Category: Maywood Politics

PASO to Host DACA Community Meeting in Melrose Park, Sept. 8

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Demonstrators during the Sept. 5 protests in downtown Chicago against Trump’s decision to end DACA. | Paul Goyette 

The Sept. 5 decision by President Donald Trump to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) — a program enacted by the administration of former president Barack Obama that shielded nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation — has prompted demonstrations across the country.

Continue reading “PASO to Host DACA Community Meeting in Melrose Park, Sept. 8”

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Go Big Accounting Named Business of the Month for July

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Vena Nelson (center holding certificate), with village officials and Cintas officials during the July 19 Small Business Resource Reception held at Cintas. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

During our July Small Business Resource Reception held July 19 at Cintas, 1201 St. Charles Rd. in Maywood, we presented Go Big Accounting with our first-ever Small Business of the Month Award.

Go Big Accounting, which is helmed by Vena Nelson, offers tax preparation and consulting services that are tailored for the needs of burgeoning businesses, particularly those located in minority communities.

Earlier this month, we asked members of the Maywood and Bellwood Chambers of Commerce, in addition to village officials in Maywood and Bellwood to nominate small businesses who deserve our inaugural Small Business of the Month Award for July.

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Go Big Accounting accountant Jerald Cowan, left of center, with (from left to right): Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr., Maywood Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Edwin Walker IV and Bellwood Chamber of Commerce President Chris Parker. 

Three businesses (in addition to Go Big) made the final three, with T&JJ’s Supreme Steaks & Catering Services in Maywood and Kopy Kat Printing Inc. in Bellwood rounded out the finalists.

Those three businesses merited the most robust and energetic responses from nominators and were passed through to the final round of voting. The voting tally is below:

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We want to congratulate all three finalists and, in particular, Go Big Accounting for winning this month’s inaugural award. The business will receive a feature article in our August print issue, as well as free digital and print advertising. They’ll also receive a window decal with the award logo.

But we encourage readers to reward them with something that’s even more important — your business, because they’ve earned it.

If you believe that a small business in Bellwood, Broadview, Maywood, Melrose Park or Stone Park deserves to be recognized as VFP’s Small Business of the Month for August, feel free to nominate them by sending your name, affiliation, the name and address of the business, and why you believe they should be nominated (in 2-5 sentences) to: thevillagefreepress@gmail.com. VFP

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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.

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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.

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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

At April 1 Town Hall, Maywood Candidates, Residents to Dialogue One Last Time Before Election

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 12.20.13 PMFriday, March 31, 2017 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews

The Village Free Press, with the generous support of the West Cook YMCA, will sponsor a town hall-style candidate forum on Saturday, April 1, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Maywood Public Library, 121 S. 5th Ave.

We envision this to be a community dialogue designed to address some of Maywood’s most pressing issues with an emphasis on one very important reality: Campaigning for an office is one thing. Governing in that office is something else.

Come out and hear the candidates for Maywood Park District Commission, Maywood Public Library District board, clerk, trustee and mayor talk less about their promises and more about how prepared they are to handle the village’s realities.

This event will be moderated by Michael Romain, editor and publisher of the Village Free Press. The format and agenda of tomorrow’s event are below:

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State of the Village Town Hall_Agenda

Maywood Trustee, Clerk, Library Candidates Answer Questionnaires

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 12.20.13 PMThursday, March 9, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Earlier this month, we sent out questionnaires to all candidates running for mayor, clerk, trustee, library board and park district board seats. Mayoral candidates were sent out questionnaires first. Their responses were published on March 9.

These are the responses of all the other candidates who submitted answers to our questionnaire.

Village Free Press Candidate Questionnaire

Candidates for Trustee 

This is the original questionnaire as it was presented to village trustee candidates.

