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Oak Park City Council {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

TWO 4-year terms available.Vote for no more than TWO.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Carolyn Burns

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    Andrew Robert Cissell Business Consultant

  • Jean Erwin (Write-In)

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    Regina Weiss Program Director, Tri-Community Coalition of Oak Park, Berkley, and Huntington Woods

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Biographical Information

Please provide biographical information and explain why you are running for City office and relevant qualities and skills you would bring to the position.

What are the top 3 Priority Issues that the city should address and what actions would you take regarding each of them?

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I was born and raised in Ferndale, which is the city adjacent to Oak Park. I bought my house in 2012, on Rensselaer st. which means I am truly invested into the city's growth and development. I graduated the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2011 with a finance degree. I come from a small business family, my father owns Soltman Heating and Cooling, right in Oak Park. I run my own business consulting firm that I started in 2015. I ran for State Representative in 2012, and 2014. I was elected precinct delegate in 2016, and I currently serve on the Oakland County Democratic Party's executive board. All of this concludes me stating that I have been educated and involved in business, finance, and marketing for my entire life. I have been very involved with the democratic party, and politics in general. You take the two of those things and add an unbelievable work ethic, and you have a really strong candidate for Oak Park city council.
Economy- The city of Oak Park has struggled over the last number of decades. All the cities around us are excelling and we have not made too much forward progress. We need a catalyst, a new energy. I plan on helping the city by bringing in new businesses, especially restaurants and cafes. The cities around us have many sit-down food options while Oak Park is lagging. Having a business background, I know I have the knowledge and experience to help convince others that Oak Park is a great place to invest into.

Environment- I have a comprehensive plan for the city to invest in solar technology on our city buildings. This is an idea that will help make Oak Park more independent with regards to our energy needs. Also this will save the city money in future years moving forward. We will be leaders for the area and interest young people to move to a "green" city.

Education- Though I am not running for school board, I will work tirelessly with them to improve our curriculum and expect more out of our students. We should have our children prepared for life post-high school graduation.
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I am running for Oak Park City Council because I care about moving our city forward. I have dedicated my life to serving my community, & will use all of my experience & passion to help increase the quality of life for all Oak Park residents.

I currently work as the Program Director for the Tri-Community Coalition, running after school programming for youth in Oak Park & Berkley Schools. I also serve on the Arts & Cultural Diversity Commission in Oak Park. Through my work with the Commission, I helped organize an Oak Park partnership with the Southfield MLK Day Peace March, & am on the planning committee for Oak Park World Dance Day. I am also an active member of the East Oak Park Neighborhood Association, & participated in the first Oak Park Citizens' Academy with Oak Park Public Safety.

I will take the skills that I have honed in the non-profit sector to help improve the city of Oak Park. I am proficient in grant research & writing, program development & implementation, budgeting, event planning, & management.
The 3 priorities the City should be focusing on are expanding economic development, providing more programing for youth, & increasing enforcement of code & traffic violations.

Despite the many gains the City has made over the past few years, we are still loosing population. The main way to address this issue is through economic development. I will work with the rest of Council & with City Management to ensure that we develop a strategic & sustainable model for new development.

Regular disturbances in & around the library are caused by teens after school. Though the City has already taken many actions to address this issue, it still persists. I will work directly with the rest of Council & with the school district to ensure there are plentiful programming & activities for youth after school. I will use my non-profit experience to find grants & free programs to sustain these efforts.

Two main concerns of residents revolve around code enforcement & speeding. I will work with City Management & Public Safety to implement traffic and code studies to research & address these issues.

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