December 12, 2022
Dear Candidate for Village Office:
The Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government wants to inform you of our services and activities. Included in this Candidate Packet is an informational brochure that explains Park Forest’s non-partisan tradition and the role of the Committee (p. 3-4), and a copy of the Codified Rules and Procedures with Statements to sign (p. 5-10).
Since 1955, the Committee has provided candidates for Village office with a means for everyone to run without political parties or slates. Our forums give candidates the opportunity to present their views and positions to the voters at a reduced cost to them. Our guidelines have helped ensure that there is no organization or “system” that gives any candidate an advantage over the others.
You are invited to join us in continuing this 68-year-old tradition during the 2023 campaign. To participate, you would:
- Attend a Candidates’ Briefing meeting on Tuesday, December 20th, 2022, at 7:00 pm via Zoom. You will receive a Zoom link the afternoon of December 20th.
- Return the signed Candidate Statements (p. 7-8). Please sign, scan, and email by December 20th to [email protected]. If unable to email, please mail to NPC, PO Box 1001, Park Forest, IL 60466:
- The Candidate’s Campaign Practices Statement, which says you will run as an independent in a true non-partisan election, and
- The Code of Fair Campaign Procedures Statement, which was prepared by the Illinois Board of Elections.
- Participate in our Candidate Forums. We are planning four (4) forums to be held at Village Hall between the Candidates’ Briefing and Election Day. Videos will be televised on cable TV. The forum schedule will be available at the Candidates’ Briefing.
- Please provide us with a photograph and a 300-word statement via e-mail to [email protected]. Any statements exceeding 300 words will be edited by truncating from the bottom. Your statements will be published in our Brochure of Candidate Statements, which will be on the website (www.pfnpc.org), emailed to you, printed and mailed to NPC members, and available at all forums. Please provide your photo and statement before or at the Candidates’ Briefing.
Should a candidate choose not to agree to sign the Candidate’s Campaign Statements, they will not be allowed to participate in the forums. However, they will be offered the privilege of having a statement published in the Brochure of Candidate Statements. Their failure to sign the statement will be noted in the brochure.
Candidates who sign the statements but are later found to have violated the NPC slating rule will be dropped from participation in all subsequent NPC-sponsored events for that election including candidate forums.
If you have any questions concerning the Committee or the upcoming activities, please email the NPC at [email protected].
Included in this document:
- Non-Partisan Committee Informational Brochure
- Codified Rules and Procedures
- Candidate’s Campaign Practices Statement
- Code of Fair Campaign Procedures Statement
Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government in Park Forest Board of Directors
Chip Young, Chair
Samuel Brooks, Treasurer
Elissa Seeman, Secretary
Non-partisan elections are based on the following principles:
- Every qualified citizen should be free to run for office without the approval or support of any organized group.
- Voters should have opportunities to know the candidates and understand the issues.
- Local issues are local. They should not be obscured by state or national issues or by the motives of distant powers.
- Candidates in a local election should be free of pressure from any special interest group. They should be obligated only to the citizens of their community.
- Those ideals were first put to work in town meetings in early America. Today, the system is well known as non-partisan local elections.
A PARK FOREST TRADITION
Non-Partisanship has been a tradition in Park Forest since 1949. In 1955 the Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government in Park Forest was established as a not-for-profit organization. The all-volunteer Committee works toward two goals:
- To make it convenient for any legally qualified resident to run for public office at little expense and regardless of ethnicity, creed, gender, age, or political party.
- To give Park Forest voters the opportunity to hear all candidates and ask them questions at open forums.
As a result of the Committee’s work, every voter has ample opportunity to become informed about all local candidates and issues. Every citizen can run for office without the approval of any political organization and without having to fight against the organized power of any political group. The non-partisan system has worked so well in Park Forest that it has been respected by nearly all political party representatives.
HOW WE USE DONATIONS
Donations are used to pay for photocopies of the Candidate Packets, NPC Informational Brochure, and Brochure of Candidate Statements, and for miscellaneous operational expenses.
HOW NON-PARTISAN ELECTIONS WORK
You or any other qualified citizen of Park Forest may run as an independent within the non-partisan system. Any independent candidate simply circulates nominating petitions, obtains the required number of qualified signatures, and files them at the Park Forest Village Hall.
Each candidate then writes a statement of personal qualifications and views on the local issues. The Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government posts a Brochure of Candidate Statements on their website and distributes a paper copy to all Park Forest residents who attend candidate forums. Candidates are asked to agree to the Committee’s Codified Rules and Procedures, copies of which are available from the Committee, and found in this document.
The Committee plans and organizes a series of public forums which permit all the candidates to speak to the voters face-to-face. Volunteer moderators conduct the meetings, assuring each candidate an equal opportunity to become known to the voters. All this work is done at no cost to the candidates.
WHAT THE COMMITTEE DOES NOT DO
The Non-Partisan Committee does NOT seek or endorse candidates for office. It does not require candidates to participate in Committee forums or meetings or to sign the Codified Rules and Procedures. The committee does not oppose or endorse any political issues.
