Oak Park's equity effort

Opinion: Editorials

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Print

By Editorial

It took way too long, at least two years too long, but Monday night Oak Park's village board approved hiring a third party to provide equity training for its staff. Of course there was dissension among board members and the final vote was 5-2 in favor of choosing the National League of Cities to implement its Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) program in Oak Park.

Critics, including Trustees Arti Walker Peddakotla and Susan Buchanan and some members of the Community Relations Commission, said more input should have been sought from the commission. They favored hiring the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) to do the training. However, while Oak Park became a member of GARE early this year, it did not submit a proposal, allegedly because its services are overtaxed as other communities have begun to focus on equity. 

Again, an indication that Oak Park's village government has been far too slow in bringing legitimate equity thinking into its day's work. 

That said, let's move ahead. Hiring a single consultant for a specified batch of training is just one component of what will need to be a much more inclusive reordering of village priorities related to race and equity. 

Perhaps the REAL program will be strong. Perhaps its interconnection with municipal governance will be a bold stroke.

The genuine question is, "What else is Oak Park's village government doing to lead on equity?" What is the plan to affirmatively tackle police reform, especially as it relates to transparency in discipline issues and expansion of citizen oversight of police?

We're waiting with impatience to see leadership on that issue.

Meanwhile, let's enter this overdue equity training with an open mind and determined expectations to do better.

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and OakPark.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.


            
SubscribeClassified
MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad