Category: Letters

My Experiences At the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 || LETTERS || @maywoodnews

Earlier this year, Maywood resident and Proviso East student Anahi Soto was selected among students nationally to attend the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders — a prestigious program that’s exclusively for honors high school students who are passionate about studying in the STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) fields. She writes about her experiences at the congress below:

Continue reading “My Experiences At the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders”

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LETTERS: We’re Demanding That Maywood Repeal Its Pit Bull Ordinance

Letter to the EditorSaturday, July 8, 2017 || LETTERS || @maywoodnews

In response to your article of May 3, 2017 entitled, “Maywood Pit Bull Owners Pressing Village to Change Regulations”, I would very much like to challenge one point. The Pit bull owners of Maywood are not pressing the village to change the current Pit bull ordinance. We are demanding that the ordinance be repealed entirely.

The Village of Maywood is completely on the wrong side of this issue. We are the only municipality anywhere in the area to have any type of regulations about Pit bull ownership. Chicago, Cicero, Berwyn, North Riverside, Riverside, Bellwood, Broadview, Melrose Park, Forest Park, Oak Park, River Forest, none of these communities have any laws restricting Pit bull ownership. Pit bulls are not even mentioned in any of their Animal Control laws.

The State of Illinois has prohibited Breed Specific Laws (BSL), or laws that single out any one breed, and the Centers for Disease Control, part of the federal government does not endorse the use of this kind of a law. Even the American Bar Association, the national representative of the legal profession, does not support the passage of BSL.

In fact, no one seems to even remember why this law was passed here in the first place. Let’s be honest, we all know that there probably more Pit bulls in the Village of Maywood than any other kind of dog, and even so, no specific issues with Pit bull attacks have been cited, and no one seems to feel that there is a problem, or that there has ever been a problem with Pit bulls in the Village of Maywood. Officer Johnson even spoke about loose Pit bulls, abandoned by their owners, who were nonetheless not aggressive toward anyone.

We already have laws that protect our citizens from any dogs of any breeds who have exhibited aggressive behavior. This Pit bull law is overkill and is unfair to responsible pet owners and to innocent animals who have never bothered anybody in their lives.

This issue is scheduled to be on the agenda at the next Legal, License and Ordinance Committee meeting. Changing the law is not good enough! This law has to got to go! People of Maywood, if you own a Pit bull, if you love animals, if you are tired of Maywood’s  leadership being out of touch with the world around us, or even if you just care about fairness and justice in Maywood, come to the village meeting on Wednesday July 12 at 7 p.m. in the Village Council Chambers above the police station and demand that the Board of Trustees get rid of this law once and for all! Make Maywood safe for its citizens, human and dog alike.

Heather Stelnicki, Maywood 

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LETTERS: ComEd Needs to Respect Private Property Regardless of Where Its At

Village perspectives_John Yi photo.jpg

A tree outside of John Yi’s Maywood home. Yi said that the tree was “mutilated” by ComEd and Lewis Tree Removal. | Submitted photo

Thursday, June 15, 2017 || LETTER TO THE EDITOR || @maywoodnews

ComEd and Lewis Tree Removal of New York say that a tree needs to be 10 feet clear of wires, so they proceeded to “trim” the beautiful tree outside of our home. Take a look at that photo. Does that look like 10 feet or 3 feet? Why didn’t they just remove the tree altogether?

ComEd also informed me that I must now pay a tree removal company to cut down the tree they just mutilated!

My question to ComEd is this: Would you treat private property this way if Maywood were instead Oak Park or River Forest? My hunch is no. But because I live in a socio-economically depressed community that is 95 percent minority, ComEd feels no hesitation when it comes to disrespecting private property.

ComEd claims that it treats every neighborhood and community the same, but I have a hard time believing that they would do this to my tree if it were planted in Lake Forest or River Forest.

Some of us in Maywood are working really hard to bring good to this town and the bad guys keeping us from doing this aren’t always the ones that make the evening news. I would love to see ComEd change their ways in this regard. Respect private property regardless of what community it’s in!

— John Yi, Maywood resident

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Letters: Anahi Soto Goes to Washington | This Is Politics, Or Is It?

Letter to the Editor

Sunday, April 30, 2017 || LETTERS || @maywoodnews

My experience at the National League of Cities Conference

The Maywood Youth Council has once again made their appearance in the National League of Cities Conference in Washington D.C., which was held from March 11 to March 15.  Keyanna Turner and myself, who are both sophomores from Proviso East High School;  Jeramia Sowell, a junior at Proviso East; John Michael  Dawson, a junior at Proviso Math and Science Academy; and Reena Murphy, a senior at Walter Lutheran Christian Academy.

