Yesterday, some fellow Oak Parkers and I hosted a virtual house party for the Represent Oak Park candidates for Village Board Trustee, and it was a great chance to hear Juanta Griffin stand up for renters in our community, Anthony Clark literally out on the streets building the community fridge while talking to us, and listen to Chibuike Enyia’s passion for ensuring that Oak Park is a place for everyone to live with safety and dignity.

When Juanta speaks, you get the genuine, informed voice of a woman who rents and works in her community. Her depth of knowledge and experience bring the perspective that our village board sorely needs if we are going to solve problems like equitable housing and regressive taxes.

Anthony, as it’s been said, is Oak Park. Anytime there is an important or difficult challenge at hand, from making sure elderly Oak Parkers get their walks shoveled to taking on white supremacy in our community’s systems, Anthony is there, to be brave, to not mince words, and to walk the proverbial progressive and inclusive walk that we strive to walk as a village.

Every time I listen to Chibuike, speak I hear a deep love for Oak Park, and a longing to make it a community that feels like home to everyone. His story of growing up in Oak Park and working with his wife to be able to raise their own kids here is the story that informs a leader who is dedicated to seeing small businesses and citizens alike through tough challenges like this past pandemic year, and to creating a community that offers safety and dignity to all.

Juanta, Anthony, and Chibuike offer brave, bold leadership. Their approaches to our village’s issues have the important, lived sense of urgency for racial equity and a deep love for Oak Park that will contribute to a more fair and just community for all of us. They are leaders who will bring the board, other Oak Park entities, and citizens together to cooperate and build an Oak Park that belongs to everyone.

Jenny Jocks Stelzer, Oak Park

Join the discussion on social media!