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  • Jeff Gahris

Campaign Update

“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.” – Queen Elizabeth

The COVID-19 virus has reminded us that we are not separate from nature, and not invulnerable. The mightiest economy and greatest military force of all time is no match for this simple form of life. The virus doggedly pursues self-preservation by mindless replication, and has no political or economic agenda. The heroic are the medical staff, those who provide our food and necessities at personal risk, and many others in this difficult time. What we are re-learning, of course, is that our families and the resilience of our communities matters most. By pulling together, we will thrive again.

Looking after our friends, neighbors, and family is our first priority. I have included a list of links below for organizations needing help. Many of you kindly came forward and offered to help with the campaign although it, like much in our lives, has been upended. I had originally planned lots of outreach in the form of socials, public events, fundraisers, and door-knocking. This plan is on hold, which is difficult for me, but the campaign will continue. I received more than 15,700 votes in the primary election, which tells me we have a viable election campaign going forward. For this I am grateful.

So what’s next? We organize!

Our Facebook posts emphasized the opportunity to use the DuPage Forest Preserves, which continue to be open. Our group outings are on hold, but a number of friends have hit the trails in the last few weeks. It is important to get outdoors safely, and to be in a forest preserve or similar natural area helps re-connects us with who we are as humans. Taking care of our own physical and mental health is important as we care for others.

I am committed to the idea that we need strong and well-managed forest preserves in DuPage County. In the current crisis we need the preserves more than ever for people who seek solace and peace outside the home, and we need a strong and capable board of commissioners to guide the professional staff. Given my background and qualifications, this is my motivation now – to join the board and offer competent leadership in an uncertain world.

For a successful election campaign, we need volunteers to share Facebook posts and Facebook Live events. Your feedback on issues, improvements, good points about preserves will also be helpful. Feel free to respond with your ideas for future hikes, any forest preserve improvements you see as valuable, and your thoughts about what you might want to do for the campaign in the months ahead.


Photo by Janette DeFelice

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