Category: Elections

Proviso Together Raised $20K More Than Proviso First

Proviso Together Team Pic.jpg

A Proviso Together volunteer counts vote tallies as they come in on April 4. William Camargo/Wednesday Journal

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 || By Thomas Vogel for Forest Park Review || @maywoodnews

Recent campaign finance disclosures reveal Proviso Together, the political action committee that backed four winning candidates in the April 4 District 209 school board election, out-raised its competitor, Proviso First, by nearly $20,000.

The documents, which cover fundraising from Jan. 1 through March 31, add financial context to an election that saw the Proviso Together slate sweep the four open seats on the District 209 Board of Education. The quarterly filings confirm comments made by Proviso Together’s chairperson Connie Brown to the Review in March saying her committee had received dozens of small donations.

Proviso Together reported $44,461.37 in contributions in its required quarterly filing, with an additional $5,835 in in-kind contributions.

Proviso First disclosed $24,500.50. Their filing shows an additional $844.40 in in-kind contributions.

The two political action committees formed in early 2017. As a result, their first quarterly reports were not required to be filed until after the spring election in early April. In the run-up to local elections, the Illinois State Board of Elections requires only contributions more than $1,000 — so-called A-1 gifts — to be disclosed.

Smaller donations are not reported until ballots are cast and leave election-watchers unable to know exactly how much each committee has in funds.

As reported by the Review in March, Proviso First had a large advantage in A-1 contributions, showing $16,000 in funds. Proviso Together had reported just $2,000 in A-1 contributions.

But the most recent Proviso Together report shows 147 itemized donations — ranging from $10 to $800 — from businesses, residents, and the candidates themselves. The donations are geographically diverse, with funds coming from communities across the Chicago suburbs, including Forest Park, Hazel Crest, Maywood, Westchester, Elmhurst, Brookfield, and Naperville, among others. The bulk, however, are from Forest Park.

Proviso First’s filing shows 19 itemized donations from residents and businesses in several communities, including the city of Chicago, Westchester, Berkeley, Elmhurst and Melrose Park, among others. The Proviso First candidates also contributed to the committee.

There is a $480.25 contribution from a Washington D.C. man, Chris Gallaway, and Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough gave $720.37. VFP

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Candidates React to Last Night’s Election Results on Facebook

Facebook reactions_Mayor Perkins_Yarbrough

Trustee Henderson Yarbrough concedes to incumbent Mayor Edwenna Perkins on April 4. Perkins garnered 44 percent of the vote while Yarbrough garnered around 28 percent in a four-person race for mayor. | Mayor Edwenna Perkins/Facebook 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

Some candidates running for numerous seats on village boards in Bellwood, Broadview Maywood and Melrose Park posted responses to the results of the April 4 election on Facebook.

We’ve compiled a few, along with Facebook photos, below:

Facebook reactions_Thompson

Katrina Thompson Election Night

After capturing around 45 percent of the vote, Katrina Thompson, pictured left, was elected Broadview’s mayor. She’s the first African American female mayor in the village’s history.

Thompson’s ticket, the Broadview People’s Party, also captured the three open trustee seats on the village’s board.



First-time candidates for trustee, Kimyada Wellington (who ran with the support of Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins) and Antonio Sanchez (who ran on the Maywood United Party ticket) were the two most popular trustee candidates in a field of 10 people who were running for three open seats. Incumbent trustee Melvin Lightford won his bid for reelection.

Facebook reactions_Antonio Sanchez

Facebook reactions_Kimyada Wellington_Phone

Facebook reactions_Yarbrough

Election Results from April 4, 2017

VFP election results

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 || By Political Editor || @maywoodnews 

The following is a list of the results of the April 4, 2017 Consolidated General Election for Bellwood, Broadview, Maywood, Melrose Park and Stone Park.

Click here for access to all of the election results posted on the Cook County Clerk’s website.


