The summer of Clark


Sara Bey, Editor in Chief

Over the summer, special education teacher and congressional hopeful Anthony Clark and his supporters campaigned all over Illinois’ 7th Congressional District.

Clark has been furthering his work in the community through “meet and greets, where community members host social gatherings…to meet me and learn about the platform,” he said.

He has also gotten support from social media and news outlets. “Via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, I have garnered a lot of exposure and support,” Clark said. “News outlets have also covered my announcement to run.”

“Clark has had an incredible summer,” senior Ryan Jansen said. “The entire summer, (he) has gone to countless marches with the Women’s March and other progressive organizations.”

In mid-summer Clark was one of a group that created Neighbors United, an organization employing at-risk youth in Oak Park and Austin.

Clark was also involved in Feed the Community where he went into the Austin neighborhood and did a grill-out, and “purchased a security system for a church in Pilsen (whose members were) being harassed by white supremacists,” Jansen said.

Jansen was asked by Clark to be the director of Youth Engagement for his campaign. “I went out to look for other progressive students who wanted to assist in the campaign,” he said.

Graduate Sydney Jackson became Jansen’s deputy director of Youth Engagement, and together they created Youth for Anthony, a group where young people can get involved in the campaign.

“Recently, we made an Instagram and Facebook page,” he said. “That has drastically increased youth turnout at critical events for Clark.”

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the awesome love and support of the Oak Park community,” Clark said. “I believe it takes a community in creating change, and that includes my congressional run.”

Both Clark and Jansen have noticed differences in the campaign of Clark and the one of incumbent Danny Davis. “Unfortunately, we do not see Davis marching at progressive rallies, or even meeting with voters to discuss their concerns,” said Jansen.

He “has not campaigned…assuming he will be reelected,” he said. “Representatives should never feel so comfortable as to take our opinions for granted.”

“I am a progressive candidate fighting for opportunity, (Davis) is a career candidate comfortable with status quo,” Clark said. “I refuse to take any money from special interest groups, he has stated while money in politics is a problem, he will still take the money.”

Though Clark sees differences in their campaigns, he still has reverence for him. “I thank him for his service, but believe it is time to move forward with the energy and desire to fight for real change and progress,” he said.

Jansen has high hopes for Clark. “Without question, I hope (he) gets elected as our representative. Clark is the most aware of our communities’ needs, and he is fighting fiercely for the vote,” he said. “Clark and Suburban Unity Alliance have brought about meaningful change to Austin, and I hope that he remains successful in advocating for those in need.”

“It gives me strength to know that communities in the 7th (Congressional District) believe in me as I believe in them,” Clark said, “because we are in this together.”