We may be preaching to about half of the choir by suggesting that all Evanston voters go to the polls either tomorrow or next Tuesday. In addition to the exciting, critical and historical presidential election, voters will have a chance to weigh in on whether they believe the Illinois State Constitution is strong enough to be repaired by popular amendments or is so broken that it needs to be scrapped and, well, reconstituted.
At the state legislative level, incumbent State Representative Beth Coulson in the 17th district faces a challenge from math professor Daniel Biss. In the 18th district, Julie Hamos is running unopposed for a sixth term.
For State Senator of the 9th district, Brendan Appel has challenged incumbent Jeff Schoenberg. While this newspaper does not endorse candidates, we have tried to present to you on the pages of this edition the local issues and the people behind the names as well as the referendum question on the present ballot.
Our premise has always been that, given sufficient, objective information, the voters of Evanston will make good decisions. We have no reasons to doubt this will continue.
And while we are on the subject of elections, let us add that it is gratifying to see that some of the City races are heating up. In fact, at present there are so many candidates who have taken out packets for mayor that the City may hold a primary election in February.
Four aldermen – Steve Bernstein, Edmund Moran, Elizabeth Tisdahl and Anjana Hansen – have indicated they will not seek re-election. Each of them has served the City and their constituents with dedication and hard work. We shall miss them at the dais but we trust they will continue their involvement in and service to Evanston at other levels.
As for the other incumbents, even they must seek re-election, and the City’s many challenges should make for animated discussion and debate over the next few months. For some positions there is no contest, and we encourage qualified and interested persons to consider this form of public service.
At the school districts, four positions will be open for School Board at District 202 and four at District 65. Although many seem to think the City functions, issues and challenges are more important than those of the schools, we could not disagree more. The school districts are funded by about 67 percent of our property taxes, whereas the City’s portion is only about 20 percent. The challenge, we believe, is the same at any level of government: How can a governing body use its tax revenues and other income to address the crucial and fairly prioritized needs of the community?
In activist Evanston the financial pay for public service ranges from modest to non-existent. Still, every election season dedicated and qualified people are willing to jump into the political arena to try to make Evanston even better. We pledge to keep our readers as informed as possible about the issue, the candidates and the election.