2017 Election results_Bellwood

2017 Election results_Bellwood District 88

2017 Election results_Memorial Park District


2017 Election results_Broadview.png

2017 Election results_Broadview Library District

2017 Election results_Broadview Park District.png


2017 Election results_Maywood

2017 Election results_Maywood Park District.png

2017 Election results_Maywood Library District.png


2017 Election results_Melrose Park


2017 Election results_Stone Park

Maywood-Melrose Park-Broadview District 89

2017 Election results_Maywood District 89

Lindop School District 92

2017 Election results_Lindop District 92

Proviso Township High Schools District 209

D209 election results

Proviso Township

2017 Election results_Proviso Township.png

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A Flood of Endorsements Announced by Maywood Candidates

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Maywood mayoral candidates at an April 2 forum hosted by the Village Free Press and held at the Maywood Public Library. | Shanel Romain/VFP

Monday, April 3, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

One day before the April 4 election, candidates for Maywood board seats are flooding social media groups and email inboxes with endorsement announcements. Below are some of the more prominent endorsements that candidates, and/or their parties, have announced over the last 48 hours (by the order in which they appear on the ballot).

Danny K. Davis has prominently announced a number of local candidates in numerous races. Davis endorsed the Maywood United Party, which comprises Trustee Henderson Yarbrough as its mayoral candidate, Readith Ester as its village clerk candidate, and Antonio Sanchez, Audrey Jaycox and Emanuel Wilder as its trustee candidates.

Davis also endorsed candidates in the Maywood park district, library board races, in addition candidates for District 89 and District 209 school board seats.

In numerous Facebook posts, Yarbrough also announced that Maywood United has been endorsed by Proviso Township Trustee Clarence Thomas, Maywood Park District Board President Arnettra Burnside and Maywood Park District Commissioner Bill Hampton.

Danny Davis endorsement

Mayoral candidate Mary “May” Larry recently announced that she was endorsed by Teamsters Local 700.


The Maywood Visionary Party, headed by Trustee Antonette “Toni” Dorris, has been endorsed by the state Sen. Kimberly Lightford (4th) and the West Suburban Journal, among other entities.

Trustee Melvin Lightford, (the father of Sen. Lightford), Drena Lanier and Joe Wilson are the party’s candidates for trustee. Steven Smiley is the party’s candidate for clerk.

MVP endorsement.png


Dorothy BrownMayor Edwenna Perkins, who is running for reelection, and her slate of People’s Choice Party candidates (all of whom are technically independents), have been endorsed by Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown.

In addition to Perkins, People’s Choice candidates include trustee candidate Kimyada Wellington, library board candidate Sinaria Lee and John Rice, who is running for both park district and library district.

Wellington received an endorsement by Maywood Trustee Isiah Brandon, who is chairman of People’s Choice. Brandon recently released the following statement on behalf of Wellington:

In a race that doesn’t have too much energy, one candidate stands out the most to me for village trustee, Kimyada Wellington. Kimyada served our country for 23 years serving tours in Afghanistan.

“Wellington is a strong advocate for veterans the community as a whole. Kimyada has a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA). Wellington served as the president for the Garfield PTA, is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority. Maywood in order for us to create a strong and resilient community we need strong leadership. A leader that will understand the Importance of economic development. Wellington is uniquely qualified and service is part of her DNA.”

NOMCO Endorsements announced

In a statement released over the weekend, Neighbors of Maywood Community Organization (NOMCO) member Vicki Haas announced the organization’s endorsements and the process that led to them. Her full statement is below:

Following mid-March Maywood Candidate Forums which provided the community a good introduction to the candidates and issues, paid up members of Neighbors of Maywood Community Organization voted their endorsements, according to their by-laws. The by-laws specify that endorsements are only done in local nonpartisan elections, only members paid up at least 30 days before the forum can vote, and, here is the tough one with so many multiple candidacies (five for Mayor!!), to receive an endorsement, the candidate must receive at least 2/3 of those who are there, qualified and casting a secret ballot.

