Moroney urges 'defund police' ballot referendum

Move called 'political stunt,' 'charade'

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By Stacey Sheridan

Staff Reporter

Oak Park village president candidate and current village trustee Dan Moroney has requested the village board consider an advisory referendum question for the April 6 municipal election ballot asking Oak Park residents if they want to "defund" the police department.

Moroney wants the referendum used as a litmus test to determine residents' appetite to defund police, while other elected officials criticized the move as a political stunt.

Moroney posed the request in an email sent Jan. 6 to the village board, phrasing the referendum question as, "Shall the Village of Oak Park defund its police department."

He asked that the resolution be voted on at the board's next meeting scheduled for Jan. 19 – the last day local government boards can add referendum questions to the ballot. Wednesday Journal obtained the email through a Freedom of Information request.

The timing and nature of the request have aroused suspicion in a handful of Moroney's village board peers, who view it as a tactic employed by Moroney to garner support for his campaign for village president.  

"It's clearly a political stunt," said Trustee Simone Boutet, herself a candidate for village president.

Boutet told Wednesday Journal that the term "defund the police" has not been sufficiently defined and, if added to the ballot, the referendum would not produce accurate information to gauge the community's opinion.

The concept of defunding the police will have a place on the ballot, if not explicitly, without the referendum, according to Boutet, because candidates have to make their stances known regarding policing.

"I urge voters to be informed on where different candidates' stand on this issue," said Boutet, who declined to say how she will be voting on the resolution.

According to the Cook County Clerk, referenda brought through local government boards are binding. Moroney intends for his to be advisory, or not binding. Village Attorney Paul Stephanides did not immediately respond to Wednesday Journal's request to comment on the legality of a village trustee proposing a non-binding referendum.

"As I understand it, it's for binding or advisory," Moroney said, suggesting the board can designate the category.

When asked why he did not bring the resolution forward sooner, when the board spent much of the previous year discussing police reform, Moroney said the idea came to him over Christmas when the board was not in session.

"This idea was brought to me in conversation by a few residents who felt that the village board should give residents more of a voice on this matter," he said.

Those residents, according to Moroney, went to him with the idea of a referendum instead of submitting it through public comment for fear of getting "labeled."

Moroney said board members receive masses of emails urging the village board to defund the police, which compelled him to make the request.

"We're being asked with hundreds of emails to reduce our police force by roughly 30 percent," said Moroney.

When asked why the resolution did not include any percentage or timeframe in which to defund the police department, Moroney said the vague wording was commandeered language used by police reform advocates.

"It's the language that advocates are using, if it's not 'abolished,'" said Moroney.

Moroney mentioned Trustee Arti Walker-Peddakotla, who has made police reform her cornerstone issue since being elected and who sponsored a defunding resolution before the village board last August. She is also allied with other organizers who post on social media calling to defund law enforcement.

"Advocates are taking a complex topic, and really reducing it to hash tag," said Moroney.

Moroney categorically denied having any underlying political motive for bringing the defunding referendum to the village board table.

"This is a massive issue," said Moroney. "Public safety is a bedrock role of municipal government."

In an interview with Wednesday Journal, Walker-Peddakotla called Moroney's referendum "a charade," as well as a "political stunt."

"I wonder why Trustee Moroney wasn't so interested in public opinion in November of 2020, when he could have put a referendum question on that ballot," Walker-Peddakotla said.

She expressed skepticism regarding Moroney's explanation that he is interested in gathering public opinion on the defunding issue.

"Trustee Moroney has never been interested; he hasn't listened to public opinion on a host of issues," she said.

In her time on the board, Walker-Peddakotla said Oak Park residents have shared with the village board their opinions on defunding, as well as policing in general, with more frequency and in greater numbers than any other issue.

"This to me is yet another political ploy by Trustee Moroney," said Walker-Peddakotla. "It's just a blatant attempt to try and sway an election in his favor and the board should vote against it."

