Thank you First Ward residents for the past 8 years. I'm honored you chose me as your Alderman and I will miss all the frequent interactions we had. So with thanks to Paula McAvoy, Diana Hess, and B. A. Barber, the following is the text of my farewell speech from Monday night:
Illinois is one of only 10 states that does not have a civic education graduation requirement, and as a result many students leave high school without the knowledge and skills they need to be the next ...generation of citizens. I consider myself fortunate that I completed school in a time when civics was part of the curriculum. It helped guide my thinking about public service and ultimately I ran for office.
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity twice given me by residents of the 1st Ward. I welcomed every chance I had to meet with, speak with, and interact with every one of them. Every Town Hall meeting, every Coffee and Conversation, every time I walked the Ward, I learned something new and hopefully made a bit of a difference in our town. I'm proud of many changes I've seen in the Ward over the past 8 years--from infrastructure improvements to stop signs. I will miss these personal interactions.
Eight years of City Council service has helped shape how I think about participatory democracy. If we think of democratic systems as falling along a continuum from "strong" to "thin", with strong describing systems that include more voices and greater public participation, while thin ones demand less from citizens and give more decision-making power to elected representatives, then sign me up as a "strong democracy" proponent.
My view of a healthy, well-functioning strong democracy is one where people experience opportunities to exchange ideas and participate in the process of policy making. Democracy is enhanced when people deliberate, particularly with people with whom they disagree. This deliberative democracy strengthens our society because it creates people who see each other as political equals, who value other points of view, and who become more informed.
You who sit here on the dais have great power and great opportunity. You may choose to continue voting as a block, to never crack open your council packets and to vote as your friends do. OR you may choose to conduct your own background research. You may reach out to your constituents and assess their feelings about Elmhurst's direction. You may even choose to champion an underdog position to promote debate, thus ensuring a stronger final decision.
Five years ago, as my father's health was rapidly failing, a group of family gathered to visit and say their good byes. My cousin asked my Dad, "What do you believe in?" He answered, "I believe in doing what is right."
So with that story, I leave you all with this one thought, this one admonition, this one piece of advice.
Do what is right.
Share your thoughts/ideas about an eco-friendly future for Elmhurst at the Sustainability Plan Public Workshop, Wed., April 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at City Hall. Moderators will guide groups through our five focus areas - land use, water, energy, transportation and waste.
City to Host Sustainability Plan Workshop
The City of Elmhurst Sustainability Task Force is hosting a Public Workshop at Elmhurst City Hall's second floor Council Chambers on Wednesday, April 22, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to gain community input that will be used to develop a community-wide sustainability plan.
The City defines sustainability as meeting the needs of the present while preserving our resources and ability to grow and meet the future needs of the city and its residents. This open discussion format will be led by moderators who will guide groups through our five areas of focus – land use, water, energy, transportation and waste.
The Elmhurst Park District sent this announcement out today:
DOGGIE EGGSTRAVAGANZA CANCELLED
The Elmhurst Park District takes the safety and health of your entire family - including your dog - very seriously. With the recent outbreak of canine influenza in Chicago and surrounding areas, and on the advice of veterinary professionals, the District has made the difficult decision to cancel the Doggie Eggstravaganza portion of Saturday's Egg Hunt in order to prevent the spread o...f the virus. Please keep your doggie home where he/she will be safe.
We hope you still join us for the Egg Hunt in Wilder Park at 10 a.m. sharp. See you there!
I am truly honored to be named one of Suburban Life Magazine's 2015 Women of Distinction. If you'd like to join me at the luncheon, event information is here:
You can help bring Civics education back to Illinois schools. Today's the day to tell your state legislators how important these bills are.
Registration for the March 21st Quarry tours opens tomorrow. More details are here:
Repeated attempts to resolve this tax issue with Lucky Motors have failed.
Tonight the Elmhurst City Council will decide to issue a Request for Proposals seeking a developer to propose projects for the City of Elmhurst owned parking lot on the west side of Addison Street between 1st and 2nd. Construction of the new parking deck on Addison will render this lot obsolete so the DPZ committee has decided this surface parking lot should be developed.
This agenda item presumes the City Council will agree on this course of action. I am interested in hearing from you about how development might impact you and in your ideas for this property's best use.
You are, of course, welcome to attend tonight's City Council meeting. The meeting starts at 7:30 and public forum is one of the first agenda items. At public forum, you may share your thoughts with the entire council. Each speaker is allotted 3 minutes.
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