We write to offer our strong support for the Unite Oak Park team running for the Oak Park Village Board. These three candidates, Ravi Parakkat, Stephen Morales and Lucia Robinson, are exactly what Oak Park needs at this moment. They bring expertise, experience, judgment, and diversity of background, perspectives, and talents. This team also recognizes that the future of our village requires careful attention to multiple pressing priorities and constituencies. Unite Oak Park is focused on the right issues, including:

•      Progressing further toward equity

•      Controlling property tax growth and seeking revenue streams that don’t further burden taxpayers

•      Building stronger, functional relationships within the village board

•      Supporting local small businesses 

•      Reimagining public safety without defunding our excellent police department

With respect to the latter point, we urge a resounding “No” vote on the advisory referendum to “defund” the Oak Park police. Especially with recent data on rising crime in the village during 2020, a clear message is needed that reducing support for our police is exactly the wrong policy. In contrast, we urge building on the sophisticated appreciation of the Unite Oak Park team about how our police can enhance their successful current collaboration with local mental health resources like Thrive.

Finally, we express our profound appreciation and gratitude for the service of Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb and his many accomplishments over the past eight years.

Mark & Evelyn Segal, Oak Park

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