I went to the village board meeting recently to hear the staff’s recommendations about affordable/inclusionary housing in Oak Park. I’m glad I did. Before public comments and the staff’s recommendation, Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb made some introductory remarks about feasibility and balance. They seemed to be well received. However, there was a phrase that he used several times that bothers me. He said we shouldn’t do something “to feel good” or “just to feel good.”

I don’t think that is the issue. Affordable/inclusionary housing is a moral issue and an important one for diversity in Oak Park. I could give many statements, local and international, that proclaim this imperative. But I won’t. I will just say that affordable/inclusionary housing is not icing on a “good” deal cake.  

Affordable/inclusionary housing is the cake. 

Wayne Vanek

Oak Park

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