I want to be your Oak Park Village Trustee because I remember as a young person hearing a speech by John F. Kennedy in which he stated, "My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you: Ask what you can do for your country." I took that to heart and decided to live that out. I have a long history of community involvement and advocacy during the 30 years I have lived in Oak Park:
? As a member of the village's Citizen Involvement Commission, from 1987-1990, and a member of the Community Safety Neighborhood Watch Commission.
? As a current member of the District 200 School Improvement Plan (SIP) and a three-year member of the Citizen's Council at OPRFHS.
? As co-President of APPLE (African American Parents Purposeful Leadership in Education) since 2000.
? As a literacy volunteer at OPRFHS, I have mentored students in photography and helped facilitate professional internships for them.
? As a volunteer at West Suburban PADS
? As co-Founder of American Women of Oak Park
I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the Mississippi Valley State University and I now work as a free-lance photographer for a number of companies including Clear Channel Radio and Chicago Defender News.
I moved to Oak Park, as many of us do, in search of a better quality of life. Oak Park has been a great place to live?#34;a very special place. But now our village faces some critical challenges: Housing prices are rising so high that homeownership is becoming unaffordable. The needs of small businesses are not being met and many are leaving the village. Our village board has become out of touch with the community it was elected to serve. As a renter, I can understand and represent those who are often left out of the equation when Oak Park development issues are discussed. Our community needs affordable housing if Oak Park's unique character is going to survive. As your trustee I will support the following:
? Accountability, openness and efficiency in government
? Revitalizing the commissions and committees
? Returning our village board to a policy making body that directs the village manager to carry out our decisions
? Affordable housing
? Economic development for all businesses, especially small, home-grown businesses
Please go to the polls and vote for the New Leadership Party (Bob Milstein for president; Geoff Baker, Martha Brock and Greg Marsey for trustee; and Sharon Patchak-Layman for clerk). We must clearly send a message and to do that, I need your help and support at the polls on Tuesday, Election Day, April 5, 2005.