We are five brilliant students with impressive GPAs well above 3.0 and a desire to improve their beloved village. Trustee Isiah Brandon took on the responsibility to bring us to Washington D.C. yet again in hopes that more resources could be utilized. 

This year, the conference events taught us about the importance of networking. Many of us received contact information from people like Scot Carter, the chief of the Department of Agriculture; Star Wilbraham, a small business analyst; and Diane Delaware, the mayor of Yazoo, Mississippi.

Upon our arrival to the conference, we went through workshops that gave us a foundation for future networking. We also attended congressional meetings on issues like clean water preservation.

We also learned how lobbyists lobby, how policies function and how to be leaders. For instance, at one workshop, we had to write a policy that implemented a plan to give an area free internet. During these meetings, we were conversation-starts and deep-thinking participants.

As a returning member of the council, I was very impressed by these individuals who knew that they attended this conference with a greater purpose: to make Maywood prosper — and not just for themselves.

I want to thank everyone who made this available to the youth: the trustees, the mayor, the teachers and the residents of our fine village. We’ve done well as community members to raise such open-minded individuals.  The village of the eternal flame shines on!

— Anahi Soto, Proviso East High School sophomore

This is politics, or is it?

Right on the brink of the recent Maywood, IL mayoral April 4th, 2017 election, voting citizens observed a duplication of two candidates’ names, titles and photographs on the Palm Cards of opposing slates. Naturally, we wonder, ‘how can this even happen?’

When then candidate, then mayor, now Mayor Elect, Madam Edwenna Perkins was approached regarding integrity and morality, unfair campaign practices, ethics, personal principles and the like, she coldly and flatly responded, “THIS IS POLITICS.”

Since then, charges regarding these self-same concerns have been leveled against Madam Mayor Elect Perkins, along with her counterpart, re-elected Village Clerk, Viola Mims, with respect to violations stemming from blatant disregard for legislation instituted by the Illinois State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, 5 ILCS 430/5-15. The Village of Maywood has adopted the prohibited political activities provisions of the Act, as required by law.

This, is politics.

— Fern Rayon, Freelancer, FERNsWORKs

Email your opinions and concerns to thevillagefreepress@gmail.com. Submissions are subject to minor editing and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of the Village Free Press.

Letters: I Firmly Opposed Home Rule

Letter to the EditorThursday, March 30, 2017 || By LETTERS || @maywoodnews

I firmly opposed to home rule in Broadview. I voted against it and I had a “No on Home Rule” sign in my yard. I’m running for mayor because I want everyone in Broadview to have a say in village government. Home rule would take power away from the people. I signed a petition to allow voters to voice their opinion, and I’m glad the voters decided against Home Rule for Broadview. As Mayor, I’ll continue to work with the people of Broadview to make sure their voices are heard in village government.

I signed a petition to allow voters to voice their opinion and I’m glad the voters decided against home rule for Broadview. As mayor, I’ll continue to work with the people of Broadview to make sure their voices are heard in village government.

— Katrina Thompson, candidate for Mayor of Broadview 

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Letters: Welcoming Village Policies Are On the Right Side of History and Justice

Letter to the EditorSaturday, March 25, 2017 || LETTERS || @maywoodnews 

At a moment when immigrants, Muslims and communities of color are under unprecedented attack, local municipalities have a responsibility to enact strong policies that defend and protect vulnerable communities.

Immigrants are living in fear, workers are afraid to go to work, parents fear taking their children to school and children worry their parents may be taken away while they are at school.

Those who argue that welcoming policies are symbolic or create false protection are misinformed. Immigrant communities know that “welcoming” or “sanctuary” policies do not create absolute protections from deportation. However, these policies create a layer of protection by requiring immigration agents to obtain court-issued warrants, a practice they rarely employ.

Some are concerned that the President will remove federal funds from cities that stand with immigrant communities.Those concerns are misguided.

The Supreme Court and hundreds of legal experts agree that the federal government cannot withhold federal funds to coerce local governments to implement mandates.

Communities are stronger and safer when they access city services without fear and when local laws clearly prohibit city officials, police included, from becoming de facto deportation officers.

The president is threatening to deport 2 million to 3 million immigrants in his first year by deputizing local police. Communities must pass ordinances that make clear their commitment to support immigrant communities by not aiding and abetting in deportations and family separation.

