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public service challenge 2020-2021

In April 2021, Evanston will elect a mayor, city clerk, and all nine aldermen, as well as four members of both School Districts 65 and 202. The Public Service Challenge is offered to encourage involvement in local elections by candidates and campaign workers. This year, Public Service Challenge is being offered virtually as a series of training videos and live radio discussions. 

Offered by the Evanston Community Foundation, in partnership with the Evanston/North Shore Chapter of the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, Evanston Latinos, the Evanston/Skokie PTA Council, and ETHS Parents Engaged.


The three videos confer information on the roles and responsibilities of office and on how to run successful campaigns. The topics of this three-part series are: 

  • Video One: Funding and Running an Effective Campaign

  • Video Two: School Board Membership

  • Video Three: City Government 

Public Service Challenge continues in November with three panel discussions during the Advocates for Action community coffee radio show, hosted by Kimberly Holmes-Ross, The show will feature live questions and answers with community experts, many who appear in the three videos. The shows will air at 10am on Saturdays November 7, 14, and 21. Tune in on the Public Service Challenge Facebook page or listen to the program on the Radio La Difference website. See below for further details about the three programs.


Videos produced by Alicia Healy Productions

Video One: Funding and Running an Effective Campaign

What are the elements of managing a successful campaign? Learn about how to get started, field operations, fundraising, communications and marketing, community outreach, and legal requirements from a group of experienced campaigners. 

  • Greg Andrus, Democratic Party of Evanston

  • Kemone Hendricks, community activist

  • Michael Kreloff, Attorney

  • Rachel Ruttenberg, Democratic Party of Evanston

  • Neil Weingarden, Octothorpe Plus

Reference materials: 2021 Election and Campaign Finance Calendar 

Video Two: School Board Membership

Learn about the roles and responsibilities of Public School Board service and the relationship to the Superintendent from a current superintendent and several former school board members.

  • Margaret Clauson, Superintendent District 69, Skokie

  • Candance Chow, former board member, D65

  • Omar Brown, former board member, D65

  • Jonathan Baum, former board member, D65 and D202

Reference materials from the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB): About School BoardsFoundational Principles of Effective GovernanceSchool Board Member's Approach to the Job

Video Three: City Government 
Learn about the City Manager form of government, the roles and responsibilities of aldermen and mayor and relationships with the city manager and ward constituents from an expert in city management and two former aldermen.

  • Cheryl Hilvert, Midwest Regional Director, International City/County Management Association

  • Delores Holmes, former alderman, 5th Ward

  • Mark Tendam, former alderman, 6th Ward

Reference materials: Council-Manager Form of Government

radio programs

Tune in on the Public Service Challenge Facebook page or listen to the program on the Radio La Difference website

10am, Saturday, November 7
Recap of the November Election and a chance to view the Public Service Challenge video

  • Peter Giangreco, Strategy Group political consultant

  • Rachel Ruttenberg, Chairman, Democratic Party of Evanston 


10am, Saturday, 11/14
City Government Roles and Responsibilities

  • Delores Holmes, former alderman, 5th ward

  • Mark Tendam, former alderman, 6th ward


10am, Saturday, 11/21
Public School Board Service

  • Jonathan Baum, former Board Member, D65 and D202

  • Omar Brown, former Board Member, D65

  • Candance Chow, former Board Member D65

  • Debra Hill, former D65 Interim Superintendent