Thursday, March 24, 2011

Carol Quinlan Pushes For Oak Lawn Reforms

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March 25, 2011   Southwest News-Herald - City & Suburban

Carol Quinlan Pushes For Oak Lawn Reforms

I only met Carol Quinlan twice, both times at board meetings. I have only read about her work as an Oak Lawn village trustee, or heard others sing her praises.

Quinlan has lived in her district her entire life, over 46 years. Whenever someone has asked for help, she always volunteers in her neighborhood, her parish, and for local charitable organizations.

Why a good person like that would get involved in politics always amazes me.

The fact is the majority of voters could care less about good government, and only complain about their taxes and fees that are required to pay for village services.

The few who actually do vote do their best to advocate for the candidates they support. And when you try to do, there is always a critic around, like me.

I know what it’s like to be criticized. A few people who oppose Carol Quinlan hate the fact that I like her, and that I favor Mayor Dave Heilmann and independent write-in candidate Dan Sodaro, too. The group fighting Quinlan, Sodaro and Heilmann used to love my opinions when it was about them, but now have gone off the deep end with anger.

So be it. Believe me, I can dish it out and take it too, having written about politics as a journalist and a media consultant for more than 33 years. I’ve been attacked by Mayor Mike Bilandic, Jane Byrne, Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer, Richie Daley, and recently by Carol Marin in her Sun-Times column. She’s entitled to her opinion, but so am I.

Remember how to spell Dan Sodaro’s name. It’s spelled D-A-N  S-O-D-A-R-O because you will have to write in his name in the 3rd district race. But you don't have to write in Carol Quinlan’s name because she is on the ballot in the 5th District.

Many who have watched Carol Quinlan work on the village board praise her.

Heilmann, who is experiencing some personal family health issues (I wish him and his family the best), says this about Carol Quinlan: “She just cares about the neighborhood and does everything she can to make it better. She spends an enormous amount of time with people in the district making sure that she is listening and sincerely trying to help, not just giving lip service. She doesn’t sit back and ‘go along’ with a crowd. She stands up for what she believes is right."

She even challenges other board members even though she is in the minority, something that takes a lot of courage. It’s not easy to challenge the powers that be.

So here’s a salute to Trustee Carol Quinlan. I'm sure the person running against her is a fine person, too. But I hate to see good people like Carol Quinlan, who is already in office, be pushed out for no reason.

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AROUND TOWN: I’m fortunate to be involved in making a movie directed by actor Sayed Badreya (“Iron Man,” “Independence Day” and many other films) about the challenges facing Arabs in America. It’s called “Chicago Mirage” and it’s being shot in Bridgeview, Oak Lawn and throughout the Southwest Suburbs. The film is about an American Arab arrested after Sept. 11, 2001. While in jail, he is attacked by the prison’s top gangster. But the Arab kills the gangster, winning the respect of the other prisoners and a 10-year sentence. His release and return to his wife and 11-year-old son is the story.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist, and media and political consultant. You may reach him at

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