In May 2020 I was just another miserable working parent dealing with the early months of Covid and lockdown.
Then, the murder of George Floyd helped me (and a lot of other white people) realize what true misery was. I and a small group of other mostly white moms in our town started a Facebook group called LARJ – Lombard Allies for Racial Justice. The timing was right and the group grew explosively over the summer and several new community leaders emerged.
An offshoot of LARJ was a political action committee, headed up by me and two friends who wanted to help anti-racism candidates win local elections. This committee became DuPage for Progress.
DuPage for Progress recruited eleven community members to run for important non-partisan positions like school and library boards and supported them with weekly meetings, signature drives, and education. Nine of them won their races and serve in leadership today.
We also made a slate to run for York Township, made up of the Supervisor (me), as well as a Clerk and four Trustees. Then Chair of York Township Democratic Organization, Tina Tyson-Dunne, suggested we add her husband, Martin Dunne, as Highway Commissioner to complete the slate. We called ourselves York for Progress.
We campaigned hard over that Covid winter and were targeted by dark money Republican attacks.
We didn’t win but came close. The Elmhurst Patch did a pretty decent write-up about it here. As writer David Giuliani noted:
Four years ago, Republicans performed better. Then, Valle dispatched his independent opponent with 94 percent of the vote. The races for highway commissioner and clerk were uncontested. And the four GOP trustee candidates got even bigger majorities over their three Democratic rivals.
And then I returned to life as a private citizen. I wasn’t sure I’d ever run again but planned to continue volunteering as a Precinct Committeeperson and Democratic Election Judge.
Several months later I learned that an elected official and Democratic Party leader was using her platform to slander my reputation and tell lies about me to other leaders and members. When I complained to leadership of the Democratic Party of DuPage County about her unprofessional and inappropriate bullying, my concerns were swept aside and never addressed or resolved. My goals were an acknowledgement of harm done and a public apology. I did nothing wrong and this is not how you treat people.
Instead, the only tangible result of all this today is that I’ve been blocked from local Democratic Facebook groups, and stripped without notice of my volunteer responsibilities. My questions as to why continue to go unanswered.
Help me figure this out. I’ll build out these blocks with some interesting history as we go. Thanks for reading!