Abu-Taleb has the characteristics of a leader

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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When I first met Anan Abu-Taleb, I knew nothing about him and very little of Oak Park. I had just moved here and hoped to find a job within walking distance of my new place. We sat down together on a hot July afternoon for my final interview at Maya Del Sol, which I thought to be more of a formality. In my experience, "replaceable" is the word most owners associate with servers, so taking the time to meet them is often quick and meaningless.

This was not the case here. Anan wanted to get to know me and wanted me to know him. As I began to realize I was going to see more of this guy than I originally thought, I also began to realize what kind of place Anan strived to make Maya Del Sol. He had a vision for Maya and painted it well for those who listened. We talked about the importance of seeing things through other's eyes and understanding their feelings. We talked about genuine customer service and how he wanted guests to feel when they come into Maya and when they leave. We talked about getting to know the people we serve and how you never know who you're talking to, so treat everyone with the same respect.

Having now worked for Anan and his family for almost three years, I know that none of this was lip-service. He represents all of these ideas not only as a smart businessman but as a thoughtful and caring human being.

I believe these are the characteristics that help make a great leader and for this, I am excited Anan is running for village president. A person who is not only hardworking and educated but thoughtful, caring and genuine is what every community needs as a leader. Oak Park has the opportunity to elect such a person — Anan Abu-Taleb.

Iven Thompson

Oak Park

Reader Comments

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Johnny LaRue  

Posted: March 1st, 2013 11:18 AM

Well, he knew money talked with Blago, so I guess he does have the "characteristics" of a politician....

Undecided Voter  

Posted: March 1st, 2013 11:13 AM

Agreed, Matt. If he's not reading, he should be. And if he is reading I'd say that Mr. Hedges is starting to answer citizen questions on his website. Would Anan be willing to do the same?

Matt on Madison  

Posted: March 1st, 2013 10:13 AM

hear, before you crazy grammar freaks start to appear.

Matt on Madison  

Posted: March 1st, 2013 10:10 AM

Surely Anan is reading this. Would like to here his comment.

Undecided Voter  

Posted: March 1st, 2013 8:00 AM

I'm no VMA fan...but also not sure I want Anan hopping in the Village President seat. My preference really would have been for more people running. Other than that, my only hope is that Anan's campaign suddenly improves or else I may have to vote for Hedges.

Deccided Voter  

Posted: March 1st, 2013 6:49 AM

I am voting for Anan, because he isn't VMA. Clear and simple. A trained monkey would be better than any vma member of the board we have now... oh that's right they are all vma members!

Undecided Voter  

Posted: February 28th, 2013 6:40 PM

To be blunt, who is he going to vote with frequently? I'm perfectly willing to vote for Anan if he proves his vision can form a coalition with other Board members. He needs to do two things: articulate his ideas better and prove he'd be capable of working with others on a variety of community issues. He doesn't need to serve on a commission first as some have suggested. But he needs to at least do it verbally if I'm cutting him that slack. lol

jrm from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 28th, 2013 6:27 PM

Undecided Voter - "Have to fit in?" Are we having a fraternity rally or an election?

Undecided Voter  

Posted: February 28th, 2013 4:58 PM

There are upcoming candidate forums, 1984, but IMO I don't expect much from that for clarifying policy/issue stances. I could be wrong, we'll see. So far, I give the Hedges slate credit for putting a long list of various platform planks on their website while I've yet to hear Anan mention more than a few surface items. The current Board has big differences among the members. I'm not saying "block," I just mean Anan isn't going to sweep in with some new vision. Whatever he is for has to fit in.


Posted: February 28th, 2013 3:01 PM

Aren't there debates we can go to to hear what the candidates have to say? Shouldn't the "clear test" apply equally to both candidates? What bothers me, "undecided", is your suggestion that the current board will automatically work to block anything that isn't suggested by one of their own. We have enough of that in Washington. Let's not let that happen here.

Undecided Voter  

Posted: February 27th, 2013 4:45 PM

We're not sure what that vision is though, Joe. And Anan would be just one person on a Board that can outvote him. He needs to be clear about how he can work with the current Trustees. It's not like voting Anan into office changes much, right? The status quo came to stay the moment nobody else stepped up to run for office.

Joe Lyons  

Posted: February 27th, 2013 4:26 PM

I look forward to a new vision. Isn't it time we move beyond the tired approaches of the entrenched status quo?

Undecided Voter  

Posted: February 27th, 2013 8:25 AM

The problem isn't whether Anan has the characteristics of a leader...he does. His bigger problem is that he's falling behind on the public needing to hear much, much more about his specific views on village issues when he's running against a man who not only has a better history of leadership, but we know where Mr. Hedges stands on almost everything. Instead of a character endorsement for Mr. Abu-Taleb, how about we hear more from him about what he believes?

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