Here are the few, among many good candidates, who received NoMCO endorsements:

  • District 89: Regina Rivers
  • District 209: Sam Valtierrez and Rodney Alexander
  • Maywood President (Mayor): Henderson Yarbrough
  • Maywood Trustees: Antonio Sanchez
  • Library District: Jose Galarza and Connie Tapia

No endorsement was made for Village Clerk (although two candidates were close), nor for Park District.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoons (March 18th and 19th), a crowd totaling over 150 candidates and citizens, mostly from Maywood, attended candidate forums at the Quinn Center of St. Eulalia Church for a total of over 8 hours to listen, discuss, and in some cases, vote regarding endorsements. The forums have been conducted every two years for decades in non-partisan local government elections. Sponsoring organizations this year included Neighbors of Maywood Community Organization (NoMCO), Maywood Chamber of Commerce, Maywood-Proviso Rotary, and Maywood Toastmasters. The planning committee included Chair, Vicki Haas, of NoMCO, Phyllis Clifton, of Maywood Chamber, Gary Woll, of Maywood Rotary, and Charisse Arrington of Maywood Toastmasters, who served as Moderator.

Saturday’s forums presented the candidates for Maywood Library District: Jose Galarza, Sinaria Lee, John Rice and Connie Tapia for 3 openings; Maywood Park District: Rakita Tanna and John Rice for 1 opening; and School Boards of Elementary School District 89: Veronica Bonilla-Lopez, Sally Alondra, Regina Rivers, and Kimberly Hopson for 3 openings, as well as Proviso High School District 209: Dan Adams, Teresa McKelvy, Amanda Grant, Arbdella (Della Patterson, Rodney Alexander, Jacqueline Walton, and Brian Cross for 4 openings.

Sunday’s forums presented candidates for the Village of Maywood: Mayor (President) (1 opening), Clerk (1 opening), and Trustees (3 openings). There were
three party slates, in ballot order, with the Maywood United Party led by Henderson Yarbrough (President), Readith Ester (Clerk) and Antonio Sanchez, Audrey Jaycox and Emmanuel Wilder (Trustees). The My Maywood Party is led by Mary Larry, clerk candidate Viola Mims, and for trustee: Marcius Scaggs, Tanya Butler and Sammie Rogers. The 3rd party is the Maywood Visionary Party led by Antoinette (Toni) Dorris, clerk Steven Smiley and trustees Melvin Lightford, Joseph Wilson and Drena Lanier. Finally, incumbent Mayor Edwenna Perkins is running on her own with one trustee candidate she has endorsed: Kimyade Wellington. VFP

Early Voting Starts March 20 (Locations Inside)

Wristbands for voters are seen at a polling station during early voting in Chicago

Friday, March 17, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Voters can start going to the polls to cast their ballots ahead of the upcoming April 4 election, starting March 20, the date when early voting begins at most facilities in Cook County. The early voting period lasts through April 3.

The early voting sites in Bellwood, Broadview, Maywood and Melrose Park include:

  • Bellwood Village Hall | 3200 Washington Blvd., Bellwood | Monday – Friday | March 20 – April 3 | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. || Saturday | Mar. 25 – Apr. 1 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Melrose Park Village Hall  | 1000 N. 25th Ave., Melrose Park| Monday – Friday | Mar. 20 – Apr. 3 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. || Saturday | Mar. 25 – Apr. 1 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Maywood Courthouse (Whitcomb Building) | 1311 Maybrook Sq., Room 104, Maywood | Monday – Friday | Mar. 8 – 10,* Mar. 13 – 17,* Mar. 20 – Apr. 3 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. || Saturday | Mar. 25 – Apr. 1 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

These facilities will also be sites for grace period registration, held from March 20 to April 3, which allows eligible voters an opportunity to register and vote up until the Monday before an election, according to the Cook County Clerk’s Office.

“Individuals wishing to vote during the grace period must bring two pieces of identification to register,” according to the Clerk’s Office. “Grace period registrants immediately cast their ballot after registering to vote.”

For the full list of early voting sites and for more info on early voting, click hereVFP


District 209 School Board Campaign Shows Lots of Outside Cash, Stark Funding Disparities

Cash.jpgMarch 14, 2017 || By Thomas Vogel for Forest Park Review || @maywoodnews

The latest available campaign finance disclosures for a pair of political action committees backing competing slates in the upcoming April 4 Proviso District 209 school board election show a wide gap in funding and, for one slate, thousands of dollars from groups and individuals outside Proviso Township.

Proviso First for School Board 209 — which supports three incumbent candidates and a fourth newcomer — has $11,250 in funds. The other committee, Proviso Together — which supports four challengers, supported by Forest Park board members Claudia Medina and Ned Wagner — has reported just $2,000.