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Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 5:34 PM

Jason Cohen Everything has a beginning. If a strategy is successful, you build onto it and make it bigger. I know you never let that happen even if it starts with breaking someone else's property. It is called taking responsibility. Now the Village President has to either accept he has lost some flower pots or he has to take money out of his own pocket to replace them. How about you asking the Village President what the damage was and you pay for it although you will never be able to remove how his family had to be terrorized when 75 to 100 people crossed onto their property. Jason, your thinking is wrong. Also, if you were part of that mob, you would know that the majority were not just a bunch of high school age "You can't handle the truth"

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 5:27 PM

Jason Cohen regarding your comment to Kevin about truth Jason, "You can't handle the truth"

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 5:24 PM

Jr. "you're either with us or against us" worked well with Bush to invade the Middle East. It made people feel guilty so how could they say no

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 4:09 PM

It's a comment board, Jason. Not news. Get a clue, kid. You're excusing criminal- misdemeanor, but criminal- behavior by people simply because they pissed off at the village president and board. Trespass damage to property. Mild in comparison to what we saw at the Capitol building, but same ignorant attitude- i.e., I'm upset, so it's alright if I act out. It's not OK. and you're a fool to defend it or diminish it. .

Jason Cohen  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 4:05 PM

@Bill, really property destroyed? There were a couple of broken flower pots in the backyard. Are you really equating some stupid behavior from mostly kids to the terrorist attack on our democracy where 5 people died? The OP police were so concerned about everything they did nothing. You really have some issues. I am not defending the small damage but give me a break that there was some scary scene. It was hardly that. I would have gone out there if the shoe was on the other foot. It's cool though. You believe that it was the same and have a good one. Later all. I am moving on from posting on this site. It's been fun but no point as it's the same grumpy 7 people posting over and over. If I am linked into that then there is about to be one less. Peace out all. Back to real life.

Jason Cohen  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 3:57 PM

@Dwyer, what are you talking about? I have never once said I support these candidates. Besides saying I definitely don't support Moroney I have literally posted that I want to hear from all candidates. Nice of you to post fake news though. Who's the one more aligned with Trump supporters? I have posted over and over that what I object to is the fake moral high ground that's displayed around this. It's politics plain and simple and that's all. I guess that makes you uncomfortable. Sorry not sorry.

Jason Cohen  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 3:53 PM

@Kevin, when did I say you are a Trump supporter? You seem to want to deflect from the truth. You only research progressive candidates. Just own it and stop dancing around it with comments like this. You are doing a self serving activity to remove as many progressives as you can from the ballot. That's exactly what you are doing. No need to pretend you are some community activist. Stop pretending you are something you are definitely not.

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 3:30 PM

Kevin, people like Jason cannot tolerate distinction and nuance any better than the average Trump supporter. That all have a reflexive, knee jerk response to any criticism of those they support politically. Criticism, no matter how warranted and detailed, triggers their sophomoric "you're either with us or against us" mindset.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 2:53 PM

Kevin Peppard you do not need to prove yourself. People gone to war to protect your rights. A strategy people employ is to demand a person to explain themselves. Jason Cohen even mentioned all the Village President had to do was come out and talk to the 75 to 100 group ever after some of his property was destroyed. You can not talk to a group like that because it does not deescalate it. It only fuels it. Check out 1/6/2021 U.S. Capitol if you need to understand better the difference

Kevin Peppard  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 2:11 PM

Jason: You write as if I'm a Trump supporter. I voted for Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. I despise Trump. I recently served as a Democratic election judge. I haven't voted for a Republican for President in close to three decades.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 1:37 PM

Jason Cohen you are 100 percent wrong

Jason Cohen  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 1:23 PM

@Bill, you seem to be part of the problem not the solution. The protest at the village president's house hardly terrorized anyone. If he had just gone out and talked to them there would have been no Issues. The police even stopped by and nothing happened because it was hardly a big deal. You constantly defend Kevin's challenge even though we all know he only challenges progressive candidates. That's already been proven. He can do it but he's not just helping out the village here. He's working his political agenda. Politics is like this all over the country thanks to the hate Trump has brought. You sure like to hear yourself type. I will give you that.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 12:43 PM

Jason Cohen I did forget to also include that you had a bunch of people show up at the Village President's home because some one did not like what the Village President did and called out the supporters. They broke personal property and terrorized his family with beating on a drum, strobe lights and music. Read about other Countries on how they would have handled an incident like that. We are a Country of laws, and they should be followed. Then there is the Dan Moroney White supremist incident by one person commenting on facebook that brought the support of followers and took out a 2 page spread in the local newspaper to show support of her actions. There really is not that much time before the elections and people forget about things although I do think a person who is very qualified will win although that person will also be working with trustee's and it can end up a mess like in Washington politics. Oak Park does not have to be that way. If I did forget a few other incidents, please add them in

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 12:26 PM

Jr. you have chutzpah although you never where a Chameleon so you only learned what people wanted you to learn

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 12:14 PM

Jason Cohen I am not worked up about it. What I do find is the comedy in Oak Park politics. You have Arti always opposing. You have a screaming doctor yelling at people who are White and just do not get racism. You have people in the galleries trying to out shout members on the board. You have a candidate who is leaving the comes back, raises some money and then leaves again. You have 2 people who are challenged for eligibility which one if I recall was brought in on charges with intent to sell which is different then personal usage if I recall correctly and gets back on the ballot because it was just something that happened when he was a younger adult which is fine although certainly would not have been that way when I was even younger carrying a M16 and later worked for another agency because people had to be more responsible at an even younger age. Then you have a person on the ballot who took a deduction of money on a residence he does not reside in which is the main qualification to receive a home owners exception and it demonstrates just a little about the integrity of a person, and then you have a brick show up at campaign headquarters that no one knew about and that was responded by the Police, which at the same time, people want to defund the Police. Growing up, I always looked up to adults as responsible individuals. So times have changed. We had Trump win because everyone had their heads in some other place and did not know about his background which included tracing back to having Roy Cohn as his mentor. Put it all together and you have just one big mess although that seems to be acceptable to you, and that is fine. All it takes is a bunch of roach wagons to circle around on North Boulevard or a beer fest to forget about the real workings of what a Village should be.

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 12:05 PM

And that has exactly what to do with you not knowing something as simple as the number of open seats on the board of trustees, Maxwell? Such a strange thought process.

Jason Cohen  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 11:38 AM

@Bill, it's one person that's done this and there's still months before the election. This is a non event. Not sure why you are so worked up about it. Who cares. She's gone. We have plenty of time to evaluate the remaining people.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 11:12 AM

Jr. now you are forgetting that the candidate wanted to move out and no longer was a candidate. Then the person decided how could she leave Oak Park when Oak Park needed her. Now that things are working on in the great North/West, it is time to leave again. I thought you were keeping a score card. Like Mongo said, he is just a pond in the game of life. All he knew was a Choo Choo was coming through town. Enjoy this Choo Choo video. It will certainly make anyone's day a little happier

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 11:04 AM

You're easily confused if a single person dropping out of a race throws you off, Maxwell.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 10:43 AM

Jr. with people coming and going and going and coming. That line reminds me of the song Madeline Kahn did in Blazing Saddles. Her performance was absolutely fantastic in that comedy. Is that a 10 gallon hat Cowboy, or are you just happy to see me

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: January 18th, 2021 8:57 AM

Vintage Maxwell. A pretty good clue regarding the number of trustee seats up for election is the well-publicized fact that there are two slates of three candidates...

