I’m running for Highland Park City Council because I have a deep commitment to our city. I’m running because we have an amazing repository of cultural, historical, and economic resources, and I know that we can together build a community that is home for new families and lifelong residents, that puts sustainability first, that is green and inclusive, and that lets its residents know that their voice is truly heard. I’m running because “character counts” is more than a slogan on a street sign.
I’m running for City Council because I’ve come to call Highland Park my home, and I’ve been continually impressed in my years of public advocacy just how much this community cares about its collective future. I have learned more from knocking on doors, participating in coffees and public debates, and talking with the people who make up our town than I ever could by merely sitting in a room.
As a Reconfiguration 2.0 Community Team steering leader, former leader of CARE and community organizer, and parent of nine- and ten-year old daughters, I have a perspective on Highland Park informed by the challenges facing our schools, but expanding well beyond those challenges. I believe in active participation in the political process, and my work with NSSD112 is only a small part of my community engagement.
I advocated for the beach improvement with Friends of Rosewood, supported CLEAR in the second 113 referendum, volunteered at Ravinia's School's annual Fun Fair, and I serve as a Ravinia Neighbors Association board member. I am passionate about historic preservation and architecture, and have served as the trolley docent for the Historic Ravinia tours. I lead the Second Wednesday Book Discussion group at the Highland Park Library, and will also lead this spring’s discussion on the One Book, One Highland Park selection. Recently, I led a two-part history of the Grateful Dead at the library. As an author, I have dedicated my career to the arts. As a professor and higher education administrator, I have dedicated my career to inclusion, critical thinking, and civic engagement.
If elected, I will blend my passion for my community with my decades of professional background as an administrator who knows that the most important voices are the residents of our city. When we work together, we will envision a collective future that we can take pride in.
And some of our best visions are the unexpected: the sunset looking west across the Skokie Valley, the ice frozen along the winter at Park Avenue beach, the tiny majesty of Stupey Cabin standing against the backdrop of the Highland Park library and of City Hall, the music of Ravinia festival, the quiet moments just after the Union Pacific has passed the Ft. Sheridan station.
My vision of government is based upon seeing the unexpected. It’s consensus-based and citizen centered. I look for the strategic opportunities that can emerge from the community, and I work to build a shared vision around those opportunities. Whether the issue is the tax levy, historic preservation, the expansion of the library, pensions, affordable housing, or—yes—the all-important issue of our elementary and middle schools, I’ll ask the questions that the community needs to know. I support sustainability and economic growth that preserves the historic character of our buildings and our sense of our ourselves. I won’t hesitate to fight for what’s right and to advocate for our most-vulnerable residents.
I’m a listener, but I’m also a fighter. It would be my honor to represent the City of Highland Park as a member of City Council.