I don’t see Cate Readling as having the kinds of experiences and fullness of vision we need in our next village president. She has never served on a commission, let alone been a trustee. I find that poor preparation to become village president. The eight years, two terms of our outgoing president, who proudly ran on his outsider status, certainly has given me an opinion on how electing someone with no governing experience has turned out for our community. 

I met Vicki when she represented the village on the Fair Housing at 50 Celebration Committee, and in that time have been nothing but impressed with her commitment to our community. She knows all the issues, the players (and the players behind the players) and equally important to me, has the kind of temperament we need going forward to lead and build coalitions at the board table, so our trustees can start working for us, instead of arguing amongst themselves. Given that three of our next trustees will be new to their role, a first for Oak Park, this ability to effectively lead, rather than only agitate against, has never been more crucial.

With Vicki Scaman, voters get a 360-degree candidate with no learning curve required. We get someone committed to racial equity, trained in restorative justice, and someone who has already worked to make Oak Park government more transparent for all (e.g. her protection of the FOIA process). We get someone who was asked by La Shawn Ford to organize the BLM march from Oak Park to the 15th District Police Station in Chicago last summer; we get someone who understands that “People before Developers” is a catchy slogan, but a false dichotomy. Lastly, we get someone who doesn’t believe we need to create “participatory government” because she knows we already have it (while also recognizing that the commission system is badly bruised and in need of repair and trust-building). 

As we work to come out of COVID challenges and all the other issues facing us, I do think that experience matters, and Vicki Scaman has it. Please join me in voting for Vicki.

Deborah Wess, Oak Park

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