I want to congratulate and thank Oak Park's village trustees for acting on their convictions and approving the Comcast project, making the right decision for Oak Park in the face of intense pressure. This long-term commitment to a significant and highly meritorious affordable housing project is an important statement about who we are as a community.
My wife and I moved to Oak Park 23 years ago, in large part because it was important to us to raise our children in a diverse and welcoming community. Our children are now young adults, and one of the things of which we are most proud is their respect for, and lack of prejudice towards, others who are different from them. We think that growing up in Oak Park has had a lot to do with developing that attitude toward the world.
Every generation has its own battles to fight, but there is also a common thread. While we still have a long way to go, we have come a long way toward overcoming prejudice in our own time. Decisions like this move us further along that track, and that is of fundamental importance.
I have spent my professional career representing people who live in poverty. I have seen the effect that prejudice and fear have in diminishing their opportunity to lead meaningful and productive lives. I have also seen how people can overcome their fears and prejudices when confronted with new realities.
In time I believe that the great majority of people who live in the neighborhood will come around and appreciate that not only was the Comcast project the right thing to do, but that it has contributed positively to their neighborhood and helped to maintain Oak Park as a vibrant community.