I am voting for Ravi Parakkat on April 6 and I urge you to do the same. Here’s why: Once the campaign rhetoric dies down, trustees have two basic and interconnected tasks: working with staff to develop and then approve the village budget and providing unified and actionable direction to the village manager. Ravi has demonstrated that he has the skills to take on both these tasks. By developing TakeOut 25, he demonstrated that he understands budgets and how fiscal information can drive decisions. He used data to create a problem-solving approach that engaged thousands of people around a common goal. He showed that he understands a budget is a moral, policy document. That’s leadership.

Ravi was recently named, without his knowledge or consent, in a flyer encouraging a “No” vote on the defund police referendum, which led to quick social media judgments without fact checking. When Ravi and I talked about this, the conversation turned to Ravi’s belief that social media can be a positive tool for community engagement. He was unwavering in his conviction that trustees need to use every strategy feasible to reach out, solicit opinions, and share information. A negative experience is simply a problem to be addressed, a process to be improved. He understands that before providing direction to the manager, every trustee needs to listen with humility — to the community, staff, and other trustees. Only then can one cull the best from all the ideas provided, and work to reach agreement on how to move forward — no matter how difficult the issue. 

This is good governance. This is Ravi. This is why I am voting for him on April 6. 

Colette Lueck, Former Oak Park trustee

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