Part of getting older and becoming a parent is you start paying attention to local elections and doing better research on candidates that will have a direct impact on your household, like school board president, etc. It’s been a while since the last local election and because I’m a mom, this year’s election felt like a bigger deal and there were two things that suprised me, which I would like to write about:

  1. Low voter turnout.
  2. The number of women running.

What’s Up With Low Voter Turnout?

In looking at the election results, I wanted to see if such a low voter turnout was typical. So I compared the most recent election to this year’s election, and I found that the 2017 voter turnout rate for Tinley Park was a little over twice the turnout of the 2021 election.

  • 2021 Tinley Park voter turnout – 10.208%

Remember that Childrens book author I interviewed last year, who wrote Imaginary Larry? Since she ran in the election for one of the Village Trustee seats, I asked her if she knew if low voter turnout was typical. This is what she said:

for the election turnout it’s pretty common, and sad that municipal elections don’t get many voters.

Colleen Sullivan (You can learn more about Colleen on the One Tinley Park website.)

And I didn’t think of this before, but one possible theory for the lower turnout this year that Colleen brought up to me was that it could have been due to the fact that many seats were uncontested. I also think that quarantine played a big part aswell; those who don’t understand how to set up mail-in ballots might not have participated.

Many people think that taxes go to politician salaries and what not, but that simply isn’t true. For instance, neighboring Orland Park clerks make around $10k/year and the Orland Park mayor’s salary has hovered around $30k-$40k. The big chunk of our taxes go to the school district, so our votes have a huge impact on the next generation.

So conclusion: low voter turnout can have many factors, but it definitely needs to improve. Allowing for online voting would be a great way to make voting even easier, but the real challenge is reaching the hearts and minds of voters who sometimes feel like voting is pointless, etc.

Girl Power At The Polls: More Women Ran And Won!

“It’s nice to see so many women getting involved in local politics, and not only that, they all won this election.”

Colleen Sullivan (Tinley Park Trustee)

ICYMI there were actually lot of women who ran this election, which is a beautiful sign of progress in gender euality. Here are all the women who ran and won in the April 6, 2021 Election:


Cook CountyWill County
Bremen Township:
School B.M., Bremen Community HS 228, 4yr.
Mary List
Evelyn Gleason
Deborah Stearns 
Otilla Kelly-Stokes
Supervisor, Bremen Township
Kathryn Straniero (Bremen Tax Reduction Party)
Trustee, Bremen Township
Carolyn R. Carter (Bremen Tax Reduction Party)
Mary Catuara (Bremen Tax Reduction Party)
Frankfort Township:
Trst, Frankfort Library District, 4yr.
Cindy Wagner 
Jennifer Knutson
Trst, Frankfort Library District, 2yr.
Jan Look
Orland Township:
Clerk, Orland Township: Cindy M. Murray (Orland Township Together Party)
Trustee, Orland Township:
Maria Lynn Sanfilippo (Orland Township Together Party)
Lora Kreczmer (Orland Residents for Responsible Government)
Rich Township
Clerk, Rich Township
Arlene M. ”Sugar” Al-Amin (Rich Township First Party)
Audrey Brunson (Integrity Party of Rich Township)
Trustee, Rich Township
Jennifer L. Wallace (Republican)
La Vetta D. Williams (Republican)
Therese H. Goodrich (Rich Township First Party)
Jacquelyn M. Small (Rich Township First Party)

Tinley Park Specific

VillageSchool Districts
Clerk, Village of Tinley Park
Kristin Ann Thirion (Our Tinley Party)
Trustee, Village of Tinley Park
Colleen Sullivan (Our Tinley Party)
Kirby School District 140
Carol DeMicheal
Lucy Shalash
Aileen Mullee

Library Trustee, Village of Tinley Park, 6yr
Laura Hess-Wojcik (Nonpartisan)
Community Consolidated School District 146
Jill Dunlap
Patty Chlada
Julie Berry
Cmsnr., Tinley Park Park District, 4yr.
Marie B. Ryan 
Lisa O’Donovan 

Kudos to all the women who ran and won! You are all inspiring girls and women to run or get more involved or interested in local matters.

I tried my best to find photos of all the women who ran and won, but I was suprised that not many had their own websites or a strong online presence. For any of you future candidates out there, I definitely recommend honing a solid online presence. And if you need help or advice on how to hone your online presence, you know who to call ? (a.k.a me). If you’re a new reader who isn’t familiar with my career, I design search optimized websites and online consulting over at (my small business that my husband Geoff founded).

If You’re Curious About Running

If you’d like to learn more about how to run for an office in local elections— I wrote about it here, along with a little history (did you know that Tinley has only had one female mayor so far?), and a great resource for connecting with women who want to run or get more involved in local politics too.

Discalimer: I was not paid to write about this subject by anyone who ran or was involved in the election. I wrote this and created the graphic you see above as a public citizen who wants to help engage her community. 


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