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Common Ground Oak Park

Common Ground Oak Park is the platform for long form discussions of issues in Oak Park, IL. Each episode aims to explore topics and people in the community at a more in depth level than can be provided anywhere else. Host Dan Moroney seeks to find truth and common ground through interviews, discussions and Direct Messages to listeners. Common Ground Oak Park aims to honestly discuss topics in a way that accepts that people of goodwill can have differing opinions. Through the free and honest exchange of ideas, pathways forward can be identified that will lead to a better Oak Park.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Cathy Adduci: River Forest Village President

River Forest President; Cathy Adduci, joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park.  Cathy was elected as Village President in 2013 and is currently serving her second term.  The conversation covers Cathy's approach to municipal government and her thoughts on municipal issues facing Oak Park and River Forest.  Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.

1hr 4mins

2 Dec 2019

Rank #1

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Anan Abu-Taleb: Mayor of Oak Park

Anan Abu-Taleb; Mayor of Oak Park, joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park.  Anan was elected in Mayor in 2013.  His tenure has been marked by a focus on economic development and the theme that "Oak Park is open for business".   The conversation covers Anan's Palestinian roots in the Gaza Strip, his journey to America and his role as Mayor of Oak Park.   Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page& YouTube Channel.  

1hr 9mins

27 Feb 2020

Rank #2

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Deno Andrews: Village of Oak Park Trustee

Deno Andrews joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park.  Deno grew up in Oak Park and was elected to the Village Board in April 2017.  The conversation covers Deno's experience growing up in Oak Park and his approach to service on the Village Board.  Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page and YouTube Channel.

1hr 7mins

14 Nov 2019

Rank #3

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Pat McGowan: Realtor, Baird & Warner Oak Park

Pat McGowan joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park.  Pat has been a leading real estate agent in the Oak Park area since 1988.  She was the #1 Oak Park area producer in 2004, 2006, 2007 & 2008.  The conversation covers Pat’s life and work in Oak Park, along with the local real estate market.  Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.

1hr 3mins

6 Dec 2019

Rank #4

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Legalized Marijuana with Brian Bobek

Brian Bobek joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park to discuss legalized recreational marijuana in Illinois.  Brian is the owner of Providence Dispensaries and is planning to open a dispensary in Oak Park in 2020.  The conversation discusses the path to legalized marijuana in Illinois, regulations around legalized marijuana and local ramifications of the new law.  Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page& YouTube Channel.  

1hr

22 Dec 2019

Rank #5

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Mike Powell: Beat the Streets Chicago

Mike Powell joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park.   Mike was a state champion wrestler at OPRF, All-American wrestler at Indiana University and led the OPRF wrestling team to rankings as high as number one in the nation during his tenure as head coach at OPRF.  Mike currently serves as executive director at Beat the Streets Chicago.  The conversation discusses Mike’s wrestling background and his current work at Beat the Streets Chicago.   Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.  

1hr 9mins

10 Jan 2020

Rank #6

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Ray Johnson: Former Village of Oak Park Trustee

Ray Johnson joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park.  Ray served on the Village Board between 2003 and 2014, before his job took him to New York.  The conversation covers past and current issues in Oak Park, along with the ups and downs of Village Board service.  Ray also offers his insights on the Democratic field on the National stage.   Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.  

59mins

15 Dec 2019

Rank #7

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Joshua Flynn: Libertarian Candidate for Illinois House 78th District

Joshua Flynn joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park to discuss his candidacy for the 78th District of the Illinois House of Representatives.  Joshua is an Austin resident ad is running for this seat as a Libertarian.   The conversation discusses Joshua's candidacy, his position on issues in the campaign and his ideas for economic development in the Austin community.   Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page& YouTube Channel.  

59mins

5 Jan 2020

Rank #8

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Kitty Conklin: Advocate for Greater Fiscal Responsibility and Transparency

Kitty Conklin joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park.   Kitty has been an Oak Park resident since 2005 and has become the leading advocate for fiscal restraint amongst Oak Park’s six taxing bodies. The conversation covers what prompted Kitty to commit herself to advocating for the easing of the tax burden, along with her views on taxing issues in Oak Park. Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page& YouTube Channel.  

1hr 4mins

29 Dec 2019

Rank #9

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Jackie Reed: Westside Health Authority

Jacqueline Reed; Founder of the Westside Health Authority (WHA), joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park.  Jacqueline founded the WHA in 1990as an organization that aims to improve the social and physical environment of the Austin community. The conversation covers Jackie’s road to starting the WHA, the transformation and successes of the organization and issues in the Austin community.  Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page& YouTube Channel.  

