As a person who grew up in another country, and then moved to the U.S. to work, Ravi Parakkat has significant experience working with people across many cultures to achieve common goals. Ravi knows the value of working with people from different backgrounds, who bring a variety of experiences and viewpoints. He knows that working with people from distinct cultural or ethnic groups is important for a high-functioning, diverse community. 

To do this, a person must be skilled in really listening to people; they need to listen for the meaning beyond the words spoken. I have personally experienced this kind of thoughtful discussion and listening with Ravi regarding the needs of our community, and the broader community around Oak Park.

Through my own work in international development and U.S. refugee resettlement, and my time working overseas, I have come to more greatly appreciate what it means to be an outsider and the effort it takes to join a new society, while also honoring one’s own culture. 

In addition to Ravi’s own inclusion in the U.S. and his professional experiences managing diversity, he helped to build bridges for his spouse Amy and their daughters to fully integrate with his family in India. This experience in multiculturalism has been part of his personal journey and the transferable skills apply to work in Oak Park. I appreciate his commitment to multiculturalism and its value.

I believe that Ravi’s transferrable experience across cultures, business skills, and his direct volunteer experience as an appointed commissioner with the village’s Environment and Energy Commission make him an excellent candidate for village trustee. We need people who will listen to, and respect, all voices, generate creative approaches to solve problems that also make both social and financial sense, and work to unify our community. I see him as a person who can do this tenfold. 

He has that rare combination of compassion, intelligence, creativity, and a desire for justice. He is exactly the kind of person that I hope to see on our Village Board of Trustees. I encourage you to vote, and I encourage you to support Ravi Parakkat for trustee.

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