“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” (Albert Einstein).

I challenge Wednesday Journal’s position that if the incumbents’ slate is appointed, we will have the necessary skill and representation at the table to bridge our gaps and mend our governmental relationships. If we are to move forward, we cannot continue with organizational silos and racially/economically homogenous boards that make decisions on behalf of our vastly diverse village. 

Guarino and Aeschleman have shown similar skill sets during their terms, advocating for our athletic activities and facilities. While those programs have progressed, many of our residents have been left behind. Porreca, arguably, has a different skill set; however, as principal in another school district, I question whether she will be available for some of the important collaborative work at hand.

The potential of the Oak Park community is greater than we have shown so far. We have significant gaps in services, participation, and in other areas such as achievement. We lack a collaborative, inclusive, and representative effort. In 2014, 70% of Oak Park households were not served by park district programming. This includes 93% of our elders, 84% of adults, 66% of teens (12-17), 50% of infant/pre-K, and 17% of youth (5-11).

I bring to the table current collaborations with many community organizations, focused on community strengthening through collective efforts. Organizations dedicated to children/teens, elders, the environment, wellness, arts, science and academic equity, just to name a few. 

By using our community resources more effectively, we can involve more families in what the village has to offer without expending unnecessary tax dollars.

Qiana Carswell

Oak Park

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