Archive for the ‘League of Women Voters’ Category


Newly seated Board of Education member Diana Clopton and Nate Rouse, 220 Director of Equity, Race & Cultural Diversity Initiatives

As seen in our May 4th post, New Board of Education sworn into office, a recent FOIA has brought to light a series of emails between Nate Rouse (D220 Director of Equity, Race, and Cultural Diversity Initiatives), Melissa Atteberry (D220 5th Grade teacher and President of the D220 teacher’s union, BEA), and Diana Clopton, newly elected Board of Education (“BOE”) member, which took place in the months leading up to the recent school board election.

On the recommendation of current BOE member, Erin Chan Ding, Rouse reached out via his Barrington220 issued email address to recruit Clopton to run for BOE: “As you are aware we’ve got some political craziness going on and we are anticipating some strong opposition to equity work moving forward in the district without the support of a sound board of education.”

In order to facilitate Clopton’s placement on the BOE, Rouse offered to put Clopton in contact with “people that are very interested in getting behind/supporting good candidates and putting them in contact with the right people.”

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It is no secret that Rouse works closely with Jessica Green, founder of Courageous Community, an organization listed as a Community Partner on Rouse’s Equity220 website. Green hosted a “Meet the Candidate” fundraiser, exclusive to candidates  Clopton, Altschuler, and Collister-Lazzari, 3 of the 7 running for BOE in the recent election. Green is also a member of the Equity Committee run by Rouse, but closed to the D220 community, as only “those who support the mission” are allowed to participate. So much for Rouse’s DEI initiative “We Belong to Each Other” ~ it clearly should come with a disclaimer: We Belong to Each Other… but only if you’re the ‘right people.’2 Pic


Rouse took his support of Clopton running for BOE even further by connecting her with Melissa Atteberry. Atteberry is the current President of the Barrington Education Association (BEA), the D220 teacher’s union. Atteberry was very eager to meet with Clopton, “I would love to meet with you and learn more about your motivations, as well as goals for the district.”

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Clopton will be called upon to vote on the BEA Union contract. What influence does Atteberry hold over her in that regard. We know that Chan Ding took political donations from, as well as the endorsement of, the BEA two years ago when she ran for BOE.  This subjected her to much criticism. It appears from this election cycle that the BEA has found other ways to influence the BOE elections other than by making public endorsements and donations.

Rouse also took time away from his DEI work to meet Clopton for an extended lunch in Deer Park, where they apparently discussed her ability to combat the “political craziness” going on and the “strong opposition” to the equity work no one other than those deemed privileged enough by Rouse to serve on his private DEI Equity Committee Team know anything about.

Equity Team

Each of the meetings Rouse scheduled with Clopton were conducted on D220 time, on D220 email, and many on D220’s Zoom platform. As seen above, Rouse further orchestrated and participated in meetings between Clopton and BOE incumbent candidate Collister-Lazzari.

Collister-Lazarri and Superintendent Hunt made it very clear at the BOE meeting of September 20, 2022, that only people who “support the mission” would be welcome to participate on Rouses’s DEI Equity Team. The first Equity Committee meeting was reported on at this BOE meeting starting at 48:55, wherein Collister-Lazzari advised the meetings are “not open to the public” because, similar to the Safety & Security Committee, “there’s things that maybe the whole public shouldn’t be aware of.” When pushed as to how one might get involved, Chan Ding advised that administrators (i.e. Rouse) ask parents to be involved based on the ‘fit’ for that specific committee, to which Hunt reiterated, “you want people who support the mission of the work, obviously…” Those people are:


It is clear from these communications that we have a D220 Administrator actively seeking candidates for BOE that support his taxpayer paid position. A position that is closed off from public scrutiny and only available for his “District Equity Team” to be part of. He then puts said candidate in contact with the head of the BEA Teacher’s Union, on whose contract said candidate will soon be voting, as the BOE is currently involved in contract negotiations with the BEA. He then takes it one step further by offering to put said candidate in contact with community members that directly support his paid, closed to the public, District position.

