ATDO March Meeting – Current Candidates Spoke About the Issues

Numerous current local candidates running in the April 4, 2023, consolidated elections as well as four Candidates for Judge in 2024 attended our March monthly meeting. Here is a brief recap of some of what we heard:

Candidate for College of DuPage District #502 Trustee Haroon Atcha spoke about the importance of curriculum without censorship, fair and affordable education, and fiscal responsibility. He stated that education should be for all and reflect the needs of the community.

Candidates for Addison Library Trustee Ellen Marie Finizio and Dr. Maria Sinkule spoke about the importance of keeping books in the library without censorship. They spoke about the concern that some current candidates are running specifically to ban books. The Illinois House passed a bill this month that will make libraries ineligible for state-funded grants if they remove books because of “partisan or personal disapproval” or fail to issue a statement against banning books. Local libraries could lose needed funding if “book-banning” candidates become board members.

Mubasher Max Ashrafi Candidate for High School District 88 serving Addison Trail & Willowbrook spoke about the importance of having representation from Addison. His children have attended both High Schools. He values the diversity of the community and wants to enhance the relationship between the high schools and the College of DuPage.

Julia Styrczula, Chris McCullough, and Valarie Special are running for Bensenville Trustees under the name “Citizens Initiative Party.” The three candidates are concerned about the “rubber stamp” the current trustees give to the village president. The candidates suggested that the “Committee of the Whole” meetings should be recorded and available to the public just like village board meetings for transparency. They can be reached at or 630-464-3836.

Justices Linda Davenport, Lance Peterson, and Joe Hettel will be running as incumbent Appellate Court Justices in the Third District in March of 2024. All three “3 for the Third Appellate” are currently appointed to their seats by Justice Mary K. O’Brien due to openings in the last year. Together, Linda, Joe, and Lance have spent over 100 years in the legal field, with over 50 of those years spent as Judges. They spoke about how critical judges have become in protecting the rights of all and also protecting our democracy. We will be hearing more from them in the coming months.

Judge John Anderson will also be throwing his hat in the ring to fill one of the Appellate Court Justice positions in the Third District in March of 2024. We will also be hearing more from him.

Lastly, Sarah Quinn (ATDO Chair) introduced us to one of our newest and youngest Addison Township Democrats – Rachael Navarro. Rachael talked about the need for young people to get involved in politics and she is excited to work with us going forward. Ken Mejia-Beal (Dupage Dem Chair) invited Rachael to join his Young DuPage Democrat committee.

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Citizens Initiative Party of Bensenville Flyer
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The backside of the Citizens Initiative Flyer
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Julia Styrczula, Chris McCullough, and Valarie Special of Citizens Initiative addressing ATDO Members.