More of a watchdog than a follower

Opinion: Columns

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John Bokum

I would like to thank the Wednesday Journal for referring to me as "a kind and sincere OPRF board follower. Not!

As a watchdog for both Oak Park and River Forest community residents, I have attended over 50 monthly board meetings over the last five years while the other 12 District 200 school board candidates have just showed up at meetings since January. Over the past five years, I have actively spoken out against the yearly D200 tax levy, supported a quick resolution to the frivolous TIF lawsuit between D200 and the village of Oak Park, supported the move to close the OPRF High School campus for underclassmen, which has resulted in a dramatic drop in disciplinary infractions and a rise in academic achievement, spoken out at board forums in support of the Collaboration for Early Childhood and the $2.4 million tax abatement, both of which were passed at the February board meeting.

Other issues I have raised over the past five years include implementation of a new cellphone policy; creating a new position, Student Assistant Plan, that would incorporate both prevention and intervention with substance abuse; addressing the current achievement gap for all students by implementing a new reading program; expanding the tutoring program and introducing a strong mentoring program for those students in need of basic life skills.

So I am not just a kind, sincere OPRF board follower but a mover and a shaker, willing to stand up for "Those Thing That are Best" for OPRF and the residents of Oak Park and River Forest.

Vote for John Bokum on April 9.

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