Name:

Age:

Preferred contact:

Previous political experience:

Previous community experience:

Occupation:

Education:

Please answer the following questions to the best of your ability. Full disclosure: parts, or all, of your answers are likely to be published:

  • What is your understanding of the role and functions of the position of trustee?
  • What is your understanding of the role and functions of the Maywood Board of Trustees?
  • What do you understand about Maywood’s property taxes? Do you think they’re too low, just at the right level or too high? If too high or low, what are some of your ideas for bringing them to the level you believe is sufficient?
  • What is your understanding of TIF zones? Do you believe that they have adequately mitigated blighted areas in the village? Would you consider approving a plan to create a new TIF district if it ever came to that? Do you have some ideas about how TIF surplus funds should be distributed? 
  • What is your understanding of Maywood’s comprehensive plan? Do you believe that it is an effective tool for managing the village’s long-term economic and infrastructural development? 
  • Do you believe that the village spends not enough, just enough or too much money on outside contractors, in general, and legal fees, in particular? If you believe not enough or too much money, what are some of your ideas for getting those expenditures to a level you believe is sufficient?
  • Do you believe that Maywood is, generally speaking, a safe community? If so, what are some things that make this so? If not, what are some ideas you have to make the village safer? 
  • Do you believe that the village spends not enough, just enough or too much money to settle police misconduct and workman’s compensation cases? If you believe too much or too little money, what are some of your ideas for getting those expenditures to a level you believe is sufficient?
  • From what you can tell, is there currently a system in place that effectively evaluates the performance of village administrators and employees? If not, do you think one needs to be implemented?
  • Are you currently satisfied, dissatisfied or unfamiliar with the job performance of Village Manage Willie Norfleet, Jr.? Please explain.
  • Do you believe that Maywood should be a sanctuary city? Explain why or why not?
  • What is your general approach to economic development? How involved do you feel board members should be in the process? And do you feel that village officials are too aggressive, not aggressive enough or just right in their pursuit of development opportunities? 
  • Please feel free to include any information you feel these questions did not address.

Kimyada Wellington | Independent | Ticket No. 17

No other candidates for village trustee submitted responses to candidate questionnaires. 

Candidates for Clerk

This is the original questionnaire as it was presented to village clerk.

Name:

Age:

Previous political experience:

Previous community experience:

Occupation:

Education:

Please answer the following questions to the best of your ability. Full disclosure: parts, or all, of your answers are likely to be published:

  • What is your understanding of the role and functions of the position of village clerk?
  • What is your understanding of the Freedom of Information Act? Do you think that it is, overall, an adequate law for promoting transparency in state government? 
  • Does the village clerk have a role to play in promoting voter turnout in elections?
  • What are your thoughts on the ability of Maywood to keep past records and historical documents? Where does the village currently keep archival documents/material? Do you believe that this material should be easily accessible to the public?
  • Should the village clerk be conversant with technologies such as social media? What are your thoughts on Maywood having a Facebook page to promote weekly board and commission meetings, for instance?
  • Should the village clerk be in communication with his/her counterparts at other levels of governments, such as the Cook County Clerk or the Circuit Court Clerk of Cook County? Is there space for cooperation?
  • Do you believe that the clerk’s office has any weakness(es)? And if so, how can it/they be improved?
  • Why are you best suited for this position?
  • Please feel free to include any information you feel these questions did not address.

Readith Ester | Maywood United Party | Ticket No. 5

Viola Mims | My Maywood Party | Ticket No. 6

Steven R. Smiley | Maywood Visionary Party | Ticket No. 7

Candidates for Library Trustee

This is the original questionnaire as it was presented to library trustee candidates

Name:

Age:

Preferred contact:

Previous political experience:

Previous community experience:

Occupation:

Education:

Please answer the following questions to the best of your ability. Full disclosure: parts, or all, of your answers are likely to be published:

  • What is your understanding of the role and functions of the position of library board trustee?
  • What is your understanding of the library’s current financial status? Are you satisfied, dissatisfied or unfamiliar with the library’s current financial status?
  • Are you satisfied, dissatisfied or unfamiliar with the performance of Stan Huntington, the current library executive director? Please explain.
  • What is your opinion about the nature of libraries in the 21st Century, particularly in light of evolving, and potentially disruptive, technologies such as iPads, Amazon, e-readers and the entire internet itself?
  • What is the most important role of the library in the world today?
  • What is your understanding of the library’s temporarily closing in 2013? What factors do you believe led to the temporary closure? What’s your opinion of how library officials responded to the closure? How would you help to avoid another closure?
  • Do you believe the library has any weakness(es)? And if so, how can it/they be improved?
  • Why are you best suited for this position?
  • Please feel free to include any information you feel these questions did not address.

