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Common Ground Oak Park
52 minutes | Oct 17, 2020
Advisory Referendum Questions with Kevin Peppard
At the end of the ballot for the November 3rd election, Oak Park voters will be asked to vote on two non-binding referendum questions. The first is related to the amount of cash reserves governing agencies are able to accumulate. he second is related to whether capital projects in excess of $5 million should be require voter approval. This episode of Common Ground Oak Park discusses these two advisory referendum questions and why voters might vote yes or no. Joining to discuss this topic is the person who placed these questions on the ballot; Kevin Peppard. Kevin is a decades-long Oak Park resident who has advocated for good government practices and transparency initiatives. He has an extensive knowledge of Oak Park’s taxing bodies and no shortage of opinions on all matters Oak Park.
66 minutes | Oct 1, 2020
David Pope: Former Oak Park Village President
Former Oak Park Village President; David Pope, joins the conversation on episode 42 of Common Ground Oak Park. David was first elected as Village Trustee in 2003 and was elected Village President in 2005. He would go on to be elected to a second term in 2009. David currently serves as Executive Director of the Oak Park Residence Corporation. The conversation takes a deep dive in to the role of Village President ahead of the April 2021 election.
61 minutes | Sep 24, 2020
Police Reform with Bill Dwyer
Police reform and the reality of policing in Oak Park is the topic of discussion in episode 41 of Common Ground Oak Park. Joining to discuss this topic is Bill Dwyer; journalist and Oak Park resident. Bill has an extensive career covering Oak Park police and an extensive knowledge of the department and the work that they do.
60 minutes | Sep 17, 2020
Progressive Income Tax with Nick Binotti
The proposed Illinois Progressive Income Tax is discussed on episode 40 of Common Ground Oak Park. Illinois voters will decide on November 3rd if the State Constitution will be changed from a flat tax structure to a graduated rate structure. Joining to discuss the details of this proposal is Oak Park resident; Nick Binotti. Nick takes a deep dive in to the pros and cons of this measure and provides listeners with a wealth of information before they head to the polls.
66 minutes | Sep 8, 2020
John Kass: Chicago Tribune Columnist
John Kass is featured on episode 39 of Common Ground Oak Park. The conversation focuses on the editorial written in the Chicago Tribune about the events surrounding the march and subsequent vandalism to the Mayor of Oak Park's home. Other topics discussed include increasing political polarization, intolerance and how local politics are a reflection of national trends. John has worked at the Tribune since 1983. He lives in Chicago with his wife and has two adult sons.
62 minutes | Sep 3, 2020
Charlie Meyerson: Chicago Public Square
In this episode of Common Ground Oak Park, guest host Matt Baron welcomes Charlie Meyerson, founder of Chicago Public Square, a free daily email news roundup. In their wide-ranging conversation, Charlie shares from his 40-plus years in Chicago news working for the likes of WGN, WXRT, WNUA and the Chicago Tribune, among other media outlets.
65 minutes | Aug 21, 2020
Fred Arkin: Volunteer, Former District 200 School Board Member
In Episode 37 of Common Ground Oak Park, guest host Matt Baron welcomes Fred Arkin, who has long been on the front lines working to eliminate racial, gender and other inequities. Fred's extensive service in the Oak Park and River Forest community includes coaching in the OPRF Huskies renowned wrestling program and serving a four-year term on the OPRF High School's District 200 Board of Education.
70 minutes | Aug 13, 2020
Conversation with Kevin Wood & President Abe Lincoln
In this episode of Common Ground Oak Park, guest host Matt Baron interviews Oak Park resident and Abraham Lincoln portrayer Kevin Wood. They discuss how Kevin got started as a portrayer, the types of programs that he delivers, the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on his presentations, as well as lessons that Americans in 2020 should heed from Lincoln's life and tenure as the 16th U.S. President. In addition, Honest Abe makes a special appearance about two-thirds into the interview.
58 minutes | Jul 26, 2020
Returning To School with Matt Baron
Episode 35 of Common Ground Oak Park focuses on Oak Park and River Forest High School’s plan for full-time remote learning for the 2020-2021 school year. Joining to discuss the topic is Matt Baron; District 200 School Board Member. Matt is in the final year of his first term on the District 200 School Board, where his recent board work has centered around learning plans for the upcoming school year. Additionally, the conversation will discuss the immediate future of Common Ground Oak Park and some changes in store.
67 minutes | Jun 27, 2020
Policing in Oak Park with Deno Andrews
Episode 34 of Common Ground Oak Park focuses on policing in Oak Park. Joining to discuss the topic is Village of Oak Park Trustee; Deno Andrews. The Village of Oak Park recently signed a resolution in support of the Obama Foundation Pledge to review Use-of-Force policies. Additionally, the Village put a process in place to review policing in Oak Park through a series of public outreach efforts and the use of an outside consultant to evaluate the department. The conversation discusses all of these matters, along with the balance between maintaining a low-crime environment while ensuring a respectful, fair and just environment for all residents.
61 minutes | Jun 20, 2020
Back To School Policy with Cara Carmody & Mara Maas
Episode 33 of Common Ground Oak Park explores policy decisions related to the return of schooling in a Covid-19 world. Joining to discuss this topic are Oak Park residents: Mara Maas and Cara Carmody. Cara and Mara recently started a petition to encourage D97 policy-makers to make plans for in-person learning in the Fall. Mara is a pediatrician and discusses the health implications of returning to in-classroom learning. Cara is an educator and provide insight in to the detrimental impact of lost classroom time and the need to get students back to school. This is a very timely topic, as the Illinois Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are about to issue guidelines for the Fall and Oak Park’s local school districts will have many decisions to make between what learning will look like when it starts back up in two months.
