Updated: April 3, 2012 5:31PM
On Election Day, 2,030 Winnetka voters voted No and 692 voted Yes on a referendum worded by the Winnetka Home Owners Association: “Should the Village of Winnetka expand our existing Affordable Housing Plan?”
The question is, what direction does this provide the Village of Winnetka with regard to affordable housing? The answer is none at all. Winnetka voters received not one iota of information in advance of the election about the nature of the “existing affordable housing plan,” the definition of affordable housing or proposals for expansion. Moreover, the referendum, as a policy issue, is non-binding by state law. Winnetka continues to have an affordable housing plan on file with the state of Illinois. Nothing has changed.
Objectively speaking, a relative handful of Winnetka voters took part in a primary election that mattered mainly to one party, and hence was innately skewed. In the voting booth, this unrepresentative sampling of village residents encountered a vaguely written referendum issue, presented without history or context. The results prove nothing about the state of opinion in Winnetka as a whole regarding the desirability of affordable housing. We are confident that in a general election—involving wide village turnout, in-depth prior debate, and a fairly and substantively worded proposal—the results would be dramatically different.
Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs