The Village Trustee Candidates – In Their Own Words

Tiffani Graham, Candyce Herron, Joseph Woods, trustee candidates
Tiffani Graham, Candyce Herron, and Joseph Woods (l to r) are contenders for village trustee in the April 2, 2019 Consolidated Election. (Photos: Park Forest Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government)
Correction: The election forum is Sunday, March 3, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. The original date was incorrect. We regret the error.

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- There are three candidates on the ballot for village trustee in Park Forest this year. With three seats open, voters have little choice. The election is slated for April 2, with early voting slated to begin soon. A month out from the Election Day, we offer statements from these candidates in their own words, statements provided to the Park Forest Non-Partisan Committee.

The next public forum is scheduled for Sunday, March 3, 2019, in Park Forest Village Hall. Library Trustee candidates will have first go for 15 minutes, followed by Village Trustee candidates for 45 minutes. Mayoral candidates will follow with a scheduled discussion time of 1 hour.

Kick-off is at 1 p.m.

The final forum for mayoral candidates, trustee candidates, and library trustee candidates is scheduled for Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Park Forest Village Hall. That forum is sponsored by the Co-operatives of Park Forest.

Statements from the three candidates for village trustee follow in the order they appear in the handout prepared by the Park Forest Non-Partisan Committee. The statements have not been edited.

Tiffani Graham

Tiffani Graham
Tiffani Graham. (Photo: Park Forest Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government)

This April, you will be asked to vote for a candidate for Trustee of the Village of Park Forest. I currently hold that seat and ask you to re-elect me.

My name is Tiffani Graham. I’ve been a resident of Park Forest for 38 years and am quite familiar with the issues that the Village faces. I grew up here and went through Park Forest school Districts 162 and 227. As a Rich East graduate, it holds a special place in my heart and I plan to continue the fight to keep all of our schools open.

I have over 10 years of leadership experience, having served on the following boards: President of the Park Forest Rotary Club (2012-2014), member of Tall Grass Arts Association Board, Vice President of the LWVPFA(2016-2018), Membership Chair LWVPFA (currently), member of the Park Forest Youth Commission and Sustainability Committee, mem- ber of the R.E.A.L.(Race, Equity and Leadership) Steering Committee  and most recently I became the President and Co-Founder of the South- Land Rotary Club.

Since being elected in 2015, I have actively worked with our board to improve the livability of our community. It is important for our village to be transparent, and I am a strong believer in transparency. The community should be informed of how their tax money is being spent. My family has owned a Computer company in Park Forest for over 32 years. I have been the Vice President running the day to day operations since 2013. With that being said I realize the importance of business in Park Forest.

On Election Day please cast your vote to re-elect Tiffani Graham, candidate for Trustee for the Village of Park Forest. I look forward to continuing to work with the board and our local legislators to make Park Forest a strong community.

Candyce Herron

Candyce Herron
Candyce Herron. ((Photo: Park Forest Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government)

The people in our community are in dire need of strong dedication, competent leadership, care and humility from law abiding residents. My  name is Candyce Herron. I have been a law-abiding citizen of Park Forest for over 20 years and aim to be the best Trustee yet. Over the years, I have had the privilege to reside in Park Forest and benefit from that which our village has offered.

I have worked closely with our local school administration as PTO Presi- dent, to ensure excellence for our students. With much ambition, I mustered up the courage, to steer down an avenue towards the educational field. As a graceful learner, an opportunity was granted for me to contribute to the world of education beginning in Special Education for two years. Shortly thereafter, I served in the ATF union as a Building Representative for the Teachers’ Federation of Park Forest. I furthered my career teaching high school nation builders Physics and Chemistry Science. All this while, I was maintaining a steady position as the leading Night Auditor for a reputable company in hospitality for five consecutive years.

Having a vision without an execution is a hallucination. Therefore, I believe that a current and culturally in-tuned voice is needed to restructure our community in a new direction. With ongoing exposure and experience being chauffeured by amazing support from Park Forest citizens, I intend to lead and advocate for our community, from infants to elders. I have every intention to change the world with Park Forest as the positive catalyst. Thank you, citizens of Park Forest. I am honored for the opportunity to be your next Trustee and the NEW voice for our community. Remember, that we cannot spell SUCCESS without U!!!

Joseph Woods

Joseph Woods
Joseph Woods. (Photo: Park Forest Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government)

A career in public service and a lifetime of community engagement has prepared me to serve as Village Trustee. I served three administrations for the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, advocating for the rights of consumers, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, veterans, and victims of crime—as well as chaired the Diversity Training Committee and the Process Improvement Committee. I co-chaired successful campaigns, such as the We Care Role Model Program, sponsored by the Chicago Board of Education—to decrease the student drop-out rate. I am presently serving as Library Board Trustee for the Park Forest Library. It is an honor to work alongside such committed and civic-minded leaders. Most recently, I am a graduate of the Park Forest Civic Leadership Acad- emy.

I am a humble recipient of Illinois Humanities Service Award, the Florence Cunningham Poet Laureate Award for Park Forest, the Park Forest Neighborhood Hero Award, the Gwendolyn Brooks Literary Award, the Illinois Emerging Writers Award, and the James Joyce Society Award.

As Trustee, I will work to enact legislation and establish policy that achieves a sustainable budget, protects our environment, promotes ethi- cal government, and ensures that Park Forest remain a vibrant, livable community for the residents of the Village. More personally, this Village has re-ignited in me a profound sense of community. For it has granted me and my family the gifts afforded only by a community so proud of its history—and so concerned about its fu- ture, that it seeks to re-define and re-invent itself. As we have heard, there is an “old” Park Forest (so fondly spoken of) and a “new” Park Forest. I believe it is imperative that we realize a new vision . . . by which we come to the awareness that the new and the old can be not a contradiction.