I am proud to support the three candidates for Village Trustee who are most able to bring civility, experience and intellectual firepower to the challenges they will face over the next four years. They are Ravi Parakkat, Lucia Robinson, and Stephen Morales, who have formed the “Unite Oak Park” slate.

In contrast to the inexperience of their opponents, these candidates will immediately bring their past involvement in local government to the table.

As just one example, Stephen chaired the village board’s important Citizens Advisory Committee, which recommended how to allocate the $280,000 Community Development Block Grant received from the federal government. Professionally, his firm consults with, and serves various health-care agencies.

Ravi serves with distinction on the Village’s Energy and Environment Commission, and is a founding member of the Oak Park Climate Action Planning Team. He is also a specialist and consultant in energy efficiency, working with governments and businesses around the world. Locally, he founded TakeOut25, an innovative fundraiser which supported local restaurants and was then duplicated in other Midwestern towns. The Wednesday Journal honored him by naming him one of its “Villagers of the Year.”

Their academic records are impressive. Lucia graduated from Oak Park’s Ascension School and is an alumna of Bryn Mawr College and the DePaul School of Law. An attorney, her advocacy skills will be an asset in negotiating proposed housing developments.

Stephen received his undergraduate diploma from MIT; his MBA from Duke University specialized in the health-care field. Ravi’s undergraduate concentration was Industrial Engineering, followed by an MBA in Finance and Marketing.

Their banner is their promise. “Unite Oak Park … Let’s work together!”

Galen Gockel, Village trustee, 2001-2005

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