Robert Reece, Ellen Durston, Claudia Braithwaite, District 65 School Board member Omar Brown, Daniela Nelke and Alderman Peter Braithwaite.RoundTable photo

Incumbent Omar Brown officially began his campaign for District 65 School Board on Feb. 15 at the Peckish Pig on Howard Street. C. Louise Brown, former head of the City’s health department, introduced him, saying, “I am so proud of my grandson, Omar Brown, who is running for School Board.”

A graduate of Chute Middle School and Evanston Township High School, Mr. Brown and his family returned to the Chicago area – and eventually to Evanston – from Virginia. He serves as vice president of Human Resources for the Chicago Transit Authority, where he has responsibility for employee benefits, leave management, talent acquisition and human resources administration and operations.

Mr. Brown said three issues will be central to his campaign and, if elected, his continued service on the Board: financial stability, high-school readiness and Board excellence. On financial stability he said, “We know our state is in dire straits, and we need to be prepared. Unless things turn around rapidly, we’re going to have problems.” Second, he said, “Creating the path to success has to start at District 65.”

“Choose Evanston,” the theme of Mr. Brown’s campaign, represents a three-legged stool: strong household, strong schools and a strong community. He said he feels he can be a liaison to help “align all these and make sure we can have successful children. ‘Choose Evanston’ is about everyone in this room being involved in Evanston … about everyone in the community deciding to make Evanston the place we know it is.”

Mr. Brown said he chose the Peckish Pig to kick off his campaign, because, “as an Oakton School parent and a resident of the Eighth Ward, I wanted to show people from other parts of Evanston how great the Eighth Ward and the Peckish Pig are.”

Last August, the District 65 School Board appointed Mr. Brown to fill the remainder of the term of Eileen Budde, who resigned from the Board in June.