Two stories this week reflecting the power and the grace of collaboration among local villages that have not previously been aligned.

On page one we celebrate the growth of Juneteenth as a new national holiday but one with a strong local history in Forest Park where Mayor Rory Hoskins, a native of Galveston, Texas, has championed its recognition for 14 years with the annual Juneteenth Pool Party.

This year the Juneteenth recognition grew exponentially with four towns — Forest Park, Broadview, Oak Park and River Forest — jointly planning a West Villages Parade, Oak Park celebrating with a barbeque in Taylor Park, House Speaker Chris Welch hosting a Juneteenth Fathers’ Day barbeque, and Broadview capping off a three-day Juneteenth weekend with fireworks.

We also report this week on these same four villages signing on to the Cross-Community Climate Collaborative (C4). This critical work will focus shared local efforts on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and working together on other environmental projects.

This proposal was spearheaded by Katrina Thompson, the go-getter mayor of Broadview. And rightly, it reflects and acknowledges the equity issues that climate change imposes, particularly on communities of color and with lesser investment and incomes.

Our future is shared. From learning the lessons Juneteenth can teach us to taking on local responsibility for our climate, we will do better when we work together.

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