March 29, 2011 7:58PM
Office sought: East Hazel Crest Public Library Board District Trustee
Name: Maureen Forte
Address: 17429 Loomis Ave., East Hazel Crest, Ill. 60429
Date of birth: October 1, 1950
Education: Working toward master’s in education, Governors State University. State Certified Teacher, ESL (English as a Second Language), endorsed.
Occupation, employer: Chicago Public Schools, Sawyer Elementary School
Please list all sources of income: Teaching, village trustee, speaking engagements.
Spouse, spouse’s employer: none
Children, age of children: Two beautiful daughters: Monet Forte-Wilson, 34, Melissa Forte, 31, both adult professionals.
Please list any relatives, including in-laws, who are employed by a government agency at the federal, state or local levels. What are their job titles and with what agency are they employed?
I have no relatives, including in-laws, who are employed by a government agency at the federal, state or local levels.
What other elected offices have you sought? What year?
I have been the village trustee for the last six years, two of these years I was appointed before elected to a four-year term that will expire in 2012.
Library Board District trustee for the last 12 years (two terms). I have served both terms as president of the Library Board
Have you ever been arrested or charged with a crime? If so, for what?
What was the disposition? No/none
Do you have any criminal convictions on your record? If so, for what?
What was your sentence? No/none
Political (elected or significant appointment) experience:
I have a strong background in organizing and leadership.
On May 9, 2007, I became the First Black female to be appointed to fulfill a two-year vacancy as village trustee of East Hazel Crest, and on May 18, 2007, I was elected Delegate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
I have served as the vice president of the south suburban branch of the NAACP, president of the South Suburban RainbowPush Coalition under the leadership of Rev. Jesse Jackson, and currently I am the executive director for the National Action Network Chicago under the leadership of Rev. Al Sharpton.
In your view, what are the two most important issues facing your constituents? How would you address those issues?
Unemployment is the biggest issue facing so many, including my constituents.
High foreclosure on homes that affect families.
I would address these issues as I do now by bringing in people to speak on various programs that can help save homes and also find ways to employ those who have lost their jobs due to the recession. I am also looking at developing a business directory just for our small community. This way we can hire from within. Each businessperson would undergo a background check if they don’t have an established business, and references would be sought.
Please explain something significant you would like to accomplish within the next two years if you are elected to the office to which you aspire.
I am seeking the seat of the Library District Trustee. East Hazel Crest Library contracts to the Homewood Library and we are truly pleased with the services that are provided. There is always room for more in our community, which is growing in diversity. I would like to see more dollars used for the library. I hope to accomplish that every household has in their wallet not just a credit card, voter registration card, but also a library card! Establish more programs where we can have family nights for reading.
Please explain how you believe the office you’re seeking can help in creating local jobs.
In this position as library trustee, the only way I can see trying to help develop jobs is to develop a job bank with the local businesses in the surrounding areas that would hire especially our young adults. I would bring in speakers to motivate and host a quarterly a job fair with the focus on hiring and educating.
Do you believe the current way Illinois pays for education is working? If so, why? If not, why not? What would you change?
As an educator, I believe the current way Illinois pays for education is working. We as a society must stop trying to place blame on those who are educating our young people. Parents should have a more inclusive role in the education of their children. When children see that their parents are involved in the school, they tend to do better. Set aside funding to educate parents to go the extra mile to get the college credits to be the teacher assistant. I would like to see the principals back in the classrooms instead of in their offices. Those positions could be part time.
Would you make any changes to the budget of the governing unit to which you are seeking elected office? If so, what?
The seat I am seeking is a non-paying position. Seriously, I would like to see the library trustees receive a stipend of some sort for their time and efforts.
Believe me, just getting the people to realize the work that goes into making a difference in your community is work! We are a small community but we are unified!