After the name “Citizens United” became tainted on the national level by the ongoing battle over campaign finance reform, the 9-year-old local group Citizens United in Forest Park (CUinFP) changed their name last week to Vox60130, said board member Steve Backman.
The “x” in Vox is italicized to represent the algebraic symbol for an unknown factor, according to members.
Backman said the mission of the group remains unchanged: Vox60130 will carry on as a resource for information about village civic affairs without actually becoming a political movement.
“None of the boards in the past nine years have decided to go political,” Backman said. “Our members have helped candidates personally over the years, but people think because we have a roster and a bunch of email addresses we should start going into the slate business and start setting up candidates,” he said.
“That’s not going to happen.”
For CUinFP activities this year, Backman pointed to the video gambling forum held Jan. 10 at which representatives from the gaming industry and anti-gambling activists were represented. CUinFP also hosted candidate forums in March for the two contested school board elections in Elementary School District 91 and Proviso Township High School District 209.
In the upcoming months, the group will consider more pop-up civic events as issues inspire them, Backman said. These might include addressing topics brought up during the crafting of the Forest Park Comprehensive Plan. Backman said he signed up to participate on the steering committee for the plan.
“If, during the course of the planning, we think there’s something they’re not addressing, Vox60310 will have a forum about that and make sure the issues get addressed,” he said. The group may also plans an information presentation for Forest Parkers about the proposed I-290 expressway expansion by Illinois Department of Transportation.