There is no more time to waste. Cities and villages like Melrose Park must demonstrate that they will stand with immigrant communities; they will not participate in racist, anti-immigrant initiatives; they will be on the right side of history and justice by passing strong, inclusive welcoming city policies without deportation loopholes; and they will uphold 4th Amendment Constitutional protections for all of their residents.

— Mony Ruiz-Velasco, executive director, PASO-West Suburban Action Project

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Letters: Dear Broadview Citizen

Letter to the EditorFriday, March 24, 2017 || LETTERS || @maywoodnews

As we move closer to Election Day, it’s time to really start examining our choices for leadership within our community. Though I am an elected official, I consider myself a resident who is serving his community, which I did before I ever became an “elected official”.

I detest “politics” but I do love seeing my community, its services, and its citizens prosper. I took office with an eye on that prosperity for our current and future citizens. I had our community in mind when I decided to accept this position I was entrusted to by you.

Broadview is 1.78 square miles and home to approximately 8,000 residents. In comparison, Maywood is 3 square miles and home to 24,000. Westchester has 17,000 residents within its 4 square miles. As you can see, Broadview is a relatively small village, in comparison to our neighbors. Even though we are the smaller village, we make up for it with our huge hearts, enthusiasm and goals for our community. We should be firing on all cylinders together! It has been my privilege to serve as one of your Broadview Park Commissioners for these past eight years. Unfortunately, a big drawback is being surrounded and sometimes engaged in the “politics” of the position.

I have had a front row seat to see what the common resident doesn’t get to see. Theatrics aside, I witnessed the depreciation of our great village. Strides were made from our dark times when we had to lay off loyal public service personnel, but we are still stagnant.

Reports of progress can’t be seen as we all ride down Roosevelt Road and other streets with all the vacant lots occupying our town. There has been infighting and slander thrown around by some of the very candidates on the ballot as we speak. How all of our taxing bodies weren’t on one accord. The school, library and park all seemed to have an agenda of progress and growth.

The village concentrated its efforts on BLOCKING any growth and prosperity these entities tried to gain. Working relationships were cosmetic at best. The questionable ties that were alleged between our village and the strip club, along with the millions we are spending to fight what may have been agreed upon in a backroom deal.

Election after election, we continue to allow this type of “business” to continue. Thinking that your vote doesn’t make a difference. You see it does, very much so in fact, that if we all vote things will change. You can count on those who benefit from “big city politics” in our beautiful village to make sure they squeeze every vote out they can. Every election we listen to empty promises from people who profess the highest integrity, character, faith and family values.

Now the saying goes “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”. My elected position is the only thing that causes me to be a resident of the same glass house.

Those of us that walk the walk can attest to the challenges of attempting to fulfill the duties of our elected seats. It’s definitely challenging. Yet the small majority is determined to keep us playing these “big city politics.” What is there to prosper in it for our community? Apparently, not much unless we’re in the business of vacant lots. What are they gaining from it… money? Ego? Personal gain?

We have candidates who seem to jump all over our elected seats each year. Seems like they never complete any goals relevant to our community. Did they even have a vision? Personally, I can’t see constantly giving a seat to someone who hasn’t shown me anything.

Most involved in this election have a body of work on display for all to see. Don’t allow them to take credit for tasks they didn’t complete or realize. Just look for yourselves citizens! It’s time to stop electing politicians who constantly make these ill-advised decisions and aren’t held responsible for when they are wrong.

As residents, it’s time we ask the hard questions of our leadership about the direction and progress of the village? Are we all resigned to sit idle while we constantly allow the same type of politics to run our village (into the ground) year in and year out? Let me remind you of another saying… “He who doesn’t stand for something will fall for anything”.

Are we ready to stand as a village or will we continue to fall (fail)? It’s time to elect individuals who can create a network of relationships and values that do connect us, bind us, and build us together. It’s time to remove the politicians and replace them with a citizen that wants what we want and is truly vested in our community, our livelihood and our families. It’s time to take back our village and start anew.

In order to move our village forward it will take everyone to get involved. Won’t you help by being a catalyst for change? We will no longer accept the unacceptable. Let this be the last time we gripe, complain, and bemoan who others voted in because we sat back. Let’s come together and make a change for the better. The future of our village is depending on us now. I hope to see you on Election Day! Stay Blessed and take care! VFP

— Kelvin Mason, Broadview Park District commissioner