Oak Park activist Anthony Clark announced he is running for village trustee in a very short Facebook post Friday, Aug. 28. A quote attributed to Malcom X accompanied the announcement.
The quote reads: “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”
Beneath it, Clark simply wrote, “I am running for Oak Park Village Trustee.”
Clark is a familiar presence already at Oak Park village board meetings, often making public comments advocating for equity and police reform. He also founded Suburban Unity Alliance, a nonprofit formed to raise discrimination awareness of discrimination and promote equity, in 2016.
In a statement to Wednesday Journal, Clark stated he decided to run for trustee out of love for Oak Park.
“I am willing to utilize the love I have for this community to help drive out the hate in various forms that exists in this community,” he said. “This is a love that not only believes that Black Lives Matter; it’s a love that believes that each and every member of the Oak Park community deserves a fighter dedicated to ensuring to the best of their ability that no matter who you are, what you do, how much money you make, who you are with, and what part of town you live on, you have a community that you can love and you [can] believe that community loves you back.”
Clark has harbored political aspirations long before he announced his intention to run for village trustee. Earlier this year, Clark campaigned to represent Illinois’s 7th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, but lost to incumbent Danny K. Davis in the primary. Clark also tried to unseat Davis as representative two years ago.
Outside of politics, Clark teaches special education at Oak Park River Forest High School, where he founded the student hip hop and comedy clubs.
“This continued fight and my decision to run for village trustee,” Clark said, “has always been about the ideal that was coined years ago when diverse Oak Parkers joined me in the village streets in a call for change, more love and less hate!”