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 17th, 2021 11:13 PM

Tom, not many citizens vote in Oak Park because I think there is not much made out of elections. I would think Village President candidates would actually have a debate and where they stand on topics. I would think the trustees would do the same. I do not even recall how many seats are open for trustees running. I know Oak Park is now down to 3 candidates for Village President

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: January 17th, 2021 11:03 PM

Bill. A debate turns into Susan Buchanon telling a fellow Trustee to "shut up". A zoom meeting turns into Arti Walker having your house egged if you don't just nod and agree. The name calling starts and never ends. Better to let the citizens vote on it. So much clearer that way.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 17th, 2021 10:21 PM

Tom MacMillan what is important to myself is where each candidate for Village President stands on Police defunding. All candidates should be on zoom debating about it and have it open to the public. I do not think that will happen

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: January 17th, 2021 9:47 PM

Bill. I would expect that most of the people in town agree with you. Let's vote and see. Why would any of our Trustees want to avoid a vote? They want to grab and control the money in the police budget. Maybe buy some training courses from the Nova Collective? The same people selling training programs are also funding and organizing many of the candidates who somehow want to defund. Connect the dots.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 17th, 2021 8:36 PM

Tom MacMillan I would not defund or reallocate money from the Police Department budget and would like to understand why anyone would think that is a good idea and a comment board is a good place to start

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: January 17th, 2021 8:10 PM

When you're right, you're right, Tom. I say, don't loudly bellow about the correctness of a proposed policy, then bitch and moan and attack the intentions of people who then. say, "OK, let's ask the people to vote on it." Let's have an advisory referendum and see where the chips fall.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: January 17th, 2021 7:51 PM

Trustee Arti is afraid to let the voters have a say. She would rather heavily promote an idea, have a dozen people send some emails, and then pretend everyone wants it. Let's ask everyone. The best time for the vote would have been when we were hunkered down while protesters trashed Chicago, hoping a thin line of cops would be able to protect the town as business were being boarded up and the L lines were shut down. But the next election works.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 17th, 2021 7:13 PM

Jr. Queen - Another One Bites the Dust

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: January 17th, 2021 6:26 PM

You just triggered another old song from my musical memory vault Max- "Ramble On."

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 17th, 2021 4:37 PM

Robert Zeh there is no down side although in the end it will be wasted time. Before discussing defunding Police, the first question would be why, and it certainly is not because there is a lack of funds to support a good Police Department. Jr., that is called logical thinking. I can explain California and Midwest thinking. In California, you get an idea and you jump off the Mountain. Midwest thinking, is you think of an idea and realize you better have a plan before jumping off the Mountain. It appears that the Midwest is melting into the California way of thinking without having the wonderful weather, Mountain's and beautiful Sunset's dipping below the Pacific Ocean. Anyway, Robert Zeh, please let me know why you think it is worth thinking about defunding the Police

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 17th, 2021 4:14 PM

Jr. you have more observation, recall and experience then others although just not enough for you to understand the answer

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: January 17th, 2021 2:41 PM

Thank you Robert. Well and succinctly put. .. . .As for Maxwell, I am genuinely curious. Given that Austin is a part of Chicago, and that the educational, policing, economic and other issues plaguing that neighborhood are the purview of non-Oak Park governmental entities, please elaborate on just how,, in any possible way, "Oak Park is letting Austin stay the way it is"? Take your time. Use as many words as you deem necessary.

Robert Zeh  

Posted: January 17th, 2021 1:37 PM

I'm just not seeing what the downside to Oak Park is for finding out what Oak Park voters think about defunding the police. If it can be done as an advisory referenda it is just more information.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 3:13 PM

