My first exposure to the work of our board was 21 years ago. My observations of board meetings and decisions since have too often included ongoing forms of misogyny and dismissal that do not serve our community well. As I look at the array of folks running for local office, I am seeking a few specific qualities that have been missing from the village of Oak Park Board of Trustees for some time. 

There are multiple forms of intelligence. I am looking for leaders who have a greater capacity for emotional intelligence (both interpersonal and intrapersonal) and linguistic intelligence. Our leaders need the capacity to communicate and work with a broad range of people and not just those like them. 

“Fool me once” … integrity matters. I am looking for leaders who walk the talk and don’t just say what we want to hear. 

The third one is hard to find. Strength and confidence are attractive qualities in leadership, but coupled with a lack of humility too often results in leadership unable and unwilling to recognize their own limitations, lacking the capacity to fully utilize our great resource of subject matter experts serving on commissions and committees and the lived experience of those they serve. 

Vicki Scaman, Juanta Griffin, and Christina Waters have the knowledge, skills, and experience to fulfill the respective positions of president, trustee, and clerk. I have worked with all three in various capacities and greatly appreciate the mature form of leadership and outcome focus they bring to any effort. All three have my vote because they exemplify the much-needed qualities of multiple intelligence, integrity, and humility. 

I urge you to vote for them, as well.  

Linda T. Francis, Oak Park

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