I am one of the 38 volunteers who went around with the petition asking for a vote on video gaming. I have lived in Forest Park for 24 years. I am currently a member and former board member of the Historical Society. I joined the PTOs of the Forest Park schools my daughter attended. I was president of the PTO at Proviso Math and Science Academy for several years. When my husband and I go out to spend money, we start in Forest Park. (A significant amount of our income ends up at Schauer Hardware!) I love Forest Park.
I would like to point out what’s being lost in the discussion about putting video gaming on the ballot.
What we have lost in the back and forth of the parsing of language, the decision to throw out all 276 painstakingly gathered petition pages (instead of the handful that had the wrong heading), deciding whether or not signers understand what 90 days means, or whether or not inactive voters should be counted in the overall total of voters to be considered when calculating the percentage of registered voters you need to sign a petition (raising the required signatures to an almost impossible number) is the fact that thousands of citizens have asked for the chance to vote on this important issue.
I walked around with these petitions. When I met with neighbors, carefully explaining that the petition was to put the issue on the ballot, an overwhelming majority of them wanted a vote. I even met with folks who expressed they were pro-gaming but thought it was only fair that everyone get a vote.
We can get lost in the weeds. The minutia and nuance of the law bogs down the discussion. We focus on the trees, not the forest, not Forest Park.
Here’s the big picture: Thousands of Forest Park citizens dutifully printed their name, address, and then signed petitions asking for a vote. Thousands of Forest Parkers, who the folks on the election committee are supposed to represent, are asking to vote. Let’s not lose sight of what is happening. Let’s not lose sight of what’s at risk.
Let Forest Park vote.