Has anyone in Oak Park really ask themselves where the problems are in Oak Park that so many activists need to save Oak Park, or how long Oak Park has needed activists when the help is needed in the Austin community. I know good people work through Church's and other organizations in the Austin community and do good work, although no where do I read that activists are working in the Austin community like they are in Oak Park to run politicians to make change. People can call out White supremacy in Oak Park without any actual proof and no one cares. Maybe there are some people be told they are afraid of change although what change is it that needs changing. No one is willing to face, question or even answer what is taking place in Oak Park, and is not taking place in Austin community. If Oak Park is so proud of change then make change where it is really needed. Everyone seems to do a little in Austin, although no one will advocate for what needs to change. Maybe the Oak Park activists are not up to a real challenge for change for the better that will save lives, improve lives, educate lives and employ lives. Oak Park is letting Austin stay the way it is and that is not change

Dave Slade from OAK PARK  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 2:26 PM

So when we choose to "defund the police" to the tune of reducing the force by 30%, will our taxes go down by that much also? I doubt it. And when we reallocate that money to others services, how soon do you figure we will need to hire those 30% back?

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 1:44 PM

Anthony Clark I know Trustee Andrews knows you for a lot of years and thinks you are just wonderful. One person in the community has called out Dan Moroney as a White supremist. Trustee Andrews is on Dan Moroney's website for Village President. Do you think that Dan Moroney is a White supremist and do you think that of all the good work that Trustee Andrews has done, that he really would associate himself with a White supremist because I just do not think that would happen. I would like your opinion

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 1:32 PM

Anthony Clark thank you for your reply. I am well aware of everything that you mentioned, even you starting a lawn service and some one who tried out working with lawn service for one day. I am referring to activists to go into the neighborhood and find out for this woman why she is being tossed aside and is not buying the idea the person who killed her son is now deceased. He was a student of yours, and I also know who he was. He was just a young man who wanted to grow older. He had no criminal background. He was stuck in an environment that needs to change. Austin community has had problems longer than your age. My question is why not have all the activists join together, and not at a candle light vigil, or flower and balloons placed where another victim was killed. Go ask the Police, the supervisor's, the alderman, the Mayor, why there are no jobs in the community. You may even be able to become a teacher in the community and help make a real change. If you know how long Oak Park has had the need for activist compared to Austin, would you let me know, and also what problems are so serious in Oak Park that activists are needed more in Oak Park than in the Austin community

Bruce Rushton  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 1:25 PM

William Dwyer, if you see this, please call or email me. It's important. Thanks. Bruce Rushton Staff Writer Illinois Times Springfield, IL

Anthony Clark  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 12:59 PM

Bill Maxwell the 'mother,' you are referring to is Sharita, whose son Elijah Sims was my student. My organization held his vigil & have spent countless hours with Sharita in Oak Park & Austin (some people actually travel East into Austin) in collaborating with others who have lost ones to gun violence in fighting for justice. This is actually well documented in the community, as Sharita is like family. Feel free to leave your computer & come join us on Quincy & Lotus where Elijah was murdered, so you can learn more about the work that is being done. You reference the Austin community, it is also well documented that SUA hits hot bead street corners in Austin to address crime & provide community support. We have also partnered with Oak Park church's to support the Austin Family & Community center in providing before & after school programs for youth. You mentioned jobs, SUA started Neighbors United, a lawn care business Oak Parkers utilize that employed at risk youth that now run it themselves. We also have worked with police in multiple CAPS programs in the Austin community. See what you can learn when one actually does research & not base their 'facts,' on their bias or dislike for someone? Let me know when you would like to join me over in Austin & we can further discuss policing & violence. For your research records.

Nick A Binotti  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 12:58 PM

Tom, one of Lombard's trustees is a police officer. Another trustee, elected while he was still a college student, did a ride along with police.

Jason Cohen  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 12:51 PM

@Tom, we don't agree on much of anything but that was pretty clever

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 12:24 PM

Anthony's comments make me wonder how they do things in Lombard.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 12:05 PM

William Dwyer Jr. I have no idea if Anthony Clark is allowed to be a candidate or not. No reporting on any decision. Maybe you have some information because it appears from what you wrote that you are assuming he is still able to run. "I would think you talking about Oak Park, Anthony, because you're running for Oak Park village trustee. That's the job you're seeking. Voters already made their opinion clear regarding your attempts for higher office."

