It’s almost Christmas, but candidates have their sights firmly fixed on next April. With the deadline to file candidacy petitions past, the village of Oak Park’s candidate roster has 13 people vying for office.
With incumbent Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb not seeking re-election, Oak Park residents will choose one of four candidates to become the next village president. In the running is Park District of Oak Park part-time employee and community activist Cate Readling, Village Clerk Vicki Scaman, and current village board trustees Dan Moroney and Simone Boutet.
Oak Park’s village board election will likely be a tough fight with seven vying for three open trustee spots. Candidates include first-term trustee Deno Andrews seeking re-election, as well as community activist and teacher Anthony Clark, backed by Represent Oak Park along with candidates Juanta Griffin and Chibuike Enyia. Griffin is the multicultural learning outreach coordinator for the Oak Park Public Library and Enyia, a small business owner, is a first-generation Nigerian immigrant and graduate of Oak Park and River Forest High School.
Other candidates running for trustee include three aligned with Boutet. On the slate with the village presidential hopeful are lawyer Lucia Robinson, digital and sustainability consultant Ravi Parakkat, and Stephen Morales, a health care consultant. Morales is the chair of the village’s Community Development Citizen Advisory Committee and both Morales and Parakkat serve on the Environment and Energy Commission. Parakkat also created “Take Out 25 Oak Park” to support local restaurants hurting from COVID-19 sanctions.
Oak Park residents will have two candidates to choose from for village clerk in April. Deputy Village Clerk Christina Waters is running to replace Scaman, as is Lou Anne Johannesson, an administrative assistant in Oak Park Elementary School District 97 and executive assistant with the Intergovernmental Body of the Village of Oak Park (IGOV).