The people of Niles deserve transparency. We know an open government strengthens democracy and builds trust. Unfortunately, in Niles, actions and decisions that affect our Village government occur behind closed doors. Most residents remain unaware of these actions, but we all pay the price.
We showed up at the February Village of Niles board meeting to implore the board to “improve its appointment process for the various committees to engage a diverse slate of applicants” and we are serious about this. We had front-row seats to how the Community Relations Commission has failed us all. We insist that the Village of Niles fulfill its most basic responsibilities to our community by making sure all people are being represented. We can’t fall back on the ways we’ve been doing things. We need a new intentional effort to fill these committees.
Here is a list of the various committees, commissions, and boards that residents of Niles can apply to volunteer on: Village of Niles Boards, Committees & Commissions. The application form for all of these can be found here: Village of Niles Committee Interest Form.
At the May meeting of the Village of Niles Board of Trustees the trustees will vote on appointments that the Mayor will propose, so now is the time to submit your application if you are interested in participating in one of these commissions/committees/boards.
White supremacist attacks on our community
Recently, white supremacy has flared up in our community. Just like the attack on our library, this one speaks to a deeper issue. Contending with this latest act of terror will require us to come together in community. The Niles Coalition is reaching out to local stakeholders to collaborate on an anti-hate campaign. If people polluting our community with white supremecist bigotry is something that irks you, we hope that you will join us to fight back. Please reach out here: https://www.nilescoalition.org/sign_up/
#SaveNilesLibrary Campaign Update
Library Board meetings are now an exercise in resistance. There are many casualties from the anti-library campaign waged by local right-wing raiders. However, our coalition of concerned community members have stayed the course and support current and former library staff who are concerned about the actions of reckless board members. Here’s what former Assistant Director and Business and Operations Manager, Greg Pritz, who resigned at the end of 2021, had to say: “If enough people believe these misleading statements, the Niles-Maine District Library will never be able to dig itself out of the financial hole that Carolyn Drblik, Suzanne Schoenfeldt, and Joe Makula are digging for it.”
Pritz couldn’t remain silent about the Board of Trustees activities and warned us in a Letter to the Editor printed in the Tribune on February 28, 2022. Read it here: Don’t be fooled by grossly inaccurate statements about Niles Library’s funding.
The next board meeting is this Wednesday at 6:30. Join us to bear witness and grind these gears of injustice to a halt! Be sure to meet one of our friendly organizers!
Also BTW National Library Week is April 3-9 this year, and we’re organizing a ride/walk/roll/stroll that will start at the Niles-Maine District Library in the afternoon on Saturday, April 9th. We’ll share the time, route, and other details soon.
Niles Youth Community
The voices of the youth are often ignored so it is crucial to not only listen but follow their lead on issues that affect them most. We showed up for the students of Niles West and we will continue to do so. The racist attack by anti-facemaskers is just the latest incident that got media attention due to the student rally. We have so much more work to do in our schools. Our Niles Youth Community caucus is a crucial part of coalition building. If you or young people you know are interested in organizing in Niles, please reach out at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Thanks for sticking with us!