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 12:02 PM

William Dwyer Jr. as for your support of the writer, I will again post again on how the story it favoring one side since words are very important to you "Here is a paragraph by the writer. "The timing and nature of the request have aroused suspicion in a handful of Moroney's village board peers, who view it as a tactic employed by Moroney to garner support for his campaign for village president." I think of a handful means more than 1 or 2 people. Maybe it is my inability to comprehend. When I count the handful in the story, there are only 2, which means a couple"

Jason Cohen  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 12:00 PM

"Defund" is a terrible term to use. The dictionary makes it clear that defund means to remove funding. That's not what I believe this has ever been about but it really hurts the discussion. I would like to see new standards set for all police and then make all police officers reapply for these positions. We also need to assess where the funding is going. As many have noted, most crime doesn't actually require a police officer. Using the funds for mental health and social service type resources might be a better use of these funds and tackle the reasons behind the crime. I am not excusing crime or serious criminal behavior but a vast majority of the crime in OP is non violent. Adding this referendum is clearly a political ploy. If you are voting I hope that means you research the candidates. If you do then you will know who supports looking at our police funding and who isn't. I definitely won't be voting for Moroney..

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 12:00 PM

William Dwyer Jr. Lets use the reallocate. Now that means taking money away from the Police budget. If you do that, then how do you pay for the Police, which means there will be less Police. I am sure you have looked through hundreds of Police summaries and the location of each offender. The Police blotter shows a lot of addresses located in the Austin community although a very low number of people in Oak Park. Mental health workers will never respond to any potentially violent incident and that goes with the Paramedic's. You must know that, and you know the Police are much better trained and that will continue to recognize what is happening and work to diffuse the situation. People are in my opinion losing respect for Police Officer's who will go into a very hostile environment when many will not. Oak Park has some very excellent and well trained Police Officer's and this type of communication is insulting to the Men and Women who choose the profession of being a Police Officer. Each generation of a Police Officer gets better and better. How quickly with forget how the U.S. Capitol Police had to defend against an overwhelming number of a mob action

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 11:51 AM

Why does a possibly over taxed community like OakPark want to defund the police? Why not tax the residents more for additional social services? I have posted this before I want the Village President and Trustees and all the police staff to speak with every crime victim, not in the Village Chambers, safe warm dry clean well lighted with a police officer at the door, but at the scene of their victimhood. Speaking with victims places a unique face on the issue.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 11:47 AM

If Dan Moroney was a white supremist then Trustee Andrews would not be associated on Moroney's website. You know the good work that Trustee Andrews has done. As for Anthony Clark, Policing is Policing the area. The presence of a Police vehicle will move a criminal along. It is not about Police Officer's seating in their vehicles waiting for a call. Learn about what the Police do. Now that you know Oak Park is just not an Island, I do not understand why you are not helping that mother who lost her child two years ago by going into the Austin community and the other activist who want to really make change. In my opinion, it seems like there is no benefit. It is as if you have turned your back on helping others and instead helping yourself along with other activists in Oak Park. Go share and help the Austin community. They need real activists to bring in jobs and so many other things. Maybe it just is not beneficial to all of the activists in Oak Park to do exactly what needs to be done

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 11:44 AM

Colin? If they meant "reallocate," they should have used that word, not "defund". It's what competent leaders do - use language properly and effectively.

Moe Kaye  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 11:38 AM

how about an advisory referendum on defunding public pensions? kinda like killing two birds with one stone.

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 11:32 AM

I would think you talking about Oak Park, Anthony, because you're running for Oak Park village trustee. That's the job you're seeking. Voters already made their opinion clear regarding your attempts for higher office.

