The Committee to Support Oak Park Schools sincerely thanks the Oak Park community for approving the District 97 referendum on the April 5 ballot. This commitment to provide our schools with the revenue necessary to maintain many of our excellent programs, and to begin the process of making improvements, is truly inspiring.

This referendum has sparked an unparalleled interest, not only in education, but in what Oak Parkers value as a community. The vote to support our schools was a vote to invest in a strong future for our children, and to protect the quality of life that residents of Oak Park appreciate.

We realize that, for many voters, supporting the referendum was not an easy choice. The current economic climate makes even a modest increase in property taxes difficult for many residents. Despite these very real challenges, our community voted decisively in favor of the referendum.

For many, this was an opportunity to take a closer look at the finances, administration and curriculum in our schools. We hope this level of attention leads to increased involvement from our entire community. We look forward to continued dialogue about the future of Oak Park schools, and the sharing of ideas for how to improve them.

Finally, to the hundreds of volunteers who worked tirelessly in support of the referendum, this simply could not have happened without you. The overwhelming effort to inform voters about the issues, build awareness of what was at stake and to motivate registered voters to go to the polls on Election Day were only possible with your help. The campaign involved volunteers from North Avenue to Roosevelt Road, from Austin to Harlem, whose ages ranged from 18 to well over 65.

Not only did those efforts lead to the approval of the referendum, but voter turnout rates in Oak Park were double the suburban Cook County average. Your work and your vote counted.

This issue was a personal one for each and every voter, and for that we thank Oak Park for voting yes. Thank you for your commitment to our schools and our future.

The Committee to Support Oak Park Schools
(Submitted by Jassen Strokosch)

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