When Leslie Knope from NBC’s Parks and Recreation said, “If I seem too passionate, it’s because I care. And if I come on strong, it’s because I feel strongly. If I push too hard, it’s because things aren’t happening fast enough,” she was absolutely talking about Cate Readling. 

Cate and Leslie have the following five things in common, too: 

1. They’re dedicated. We alluded to it above, but Cate doesn’t sleep if there’s work to be done. And when she works, she works tirelessly. The open joke is that she knows everyone in Oak Park because she’s involved in, as she says, “all the things.” She thrives in situations where she has new people to meet, brains to storm and conversations to be had. 

2. They care about their towns. These last few weeks, we’ve watched certain people launch baseless attacks on Cate’s credibility. She doesn’t need four years in the dysfunction of village hall to prove she can be a leader in Oak Park. She’s been doing it for years, on the ground working with people to get things done because she loves it here — and she wants to make it better. 

3. They form great teams. Working with Cate has been a gift to us because she genuinely cares about what we think. She keeps us focused on what’s really important. She delegates. And she trusts us. There is no reason to believe she wouldn’t do this with every member of the village board and beyond.

4. They are enthusiastic. If you’ve ever met Cate, you will remember because she will hug you and tell you she loves you. And she means it. Her enthusiasm and passion extend to things most important to her, whether it’s equity and inclusion, or fair housing and sustainability. She works hard to amplify all voices. 

5. They run for office. When Leslie Knope said, “Let’s break out a map. Not the old, out-of-date one that shows where we’ve been, but a crisp new one that shows where we might go. Let’s embark on a new journey together, and see where it takes us,” she was definitely talking about Cate. Join us on this new journey and vote for Cate Readling for Oak Park Village President on April 6.

Abbey Lewis & Autumn Hamer , Oak Park

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