Now, this may all be well and fine if Rouse and BEA President Atteberry offered to meet with all candidates running for BOE so they could share their goals for the District and what constitutes a “sound” BOE. However, Rouse was directly contacted by another candidate prior to the recent election, Leonard Munson, who requested a meeting with Rouse to learn more from him about the DEI programs and initiatives. Rouse refused to meet with Munson, stating his “admin team” has been advised to let D220 Superintendent Hunt know if any requests to meet are made from candidates and to refer requests to Hunt’s office as it was Hunt’s job to meet with candidates to discuss the District’s programs, “including our equity work.”


This should come as no surprise as Rouse has already decided that there are parents who are and who are not on the D220 “District Equity Team” and he has said so publicly, in BOE meetings and on his Twitter feed. Rouse clearly does not believe Munson “supports the mission” as he was denied any meeting with Rouse. Yet, the District emails indicate Rouse not only recruited Clopton, but met with her multiple times on the taxpayer’s dime. Is this Rouse’s idea of “equity”? The BOE candidates, parents and taxpayers of D220 deserve better.

Nate Tweet

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Barry Altshuler and Leah Collister- Lazzari share a quiet moment together as they reflect on the apparent campaign violations they’ve gotten away with so far…

District 220 voters elected Barry Altshuler (BA) and Leah Collister-Lazzari (LCL) to the Board of Education (BOE) in 2019.  Despite their lack of experience, and one other vastly more qualified Board member, he was appointed Secretary of the Board and she to Vice President in 2021. Within months, they began displaying symptoms of delusions of grandeur, especially when their race for re-coronation began.

Some examples of their campaign violations include:

First: As we reported on February 10, BA failed to complete necessary paperwork required by the Illinois State Board of Elections  (ISBE) by naming a Treasurer to his Campaign Committee. Yet, even though this publication has repeatedly pointed this failure to follow rules out to him, he ignored them until only recently.

BA Privacy

LCL waited until last month to file her committee details (seen here), which revealed that she and BA share a common Committee Treasurer.

Second: Three weeks ago, BA sent campaign solicitation letters to, “… all the Dr’s in Barrington asking for their support for BOE.” It remains unclear how he obtained his solicitation mailing list, but his actions swiftly prompted the Patient Services President of Advocate Good Shepard Hospital to send the following message to area physicians:

Advocate Letter

Third: It came to our attention recently that BA is censoring comments made to his campaign Facebook page.  This, despite the fact that courts have ruled that public officials cannot block critics from commenting on their Facebook page associated with their political office (see, “Court Rules Public Officials Can’t Block Critics on Facebook”). Yet this was revealed when people try to comment on his site:BA Blocks

BA is a practicing pediatrician.  As such, with that level of education, he cannot in good conscience claim ignorance of these rules and laws.

Fourth: BA and LCL’s campaign signs are printed with the District 220 logo front and center (below).  It’s unclear what, if any, permission(s) they sought or who, if anyone, granted it.  What we do know is last week District 220 Superintendent Dr. Robert Hunt announced as a result, the District will incur the expense of copyrighting District 220 logo’s to prevent its unauthorized use in the future.220 Logo

Fifth: LCL called in to vote on a controversial measure while working/vacationing in New Zealand in violation of the Open Meetings Act (OMA), prompting residents to bring OMA complaints to the State’s Attorney General’s office and the Policy Committee of the BOE to undertake review of the rules surrounding calling in to meetings while traveling.

Given all this, we strongly encourage voters to choose wisely at the polls. Consider the missteps of these incumbent candidates and how they have behaved (so far) in the 2023 District 220 election.

Related: “Two term District 220 Board of Education member Angela Wilcox endorses Katey Baldassano, Leonard Munson, and Matt Sheriff for 220 Board,” “Endorsements: Munson, Baldassano and Sheriff for CUSD 220 Board of Education,” “District 220 Board of Education candidates Katey Baldassono, Leonard Munson and Matt Sheriff share their vision,” “Parents at top-rated school expose pornographic books in IL school library (DISCRETION ADVISED),” “The District 220 Policy Committee has a lot on their plate tomorrow,” “Who’s minding Leah and Barry’s campaign finances,” “What 220 voters need to know continued, including our recommendations,” “What 220 voters need to know,” “220 Parents call BS!

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Chicago Morning Answer’s Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson weighed in on some of the issues voters are considering before voting in the April 4 District 220 Board of Education elections.

Their podcast, recorded yesterday, can be heard here.