67 minutes | Jun 13, 2020
Nazareth Bryant: 2020 OPRF Graduate & Football Player
Nazareth Bryant; 2020 OPRF graduate and incoming Northern Illinois Football Player, is featured on episode 32 of Common Ground Oak Park. Naz capped off his OPRF experience by being awarded the Athletic Award in the Spring as the male athlete that demonstrated the highest achievements in athletics, academics and leadership. Naz was a two year starter at running back for the OPRF Huskies and also competed in track. Other highlights from his high school career include being team captain for the football team, finishing 2nd in state in the 800 meter relay and being crowned Homecoming king in his Senior year. The conversation focuses on Naz’s football and OPRF career, his time growing up in Oak Park and his thoughts on societal events as he heads off to college.
69 minutes | Jun 6, 2020
Rowan Richards: Social Entrepreneur/Oak Park Varsity Club
Rowan Richards; social entrepreneur and co-founder of Oak Park Varsity Club, is featured on episode 31 of the podcast. Rowan ran the Steward’s Market between 2006 to 2016, an organization that aimed to provide lasting solutions to break the systems of poverty through the creation of social enterprises. Since 2017 he has worked at Accion Chicago and Assemblize, where his work remains centered on growing entrepreneurship and providing business financing in disadvantaged communities. Rowan launched Oak Park Varsity Club in 2019, a multi-use indoor sports facility on South Oak Park Avenue The conversation focuses on Rowan's work and approach to bringing investment and creating opportunity in disadvantaged communities.
67 minutes | May 31, 2020
Chris Neville: Wire Music & Tributosaurus
Chris Neville; musician, owner of Wire Music and front man for the band Tributosaurus joins Dan Moroney for episode 30 of Common Ground Oak Park. Chris is well known in the area as a founding member of the band Tributosaurus and owner of Wire Music in Berwyn. His recent efforts during the Covid-19 lockdown include streaming Thursday night concerts, advocating for support for the live music industry and being a founding member of a movie club; Reviews From the Beer Can Room. The conversation covers all of these things, along with thoughts on the future of the future of music venues in a socially-distanced world.
69 minutes | May 23, 2020
Matt Maloney: OPRF Varsity Basketball Coach
Matt Maloney; OPRF History teacher and former Varsity basketball coach for the Huskies, joins Dan Moroney for this episode of Common Ground Oak Park. After a 12 year run at the helm, Matt stepped down from his role as head coach in the beginning of May to spend more time with his family. The conversation covers Matt’s time as head coach of the basketball team, his experience teaching at the high school and his thoughts on E-learning.
65 minutes | May 16, 2020
Covid-19 Lockdowns with Jenna Russell
This episode of Common Ground Oak Park explores policy responses to the Covid-19 virus. Joining to discuss this topic is Jenna Russell; Oak Park resident and outspoken voice on Oak Park issues. Jenna has made herself known in Oak Park as an independent thinker who rarely falls in line with consensus opinion on Oak Park issues. The conversation discusses Jenna’s willingness to express her views and the subsequent criticism that inevitably arises from her outspoken positions and her thoughts on society’s response to the Covid-19 virus.
56 minutes | May 10, 2020
John Lawrence: Realtor, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
Episode 27 of Common Ground Oak Park features John Lawrence; Managing Broker at the Oak Park and River Forest offices of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. After beginning his career as a teacher in the River Forest public school system, John has made a career in real estate since 2004. He has also served as the Board President of the Oak Park Chamber of Commerce, the Oak Park Area Association of Realtors and the Kindness Creators Intergenerational Program. The conversation discusses John's involvement in the community, the local real estate market and the housing industry during the Covid-19 lockdown.
55 minutes | May 3, 2020
Patrick O'Brien: Scratch Restaurant Group
Patrick O’Brien; owner of Scratch Restaurant Group, is featured on episode 26 of Common Ground Oak Park. Patrick has had a career of over 30 years in the restaurant industry. He opened Scratch Kitchen & Lounge in Forest Park in 2013 and subsequently brought Scratch to Lake Street and Harrison Street in Oak Park. The conversation covers Patrick’s life in the restaurant industry and the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 outbreak.
70 minutes | Apr 23, 2020
Liz Holt: Oak Park & River Forest Chamber of Commerce
Liz Holt; Executive Director of the Oak Park & River Forest Chamber of Commerce, is featured on episode 25 of Common Ground Oak Park. Liz became Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce in October 2018 and her role has suddenly been transformed in light of the Covid-19 outbreak. The conversation focuses on the work of the Chamber of Commerce and the impact of the shelter in place order on the Oak Park business community.
65 minutes | Apr 16, 2020
Health Aspects of Covid-19 with Ori Gottlieb
Episode 24 of Common Ground Oak Park discusses the health impact of the Covid-19 virus and what next steps might be in the fight against the pandemic. Providing insight for the conversation is Ori Gottlieb; Anesthesiologist and Perioperative Informaticist at the University of Chicago. The conversation covers what is known about Covid-19 as of April 12th, 2020 and how our approach to the virus might change given new information that is learned every day.
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