The decision by a radicalized Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade is having powerful repercussions across this nation. We saw it in the summer vote in bright red Kansas where women, and men, rejected a referendum to allow the state legislature to severely limit abortion access. We are watching it now as women, and men, register to vote in record numbers to make their outrage over this political ruling clear in the coming midterms.

And right here in Forest Park, we saw that righteous determination expressed in a unanimous vote of the village council last week on a resolution urging Illinois to declare itself an abortion sanctuary state.

Credit to each of the four commissioners and the mayor for their votes. Particular credit to commissioners Jessica Voogd and Maria Maxham for forcefully articulating why it is critical for a small community to intentionally add its voice to the cacophony of support for the right of women to choose, to control their bodies. Period. 

Maxham noted that it is unusual for the village council to wade into national issues.

“With women’s rights being eliminated in many states, it is imperative that here in our state, we keep the safe place where women have the legal right that should be their human right but is not in a lot of places.”

While Sen. Lindsey Graham has now spilled the beans on the Trumpist game and urged passage of a national ban on most abortions, at this moment this attack on long-established rights is playing out on a state-by-state basis. 

That’s why all vocal support for Illinois to take declarative action is essential. Look around us in the purple and red Midwest states that surround us and you’ll see that the need for our state to be a beacon of rights for women is imperative.

Good for the women on our village council to lead the way on this defining issue. Good for the men on the council to follow.

Whose office of public affairs?

It’s a small thing. It’s a subject line on an email.

But still it sticks in our craw and we object to the political thinking behind it.

The weekly email from the village of Forest Park is useful and informative. Contains worthwhile news items and some event listings. All good.

But the subject line, at least last week, read: Village of Forest Park, Mayor Hoskins Office of Public Affairs.

Mayor Rory Hoskins does not have an office of public affairs. Perhaps in some formulation of staff duties there is a person who does some outreach to residents. That person works for the village government, not the mayor. 

Small-town politicos who want to attach their names to signs and events and emails strike us as overreaching and insecure. You are servants, not lords of the manor. 

Former Mayor Anthony Calderone was famous for this naming rights nonsense. We were hoping Mayor Hoskins would avoid it.