My name is Lou Anne Johannesson, and I am asking for your vote for Oak Park Village Clerk on April 6.
The role of the Clerk is to ensure the public has full, easy, and equitable access to their government. I understand complex municipal governance here in Oak Park and have put that knowledge to work in our community for many years. My passion for Oak Park, work ethic, and attention to detail ensure nothing is overlooked. In addition to growing up as well as raising my family in Oak Park, my 18 years with District 97, extensive experience with citizen committees and elected boards developed a deep reserve of experience to manage the Office of Village Clerk.
I am offering to serve the public without any affiliation to any candidate and have run without affiliation to any slate or any other candidate in this election. I firmly believe that independence in the role of clerk is vital and serves as a check on the village board. In my current roles for D97 and IGOV, I perform the same duties as the Office of Clerk; record-keeping, enforcement, monitoring of the Open Meetings Act, organizing meetings, support of citizen-led committees, and acting as a centralized point of information.
Transparency is key to the Clerk’s Office. Transparency to me means honesty through communication. Transparency is the government’s obligation to share information in a timely and thorough manner with the public. To that extent, it is the primary responsibility of the clerk, as the official record-keeper of the village to provide that transparency. I plan to be independent of the board and to strictly focus on the needs of the people of Oak Park. I see the village clerk not as a political position, but as a position that brings support to the people of Oak Park.
I have worked with our Facilities Advisory Committee, Financial Oversight Committee, and our Family Engagement Committee. I have worked for nine years with the D97 CLAIM Committee. We have worked on ideas and legislation developing equity and restorative justice policies, met with legislators in support of or opposition to legislation affecting our district, and hosted the annual Legislators Forum providing a meaningful event between our state legislators, community partners working on behalf of kids and families, and the public who could speak directly to legislators in a town hall-style format. We worked with legislators on Senate Bill 100, which was passed to implement student discipline reforms. I brought the students responsible for that legislation, from the group VOYCE, to Oak Park for a powerful evening where we learned the origin of the journey that ultimately resulted in significant legislation that changed the lives of students.
I have made a difference in our community through my ability to organize information and ensure that groups communicate and achieve shared goals. I am asking for your vote to continue to serve this wonderful community, to move forward with meaningful change for all.