The total amount of funding for each committee is unclear. But Illinois State Board of Elections records do show a web of connections between the incumbent candidate slate (Proviso First) and outside groups active in previous elections, including committees tied to former District 209 board president Chris Welch, longtime Melrose Park Mayor Ronald Serpico, and Cook County Board Commissioner and McCook Mayor Jeffrey Tobolski.

The Proviso Together and Proviso First slates were both created in January 2017. As a result, each committee does not have to file a quarterly disclosure report until April 1, just days before the election, according to Illinois State Board of Election rules. Contributions under $1,000 are listed on quarterly disclosure reports.

Connie Brown, a local Forest Park business owner and chairman of Proviso Together, said her committee has raised — through many small contributions — much more than the reports show.

All disclosures listed for both committees as of March 7 are Schedule A-1 contributions, meaning each donation is over $1,000 and must be reported within five business days. Schedule A-1 contributions given within 30 days before an election — any day after March 5 — must be reported within two business days.

“All of our money is raised through grass-roots support,” Brown said on March 9. “All of our contributors either live in the district or have friends or relatives within the district.”

She said Proviso Together has roughly 200 contributors, with the average gift between $50 or $100. Brown declined to give an exact total.

“We’re raising enough to do exactly what we need to do,” she added, mentioning printing costs for campaign fliers and signage. “It’s not about how much money is raised; it’s how the money is raised.”

Proviso First, by contrast, has received four A-1 donations totaling $11,250. The committee was created on Jan. 19. Teresa McKelvy and Brian Cross, both sitting Proviso 209 Board of Education members up for re-election, are listed as president and treasurer, respectively. McKelvy is currently the school board president.

Brian Cross, Proviso First’s treasurer and an incumbent school board candidate, did not return requests for comment.

Friends of Jeffrey Tobolski, created in June 2009 to support Jeffrey Tobolski in his bid for Cook County Board commissioner, gave $1,000 to Proviso First on Feb. 27. Tobolski is also the mayor of McCook. According to its most recent quarterly report, Friends of Jeffrey Tobolski has a $282,472.46 fund balance.

As Cook County commissioner, Tobolski’s 16th District includes parts of several Proviso communities, including Bellwood, Westchester, Melrose Park and Maywood. Tobolski mentioned that he got a message from Proviso First on Facebook asking for a contribution and said he knows Cross.

“I’ve known him for a number of years,” Tobolski said March 8. “We both went to St. Joe’s High School in Westchester.” He added that he tends to support incumbents.

“I didn’t see anything that they were doing wrong,” he said of the incumbents on the Proviso First slate. “The folks have a done a good job.”

D209’s 2016 four-year graduation rate was 73.5 percent, more than 10 percentage points below the state average, according to the Illinois Report Card, the state’s official source. Other metrics, including the rate of graduating seniors enrolling in two- or four-year colleges, are also below state average.

Tobolski said the $1,000 is a one-time contribution and that he was not a “kingmaker.”

Friends of Jeffrey Tobolski has been active in other elections, too. Since 2011, the group has given eight contributions totaling $2,700 to People for Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D209’s former board president. Welch’s tenure saw several controversies, including the possible use of taxpayer money to help pay Welch’s legal fees in a defamation lawsuit. Welch was elected as an Illinois state representative for the 7th district in 2013.

Friends of Jeffrey Tobolski has also, since 2010, given seven separate donations totaling $5,750 to Citizens for Christopher Getty, a committee created to support Getty’s village president campaign in Lyons. Getty was elected in 2009.

According to its latest quarterly report, Citizens for Christopher Getty has a fund balance of $99,055.47. Since 2010, Citizens for Getty has given Friends of Jeffrey Tobolski $2,400 in eight separate donations. The last, for $350, was in September 2016. Getty is also the chairman and treasurer of the United Citizens Party, a committee founded in 2004.

Since 2009, United Citizens Party, has given Friends of Jeffrey Tobolski nine separate contributions totaling $3,050. The most recent contribution, in March 2016, was for $1,000. According to its latest quarterly report, United Citizens Party has $101,554.56 as a fund balance.

