Run-off Election for President of Jackson Park Advisory Council
Wednesday, December 21, 7:00 pm, at South Shore Cultural Center
As noted in the prior Update, 2023 will definitely bring a change in leadership to the Jackson Park Advisory Council. You can help determine its new direction.
The Hyde Park Herald characterized the issue as a choice between two opposing views of the role of a Park Advisory Council:
- whether it is to support the actions and programs of the Park District without question (represented by the prior board and by the candidacy of Duwain Bailey)
- whether it is to support Park District programs and to weigh in also on “policy” issues, such as the construction of the Obama Presidential Center or the proposal for the Tiger Woods golf course (represented by the candidacy of Michael Scott).
We believe JPAC can best be an advocate for Jackson Park and for all users of the park by embracing both roles – that is, both by supporting and monitoring park stewardship and Park District programs and by accurately assessing and representing the full range of community sentiments about park operations and proposals for major new initiatives such as the OPC or the golf course expansion. Such a comprehensive approach would be consistent with JPAC’s purpose as stated in its by-laws: to advise and to make recommendations to the Chicago Park District concerning matters relating to Jackson Park and to patrons of the park. (We note that patron has a dual meaning – as user/customer and as supporter – both of which are rightly applicable here.)
Who are the candidates?
Duwain Bailey is a district manager for Primerica Financial Services, an insurance company serving middle income families, and executive director of the Network of Woodlawn, which is currently focused on the multi-million-dollar Woodlawn Central development along 63rd St. He has previously worked as a public administrator for programs of the State of Illinois, City of Chicago, and Chicago Housing Authority. He is aligned with the prior leadership of JPAC that has been in office for the past decade.
Michael Scott, a long-time resident of Hyde Park and patron of public parks, is a professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is currently vice president of the Promontory Point Conservancy and has served as parent and community representative on the Local School Councils for Ray Elementary School and Murray Language Academy. He is aligned with park users who have become dissatisfied with JPAC’s actions and inaction on key issues over the past few years.
Who can vote?
To vote in this special election, members of JPAC must have attended two JPAC meetings in the preceding 12 months (including the election month, defined here as November). We regret that the potential voter pool has been reduced this year by the cancellation of two regular meetings (January and October). As stated by a Park District official last month, the list of eligible voters will be unaltered from the November election meeting.
If you qualify to vote in this special election, we urge your attendance on Wednesday evening. Remember to allow extra travel time to SSCC because of the now predictable traffic jams and, of course, the never predictable weather.
We believe that Michael Scott can best facilitate conversation among the diverse JPAC constituencies, balancing the new leadership team to assure that all voices are heard and all perspectives are represented to support the common goal of maintaining Jackson Park as a public asset for all Chicagoans.
As always, we thank you.