WINNETKA – The authors behind the YourWinnetka email campaign revealed their identities in a press release on Sept. 28 as Vicki Apatoff, Jan Bawden and Kim Handler.
Many Winnetka residents recently began receiving anonymous emails from the organization and have been wondering who is behind them. The emails address key issues in the village such as stormwater and One Winnetka.
The press release stated that Bawden is the founder of Your Winnetka and also serves as editor-in-chief of the newsletters, while Apatoff is managing editor, and Handler’s role is social media director. Both Bawden and Apatoff are members of the Winnetka Caucus Council. Apatoff is vice chair of the caucus and Bawden serves on the village candidates and communications committees.
Questions have circulated among residents as to whether YourWinnetka has used the caucus email list to send out its newsletters. DailyNorthShore.com wrote about this issue in an article published Sept. 14. The press release does not mention an affiliation with the caucus, nor did the organizers respond to DNS’s question about the email list.
YourWinnetka’s emails are called “spot checks” and modeled after email newsletters by The Huffington Post and The Skimm, according to the press release. The latest spot check dated Sept. 23 addressed the Village Council’s preliminary approval of One Winnetka. “The biggest economic opportunity the Village has ever seen or a structure that will suck the living daylights out of downtown?” the email asked.
YourWinnetka was formed during the campaign season earlier this year, throwing its support behind caucus-backed candidates Louise Holland, Chris Rintz and Penny Lanphier. Rintz and Lanphier were elected and serve as village trustees.
According to the press release, the idea for the newsletters came out of the election campaign. While campaigning for caucus-backed candidates, the group realized that residents were interested in more information. YourWinnetka says it relies on published sources such as the village website and other government websites, as well as personal interviews.
And the group claims to have no bias or ulterior motive beyond providing news and information. “We have no agenda other than to elevate the dialog. There’s no need for us to take a position. If you give people access to the information, they’re smart enough to draw their own conclusions. Especially in this town,” Handler is quoted in the press release.
The group’s stated goal is to summarize the news succinctly to make it easier for residents to understand the issues. “If we can make it easy for our friends and our neighbors to get what they need in the short time they have, it’s been a good day,” Bawden is quoted in the press release.
For more information go to www.yourwinnetka.org.