Updated March 28, 2017
As we work to empower every voice in our community and share the information, services, and opportunities that fulfill Oak Park's aspirations, we often get questions about being an involved citizen.
Here are a few recently asked questions related to civic resources, including voter information. Have a question not answered here? Contact us now.
Where can I get information for the April 4 election?
Learn about candidates
- Watch video from candidate forums:
- List of local candidates
- Chicago Tribune: story on candidate filings
- Chicago Tribune: 10 candidates seek 4 open Oak Park library board seats
Learn about District 97 referenda
- Learn about two ballot referenda from Oak Park Elementary School District 97
- Read answers from District 97 to referenda frequently asked questions
- Review referenda wording from the Cook County Clerk (listed under "School District 97")
- Read a March 14 article from Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar: The impact of D97's proposed referendums
Find resources from Oak Park taxing bodies
- Oak Park Elementary School District 97 (view calendar, sign up for emails)
- Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 (view calendar, sign up for emails)
- Oak Park Public Library (view calendar, sign up for emails)
- Oak Park Township (view calendar, read news)
- Park District of Oak Park (view calendar, sign up for emails)
- Village of Oak Park (view calendar, sign up for emails)
- Find resources including Village Board information, community surveys, and financial documents and reports on the Village Board Candidate Page
Where can I find income tax forms and help?
Tuesday, April 18 is the deadline to file state and federal income tax returns.
At the library, you can print popular state and federal tax forms at no charge; use library computers to file taxes online; and find resources and referrals for more specialized help. More >
How do I appeal my property taxes?
The Cook County Assessor’s office mailed assessment notices on March 1 and is now accepting appeals of the assessed valuations of Oak Park properties in 2017.
- Deadline to file an appeal: April 3
- Deadline to file documentation: April 13
During the appeal period, the office of Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar is providing help to Oak Park property owners wishing to file appeals. Call 708.383.8005 to schedule appointments (regular weekdays 9 am-5 pm available, as well as a limited number of evening and weekend appointments). For properties purchased within the past three years, owners should bring closing documents to their appointments.
- Also find facts about reassessments and answers to frequently asked questions from the Oak Park Township.
- Read a March 14 article by Oak Park Township Assessor Ali ElSaffar: The impact of D97's proposed referendums
Who are my local elected officials?
- Oak Park Elementary School District 97 Board
- Oak Park and River Forest High School District 200 Board
- Oak Park Public Library Board of Trustees
- Oak Park Township Board
- Park District of Oak Park Board of Commissioners
- Village of Oak Park Board
Who are my state and federal representatives?
- Find your U.S. representative by ZIP code, then street address (source: U.S. House of Representatives)
- Find who represents you in the U.S. Congress (source: whoismyrepresentative.com)
- Find your federal and state legislators (source: Common Cause)
- See a list of Illinois state representatives and senators (source: League of Women Voters of Oak Park and River Forest)
- Find more elected officials (source: USA.gov)
How do I contact my state and federal elected officials?
- When contacting your representative, it's best to call them directly. According to former congressional staffer Emily Ellsworth, staffers have to pick up the phone, and it's their job to pass your concerns along to the representative. Tell them your address when they pick up the phone so they know you are a constituent.
- Contact your Illinois elected officials.
How do I get a referendum on a future ballot?
Illinois is one of 24 states that allow a form of direct democracy called ballot initiatives. A ballot initiative can be officially created when a petition to initiate a public vote on a proposed statute or constitutional amendment is signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters. Learn more about ballot initiatives and signature requirements in Illinois.
How can I evaluate sources of news and information?
Teaching people how to be better consumers of information is the fundamental task at the heart of our profession. Check out these resources and stay informed:
- American Press Institute: Six questions that will tell you what media to trust
- PolitiFact: Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website
- Factcheck.org: A project from the Annenberg Public Policy Center
- Snopes.com: The long-standing debunking website