*EDITOR’S NOTE: Candidates submitted their own biographies
Tim Thomas is a working class guy who was raised in a union household in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has spent the last 10 years living in Oak Park. He came to Illinois to work for Service Employees International Union He was elected as Secretary/Treasurer of Service Employees International Union Local 4 and later Vice President of Service Employees International Union – Healthcare Illinois Indiana. He is a continuous improvement coordinator at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant and an appointed union official in United Auto Workers Local 551.
Tim is service minded and participates in many organizations. He is a member of NAACP and Co-Chair of Chicago’s NAACP Labor and Industry Committee, member of Oak Park Liquor Control Review Board, member of Oak Park Township Youth Services Committee, an executive board member and policy chair of Americans for Democratic Action, member of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, member of Chicago Democratic Socialist of America, and member of Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, former chair of West Cook Democracy for America, former member of Oak Park Environment and Energy Commission, former member Illinois Department of Aging – Older Adult Services Advisory Committee.
Through these positions and out of a personal sense of justice, Tim has advocated on various social justice issues, including immigration, fair tax policy, older adult services and mental healthcare access
Outside of campaigning to serve as township trustee, what experience do you have working or volunteering with the township?
I currently serve on the Township Youth services committee
What areas of service provided by the township need expansion and how do you intend to carry that out, while keeping taxation reasonable?
We are in the midst of a global health crisis; I can’t honestly say what needs to be expanded because these are unprecedented times. My goal is to protect to social safety net of services that the township currently provides with being a good steward of the funds entrusted to the township by taxpayers.
How as trustee can you help the township address and overcome the novel challenges of operating mid-pandemic and post-pandemic? What are those challenges?
I support following the guidelines of competent health authorities and the government agencies with expertise in this area.
How will you increase community engagement and awareness of township services?
I’ve been vocal about trustees going out in to the community and explaining what it is the that the township does/provides. I am opposed to getting stuck in the rut of “that’s the way it’s always been done”.
How can the township increase the equitability of its services, considering the many different facets of equity?
I support implementing the recommendations from the comprehensive township equity consultant’s report.
How can the township improve its reach and grow its service offering without increasing the tax burden on citizens?
The township must talk more about the partnerships they have with other local units of government and community partners. The current township leaders have also done a great job of increasing /maintain services without increasing the tax burden.