I feel greatly privileged to endorse Lisa Gillis for River Forest Village Trustee. Our world, as fragile as can be, changed dramatically a year ago. What perseveres are the people with the drive to care for others’ well-being and possess professionalism to make the right decisions. Everybody needs people who care, not because their job requires them to. Lisa is one of them.

My family and I were residents of Oak Park for 12 years, where we were close to neighbors on our block. We wouldn’t have been so sad to leave them during our relocation to River Forest if we knew that we are getting not just a new block, but the whole neighborhood from Chicago to Division, and Thatcher to Forest, who all want to know you. For the diverse community that we are trying to build, it is really important that people feel they have a home base here, a place where they feel accepted no matter what. Lisa’s family’s housewarming gift was at the door when we had just arrived. She is a founder of the Keystone Triangle Neighborhood Association, which has existed for more than 20 years. The association organizes the annual block party and contributes to a progressive dinner event, which are both great fun.

You turn to neighbors for support, a critical extension of your family support. You ask your neighbors when your roof leaks or your dog needs a sitter. If neighboring families are not communicating, the support system falters. Having Lisa elected would mean that we chose the leaders who proactively reach out to others. If you want to have a trustee who is accessible and listens, Lisa is your choice.

Strong community is the foundation of successful social recovery after pandemic. This will help our businesses along Lake and Madison streets, and is a prerequisite to financial recovery. Having been in the advertising business for over 30 years, Lisa became very comfortable with the quickly evolving nature of operations. She became a member of the Oak Park-River Forest Infant Welfare Society, where she was recently put in charge of marketing on their board. 

Her voice will be invaluable to village solutions on how to attract new local businesses. There will be a lot of decisions to be made after the pandemic. If you want a person with heart and knowledge, vote for Gillis!

Elizaveta Benevolenskaya, River Forest

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