Meet candidate David Pope, as husband, father

Opinion

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Many of you will have a chance to talk with my husband, David Pope, in the run-up to our April 5 local elections. You may ask him about his vision for our community, about what he would do as village president, and about what differentiates him from his two opponents. And I'm sure that you will hear from David about his vision for honest, open, responsible local government that builds upon the strengths of our community's core values.

What you are unlikely to hear, though, is what David is like as a husband and as a father. I think it is these two roles that exemplify the values by which David lives his life and that provide real insight into how he would help lead our village.

I met David over a decade ago. We were each studying for our MBA degrees, but we met through our interest in nonprofits. He was one year ahead of me, having returned from nearly three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand, and then having worked to support the creation of urban Enterprise Zones in Philadelphia. Through our involvement with Northwestern's Public and Nonprofit organization, we worked together to establish a Loan Forgiveness program, enabling recent graduates to put their skills to work immediately in the public and nonprofit sectors. Bringing leading management practices to the public and nonprofit sphere is something we both felt strongly about; we continue to believe this improves communities and the quality of peoples' lives. Working on a project like this with my future life partner, particularly when doing so over home-cooked Thai meals that David would bring, was a very romantic way to meet.

From that time on, David has always encouraged me in my own growth and reminded me of the greater vision for my work in serving poor families globally with microfinance. He has the uncanny ability to spot my propensity to move too quickly, and he is great at getting me to stay focused on the broader goal. In his work as a consultant, he relates well to his clients and is beloved for his sharp mind and good humor. As a village trustee, he has actively tried to lift others up and has encouraged good thinking and listening. Just as David has encouraged me, he has tried to encourage positive change for our village.

In recent years, I have seen the depth of David's caring heart reflected in his role as a parent. David and I began parenting later than our peers (I have more gray hair than most of the other parents). As partners, we juggle our work and volunteer schedules around our daughter's needs; she is fortunate to have quality and quantity time with both parents. David loves their Thursday music class; I expect our daughter will always connect the joy that she finds in music to this time with her father.

Service to the community, applying leading management practices, overcoming obstacles to achieve a greater good, and caring for people are consistently David's priorities and reflect how he lives his life. I believe in David's gifts, and I believe he can do a great job of unifying and leading Oak Park.

Beth Houle
Oak Park

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