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VIDEO: Meet Candidates for the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council Elections

Excerpts from presentations by 22 contenders at last week's candidates forum.

Elections to the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council are just four days away. On Saturday, Oct. 13, Highland Park residents and stakeholders will choose among 37 candidates running for 19 seats in the council. As many as 22 of them gathered on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 2, for a "Meet the Candidates" forum at Franklin High School cafeteria, where they expressed their views on a wide variety of issues ranging from youth development to neighborhood pride.

The forum was a lively affair moderated by Independent Election Administrator Terrence Gomes of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and attended by about 50 people.

Click here to see the full list of candidates and to read their personal statements.

Elections will be held on Sat. Oct 13, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Highland Park Adult Recreation Center.

GK October 10, 2012 at 06:38 AM
Idealism is the only thing that has ever brought about visionary change. There were several candidates that discussed inclusiveness at the candidate's forum. You continue to state a lot of inaccurate assumptions about our slate. How can you possibly assert that your perception is somehow more valid with my own personal experience of the slate? Chris Smith has nothing to do with our slate. In fact, I was encouraged to run by another candidate who I was working with on the 710. At the time we first spoke, neither of us was aware of a slate. We enjoyed working together on a tough issue facing our community, and thought the neighborhood council might be a good place for us to continue our efforts. The "Slate of Newbies" as you describe has several longtime residents and current board members. It came together organically. One of the key things that brought us together was the desire for more community outreach and engagement on the council. The council shouldn't assume what the community wants, it should engage and ask them then act accordingly. Everyone in the community deserves a voice at the council and representation. Our whole platform rests on the basis of focusing on priorities the community-at-large wants to addressed. How can that be authoritarian? It's called engagement. Civility and good communication are the first steps towards engagement. There isn't a right or wrong. There are a lot of neighbors trying to do something positive for their community.
GK October 10, 2012 at 06:53 AM
MOG, I wish you the best of luck in the election. You certainly have a passion for the community. No matter what happens I hope you and all of us candidates find a way to roll up our sleeves alongside our neighbors, make a difference, and treat one another with kindness and respect, even during moments of disagreement.
The MOG October 10, 2012 at 07:19 AM
My God! That's all it takes, isn't it? You nearly echoed Paul's lament as Chris issued his ultimatum. "Well, Chris, I've been sitting here with my hand up. If you'd call on me, we wouldn't have this problem." or words to that effect. At this point the chair should have interrupted Cathi's wandering off into unfortunate territory, as far as her pointed words, and said quietly,"You know Cathi, let's let Paul speak, then if you still want to, we'll come back to you. Paul, you have the floor, then if Cathi wants, she can have the floor. If you like you can rebute, but she's going to have the last word, because you're going first." That's how it's done, from the Middle School Student Council to the local Toast Masters. That's not how it was done at the controversial meeting in question, and it will be interesting to see the minutes, once they're posted. What happened was Chris allowed Cathi to use combative, & I use that heated word, because she actually pointed her finger at a fellow board member, & said,"I'm not talking to you." She also used a tone that was as unfriendly & uncivil as the action. I was nuetral re: the pres. race up until that point. I went home & thought, My God! Now what? I can't just not say nothing. This has become very serious, indeed. So help me Jesus, that is the truth! See my video, "A View From Flat Top", on YouTube for more on this, & a vision for a new HHPNC. Thanks for your sincerity.
The MOG October 10, 2012 at 07:32 AM
GK, are you seriously asserting that you're part of a slate I know nothing about, because not even you know about it because you first heard about it from a 3rd Party. Is that right, sir? You do know, however, that Chris Smith is not sponcering or endorsing it. Where'd you hear that, through the grape vine. & Now, there really isn't any slate at all, actually. You know the one you say I know nothing about? Well, GK, if you don't mind me asking, who would know? Google? 411? What? Should I use a crystal ball? LOL As far as the other, we'll just let the voters decide who the real home boy is. On For Franklin Ya All! Save Franklin Grant Money! Be True To Your School& REJECT THE CHRIS SMITH/CATHI MILLIGAN SLATE!
The MOG October 10, 2012 at 07:52 AM
& just another thing, please GK, if you don't mind. I want to reiterate once more, I am the ONLY candidate who SPECFICLY called for LGBT inclusiveness, & the inclusiveness of Asians & Blacks. I am the ONLY candidate who used the SPECIFIC WORDS, LGBT, ASIANS, BLACKS. That is a fact. Yeah? So, if the principles of Equality are of concern to any voter, I will be your vocal advocate. My candidacy is did not evolve "organically", it's Home Grown! & finally let me say, I appreciate individuals who immigrate here from elsewhere. Whether they inhabit Apts. on Ave. 50, or a Renovated Craftsman in Garvanza. Of course we welcome professionals, & Artists, that's nothing new. We also foster musicians & some of us, I know I would anyway, would like to recreate The Highland Park Symphony & The Ebell Club. Those lofty sentiments for culture in our area did not originate with you, or your clique. Forgive me for saying so, but it is arrogant, to say the least, to assume that they do. You mention your platform is premised on community wide support? Where is your platform published, & who authored it? How was it approved & by whom? How do you measure this "popular support"? Public Opinion Poll, a Six Sense? One final question, where did you attend High School, & how is it The Hags rate over Franklin's Cheer Leading Squad, in your opinion?

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