Fighting for Racial Equity

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Racially Equitable Education

  • Eliminate the Opportunity Gap in D200 and D97 schools: I will work to create a village wide initiative to eliminate the opportunity gap between white students and students of color. Every year the gap grows is another year that we are graduating kids that will start their lives already disadvantaged compared to their white peers. I believe we can eliminate the opportunity gap if we have the political will and courage to do so.

  • Adopt Village-wide Racial Equity policies: Our village institutions must work collaboratively across every level of education to ensure that all students have access to high-quality opportunities every step of the way, without bias or barriers. I will fight to make sure that the village board works with our school districts to help enact and implement strong racial equity policies focused on comprehensive systems change. This will require action to address systemic bias and disparities in key areas such as tracking and ability grouping, disciplinary practices, curriculum content, teacher diversity, and school climate. I will also work to put in place additional support systems for parents and students--such as expanded access to tutoring, after-school, and summer school programs.

 

Racially Equitable Development

  • Pass an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance: In the last several years we’ve seen over four luxury condo and apartment buildings erected in Oak Park. None of these developments had affordable housing units set aside, so that we could ensure equal access to the new developments for the entire community. The result of these economic developments are the pushing out of lower-income residents, increased property taxes, increased traffic on our roads, and decreased environmental sustainability. Oak Park must pass an Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance that requires developers to contribute a designated percentage of investments to create affordable housing units in each development.

  • Intersectional Community Planning: I believe that the benefits and burdens of economic development-- such as new housing and business--should be shared in an equitable manner. I will increase and incentivize woman- and minority-owned businesses, and small and local businesses. Village expenditures should also meet supplier diversity goals to ensure that we reach out to, and pursue business with all available vendors. Supporting alternatives to conventional development subsidies by incentivizing community-based innovation and incubators, arts and cultural initiatives, co-ops, and other grassroots efforts that can contribute to a vibrant and growing economy are also vital to racially equitable development in Oak Park.

 

Racially Equitable Housing

  • Support Racial Integration Efforts: I believe that Oak Park must be accessible to everyone. I support efforts to make and keep Oak Park’s housing affordable and integrated. The board must support village-wide access to affordable housing, and remove the current restrictions on the number of residents that can live in apartments or condos. I believe that the efforts to promote racial integration by the Oak Park Regional Housing center must be supported, and will fight against the recent effort to cut the budget of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center by the current Village Board. I will also work to protect the humanity of Oak Park’s homeless community by working across the village public-private partnerships to help provide viable opportunities for permanent housing.

 

Racially Equitable Governance

  • Adopt Racial Equity Framework: Current government processes in Oak Park are not inclusive, and are the result of the failure of the village government to diversify community stakeholders in commissions and boards. I believe that government processes and leadership must be inclusive of all community stakeholders in order to reflect and represent the full breadth and depth of ideas and perspectives present in our community. In order to achieve this, I will work to adopt and implement a racial equity decision-making framework that is used for planning, policy-making, and budgeting decisions, including public procurement and contracting.

 

Racially Equitable Taxation

  • Maintain Funding for Essential Services: We cannot, as progressive Oak Parkers, keep on cutting funding to essential services without any regard to the impact of the tax cuts on the most disenfranchised members of our community. If elected, I will use my status as an elected official to lobby state representatives to do their job now that we have full control of all branches of state government and pass a progressive tax bill at the state level, that will help reduce the fiscal burden on municipal governments. Additionally, I will apply a racial equity framework to revenue generation, budgeting, and expenditures, so that all future decisions to taxation and budgeting are made keeping the humanity, profits, and livelihoods of all people in mind, instead of just the profits of developers.