Boutet announces slate for Oak Park village board elections

Three village trustee candidates join village presidential hopeful

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By Stacey Sheridan

Staff Reporter

Three Oak Park village trustee candidates have aligned with Trustee Simone Boutet in the April 2021 election by joining a slate with the village presidential hopeful. Called Unite Oak Park, the coalition was "formed to work together to eliminate board dysfunction and to respect diverse viewpoints around the community's most needs," according to an Oct. 18 press release.

The slate includes Energy and Environment commissioners Ravi Parakkat and Stephen Morales, who is also chair of the Community Development Citizen Advisory Committee. Attorney Lucia Robinson is also on the slate. 

"With many businesses in Oak Park struggling and many Oak Parkers recognizing divisiveness during board meetings, the coalition hopes to lay out its key pillars that will make an impact on the Oak Park community," the press release reads. 

 Those pillars include fostering economic recovery in our village, building trust in government, and creating equity for all villagers.

Unite Oak Park is hosting a launch event at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17 in Scoville Park, where the group will discuss their platform issues, as well as their views on Oak Park's challenges and opportunities. 

In accordance with local and state guidelines to prevent spread of COVID-19, no more than 50 people can attend the event. However, it will be streamed on Facebook Live. 

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Reader Comments

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Peter Bouchard  

Posted: October 15th, 2020 8:20 AM

There seems to be something about the concept of a "slate" - despite its stated goal of reducing conflict among Trustees and encouraging respect for diverse views - that is just the opposite: a group of like-minded individuals, despite their worthy goals, is not necessarily a step toward diversity or an example of extending a hand across the table, but it could well be interpreted as "us against them," (although I personally don't believe that is the case here).

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: October 14th, 2020 4:41 PM

There's nothing about a slate that obligates a candidate once elected from voting different than his/her slate mates. Just as there's nothing to stop voters from asking questions of individual candidates regardless of their being on a slate. Nobody's independence as a trustee is being taken away merely by forming a slate.

Kevin Peppard  

Posted: October 14th, 2020 3:30 PM

Slates have another advantage if they form a New Political Party with the right paperwork. The required number of signatures for ballot access goes down dramatically the next election. Last time about 9500 people voted. 5% of the number to be exact. The next time, if the Party gets 5% of the vote, it becomes "Established" and only 1/2 of 1% of their top vote getter 's number is needed. Let's say 12,000 people vote.. The top vote getter of the party might get 8,000, so only 40 signatures would be needed. That, however, leaves the Party open for primary candidates. If no one files, candidates can be appointed. Primaries and Parties make sense only if people are going to vote in them. Otherwise, people such as Cate Readling can get on with as few as 25 signatures as a Democrat or Republican. Now that she has 25 signatures, a single write-in candidate, if they file by December 17, can force a primary handing in their single signature. It's crazy, unless there are true primaries. Some other communities routinely hold these, and the County foots the bill. So we pay a bit for those anyway. Holding one here would cost maybe 5 cents per person.

Robert Milstein from Oak Park  

Posted: October 14th, 2020 1:32 PM

You don't vote for a slate. A slate may have candidates with similar policy ideas they support. However, from experience as a Trustee, they do not always agree with each other. You still vote for the person. There is no straight ticket slate voting in Oak Park. Usually the slate runs on a platform, but again...once in the seat...the situations may dictate new approaches. Campaigning and governing are different. I am supporting Ms. Boutet, but I will wait to see the other candidates views , and how they present them.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: October 14th, 2020 12:56 PM

Kevin Peppard having a slate would seem easier as you mentioned and this is a very difficult time to try and get signatures. So far, I like Vicki Scaman although she needs to get out and get the signatures and it makes it very difficult for candidates. This is not an endorsement although you can find more about Vicki Scaman at Why she caught my attention is she is from Oak Park, went through the school system and certainly does not appear to be jumping out of Oak Park at any other opportunities. If you have an idea that could help candidates get the signatures they need, I am sure each one would appreciate it

Kevin Peppard  

Posted: October 14th, 2020 12:36 PM

The reality is that slates can be very effective. One petition form gets all the signatures, very hard with the pandemic to get 476 valid ones. One piece of literature can be shared, and one website. A coherent platform with a chance of passage can be offered, rather than some idealism offered by alone wolf. Funds can be jointly raised, and more.

Katie Murphy from Oak Park  

Posted: October 14th, 2020 11:24 AM

I'm turned off by slates. I find it steers away from the independence of the candidates, and in the end you vote or individuals, not slate, so it's really a moot point. It would be great if OP moved on.

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