I’m writing to endorse Davis Schneiderman for Highland Park City Council to fill Paul Frank’s vacated position. As an English department colleague, I’ve worked closely with Davis for fifteen years, watching him assume a variety of important leadership positions, as he has advanced with lightning-quick speed from full professor to department chair to associate dean. In all of those roles, Davis has distinguished himself as a multi-talented, dynamic leader, whose skills would be an enormous asset to our city council. Let me highlight just some of the qualities I admire most in Davis.
Davis is, first of all, an independent thinker, who brings fresh and fertile vision to any topic. He has a keen sense of justice and fair process. In all my years of working with him, I’ve never seen him steamroll a decision; instead, he pursues processes that enable every stakeholder to offer input and assume ownership of the decision-making process. He’s a great listener and superb negotiator, for his ear is always finely attuned to the needs and values that different parties bring to complicated problems. In fact, when disagreement arises, Davis is often the one person able to discern a reasonable compromise that satisfies all competing parties. Above all, though, he is the most creative problem solver I have ever met. Where others see or create roadblocks, Davis finds paths through or around problems because he has such a flexible mind and a gift for seeing multiple paths forward. You will never hear Davis say “There’s no plan B.”
Davis also cares deeply about people in vulnerable positions in our community, whether they be seniors, minorities, or women. Davis’s interest in helping seniors springs directly from personal experience. When Davis’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer over a decade ago, he managed his father’s health care and supported his mother during the many years of his father’s deteriorating health. No matter how busy Davis was with work and children, he was always there as a loving caregiver and practical problem solver for his father and mother.
Although Davis is not himself a senior citizen, as a result of overseeing every detail of his father’s care, Davis developed a deep understanding of the problems seniors in Highland Park face when they lose their health or ability to be independent. Davis is also a sensitive advocate for those who come from minority or historically underrepresented groups. With a wife who is part Puerto Rican and one daughter adopted from China, Davis doesn’t just support diversity; he lives it.
Further, Davis is a tireless advocate for women. I have seen that commitment in his support of his wife’s career, but I have also seen it from my vantage as a female academic. Working in an academic world that is still too often dominated by sexism, I can attest that Davis is one of the few male academics I have met who goes out of his way to recruit and support women and ensure that women are treated equitably. Davis can be counted on to listen to even the most marginalized voices in our community and to work for fairness on their behalf.
I have the highest respect for Davis, and I wholeheartedly encourage you to vote for him for Highland Park’s City Council.
Chair of the English Department/Lake Forest College
Highland Park Resident
Editor’s note: Letters to the Editor represent the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of Daily North Shore. We encourage readers to post Letters to the Editor– please use this link to do so.