Tag: Cheryl Anderson

Breaking: Proviso Together Top Children First in D209 Board Race

D209 election Tuesday, April 7, 2015 || Originally Published: Forest Park Review || By Jean Lotus

With seven precincts still unreported out of 88 in Proviso, the Proviso Township High School candidates Theresa Kelly, Claudia Medina and Ned Wagner had a healthy lead of at least 1,300 votes over the fourth-top vote getter Teddy  Matthews, but it’s not over til it’s over.

If the Proviso Together slate wins the race, they will form a new board majority at the troubled high school district.

Theresa Kelly snagged the most votes with 19.87 percent of the total 10,923 ballots cast at 5,727 votes. Nathan “Ned” Wagner was second with 17.87 percent, or 5,150. Claudia Medina collected 16.78 percent, or 4,835 votes. Members of the Children’s First slate lagged Proviso Together. From that slate, Theodore Matthews placed fourth with 14.49 percent, or 4,175 and ShawnTe Raines-Welch and incumbent Francine Harrell were fourth and fifth with 12.22 percent (3,522) and 11.57 percent (3,330). Independent candidate Cheryl Anderson got 7.21 percent or  2,077 votes.

Forest Park’s Fatduck restaurant was filled with supporters from across Proviso Township Tuesday night, scarcely willing to believe they were so far ahead and what a journey they had made.

Although no precinct totals were released right away, the word at the polls was that turnout was very low in all precincts except Forest Park. In the village, the street-heat from two local parents, Medina and Wagner, who brought an organic campaign of parents and friends to the township level by partnering with incumbent Theresa Kelly of Maywood and board member Kevin McDermott of Westchester. Kelly and McDermott have been underdogs on the board for years, and are often the lone dissenters in votes split five-to-two.

“We did this with honesty, we did this with integrity, we did this with love,” Claudia Medina told supporters.

Medina told the crowd how she decided to run a week-and-a-half before petitions were due. Attending a D209 board meeting, she said she cried when she heard about a student who had been shot and killed while on suspension for fighting. Wagner said he attended a D209 board meeting in November 2014 and heard parents begging the board not to expel their sons for a single fight – after a change in policy.

Campaign coordinator Ken Snyder of Forest Park, who serves as political director of the Unite Here Hotel Workers Union, said he was sick of losing neighbors who moved away from Forest Park when their children got to middle school.

“I saw people I like move out and I was worried about the future of my kids,” he said.

Theresa Kelly said she was tired, but felt “good, excellent, marvelous.”

“This is a movement, not a campaign, not an election. It is a movement,” she said. “Everyone came together for the kids.”

Rev. Robert Jones, of Plainfield, a Proviso East alum, cautioned that even with a majority on the board, working together was the only way forward.

“This change is long overdue, long overdue,” he said. But the goal has to be to unite to do what’s best for kids in the district. Everyone must come together to make that happen.” Other Proviso notables in the crowd were Della Patterson, Antoinette Gray and Gary Woll of Maywood.

The campaign was a departure from Forest Park’s 40-year past arm’s-length relationship with the school district that many parents boycotted. The last Forest Parker to serve on the D 209 school board was Bob Cox who served from 2007-2011.

At a meeting of parents at the Brown Cow ice cream parlor on Madison Street in November 2014 long-time resident Bill Lichtenberg, whose children graduated years ago, pointed out that other parents in Proviso’s 10 feeder schools were equally dissatisfied with their high school options.

Connie Brown, owner of the Brown Cow, instantly jumped at the idea. “There has to be an option that gets everybody what they need,” she said, and the seeds of the campaign were sowed.

Although the campaign contribution amounts will not be published by the Illinois State Board of Elections until April 15, the Proviso Children First party of Raines-Welch, Harrell and Matthews was said to have outspent Medina, Wagner and Kelly by three-to-one.

Raines-Welch, Harrell and Matthews did not return texts for comment before press time. VFP

Districts 89 & 209 School Board Candidates Survive Challenges

Cheryl AndersonTuesday, January 27, 2015 || Originally Published: 1/26/15 || Forest Park Review || By Jean Lotus, Editor

Proviso District 209 school board candidate Cheryl Anderson (pictured left) survived a challenge to her candidacy, Friday, after the Cook County electoral board overruled a complaint saying she failed to turn in a statement of economic interest.

