This is in response to the Wednesday Journal editorial titled, “The foundation leads” [Our Views, Viewpoints, Aug. 10]. We all wish the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation well and hope their new focus and mission helps area residents. Here is the link to the full editorial to learn more about the foundation and their good work:

Where WJ missed the mark was in their comment: “Central to this effort — and it mirrors the work of our own Growing Community Media nonprofit — is to pierce the bubble that Oak Park and River Forest have consciously created over decades.”

Maybe Wednesday Journal can look back into its own archives about our towns and offer two lists: one list of the “decades” of “conscious” policies that have created the “bubble” that needs to be “pierced” and a second list of all the positive, pioneering, and welcoming programs that Oak Park and River Forest have been a part of over the past several decades.

While each list may have entries, my bet is the list of positive and welcoming programs will be much longer if we care to look. Now that would be informative, local, and independent. It might not sell as many papers as suggesting the worst in people and our community, but at least it would set the record straight based upon facts.

Oak Park and River Forest are not perfect communities with perfect pasts, fact. And yes, we all can and should try to do better in our daily lives, fact. Yet I submit, and believe many others agree, that our communities have been on the forefront of progress for decades. We were a community where debate and ideas flourished with the goal of producing better outcomes for families. And this was before the word “inclusion” became the cornerstone of a multimillion-dollar industry which is anything but inclusive at times.

I am proud to have been raised in the OP-RF community and feel fortunate that my children have had the same opportunity. Of all the concerns or worries about Oak Park and River Forest, not having a welcoming and volunteering spirit does not make my top 10. The cancellation of diversity of thought, where true debate and creative solutions emerge, has recently risen to number one. Unfortunately, even our local, independent, nonprofit paper is willing to push such negativity, as long as it has an angle.

Ask yourself, honestly ask yourself, of all the Chicago suburbs near and far, when folks choose to move to Oak Park and River Forest to raise their families, do you think they are also “consciously” scheming to create “bubbles” and be exclusionary?

I believe the exact opposite is true. Enough is enough, Wednesday Journal; take your gaslighting someplace else and think about the entire picture and not just the one that seems politically popular that often feels like a carefully crafted social media scroll.

Ross Lissuzzo is a resident of River Forest.

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