Pragmatic Solutions' endorsements

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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OPRF Pragmatic Solutions wholeheartedly endorses Amanda Massie and Vic Guarino for the District 200 school board and Bridgett Baron and Cory Wesley for village of Oak Park trustee. All four are independent candidates who will be fiscally responsible, prioritizing needs, not wants, and accountable to taxpayers.

Baron and Wesley will work to address the unsustainable rising rate of taxation in Oak Park, with the goal of making the village more affordable and maintaining its vibrant diversity. Through common-sense legislation and better decision-making, these goals are achievable.

Massie and Guarino will assess needs versus wants with students and taxpayers in mind. They will advocate for educational excellence and equity for all students at Oak Park and River Forest High School, helping to implement and ensure accountability of the racial equity policy, and increasing board transparency. 

While OPRF Pragmatic Solutions isn't endorsing a third D200 candidate, incumbent Fred Arkin has favorably differentiated himself from fellow incumbent Sara Dixon Spivy. At the Dec. 11 and Dec. 20 board meetings, he spoke out against pushing through the $65 million Imagine pool/PE complex now, while Spivy remained stone silent, the only silent board member. Neither incumbent has expressed regret over their support of D200's disingenuous marketing of the 2016 pool referendum, though both now say they regret attempting to bypass voters in 2015 to fund construction of a $37.5 million Olympic-size pool and demolish the garage. 

Also not endorsed are Ralph Martire and Gina Harris who pose a possible conflict of interest if elected to the board. They both have political and financial ties to the union that represents D200's teachers.

OPRF Pragmatic Solutions is a grassroots organization that has successfully advocated for fiscally responsible facility spending since 2015 and prioritizing efforts to improve academic outcomes for all students at D200. Please consider casting your votes for these candidates and visit their websites for more information:,, and

Dori Bernstein, Marty Bernstein, John Carney, Kitty Conklin, Jack Davidson, Bruce Kleinman, Maureen Kleinman, Mark Murphy, Jack Powers, Gina Sennello, Monica Sheehan, Doug Springer, Leslie Sutphen, Robert Zeh

OPRF Pragmatic Solutions

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Reader Comments

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Jim Frenkel  

Posted: April 2nd, 2019 7:54 AM

Trustee candidates endorsements valuable to voters like me

Jim Frenkel  

Posted: April 2nd, 2019 7:52 AM

Thanks for this summary. Helpful to be clear about where these candidates stand as we head to the polls...

Bruce Kline  

Posted: March 23rd, 2019 5:21 PM

Mike even if one is among those leaving Oak Park, if you have a home you still gotta sell that home. And the present issues confronting this village might make that more difficult than it was in the past. So whether leaving or staying everyone should realize that they all have "skin in the game". But I agree, the voter turnout has been dismal up to this point. So we will get what we deserve.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: March 23rd, 2019 3:04 PM

@ Michael Nevins: Those last two sentences are very strong. People leaving giving a chance to right the wrong for the people who stay and want to continue the fight. Very strong outside the box thinking.

Michael Nevins  

Posted: March 23rd, 2019 12:08 PM

Earlier this morning my wife and I returned from voting at Village Hall. Only a handful of voters were there. My wife had a short conversation with one of the judges and, in a sad voice, was told that only 100 people voted yesterday. The status quo/establishment wins if the vote total is small. If you are happy with with this.....don't bother to vote. If you want change....get out and vote. Heck, if you are one of the many leaving OP or RF and so don't really care.....please help those trying to bring change who remain! Or, selfishly, know that your home will more easily sell if there is change!!!

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: March 22nd, 2019 5:48 PM

Endorsing people who understand the difference between needs and wants is key. Especially when much of the town doesn't even want the so called wants. And, unlike the WJ staff, all the people in this group actually live here. These recommendations are great advice. Thanks

Amanda Poppenk Massie from Oak park  

Posted: March 22nd, 2019 11:48 AM

Thank you for your endorsement. If elected, I will honor the D200 school board oath that states, "I shall respect taxpayer's interests by serving as a faithful protector of the School District's Assets". ALL students and taxpayers must be equitably represented, I will do that.

George Smith  

Posted: March 20th, 2019 8:27 AM

Must read for taxpayers.

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