Forest Park’s village council took the smart step Monday of making the dispensing of plastic eating utensils an option rather than the default when a diner orders takeout.

It is a simple step. Not one that will save the climate but a common-sense adjustment in shifting how we think about plastic waste.

Commissioner Jessica Voogd carried this proposal entirely on her back over several months and earns the credit for her outreach to local restaurants and in crafting an ordinance that is supportive of those restaurants and not punitive. 

That this measure passed by just a 4-1 margin is a mystery to us. Why Commissioner Maria Maxham felt the need to vote against an ordinance that seems to align with her sustainability goals is either odd or oddly hostile to Voogd. There has been substantial discussion about this idea, laudable outreach to those most impacted and, with its passage, now plenty of time to educate the public about this change. There was no good reason to oppose it.

Kudos to Voogd for leading on this. We look forward to more leadership from her as she enters her second term.

Here’s to diversity

We were among those surprised by the margin of Mayor Rory Hoskins re-election last week. Not at all surprised that he won. He had certainly earned it.

But winning by a two-to-one margin over John Doss was a telling display of just how much Forest Park has changed over the past 10 years and more.

Not as stark, perhaps, as the battle between Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas for mayor of Chicago, this local campaign was still a clear reflection of a new and more progressive Forest Park against a rapidly fading older, whiter, more ethnic village. 

The trend line has been clear for some time as Forest Park has become more diverse by an array of measures. Younger. More Black and Brown. Gayer. More advanced degrees. More white collar than blue. More cocktails, less Bud.

The village has grown into the old Urban Suburban marketing tagline used to promote Madison Street a generation ago. And that is all good.

Hoskins referenced all this in his victory speech on Election Night at Shanahan’s. Speaking to supporters, Hoskins said the voters who backed him “were Black, they were white, they were Jewish. They spoke Urdu, they spoke Hindi. They included someone who cast a vote as a U.S. citizen for the first time.”

Thanks to John Doss who ran a diligent campaign and has served his hometown well in multiple roles over decades. We hope he continues to serve on the park board, at least through the end of his current term. 

And congratulations to Mayor Hoskins who led the village effectively through the pandemic, has pushed political levers in Springfield and Washington to bring home the bacon, who has rebuilt and energized essential citizen commissions and who has, largely, redirected Madison Street toward a more welcoming climate.