Conversation not consultants

Opinion: Editorials

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Meanwhile in Oak Park, a divided village board is not so much addressing issues of racism and police reform as it is attempting to study it, surround it with consultants and data.

Monday evening's special village board meeting on this topic was a botch. It ended, we think, with an inarticulate resolution to have some sort of community conversations, to draft a Request for Proposals for a third-party consultant and to conduct an internal review of the Citizen Police Oversight Commission. Village Manager Cara Pavlicek estimates it could take three months to find the consultant.

We suggest, instead, listening.

Until the voices of concern over local policing are heard, there is no way to understand this issue, there is no way to communicate things Oak Park's police force does well, no way to engage in crafting meaningful change. 

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Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: June 30th, 2020 11:27 AM

It is impossible to address emotional grandstanding by one Trustee. If bad things are happening, OK, when? By who? Let's get really specific. Some facts, so something can then be done. Then actual action can be taken. Instead, we get vague stories and maybe there is something there, but it's impossible to do anything based on what has been offered. You can't fire staff based on vague accusations. It stirs up anger, which is all that that Trustee wants to do. And confusion. It is why it is called anarchy. Any meeting with that Trustee will be a botch as WJ calls it, as there is no fact for the adults in the room to have a conversation about. Stop blaming the board and focus on the cause of the botch - Trustee Arti Walker.

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