I have known Anthony Clark for the last six years and have worked with him closely for four of those years in bringing a robust racial equity policy, procedures and accountability process to Oak Park and River Forest High School. Of course these developments required strong leadership and commitment from board members and district administrators, but Anthony’s support as a teacher and citizen leader of the Suburban Unity Alliance in collaboration with APPLE, the Committee for Equity and Excellence in Education, and other racial equity groups and allies in District 97 and across Oak Park and River Forest was essential for this success.
The direction taken by our schools is long overdue in village government. As a trustee, Anthony, with allied candidates Chibuike Enyia and Juanta Griffin, will make this happen. Unlike the majority of current trustees, he will ensure that village of Oak Park makes the same equity commitment our schools have made.
As a racial equity advocate, I have also joined in participating in shaping the Community Relations Commission’s Governing for Racial Equity recommendations, but the village still has no Race and Equity Policy. Oak Park’s new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement, adopted with disconcerting reluctance from our current board president and some trustees, articulates a powerful vision and core values, but is troubling in that the statement requires no action or accountability. It lacks clear goals, plans, timetables or public reporting on progress.
Anthony, in collaboration with Enyia and Griffin, have a two-year plan to adopt and implement a racial equity policy that involves all members of our community, with the assurance that those most harmed by existing inequities will be engaged in policy adoption and implementation.
Anthony has stood with our community and advocated for immigrant rights, worked in collaboration with our Austin neighbors to reduce violence, and guided and protected our youth who have asked for reforms in Oak Park policing. He has consistently aided and comforted those suffering from systemic inequities in Oak Park and the surrounding area. He is an intelligent, compassionate, charismatic, and articulate African-American military veteran, and home grown in Oak Park. As a future trustee, he is a visionary in our best traditions who will help all of us live up to Oak Park’s professed ideals.
For all these reasons, please join me in voting for Anthony Clark for Village Trustee on April 6.
John Duffy, Oak Park