“I did have a statement of economic interest,” Anderson said Monday. “I guess someone just didn’t want me on the ballot. Someone was looking hard to try to find some miniscule things to eliminate me because I’m a strong candidate.”

The challenge was filed by Maywood insurance agent Antoinette Gray, who herself was thrown off the ballot in a 7th District state rep primary challenge in February 2014 for failing to establish residency in the district for two years.

Anderson said Monday she is an independent candidate who represents change for the district. She pointed out the other six candidates have split into two slates, each including an incumbent.

“There are two tag teams with three on each slate, and it’s three times the same thing. People are tired of it,” Anderson said.

The other slates are 209 Together and The Children First Party. In the 209 Together group, Forest Parkers Nathan “Ned” Wagner and Claudia Medina have joined incumbent Theresa Kelly. The Children First Party candidates include incumbent Francine Harrell, along with Theodore Matthews and ShawnTe Raines Welch. Raines Welch is the wife of former D209 school board president Emanuel Chris Welch, who was elected 7th District state rep in 2014.

Anderson said if elected she would bring back vocational skills training to the district to get students ready for jobs.

“I want to have skilled craftsmen, carpenters, plumbers, bakers and chefs who are unemployed to come and teach these students a trade; everyone may not be interested in going to college.”

Anderson, of Melrose Park, is a Melrose Park Public library board member. She formerly worked in Englewood as a juvenile protection officer.

“If the schools fail, the jails increase,” she said, adding that all stakeholders are responsible for students’ success.

“Everyone has to be accountable, the students, the parents, the legislators, the schools, the community. Everybody should be called out for why aren’t our kids graduating. That’s why I was challenged.”

District 89 candidates survive challenge || By Michael Romain

Two District 89 School Board candidates facing challenges were both successful in overturning them. Rolando Villegas of Melrose Park and Damien Harvey of Maywood were challenged by Carlos Esteban Rojas of Melrose Park. Villegas is said to have been recruited to run by District 209 Board member Theresa Kelly, who herself is running with a slate that includes Forest Parkers Nathan Wagner and Claudia Medina. Rojas, according to a source, may have once been employed by the Village of Melrose Park and may be connected to incumbents on the District 89 Board who are allied with Melrose Park Mayor Ronald Serpico.

Rojas claimed that the nomination papers of the two candidates contained “the names of persons, as petitioners, who are not duly registered as voters at the addresses shown opposite their respective names;”  illegible or incomplete addresses; and less than the minimum of 50 validly “collected and presented signatures of qualified and duly registered legal voters” of District 89, according to the case file.

Villegas and Harvey will both appear on the ballot in April. VFP

Two More Maywood Trustee Candidates Challenged; Three Challenged in School D89 and D209 Races

Isiah Brandon speaksscaggs

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 || By Michael Romain || Updated: 3:27 AM

Two more candidates vying to fill the three contested seats on the Maywood Board of Trustee are facing challenges to their campaigns.

Isiah Brandon (pictured above left) and Marcius Scaggs (above right), both of whom are running on a three-person slate that also includes Chase Moore, were challenged by Atrayule Perkins, a resident of Maywood. Both candidates strongly suspect the Perkins challenge to be the workings of their main opposition — the three-person ticket comprising former Maywood mayor Henderson Yarbrough, Sr., outgoing District 209 Board member Readith Ester and sitting trustee Ron Rivers.

The candidacies of all three of those individuals were unsuccessfully challenged last month by Darius Johnson, who may have been recruited by former Cook County Recorder of Deeds Eugene Moore, the main force behind the Brandon, Scaggs and Moore ticket–Chase Moore is the former Recorder’s grandson.

Whereas Yarbrough, Henderson and Rivers were all challenged based on the claim that they each owed outstanding debts to the village; Brandon and Scaggs were both challenged based on the claim that neither lives at the residency at which he is required to vote. In addition, the challenger also claims that Brandon turned in an excessive number of petition signatures.

Brandon, who said he collected between 500 and 600 signatures, noted that, based on what he read in the election code, he wasn’t aware that there was a maximum number of signatures candidates could collect. He said he only knew about the minimum.

