By Anna Lothson
For those unable to make it to the community forum hosted by Village President Anan Abu-Taleb and Trustee Bob Tucker, Wednesday Journal has you covered.
Covered live, to be more accurate. Starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, village government reporter Anna Lothson will be live-blogging the forum from the Oak Park Public Library (834 Lake St.). For those who can't attend the forum, feel free to log onto OakPark.com a bit early, submit your questions via the live blog, and we'll try to relay them to Abu-Taleb and Tucker. Questions can also be sent via email to Anna@oakpark.com.
This forum is the first of its kind for Abu-Taleb and fulfills a campaign promise by him. With hopes of creating a more casual, interactive dialogue with the stakeholders in town, the village president hopes people come ready to talk.
"It's really a listening session," Abu-Taleb said in a recent interview. "It's a much more informal way of hearing what the residents want to say. That way we can take the conversations to the board and keep those conversations moving forward."
Abu-Taleb said he's counting on residents to show up and tell him what the village leaders need to hear. He hopes this type of dialogue can spark new conversations and bring about change faster.
Tucker, another advocate of reaching out to the community, said these forums are a way to capture what's really happening in Oak Park and what residents really want to see. He also hopes people come to the forum with constructive concerns and questions that address the "big picture" items in town.
Read more about the forum here: Oak Park village president kicks off community forums
Note: This article has been updated to reflect that this forum is the first of its kind for Anan Abu-Taleb. As pointed out by a trustee and a reader, this is not the first townhall meeting for recent village presidents or trustees. Specifically, village board members participated in three townhall meetings while David Pope was village president. Members of the village board have also participated in block walks and commnity outreach events such as the Oak Park Farmers Market. Block walks, in fact, started with Trustee Ray Johnson.