You may know Ravi Parakkat as the founder of the Takeout 25 Oak Park initiative that has creatively leveraged social media to help sustain our local restaurants through the pandemic. What you may not know about Ravi is that he is an engineer focused on digital transformation in industries including manufacturing, financial services and energy.

Ravi’s award-winning work in Ontario, which has made energy more affordable by implementing data and technology in innovative ways, is an example of what he does best. He brings a technology vision for our community to address some of our most pressing challenges. 

Ravi is also an MBA, and has managed businesses big and small. His efforts to implement financial transparency in banking after the 2008 financial crisis remain a part of our financial system to this day. With these experiences, he would bring fiscal responsibility, transparency and discipline to the village board, essential skills to address our budgetary challenges that will result from the pandemic.

Vicki Scaman has a far-reaching resume of accomplishments and service in Oak Park. She seems to have done it all: chair of the Liquor Control Review Board, Township grant coordinator, OP-RF Chamber Board member, business manager, nonprofit executive director … the list goes on. Of course, her experience as village clerk means she knows a thing or two about government transparency, something she is deeply passionate about.

Vicki believes in taxing bodies working together for efficiency, avoiding silos that can be counter-productive. As a creative thinker and an active listener, she knows that embracing inclusion and the diversity of our viewpoints can be something positive, not negative, in setting us on the journey to real change.

Both Ravi and Vicki made an eager effort to contact me as chair of the Civic Information Systems Commission regarding what we had been planning to investigate for 2021 and beyond. I appreciate that they understand it requires an active interaction between a village board and commissions to get results. 

Let’s elect Ravi for Village Trustee and Vicki for Village President to help us realize an equitable, sustainable and affordable Oak Park.

David Baker, Chair, Civic Information Systems Commission

Join the discussion on social media!