We’re fortunate to have two women running for Oak Park Village President. Both have integrity and extensive community experience. Whoever’s elected will be a big step forward.

I’m endorsing Cate Readling because she’s an amazing community organizer who works tirelessly for social and racial justice. She values action and connection and gets things done. Her approach to participatory budgeting and progressive revenues will result in shared benefits and savings for the entire village. And Oak Park is ready for its first woman of color as village president.

Cate is welcoming and inclusive. I first learned about her 10 years ago when local parents organized an alternative scouting troop, outside the Boy Scouts of America, due to its discriminatory policies. We had scouts and leaders of different sexual orientations, gender identities, races, abilities, and beliefs about religion. Meanwhile, Cate co-founded a different troop — Oak Park Scouts for Equality — working for change from inside the BSA. She rose through leadership, joined others advocating for full inclusion, and eventually prevailed when BSA agreed to allow LGBT youth, then girls, to participate.

Five years ago, I worked with Cate to get local government entities to engage in racial equity training. I’ve since witnessed her work on so many campaigns such as advocating for racially diverse teachers, proposing equity policies and door-knocking to turn out progressive voters.

Last summer, she worked alongside Black community leaders to help organize 1000 people to participate in the “#WalkTheWalk” peace march from Oak Park through Austin to foster cross-community connections and multiracial solidarity.

She’s deeply committed to inclusive justice — all kinds of justice for all kinds of people. You don’t have to rely on campaign promises — she’s already proven many times over her deep commitment to so many progressive causes.

Cate has a big vision and a huge heart. She’s a super-mom — a mother of four, active in our schools and community, her church, and the broader social justice movement. She’s compassionate, collaborative and competent.

Please join me in voting for Cate Reading for Village President.

Terry Keleher, Oak Park

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