For his part, Scaggs said he was confident that he and Brandon would survive the challenge, insisting that he’s lived at the same house for at least the past three elections.

“I knew this was coming, but I’m confident we’ll be okay,” Scaggs said.

The local electoral board hearing for both Scaggs and Brandon is scheduled for Wednesday, January 7, 2 PM, at Village Chambers, 125 S. 5th Avenue, Maywood, IL.

 Two challenged in D89 race

Two candidates running for District 89 School Board — Rolando Villegas of Melrose Park and Damien Harvey of Maywood — both face challenges filed by Carlos Esteban Rojas of Melrose Park. Villegas is said to have been recruited to run by District 209 Board member Theresa Kelly, who herself is running with a slate that includes Forest Parkers Nathan Wagner and Claudia Medina. Rojas, according to a source, may have once been employed by the Village of Melrose Park and may be connected to incumbents on the District 89 Board who are allied with Melrose Park Mayor Ronald Serpico.

Rojas claims that the nomination papers of both Villegas and Harvey contain “the names of persons, as petitioners, who are not duly registered as voters at the addresses shown opposite their respective names,” according to the case file; contain illegible or incomplete addresses; and contain less than the minimum of 50 validly “collected and presented signatures of qualified and duly registered legal voters” of District 89, among other claims.

Villegas and Harvey both have hearings scheduled for January 7, 12 PM, at the Cook County Board of Elections, 69 W. Washington.

One challenged in D209 Race

By Nick Samuel & Jean Lotus, Editor|| Forest Park Review || Originally Published: 1/5/15

A Maywood resident challenged the nominating papers of Cheryl Anderson, a candidate in the Proviso Township High School District 209 school board race. Antoinette Gray, an insurance agent and failed candidate for 7th District State Rep. asserted Anderson neglected to submit a statement of economic interest.

The Cook County Electoral Board will hold a hearing on the candidate challenge on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at the County Clerk’s Office.

Gray herself was thrown off the ballot in the 2014 primary race for 7th Dist. State Rep after the electoral board hearing officer ruled she had not established official residency in the 7th District two years prior to filing for candidacy. Gray was not available at press time for comment on the challenge.

Anderson is a Melrose Park Library trustee and former juvenile protection officer. She was recognized by Judge Stuart Paul Katz in 2010 for sending the most kids to college while working as a juvenile protection officer in Englewood.

Anderson, of Melrose Park, currently serves as a substitute teacher for Oak Park Elementary School District 97 and School District 89, which includes Maywood, Melrose Park and Broadview.

Before the challenge, Anderson said her campaign focus would be vocational training programs in D209 schools. She said unemployed craftsmen can be paid to teach a skill or trade at the schools.

“We would be giving employment to unemployed people to teach a group of people a skill,” Anderson said.

If she stays on the ballot and is elected, Anderson said she would reach out to all of the mayors in the district’s ten villages and most of the pastors in the community to brainstorm solutions for students in D209 to become successful.

She also said she wants more focus on the students and less attention on big employee salaries.

“If you’re ok with the current educational status of kids in D209 then maybe you shouldn’t be in office. It’s time for a change,” Anderson said in December. “We have to get past the barriers of why kids don’t want to come to school anymore. Our schools in D209 shouldn’t be an automatic feeding system to our jails.”

The candidate said she previously lived in Oak Park for 20 years and that the values in the educational system there aren’t the same as it is in Maywood.

Anderson said her campaign was a family affair. She and her two sons, Khirey and Jelani Floyd, have all performed substitute teaching at Proviso East High School. Both sons aspire to become attorneys, with Khirey finishing a first year at Chicago Kent School of Law.

“We’ve got to do better and make having set goals popular in the community. It’s not right because you grew up in Maywood that your chances to be successful isn’t as high as anyone else,” said Khirey, who graduated from Oak Park River Forest High School in 2008. “I can’t forget where I came from. We’re really a community and a family. We have to help each other out; that’s what is most important.”

Anderson did not return calls, texts or emails for comment. VFP

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Email: jlotus@forestparkreview.com Twitter: @FP_Review