The candidates for village trustee — Ray Johnson, Adam Salzman and Bob Tucker — currently are engaged in many citizen conversations throughout Oak Park. We therefore are disappointed with the Wednesday Journal's criticism of our campaign's decision to participate in neutral forums, but not in a forum at which avowed political opponents, calling themselves the Citizens for Community Conversations, will be selecting and asking the questions [Hey VMA, just show up, Our Views, Feb. 9].
Voters will have many opportunities to meet and speak with Johnson, Salzman and Tucker, who are running as the Village Manager Association-endorsed Citizens for Accountable Leadership. They will be participating in several public forums sponsored and hosted by community groups. These include the Democratic Party of Oak Park's meet and greet (Maze Library, March 12, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.), the League of Women Voters' candidate fair (OPRF High School, March 19, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.), the Buzz Café's candidate forum (March 17, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.), and the Ascension candidate forum (Ascension Church, March 24, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.). And they are willing to consider participating in any other neutral forum.
Ray, Adam and Bob will also answer citizens' questions at a dozen or so coffees, and, most importantly, they've already been knocking on doors of Oak Park homes for several weeks. They will do so every week right through Election Day on April 5. Moreover, voters can also e-mail questions to info@VoteCAL.com.
Clearly these are not candidates who are "worried" about conversing with voters and answering their questions. Our candidates do want to spend their time having direct conversations with any and all voters and listening to their concerns. Voters don't need the leaders of the Citizens for Community Conversation to serve as an intermediary between our candidates and the voters.
We are also disappointed that your editorial neglected to mention that Village Citizens Alliance president, Gary Schwab, told your newspaper in November 2010 that, due to his group's inability to find their own candidates, they were announcing the creation of the Citizens for Community Conversation and offered the Village Citizens Alliance's assistance to any independent wanting to oppose our candidates [No Slate for VCA in April, News, Nov. 12].
As we mentioned in our letter to the Citizens for Community Conversation, Ray Johnson, Adam Salzman and Bob Tucker would be very pleased to participate in a forum moderated by our local press.
Jim Kelly and Lynn Kamenitsa
Campaign managers, Citizens for Responsible Leadership