It is our goal to ensure Lake Forest is the best it can be.
It is our goal to ensure Lake Forest is the best it can be.
Episode 17 - Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, One of the Country’s Most Influential Experts on Stress
Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo is one of the country’s most influential experts on stress—and the impact it has on peak performance, mental well-being, and living a full, purpose-fueled life.
Dr. E, as she’s known by audiences around the world, is a sought-after keynote speaker, author, and coach. She helps people identify how critical moments of high stress, what she refers to as “The Red Zone”, is shaping their behaviors, decisions, health, and overall performance.
Dr. E has helped teams at many Fortune 500 companies unleash performance, profits, and untapped potential by showing them how to make sure stress gets the best from them—and not the best of them.
Dr. Lombardo is also a well-known media expert with hundreds of TV and radio appearances on shows like Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, The TODAY Show, CNN, Fox Business News, and others. She also regularly contributes to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, SUCCESS, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Forbes, and other respected publications. She is also the author of several books: “Get Out of The Red Zone”, “Better Than Perfect” and “A Happy You”
It’s long past time to have a discussion on blue/red partisan mudslinging in Lake Forest. Why raise this topic now? Whether our community faces contested elections or not, it is important to remind those in and seeking elected offices of our non-partisan stance through the Lake Forest Caucus.
Partisan views are held by many, if not most, residents of this community. People are proud of and entitled to their Democratic, Republican, Independent, etc. affiliations. However, in Lake Forest, skewering residents for their political preferences in order to discredit them is a despicable practice. Partisan mudslinging is especially heinous when used to attack, smear and disparage a well-intentioned neighbor, one who simply tries to engage in community service.
For example, an article published last November in the Lake County Gazette alleged that a former mayoral candidate held a fundraising event for Hillary Clinton on November 14th. It blathered on about her specific financial contributions to Democratic candidates; it reiterated the same nonsense promoted during the previous mayoral race.
Not only are certain statements in this piece blatantly false, one must ask what conceivable purpose this article served. At the time it published, over seven months had passed since the last mayoral election. The former candidate had made no statements regarding another run; yet, this issue (of the candidate’s political preferences) cropped up again. The writer(s) of this piece hid behind a veil of anonymity, foreclosing any attempt to ask about their intent. There is no question however, that the piece itself fanned the flames of discord.
What, if any political ideologies apply to Lake Forest? How do liberal or conservative ideals even enter our government’s decision-making? Our City Council does not deal with immigration control at the border, has no say in whether Social Security or Medicare will be funded and take no action on women’s health rights. Their priorities include, among other things, adequately funding employee pensions, securing the beach bluff, fixing sewer pipes, purchasing fire trucks and supporting organizations within the community (like Elawa Farm and the library). There’s nothing “blue”, “red”, “white”, or “orange” in any of these tasks.
So, again we ask, what prompted this past article from the Gazette? That begs a second question of how seemingly endless, vitriolic partisan campaigning entered our last mayoral election. Nasty, partisan-based diatribes not only came from the Lake County Gazette, but also from the Lake Forest Podcast and other places. We really don’t know what caused these entities to promulgate these attacks. We can only assume they hoped to stoke fear and divisiveness. It’s an “agenda” focused on winning at all costs; one that fuels significant division and discord in our community!
A most notable result is a drop in our community’s participation in the very organizations who need it. Who will want to serve on the Caucus Committee, on Boards or Commissions and on City Council if they fear their political leanings will result in a public smear of their reputation and/or direct attacks on their families? This question is easy to answer – no one!
We need to turn this trend around. Our community can soundly reject anyone and any publication that goes down this noxious path. The Lake Forest Caucus Committee, which is charged with keeping our City non-partisan, and in years past did not object to independent candidacies, should lead this effort by publicly denouncing this kind of rhetoric wherever and whenever it occurs. That didn’t happen in the last mayoral election; in fact, the Committee remained conspicuously silent to all forms of political mudslinging. Furthermore, they never distanced themselves from right-wing groups who supported their recommendation for mayor. The Committee should have (but didn’t) make clear that they were not affiliated with any politically aligned group, whether that group agreed with their recommendations or not. The Committee’s behavior needs to change.
Condemnation of vitriol also extends to statements made outside of a campaign environment. These are statements that don’t call out political affiliations by name, but imply wrongdoing by unidentified ”partisans”. An example comes from our current Mayor who in a Chicago Tribune article was quoted as saying that unnamed “partisans” were “digging in their heels” regarding the Caucus bylaw amendment, an amendment which would have eliminated our right to vote at the Caucus Spring and Fall Annual Meetings. A majority of Lake Foresters voted against the amendment because they wanted to preserve their long standing right to vote for or against Caucus Committee recommendations at those meetings. They were not partisans, or anti-Caucus or anti-government for doing so; they were merely concerned citizens. The Mayor should recognize this, refrain from accusing citizens of partisanship simply for exercising a democratic right and learn, along with the Caucus, to denounce them publicly.
Again, we recognize that most residents in Lake Forest have favored party affiliations. However, it is bad for our community to verbally attack residents or viciously accuse them of being “partisan” simply because their choices for local government diverge from those currently in power. Political mudslinging, whether by innuendo or directly, never should be acceptable, especially when it comes from our “non-partisan” Caucus Leadership and our Mayor. Lake Forest will be much better off for it.
Lake Forest for Transparency
-Susan Sailor Daly