1hr 13mins

13 Feb 2020

Rank #10

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Gary Cuneen: Seven Generations Ahead

Gary Cuneen; Founder and Executive Director of Seven Generations Ahead, joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park.  Gary founded Seven Generations Ahead in 2001 as a not for profit that promotes ecologically sustainable and healthy communities.  Since that time, Gary has established himself and his organization as a leader in sustainability initiatives in the Oak Park area. The conversation covers a wide range of global and local environmental issues. Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page& YouTube Channel.  

1hr 6mins

20 Feb 2020

Rank #11

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Ali ElSaffar: Oak Park Township Assessor

Ali ElSaffar joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park to discuss Oak Park taxes.  Ali was first elected Oak Park Assessor in 2001 and has been elected four subsequent times. The conversation on this episode provides an in depth overview of the tax burden in Oak Park and the impact that it has on taxpayers in Oak Park.  Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page& YouTube Channel.  

1hr 4mins

16 Jan 2020

Rank #12

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Monica Sheehan: Pragmatic Pool Solutions Leader

Monica Sheehan joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park.  Monica was named 2016 Oak Park Villager of the Year due to her efforts with the Pragmatic Pool Solutions Group. The conversation covers her work with Pragmatic Pool Solutions, thoughts on the Imagine OPRF process and other issues related to District 200.  Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page& YouTube Channel.  

1hr 1min

23 Jan 2020

Rank #13

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Athena Williams: Oak Park Regional Housing Center

Athena Williams; Executive Director of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center, joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park.  Athena became Executive Director of the Housing Center in 2019 after directing the West Cook Homeownership Center.  Since becoming Executive Director, her focus has been on refocusing the Housing Center's approach to integration and making the organization more efficient and effective in the 21st century.   The conversation covers the Housing Center's history, mission and integration in Oak Park.  

58mins

5 Mar 2020

Rank #14

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Dan Wolman: Cell Phones in Schools

Dan Wolman joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park to discuss policies pertaining to cell phones in schools and at OPRF.  Dan is a history teacher at OPRF and is part of the Cell Phone Committee that is working on a policy at OPRF for the 2020/21 school year. The conversation discusses the negative impacts that cell phones can have on learning, the current landscape at OPRF and policy options being considered.  Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page& YouTube Channel.  

1hr 10mins

30 Jan 2020

Rank #15

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John Lynch: Oak Park Economic Development Corporation

John Lynch; Executive Director of the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation (OPEDC), joins Dan Moroney on this episode of Common Ground Oak Park to discuss economic development in Oak Park.  John has led the OPEDC since 2015 and his tenure has been marked by unprecedented development throughout Oak Park.  The pros and cons of this development is discussed, along with what are some future development opportunities in the community.  Highlight video from this podcast can be seen on the Common Ground Oak Park Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.  

1hr 11mins

6 Feb 2020

Rank #16

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Liz Holt: Oak Park & River Forest Chamber of Commerce

Liz Holt; Executive Director of the Oak Park & River Forest Chamber of Commerce, is featured on episode 25 of Common Ground Oak Park. Liz became Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce in October 2018 and her role has suddenly been transformed in light of the Covid-19 outbreak. The conversation focuses on the work of the Chamber of Commerce and the impact of the shelter in place order on the Oak Park business community.

1hr 9mins

23 Apr 2020

Rank #17

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Health Aspects of Covid-19 with Ori Gottlieb

Episode 24 of Common Ground Oak Park discusses the health impact of the Covid-19 virus and what next steps might be in the fight against the pandemic. Providing insight for the conversation is Ori Gottlieb; Anesthesiologist and Perioperative Informaticist at the University of Chicago.   The conversation covers what is known about Covid-19 as of April 12th, 2020 and how our approach to the virus might change given new information that is learned every day.  

1hr 5mins

16 Apr 2020

Rank #18

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Eric Wagner: Visit Oak Park

Eric Wagner; President and CEO, of Visit Oak Park is featured on episode 23 of Common Ground Oak Park.   Eric came to Visit Oak Park in June 2018, after working for the Illinois Office of Tourism.  His tenure with Visit Oak Park has seen the launch of a new website and marketing campaign and a strategic reallocation of expenses by closing the Visitor’s Center and investing more in advertising.   The conversation discusses Eric’s work at Visit Oak Park, attracting tourism to Oak Park and the importance of visitors to the local economy. 

1hr 2mins

9 Apr 2020

Rank #19

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Christian Harris: Oak Park Library Trustee

Christian Harris; Oak Park Public Library Trustee and owner of MaidPro Oak Park, is featured on episode 22 of Common Ground Oak Park.   A lifelong resident of Oak Park, Christian graduated from OPRF high school and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Bradley University.  Shortly after graduating from Bradley, Christian started his own business; MaidPro Oak Park. Christian was elected to the Oak Park Library Board in 2017 and also ran for the Village Board in 2019.  The conversation covers Christian’s role on the Library Board, his experiences as a small business owner and his thoughts on various aspects of Oak Park.

1hr 8mins

2 Apr 2020

Rank #20