This is the moment when in other years we were likely despairing over the lack of competitive races for local village government boards, school boards, park boards.

“Whither democracy?” might have been our staple deadline.

But not this year. Not as the filing deadline has just passed. Not as the calendar flips to 2019 and eggnog and champagne give way to debates and discussions among a bumper crop of candidates for most every office up for grabs come April.

How to explain this abundance of candidates? We could thank Donald Trump for reminding us that elections have consequences, that democracy is worth putting yourself out for, and maybe especially close to home. We can point to intense, and not conflicting, concerns about finally taking bold action on equity in our schools and villages while also being frustrated with property taxes that are just too high. We can point to debates in Oak Park and River Forest about just what too high or too dense means when it comes to new buildings and how more intense development can be a partial answer to rising taxes. 

Whatever the combination of reasons, it is gratifying to see so many of our neighbors step up to offer themselves in service.

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