In hyper-partisan Oak Park, I never thought I needed a political sign out on the front lawn in support of a particular candidate. I’ve been a Democrat since I was 6 years old, when my father took me to a Kennedy rally at the Teaneck Armory, just days before the 1960 election. Dad also was a volunteer for the local JFK campaign committee in Englewood, New Jersey. Surprisingly, my parents were the only Democrats in a family of Irish Catholics for decades. Regardless, there is an altered Biden sign outside.

I’ve altered it because there is another name on the sign: State Senator Don Harmon. I’ve received questions and comments from my neighbors on why I have covered up the senator’s name with duct tape.

Like other people in Oak Park, Illinois’ 39th District, and throughout the state, I have issues with Sen. Harmon. Some of those issues include his effectiveness in resolving the state budget crisis, including public pension reform, and especially his efforts as part of the Democratic Party leadership to rebuff attempts to include a referendum on a ballot to establish an independent mapping commission for voting districts.

Regarding that last issue, despite the federal intrusion by the Trump administration, the results of this year’s U.S. Census will be used for redrawing voting districts throughout the state. Without a referendum or legislation after this Census, the redistricting of Illinois will continue under the current procedures and partisan gerrymandering orchestrated in part by Don Harmon.

But that is not the reason I obscured Don Harmon’s name on the yard sign. My simple reason is that Sen. Harmon is not even on the ballot! Really, he was re-elected to the State Senate in 2018 for another four-year term. Why distract attention from the Biden/Harris ticket? There won’t be another vote on Don Harmon until 2022, so why is he on the signs now?

He’s no longer on the one in my yard.

Chris Donovan

Oak Park

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