Meanwhile, Citizens for Accountability, created in January 2015 and registered to a Michigan Avenue Loop address, gave $1,000 to Proviso First on Feb. 26. The committee’s purpose is listed as “Advocacy efforts around issues that help the citizens of Illinois.” Paul Rauner of St. Louis, Missouri is the committee’s chairperson.

On March 8, Citizens for Accountability reported a $22,200 contribution from Azavar Audit Solutions, a Loop-based municipal auditor with clients across Chicagoland, including Westchester. Since 2015, Azavar and another company, called Azavar Technologies, have given Citizens for Accountability $53,800 in contributions. Since 2015, Azavar has also given People for Emanuel “Chris” Welch $3,500 and $500 to Citizens to Elect Ronald M. Serpico Sr. Inc. Serpico is the longtime mayor of Melrose Park.

Also on March 8, Citizens for Accountability reported a $1,000 contribution from Del Galdo Law Group LLC. In 2013, Del Galdo Law Group gave Your Choice for Proviso a $9,387.83 in-kind mailing contribution. Del Galdo was D209’s counsel from 2007 to 2015. Your Choice For Proviso was created in March 2013 to support the candidacy of Teresa McKelvy in her 2013 D209 election campaign. Dan Adams, the D209 board’s current vice president, chaired that committee.

In September 2016, Citizens for Accountability gave $500 to People for Emanuel “Chris” Welch. That same month, Citizens for Accountability gave Friends of Jeffrey Tobolski $1,000. A month earlier, they gave United Citizens Party $1,000. According to its latest quarterly report, Citizens for Accountability has a fund balance of $2,361.21.

CashAmerica, a Texas-based pawn shop chain, gave Citizens for Accountability $2,000 in October 2016. In the past, CashAmerica has also contributed to a committee backing Ronald Serpico Sr. CashAmerica gave Citizens to Elect Ronald M. Serpico Sr. Inc. $250 in 2013. In November 2016, Citizens to Elect Ronald M. Serpico gave People for Emanuel Chris Welch $2,500.

Tuwanna Stewart, a JP Morgan Chase loan officer with a Glendale Heights address, gave Proviso First $5,000 on Feb. 24. Stewart’s donation is the only contribution given by her, according to Illinois State Board of Election records.

Wendy Smith, a Chicago resident and Chicago Police Department patrol officer, gave Proviso First $4,250 on Feb. 24. Smith’s donation is the only contribution given by her, according to Illinois State Board of Election records. City of Chicago records list Smith’s annual salary at $90,618.

Proviso Together, on the other hand, has received two A-1 donations totaling $2,000.

Linda Offenbecher of Westchester, an occupational therapist, gave $1,000 on Feb 13. David Grant of Kankakee gave $1,000 on Feb. 21. VFP

P A I D  A D V E R T I S E M E N T 

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We Want Your Questions for Political Candidates Running in April | Meet the Candidates on Saturday


Wednesday, February 8, 2017 || By Editorial Team || @maywoodnews

The Village Free Press is preparing to interview candidates who are running for local elected seats in the upcoming April 4 election, but before we start asking questions, we want input from citizens.

If you, or someone you know, have questions for candidates running for the following positions, please let us know by writing your question in the comment section underneath this article, or by leaving a message on our Facebook page (click here)and/or Twitter account (click here). You can also email your question to:

Please submit questions no later than Feb. 15.

Positions contested in April 4 election in Maywood 

  • Mayor
  • Village Clerk
  • Trustee
  • Park District Board Commissioner
  • Library Board Member
  • District 89 School Board Member
  • District 209 School Board Member

We also plan on interviewing mayoral candidates in the following communities:

  • Broadview
  • Bellwood
  • Melrose Park
  • Stone Park

Candidate Meet-and-greet, Saturday, Feb. 11

Here’s another opportunity to learn more about the candidates running for various offices in April.

This Saturday, Feb. 11, the Eighth Avenue Block Club will host a community conversation and candidate meet-and-greet at 1 p.m. inside the Quinn Community Center, 1851 S. 9th Ave.

Pass the word, come out and put those candidates who show up to the test. VFP

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