of metrics to assess the pros and cons of a particular decision, rather than just relying on simplistic analysis/gut instinct. It is evident from the questions she asks and the way she communicates that she weighs the relevant factors before coming to a well-considered conclusion.

Patty's approach is a breath of fresh air and we are happy to support her candidacy for Village President, as we feel that she will expand on the transparency, fairness, and supportive nature of the village government.”

Elena Martignon

“I met Patty through the Chamber of Commerce of Oak Park and River Forest several years ago, and since then I had the opportunity to see Patty work tirelessly for the needs of River Forest, both as an elected official and as a volunteer. Patty has demonstrated not only her commitment to our Village, but also first-hand understanding of the issues that are important to our community (such as serving on PTO for District 90 Schools).

Patty is knowledgeable and professional. She leads by example in taking time to assess and understand issues and concerns. She does her best to provide balanced and well thought out responses. I believe she has what it takes to help River Forest continue to progress and grow in a manner in which we can all be proud.”

Kristen Coe, Campaign Team Member

"I am supporting Patty Henek for Village President as I believe world and local events demand a leader who embraces robust public discourse before decision are reached.

As a Village Trustee, Patty has demonstrated principled independence and will welcome this as a leader at the board table as well as on commissions and committees.

As a community builder, Patty has always sought to include diverse views in her decision-making.

River Forest has a proud tradition of electing strong women and I believe Patty is the woman for the River Forest of tomorrow."

Peter Chien & Stephanie Rath

"It is easy to notice the qualities which make Patty a great leader. She's personable, organized, logical, a clear communicator. What takes a little more time is seeing that she consistently values all the right things - building community, broadly involving people, and a dedication to others. When we initially moved to the adjacent block, Patty warmly welcomed us. She also invited us to help organize the 9-11 charity LemonAid stand, which she co-founded and has run for 20 years to benefit kids in River Forest and neighboring communities. This spirit is in every of the many interactions and actions I've witnessed: organizing holiday gift and food baskets, advocating inclusive village board decisions, encouraging twin suburb status for Maywood, keeping block spirit high during the pandemic. She leads by example and brings people together to make things better. Listen to her - and you will hear a voice and advocate for all."

Megan Hodge, Campaign Team Member

"I am proud to endorse Patty Henek for River Forest Village President. I believe our community and our Village Board will benefit greatly from Patty’s authentic, independent and strategic leadership as exemplified by her contributions as a current Village Board Trustee and as a River Forest community member.

When I first reached out with my support of her Candidacy, I shared with Patty that, “I have been impressed with your pragmatic, rational approach in addressing matters before the Board; your grace and grit in navigating the fairly toxic current Board culture; and, I appreciate your leadership of an inclusive River forest, not only as “window dressing” with words but with actions and policies. Therefore, I am thrilled to see that you are running for Village President!”

As River Forest’s Village President, Patty will lead a vibrant, constructive and respectful Village Board. She will prioritize a Board foundation of community representation, transparency in communications and informed decision-making. Under her leadership, the Village Board will strategically contemplate and positively impact the well-being as well as the fiscal health of River Forest residents and out businesses, ensuring that our community thrives and grows with intention."

Laurie Gillard

"I first met Patty at the first River Forest Deer Committee meeting and later because of our shared interest in supporting the Black Lives Matter local activities. Patty is someone who is very committed to serving the community and creating a better place for all to live. She isn’t shy about meeting people and if necessary, jumping in and getting her hands dirty with work.

Patty has demonstrated her passion and ability to listen to the community and lead various projects. I endorse her as the next River Forest President."

Garfield Phillpotts, Campaign Team Member

"I support Patty Henek for Village President because I believe in her creative and innovative commitment to community. One demonstration of her heartfelt community commitment is in the success of the Lemonade 911 charity fundraiser.

I support her strength in often being the lone “lioness” as a Trustee on the current Village Board. Patty calls for critical unbiased data in order to make sounds decisions. She champions processes supporting fully transparent debate necessary for honing decisions. She vigorously seeks collaborative community input for inclusive initiatives. She strives for transparency and accountability on vendor contracts. Patty encourages the Board to evaluate decisions through the lens of inclusion versus exclusion. One such example occurred during the Board’s consideration of the Red-Light Camera plan. Patty called for more data to proactively understand how the proposed program would impact neighboring, less affluent and more ethnic minority skewed, communities.

I believe Patty’s approach to governance is what is needed to advance the River Forest Village Board towards inclusion and accountability. I believe Patty is the leader that will establish governance that gives no home for the perception and/or reality of cronyism, as exemplified by the languishing Lake and Lathrop “contamination clean-up & development project.”

Patty Henek is the River Forest Village Board President we need to connect, collaborate and advance established, recent, and future River Forest residents."

Mary Jane Welter & Valerie Woods

"Patty Henek will make an excellent River Forest Village President. We have worked closely with Patty since 2011 when she succeeded us as coordinator of HFGB, a long-standing community program that annually provides food gift cards and holiday gifts to more than 2000 individuals in Oak Park and River Forest. We have had the opportunity to see first-hand her deep dedication to our community and commitment to helping our neighbors. She has a unique ability to manage the needs and interests of a broad variety of people. Her intelligence, willingness to tackle difficult issues, problem-solving skills and work ethic, make her an ideal candidate for Village President. We are proud to support her."

Sue Foran, Campaign Team Member

"I have had the honor and privilege of working alongside Patty for many, many years; working in solidarity four our schools and our community.

Patty puts her heart and soul into everything she attaches herself to and I have full faith that she will do the same when she becomes the president of River Forest. I am thrilled to endorse her."

Dionna Plywacz

"I am supporting Patty Henek because change can become stagnant with the same people in charge. I think the Village is doing good, but new ideas and a fresh approach is needed. If the last six months have taught us anything with COVID-19, and social justice issues, change is not always welcomed but it just might be the thing we need to move a little farther ahead. Patty Henek has proven that she is not always going to say yes, but she will ask the right questions before coming to a conclusion on issues that affect all of us."

Iris Zaldivar

"I wholeheartedly endorse Patty Henek for Village President. She is passionate and committed to moving our Village forward. Patty looks at every issue with careful focus. She has worked on issues keeping in mind what is best for our beloved village and our neighbors. I know that she will voice her opinion with integrity and intelligence. In these times of trouble and pandemic, I would not trust anyone more than Patty to guide us through to the future."