OPTA endorses Barber, Tortorice and Newberry Schwartz

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The Oak Park Teachers Association?#34;the union for certified Oak Park elementary school teachers?#34;have endorsed Peter Barber, Kathryn Tortorice and incumbent Carolyn Newberry Schwartz in the April 5 election for the District 97 Board of Education.

"The OPTA Endorsement Committee believes that these candidates have the best understanding of the current school funding issues, the broadest vision for the academic mission of our school community, the clearest understanding of the role of the Board of Education, and the strongest commitment to recognizing both the achievements of the certified staff and the challenges facing them," reads a statement from Jim Gates, OPTA president.

Nothing more specific on candidates will be offered, Gates said.

The selection was made by a seven-member committee, open to all OPTA members. Committee members read about candidates in local newspapers and attended last week's League of Women Voters' candidate forum at Irving School. Gates gave teachers a chance to weigh in on the selections before a statement was made to the press.

Gates said teachers deserve a voice in elections.

"We're simply exercising our own political rights," he said. "It's what makes democracy as great as it is."

This was not the first election for which the union made endorsements, Gates said.

Robinson's hosts OP 1st fundraiser

Charlie Robinson of Robinson's No.1 Ribs, 940 Madison St., will host a fundraiser for the Oak Park First Candidates on Friday, April 1. The event will start at 6:30 p.m. and everyone is welcome.

Robinson will provide food and beverages and an intimate opportunity to meet with the candidates.

A donation of $25 per person is suggested. For more information, to make a reservation, or to volunteer for the campaign call the campaign office at 848-4830.
?#34;Drew Carter

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