Locals, I posted this just now in the Oak Park Area Neighbors group, which I run, possibly of general interest, esp. the info re: candidate forums and guides.



Hey, folks, group owner and admin here. So, a recent post was reported as spam. I don’t think it was spam, exactly, but I do think it was closer to a campaign ad than a general community post, especially because it was repeated across multiple groups; it probably wasn’t really appropriate for this board.

I didn’t want to just delete it, because it serves as a useful example of what to do and what not to do as a candidate for local elections. Candidates, if you’re going to talk about your campaign in this group, it would be better if you tailored your post to the specific interests of the group; that would also help to make such posts less like an ad.

This group was created for neighbors to help each other, especially in terms of resource-sharing, support and advice, and general positive neighborliness. If you wrote a post for us talking about those elements (which I do think are all aspects you should be thinking about, as candidates for local elections), that would feel more appropriate to me.

I’d be very hesitant to ban general discussion of local elections from a community board, especially during a pandemic, when it’s much harder to just get together with your neighbors and talk to them about candidates as we normally would. Who we elect and how they govern overlaps hugely with the purpose of this board, in terms of being good neighbors.

That said, I may be a bit biased here; I currently serve on the library board, and I’m running for the D200 (high school) board. It’s a little tricky, managing these kinds of things locally — the truth is that people running for local boards (most of which are completely volunteer positions) are ALSO the kind of people likely to end up volunteering to admin or moderate large message boards. So you get messy overlap.

I think I have to leave this to my co-admins (Lynette Hish, Carollina Song, and Lailani Natividad Workman) to decide on, going forward; I’m going to recuse myself from making any moderator-type decisions on whether such posts are appropriate until April, since I’m a candidate myself.

I’m going to ask my co-admins to handle all local politics-related posts (including my own) for the next few months.

A non-partisan Voters’ Guide will be coming out soon (one of our co-admins, Carollina Song, is working on that), and the League of Women Voters will start hosting their big forums soon — I’d point you to those two resources for a good guide to the upcoming local elections.

The League forums will be hosted on Zoom, and you’ll be able to register to attend live and ask questions, and will also be available to view after the event:

The Chicago Tribune has listed most of the candidates for local elections — for some reason, they missed Township (an important office which handles community services, such as elder and disability services).…/ct-oak-park-2021…

Thank you all for your patience with this. As a general reminder — political discussions can get heated. The internet magnifies that effect, making the people you’re arguing with seem a little less real — as a result, people say things from behind a computer screen that they’d never say in person, if they were in someone’s living room, or meeting at the farmer’s market. Please keep that in mind. The moderators of this group will not tolerate abusive language or personal attacks, so please keep discussion to the issues.

We want to foster an environment here where even if we disagree (and we surely will sometimes), we can talk about it in productive, and dare I say, *neighborly*, ways.