The Committee does not prohibit any political party candidate from running for office nor does it prohibit political parties or any other group from supporting a candidate. However, candidates and their supporters should take into consideration that political party involvement in local elections is not consistent with non-partisanship.
HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE
You can take part in the non-partisan system in several ways:
- You can run as an independent candidate for the Village offices of Mayor, Village Trustee, or Library Trustee.
- You can become a Supporter of the Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government
- As a Committee Supporter you can take part in Committee meetings or work on sub-committees and projects.
- You or any non-political organization in the Village can host a candidate meeting.
Support non-partisan elections in Park Forest by completing this Supporter/Donation form.
Name: __________________________________________ Street Address: ______________________
Email Address: ___________________________________
Yes, I wish to support non-partisan local elections in Park Forest by supporting the Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government. My tax-deductible dues are enclosed.
Please make your check out to “Non-Partisan Committee.” Please give this form and your check to any member of the Board of Directors or mail to: Non-Partisan Committee PO Box 1001, Park Forest, IL 60466 Payments and donations can be made at: www.pfnpc.org
The Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government in Park Forest
Codified Rules and Procedures (Not a part of By-Laws)
a. Objective: This codification is a compendium of the rules and procedures of the Committee for Non-Partisan Government in Park Forest (NPC). All the rules and procedures of the Committee’s organization and operations are contained herein.
b. Revisions: These Rules and Procedures are set by and may be changed by the Board of Directors. Each page shall be dated to reflect the date of the latest revision to that page.
c. Distribution: Copies of the By-Laws and these Rules and Procedures shall be given to all members of the Board of Directors and all candidates for office in the Village. Copies shall be provided to any member who requests one and are also available on the website pfnpc.org.
a. General: The objective of the Non-Partisan Committee is to make it convenient for any legally qualified candidate to run for Village office and to give the voters the opportunity to judge the talents and motivations of all candidates at open meetings.
b. Qualifications: A candidate for office is any person who qualifies to be placed on the ballot for Village Mayor, Village Trustee, or Library Trustee, in accordance with Village, County and State election laws and regulations.
c. Write-in candidates:
- A write-in candidate shall be considered a legally qualified candidate provided he or she submits all required documents to the Cook and Will County Clerks to fully qualify as a write-in candidate. The candidate must provide the Committee with copies of submittal receipts from both County Clerks.
- Write-in candidates will be requested to sign the Candidate’s Campaign Practices
Statement as defined in section 4 of this document and abide by the Committee’s rules and procedures.
- Write-in candidates may participate with the other candidates at NPC-sponsored forums and interviews conducted after they become qualified.
- As soon as possible, the Committee will add a page to its Brochure of Candidate Statements to include the write-in candidate’s statements. The write-in candidate may not distribute his or her own materials at Committee functions in the interim.
- Once the forum schedule is set, the NPC will not change it for write-in candidates, unless requested by a forum sponsor.
d. Within two weeks after the deadline for filing petitions, a meeting will be held with the candidates to explain the role of the NPC in Village elections and to review the schedule and procedures for the coming campaign season.
a. It is the goal of this Committee to encourage candidates to not run on a slate with other candidates. To that end, candidates must avoid sharing resources, such as bundling together or distributing campaign materials for two or more candidates. They must avoid the appearance of running with or providing public support for another candidate. Also, candidates may not seek the endorsement of an established political party.
b. “Public support” means any statement or action in support of or against one or more candidates that is intended for the public to see. Examples include (but are not limited to) posting signs in windows, writing letters to newspaper or newsletter editors, signing statements of support, and hosting a forum on behalf of one candidate. “Public support” does not include signing candidates’ petitions or making statements in private.
c. This slating rule is to be followed by all candidates for all Village offices. Therefore, a candidate for Library Trustee shall not host a forum or otherwise provide public support for a candidate for Village Trustee or Mayor during the same campaign.
d. These rules also apply to current officeholders in Park Forest.
e. These rules affect only candidates and not members of their families.
f. It is the responsibility of candidates to instruct those working for them to not initiate or encourage activities that appear to be slating.
a. Candidate’s Campaign Practices Statement: At the Candidates Briefing meeting, each candidate will be asked to sign the following Candidate’s Campaign Practices Statement:
I have read the materials provided by the Committee for Non-Partisan Local Government in Park Forest, including the Codified Rules and Procedures. I hereby agree to abide by the following campaign practices:
- I will not join with another candidate to form a slate.
- Statements made or documents distributed by me shall relate only to my candidacy for the above office.
- I understand that I may accept the endorsement and support of a group (other than a political party) providing the group advocates only my candidacy.
- I understand that I may obtain the support of an organization organized solely to promote my candidacy, provided the organization does not support or publicize any other candidates.
- I will not authorize advertising that violates these guidelines.
- I understand that I may only distribute my campaign materials at the site of NPC forums after the forum is adjourned.
- I will not endorse other candidates for Mayor, Village Trustee, or Library Trustee of the Village of Park Forest.
- At any activity sponsored by the Non-Partisan Committee, I will not endorse candidates for any elected local, state, or national office.