Jose Galarza Jr. | Independent | Ticket No. 151 

Connie Tapia | Independent | Ticket No. 154

Candidates Sinaria Lee and John Rice did not submit questionnaire responses. 

Candidates for Park District Commission 

This is the original questionnaire as it was presented to park district commission

Name:

Age:

Preferred contact:

Previous political experience:

Previous community experience:

Occupation:

Education:

Please answer the following questions to the best of your ability. Full disclosure: parts, or all, of your answers are likely to be published:

  • What is your understanding of the role and functions of the park district commissioner? 
  • What is your understanding of the park district’s current financial status? Are you satisfied, dissatisfied or unfamiliar with the district’s current financial status?
  • Are you satisfied, dissatisfied or unfamiliar with the performance of Antonette Dorris, the current park district executive director? Please explain.
  • Why do you think the 809 W. Madison Avenue building is still closed, despite at least $1 million having been allocated in the past for its renovation? Do you believe the building will ever open again?
  • What is your understanding of how taxes are raised for the park district? What’s your opinion about how the park district is spending taxpayer money?
  • The park district has recently been trying to raise funds in order to secure matching money from a state grant. What’s your understanding of this attempt? What’s your understanding of the state grant?
  • Do you believe the park district should have its own police force? Please explain.

John Rice and Rakita F. Tanna, the only candidates running for park district commission, did not submit questionnaire responses. VFP

Maywood Native, Author to Visit Walther Christian Academy, March 24 | Maywood Library to Remove Late Fees, March 20 – April 1

Edmond Kelley

Dr. Edmond Kelly. | Photo: Edmond Kelly/Facebook

Dr Edmond KelleyMarch 20, 2014 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews

[Walter Christian Academy Release]: Dr. Edmond Kelly who was raised in Maywood and graduated from Walther Lutheran High School in 1995 recently announced the publication of his first book How ONE Choice Directs Your Destiny.

How ONE Choice Directs your Destiny is a self-inspirational book set as a three-part series that prepares a person to learn about their truth, trust their decision-making, and remaining in triumph once they have overcome.

The book is also an introduction to his philosophy, Mind Interpretation Theory, which focuses on teaching how to make righteous decisions, which will help begin the process of working smart, not hard, and living a life in excellence.

Walther Christian Academy, located at 900 Chicago Avenue in Melrose Park, will host a book-signing for Dr. Kelly on Friday, March 247 p.m. The public is invited to attend to hear from Dr. Kelly and copies of his book will be available for purchase.

Dr. Edmond Kelly Jr. has worked in the education field for fifteen years, but truly gained knowledge and wisdom during his time as a young boy in ministry and through receiving his Masters of Counseling in 2012 and doctoral degree in Educational Leadership in 2015 from Liberty University.

Dr. Kelly and his wife Felicia are blessed with two, beautiful children, Zoey and Elicia. He believes when making any decision, family should be the first thought in mind. He accredits his family as the guiding light to completing the book.

As a philanthropist, author, and co-founder of Crossover Gear clothing line, he felt that education will be the driving force to bless others in need. Through counsel and mentorship, he has created developmental programs for youth, such as, Heroes Of Tomorrow youth ministry.

He produced campaigns called the BACK UP Plan: Bullying Awareness Constitute Knowledge & Ultimate Protection, Crossover Cares Foundation (which will create scholarships for college bound students, contributed to charities yearly) and Operation Save-A-Life.org. The latter focuses on prevention of violence in the city of Chicago.

His passion for blessing others kept him grounded, humbled, and focused on making decisions to reach his own destiny, which is to give.

Maywood Library to Remove Late Fees 

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