I enthusiastically endorse Cate Readling for President of the village of Oak Park. My respect for Cate as a progressive leader developed in the context of fighting on the same side for important social, economic and racial equity issues in Oak Park. I first met Cate around four years ago, when hundreds of Oak Parkers filled village hall to protest the attempt by the village to opt out of the Cook County ordinance giving essential workers two weeks paid sick leave and a $13 per hour minimum wage.
While Anan and other board members were meeting secretly with the Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce to plot how to oppose this critical worker-friendly county ordinance, Cate was helping mobilize and speak out against this nonsense. Just think of the consequences to essential workers and public health at large of not having paid sick leave during a pandemic, if Anan and the Chamber had prevailed.
Cate has been there in the fight for economic and racial equity and can show receipts. She was there when you needed an ally in the fight for Fair and Affordable Housing, to help pass an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance. She also has the vision to help change this ordinance for the better. She was there, and still is, when you need an articulate local leader to fight defunding the Oak Park Housing Center.
Cate was there at Live Café as a lead organizer of the phone banks trying to pass the Fair Tax Amendment. This progressive state income tax, which won by 72% in Oak Park, would have provided much needed funding for districts 97 and 200 and property tax relief for Oak Parkers.
She always brings the focus of a racial equity lens; the core values of social, racial and economic justice; and an incredibly connected network of community leaders from her years of leadership in outreach with the park district. In each of these campaigns, she has been a strong, courageous leader. Most importantly, she always brings an abiding love for Oak Park and a strong vision of the more just and equitable community we can become.
Henry Fulkerson, Oak Park