- I understand that people other than candidates may opt to distribute my materials along with the materials of other candidates for Village office. I understand that people may put more than one candidate’s signs in the windows of their own homes. However, I will not initiate or encourage such activities. I will instruct people distributing my campaign materials that I am not supporting or running with any other candidate for Village office.
- These campaign practices will be followed by me and my supporters. If I become an office holder, I agree that I will continue to abide by these practices.
b. Code of Fair Campaign Procedures Statement: At the Candidates briefing, each candidate will be asked to sign the following Code of Fair Campaign Procedures Statement which was prepared by the Illinois Board of Elections.
There are basic principles of decency, honesty, and fair play which every candidate for public office in the State of Illinois has a moral obligation to observe and uphold in order that, after vigorously contested but fairly conducted campaigns, our citizens may exercise their constitutional right to a free and unrestricted choice and the will of the people may be fully and clearly expressed on the issues.
- I will conduct my campaign openly and publicly and limit attacks on my opponents to legitimate challenges to their records or statements.
- I will not use or permit the use of character defamation, whispering campaigns, libel, slander, or scurrilous attacks on any candidates or their personal or family lives.
- I will not use or permit any appeal to negative prejudice base on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion or national origin.
- I will not use campaign material of any sort which misrepresents, distorts, or otherwise falsifies the facts, nor will I use malicious or unfounded accusations which aim at creating or exploiting doubts, without justification, as to the personal integrity or patriotism of my opposition.
- I will not undertake or condone any dishonest or unethical practice which tends to corrupt or undermine our American system of free elections, or which hampers or prevents the full and free expression of the will of the voters.
- I will defend and uphold the right of every qualified American voter to full and equal participation in the electoral process.
- I will immediately and publicly repudiate methods and tactics that may come from others that I have pledged not to use or condone. I shall take firm action against any subordinate who violates any provision of this Code or the laws governing elections.
I, the undersigned candidate for election to public office in the State of Illinois, hereby voluntarily endorse, subscribe to, and solemnly pledge myself to conduct my campaign in accordance with the above principles and practices.
c. Forum Procedures: The moderator is responsible for the conduct of each forum in accordance with the following procedures:
- Opening Remarks: The moderator welcomes the audience and asks everyone to sign the attendance sheet. Then he/she reads the following:
Since 1955, the Non-Partisan Committee has provided forums to enable all candidates for village office to present their views to the public without expense to themselves.
We have been able to do so with the help of citizens like yourself. To help maintain this tradition, we ask that you consider joining the Committee or that you renew your membership, if you’re already a member. Dues are only $5 for an individual, $5 for families, and $4 for senior citizens.
- Non-Partisan Committee Statement: The moderator identifies any of the candidates who have been found in violation of the Non-Partisan Committee’s Candidate’s Campaign Practices.
- Absent Candidates: The NPC representative will tell the moderator if any candidates have called in to say that they cannot make the forum. After the moderator reads the opening remarks, he/she announces the names of the candidates who will be absent and (if known) why they could not make it. The moderator tells the audience that the missing candidate’s statement can be found in the brochure. No other statements on behalf of an absent candidate may be made.
- Unopposed candidates: Unopposed candidates will be given the opportunity to take questions from the audience.
- Opening Statements: Each candidate is to make a two-minute opening statement. Although a candidate is permitted to finish a sentence, or perhaps a paragraph, at the end of two minutes, it is unfair to allow a candidate to significantly exceed the allotted time.
- Question and Answer Period: Questions are invited from the audience, which may be addressed to a specific candidate or to all candidates. An acceptable alternative approach is to have people submit written questions to be asked by the moderator or a representative of the sponsoring organization.
If the question is addressed to one candidate, other candidates may respond if they choose. The order in which the candidates respond is rotated and responses are limited to two minutes per candidate. However, for a complicated question, the moderator may wish to extend the response time, particularly if asked to do so by the candidates. It is the moderator’s job to ensure that the candidates can answer the questions in the time allotted without being interrupted by other candidates or the audience.
- Rebuttals: Candidates may have an additional one minute each to rebut comments made by another candidate on the current question to correct misinformation, not to further the discussion. Responses to comments from previous questions are not to be allowed. The rebutted candidate may also have a one-minute response, but there will be no further rebuttals on the same question. The moderator may use discretion regarding when to allow the rebuttals.
- Statements by Others: The forums are intended to be showcases for the candidates and opportunities for the audience to ask questions. The moderator can help the candidates by discouraging long speeches from the audience and by keeping his/her own statements short.
- Campaign Material: The moderator may not wear any buttons or show other materials related to a political party or one of the candidates.
- Program Length: The program is intended to go for 1½ hours. Longer forums are allowed when there are many candidates. When things start to wind down, the moderator announces that one (or two) more questions will be entertained.
- Closing Statements: The candidates are given two minutes each for closing statements.
- Windup: The moderator thanks the host or hostess for arranging the forum and thanks the audience for coming. The audience is reminded that Election Day is
d. Interviews: The NPC may sponsor or support interviews of the candidates on YouTube or through some other medium. These sessions may or may not be conducted according to the forum procedures.
NPC Codified Rules and Procedures
Revised October 2022