Colin Taylor  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 11:16 AM

Mr. Clark makes some excellent points, which I think lead to a simple conclusion: "Defund the police" means "decrease the police budget and use those funds for other, more effective expenditures." I support this! I believe Mr. Clark does too, as do many in our community. Let's vote YES on this referendum instead of arguing about whether or not it should be on the ballot.

Anthony Clark  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 10:56 AM

William, in my assessment of this issue requires more conversation, why would assume I am simply referring to Oak Park? Oak Park is not on an island or in a vacuum. Just as we often receive benefits from other communities that face lack of investment, such as them spending their time & money in our community, we are also impacted by their & our own systemic issues. We cannot discuss police funding, without including the communities that surround us. Some level of crime will exist, but if you don't understand that poverty & struggle often dictate crime, then we aren't in the same conversation. Issues are interconnected & if we are to be a community that truly cares about people, we must talk about those interconnected that often lead to crime: housing, food/job insecurity, pollution, mental health etc. I view living in Oak Park has having a level of privilege that other communities do not have, so in making decisions, it is important to consider those communities. Police funding is not a Black or white issue, in there are minorities, as well as those in the majority that fall on both sides of the argument, but if we are to argue, it is important to do so with a solid understanding of what defund truly means.

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 10:25 AM

Freakin' spellcheck. That's "incident reports."

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 10:25 AM

I guess when your tool is a megaphone, every problem looks like it needs a street demonstration with you hollering into that megaphone. Anthony Clark is simply wrong in his assessment of the roots of crime in Oak Park. I've read thousands of pages of police summaries and indecent reports and other police documents over the years, and I know for a fact that the majority of crime in Oak Park - that is, well more than half - is committed by non-Oak Park residents. So he can talk about increased village social services and improved social cohesion all he wants, but his approach will not reduce crime, "perceived" or not. He's also wrong about effective policing not stopping crime.Numerous studies have shown that police presence has a suppressive impact of crime rates. It doesn't guarantee there'll be no crime, but it does work to keep rates lower. Those are facts Clark conveniently ignores, as is his practice. I have nothing against having more social workers- they're very useful. I am against having less police.

Anthony Clark from Oak Park  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 10:08 AM

In talking about defunding the police, the conversations should be genuine & based on what defunding the police truly means no matter if you agree or disagree with the ideology. Only then, can we have real conversations as a community in what our public safety should look like. Policing is inherently reactive. A crime is committed or is perceived to be committed & the police are called. Policing, no matter how many police you have on staff does not stop crime, it reacts to it & from prohibition to the war on drugs, reactionary tactics do not stop crime. Taking some money from a police department's budget, and using it to create more affordable housing, to fund mental health services, or to proactively address other systemic issues that lead to more crime, would create a community safety net better suited to respond to situations such as someone having a mental health crisis in public, rather than an armed officer. The police could then focus on more serious crimes, as well as better address the high levels of mental health issues that exist in their ranks due to being overtasked. We have the ability as communities to reimagine what community safety looks like. At present, it appears that many believe keeping crime hopefully out of sight & out of mind, while police react to it, is better than working together to discover how to proactively stop crime from occurring in the first place, which is better for the entire community including police. Such conversations have to go far beyond a referendum.

Jenna Leving Jacobson  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 10:07 AM

If Trustee Moroney believes "defund the police" reduces a complex topic to a hash tag, why would he want to put that slogan on our ballot? This feels like an insincere political move that will waste time and resources.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 9:55 AM

It figures that the Trustee who has been harping about defunding the police all year now thinks it is a stunt for the people to vote on it. She knows how unpopular the idea really is among the citizens. Let's vote on it, and then we can stop having her pretending it is something people want.

