ORLAND PARK, IL — Meet Joanna M. Liotine Leafblad, running for Orland Park Library Board. The election is April 6. The candidate recently filled out the Patch candidate survey, and her answers can be seen below. If you are a candidate for the April election, and would like to answer our Patch candidate questionnaire, please
ORLAND PARK, IL — Meet Joanna M. Liotine Leafblad, running for Orland Park Library Board. The election is April 6.
The candidate recently filled out the Patch candidate survey, and her answers can be seen below.
If you are a candidate for the April election, and would like to answer our Patch candidate questionnaire, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joanna M. Liotine Leafblad
Age (as of Election Day)
Town/City of Residence
Party Affiliation (if a partisan race)
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
I have been an attorney for 26 years
I have a Facebook page called Re-elect Joanna Maria Liotine Leafblad for Orland Park Library Trustee
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office
I am currently completing a six year term on the Library Board and have been President for the last two years.
The single most pressing issue facing our (board, district, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
Pandemic safety. I will continue to work with Library Directors and staff as we continue advancing to the next phase of opening the library safely for the public.
Do you support Black Lives Matter and what are your thoughts on the demonstrations held since the death of George Floyd and the shooting of Jacob Blake?
I believe that there are systemic issues that adversely affect people of color, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities. Those issues must be defined and addressed so that everyone can feel safe and have the freedom to pursue educational, personal, and career goals. No one should live in fear because of what they look like, where they come from, how they pray, or who they love.
Do you think the current board has done enough to support racial equality, and if not, what specifically should be done to do so?
Yes, I do. The Board has supported and encouraged Library directors who work very hard to research and provide programs that serve all cultures, religions, ethnicities, and genders. We serve a diverse population. There is so much to share and learn from each other.
What are your thoughts on the national and local coronavirus response? Do you favor measures such as limiting operation of non-essential businesses and restricting indoor/outdoor dining? And do you favor a local mask mandate?
I do favor these measures. Public safety should be a priority. I do not believe there is anything to be gained by placing people at risk when we are so close to having the pandemic under control through vaccines.
What are your thoughts on the state and local coronavirus vaccine distribution, and how do you think local governments should work together to handle vaccine rollout?
I believe the current vaccine distribution is sufficient.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
I have successfully held this office for the last six years and have addressed many challenges and critical decision making events. I am familiar with the laws that govern public bodies, including the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act. The Board guided the pandemic response. The pandemic response is ongoing and requires experienced Board members to see it through to the end.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
The six years I have been in office provided me with many challenges and critical decision making events. I acted as FOIA Officer addressing numerous requests under the Freedom of Information Act. As Vice President and then President, I addressed staffing and programming issues; reworked cost and expenses due to Village budget cuts that affected the Library; planned a renovation from selection of architects through completion; participated in pandemic response in real time working to ensure staff safety and public safety.
If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?
Bringing the Library back to full operation post-pandemic so our patrons can fully enjoy the new features resulting from the renovation.
Why should voters trust you?
I have shown my commitment to providing a variety of resources, programming, information, and materials to serve the needs of our diverse population. I have worked through the pandemic making safety and security a priority while keeping access to information and technology open as much as possible to all the Library patrons who needed it.
What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the use of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?
The Library finances have been managed extremely well. We were able to continue paying employees and complete a significant renovation in spite of the financial, health, and safety challenges brought by the pandemic.
Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?
The best advice ever shared with me was:
Treat everyone with respect and choose words wisely.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I love our Library. My daughters grew up attending programs and enjoying books, movies, and music from Orland Park Library. The Library is the one place where everyone is welcome and where resources and the flow of information is free and accessible to all.