Related: “Parents at top-rated school expose pornographic books in IL school library (DISCRETION ADVISED),” “The District 220 Policy Committee has a lot on their plate tomorrow,” “Who’s minding Leah and Barry’s campaign finances,” “What 220 voters need to know continued, including our recommendations,” “What 220 voters need to know,” “220 Parents call BS!

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220 White Hats

Katey Baldassano, Leonard Munson and Matt Sheriff

The League of Women Voters of the Palatine Area will be hosting a series of candidate forums beginning next week to help voters make informed choices in the April 4th election.

Next in this series will be Barrington Unit School District 220 Board candidates (virtual forum), from 10:30 AM to Noon, Saturday, March 11th. Registration and other information can be found here.

The forums will be recorded and made available on the group’s YouTube channel via lwvpalatinearea.org.

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220 AdminThe District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Some of the topics on the agenda include:

  • Second Reading of Board Policy
  • Consideration to Approve Addendum to Barrington Youth Baseball/Softball Contract
  • 2023-24 Instructional Materials Report
  • Consideration to Approve Resolution Authorizing Partial Settlement of Vaping Litigation
  • Consideration to Approve the Resolution and Sales Contract for Sale of 310 E. James Street, Barrington.
  • Consideration to Approve Organizational Board Meeting on May 1, 2023, and
  • Consideration to approve the terms of Dr. Hunt’s resignation as set forth in his resignation letter.

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be live streamed on the district YouTube channel.

Related: “The District 220 Policy Committee has a lot on their plate tomorrow,” “Who’s minding Leah and Barry’s campaign finances,” “What 220 voters need to know continued, including our recommendations,” “What 220 voters need to know,” “220 Parents call BS!

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BAL Vote

A Barrington Area Library candidate’s forum is this Tuesday, March 7th, at 6:30 PM

The League of Women Voters of the Palatine Area will be hosting a series of candidate forums beginning next week to help voters make informed choices in the April 4th election.

First up in this series is the Barrington Area Library trustee candidates (virtual forum),from 6:30 PM to 8 PM, Tuesday, March 7th. Registration and other information can be found here.

This forum will be recorded and made available on the group’s YouTube channel via lwvpalatinearea.org.

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LB Signs

According to the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE), candidates running for office who don’t plan to raise $5,000 or more to fund their campaign need not file the traditional campaign disclosures. Those disclosures typically include a, “Statement of Organization,” naming officers of the campaign committee and the financial institution to be used for campaign donations and expenses.

Further, quarterly reports must be filed detailing all financial transactions made by the committee and everything from campaign websites, to mailers, to signs, etc., must identify the name of the committee that paid for such marketing.

Leah Collister-Lazzari has filed no campaign disclosure documentation with the ISBE.  Therefore, we can assume she does not anticipate obtaining campaign donations totaling more than $5,000.  However, once she deposits more than that amount, she will have to report and file all required ISBE documentation and follow required financial reporting guidelines.

The concern we have is many campaign collateral fulfillment houses are typically generous when it comes to “floating” committees for a couple of months before payment is due for their services (even after the election). And who’s to say when the $5,000 threshold is actually reached if donation checks sit in a desk drawer for a few weeks before they are deposited.

Barry Altshuler, on the other hand, so far has filled out the necessary ISBE forms for campaign disclosure (D-1 found here), with the exception of one glaring omission.

As seen below, Barry failed to designate who the Treasurer of his campaign committee is as required by the ISBE:

BA Privacy

So, are we suggesting these two candidates and incumbent District 220 Board of Education members are dishonest?  No.

Are we suggesting voters think twice before handing a check to these candidates (let alone voting for them)?  You decide.

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220 Forum

This year, CUSD220 has seven candidates for the three open Board of Education seats. The PTO Presidents’ Council is hosting a nonpartisan candidates’ forum IN PERSON at the Barrington Area Library on Wednesday, March 1.
Come learn about the different candidates and what they would do if elected. Have questions you’d like them to answer? Submit your questions using this link.

There is no RSVP for this in person event. (The League of Women Voters is holding a different forum virtually on Saturday, March 11 that does require preregistration.)

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220 BOE Photo copy

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. The only action item on their agenda is, “Consideration to Approve Student Fees.”

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be live streamed on the district YouTube channel.

Related:220 Parents call BS!What 220 voters need to know,” “What 220 voters need to know continued, including our recommendations

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Tonight is a meeting of the Committee of the Whole.

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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