Colin Taylor  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 9:29 AM

Mr. Moroney's 'stunt' is welcomed, as it lets all of us put our money (or votes) where our mouths are. I would vote Yes on this referendum, and my fellow supporters of cutting the police budget should meet the moment head-on. I applaud Moroney's move, and think it will serve as a clarifying moment for our community.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 8:31 AM

It is a stunt because the other candidates didn't think of asking the people, the people no less what they think. After the defund issue is quashed, the community needs to develop a support program for the good police officers attempting to do their job correctly.

Jeff Schroeder from OAK PARK  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 8:29 AM

Why anyone would want to run our current village board is beyond me.

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 8:15 AM

This is solid news reporting, not bias, with a perfectly good and accurate hed and sub hed. One village president candidate called for a referendum, and two other elected officials called the proposal a "stunt" and one called it a charade. Those are facts, not spin.

Kitty Conklin  

Posted: January 13th, 2021 5:16 AM

Wednesday Journal, you're playing with the headlines again to show your bias, you "non-endorsing" newspaper, you. First headline is fine. The 2nd/sub-headline - introduces your bias. This new business model you're supposed to be adhering to sure seems to be presenting challenges for you.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 12th, 2021 11:14 PM

Here is a paragraph by the writer. "The timing and nature of the request have aroused suspicion in a handful of Moroney's village board peers, who view it as a tactic employed by Moroney to garner support for his campaign for village president." I think of a handful means more than 1 or 2 people. Maybe it is my inability to comprehend. When I count the handful in the story, there are only 2, which means a couple

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: January 12th, 2021 11:00 PM

Of course,it's a stunt and a sneaky one at that! He didn't publicly announce his intention to place this controversial referendum on the ballot last year and instead claims to have made such an important decision suddenly and while on a Christmas break. Only a FOIA request tipped off the community to what he is trying to pull off before the impending deadline.. So with time running out, Moroney probably has the votes he needs to get board approval and wants to make any attempt to seriously address policing in our community a wedge issue in the upcoming election. It's grandstanding and an obvious attempt to garner the support of any residents who may be misinformed about the facts and afraid.of change.

Jeffrey Smith  

Posted: January 12th, 2021 10:32 PM

This is moronic. Moroney is using Trump tactics to inflame irrational fear and disrupt the election. Instead, let's defund Moroney and make sure he's defeated in the election.

Jennifer Malloy Quinlan  

Posted: January 12th, 2021 10:03 PM

Anything to split the vote. Good lord.

Richard Fischer from Oak Park  

Posted: January 12th, 2021 9:17 PM

By all means let's defund the police so with less police on the streets there' will be more opportunity for the car jackers to increase their take. I for one will not vote for anybody that even considers defunding the police.

Jim Kelly  

Posted: January 12th, 2021 8:09 PM

I deeply regret voting for him to become a Trustee.

Bill Maxwell  

Posted: January 12th, 2021 7:30 PM

I really do not think people know what Police Officer's do. Oak Park is increasing in population and now you want to talk about reducing the Police Department by 30 percent. "We're being asked with hundreds of emails to reduce our police force by roughly 30 percent," said Moroney." That will reduce response time by at least 30 percent, it will increase the likelihood of at least 30 percent more crime with less Police presence on the streets. If the Police are on the old 8 hour shifts, that is like removing one shift each day. You can not efficiently Police the area's of Oak Park effectively. If anything, the Police Department could use a few more Police Officer's. If I am misunderstanding what reducing 30 percent of the Police Officer's means, then please correct my misunderstanding. Otherwise, there are some really misinformed people in Oak Park. If this actually happens, next time you need the Police, call a trustee or a helpful defund enthusiast. I hope this coming election brings out everyone

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: January 12th, 2021 6:48 PM

While I will likely vote for Simone Boutet in April, I respectfully disagree with her take on this proposed referendum. And, you know, it's funny, but, I don't recall Trustee Walker-Peddakotla referring to the idea of defunding the police as a "charade" and a "political stunt" last year when it was such a popular buzz word on the jazzed up far left. What changed? Is she afraid of hearing what the majority of voters think of the idea?

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