As we all know, COVID-19 has impacted us, our neighbors, and our community in unprecedented ways. From the struggles of our many small businesses, obtaining access to appropriate care and services, and confronting mental health challenges, we will need informed and collaborative leadership to pull us forward together. While River Forest and Oak Park are facing these challenges together, it is the willingness to say, “How can I help?” that really distinguishes leaders in our respective towns.

Stephen Morales is a unique candidate who can help our community do just that — he rolls up his sleeves and puts good ideas to work. He’s an engineer, health-care consultant, and business executive who has devoted his career to creating better outcomes for patients and their families. He also brings fresh thinking to help Oak Park and River Forest in this time when we will be emerging from the pandemic stronger and, hopefully, wiser. I have seen what he has done at the Center for Healthcare Innovation, an organization that is tackling the very challenging task of transforming health care. He and I have often talked about what transforming health care could mean for our communities. 

I most often interact with Stephen as a fellow board member at Thrive Counseling Center, which aims to build healthy minds, families, and communities by empowering people to attain mental and emotional well-being. At Thrive, Stephen and I worked together to make sure our organization stays on task, providing the best care to our fellow neighbors in Oak Park and River Forest. I saw firsthand how his business acumen and health-care knowledge translated into real results for Thrive and our community. When we needed to make tough decisions, Stephen volunteered to lead the teams and to make sure that we measured the outcomes of our decisions.

He gives me confidence that he will be able to do the challenging work of controlling rising taxes and collaborating across borders.

Having worked with Stephen in the past and hearing directly from him about his many plans to bring recovery to our businesses and equity to our neighborhoods, I am pleased to support him in his campaign for Oak Park village trustee. I look forward to working with a new Oak Park Village Board that includes Stephen Morales.

Cathy Adduci, River Forest Village President

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