Now that Mayor Daley did what was in his best political interest in appointing state Rep. Deborah Graham (78th) as 29th Ward alderman, it is appropriate that the Democratic committeemen select her replacement fairly and transparently.

The list of citizens who applied for 29th Ward alderman was impressive. The solid pool of applicants brought a history of toiling hard to improve the Austin community. We need a progressive person who can serve the diversity of the 78th District. The district covers Austin, Oak Park, River Forest, Stone Park and Melrose Park.

The pool of potential state representative replacements is equally impressive. Two individuals who merit serious consideration are Austin resident Phyllis Logan and Oak Park resident Ade Onayemi. Both are business professionals with an impressive resume of community service-in both the Austin and Oak Park communities.

Phyllis Logan is member of several community and faith-based organizations, including those fighting for affordable housing. She is also active in both the NAACP and the Austin African American Business Networking Association (AAABNA). A real estate developer, Phyliss Logan is the chairperson of Westside Branch of the NAACP’s housing committee.

While serving as mortgage crises liaison for Cong. Danny K. Davis (7th), Ms. Logan assisted families through the mortgage modification process. She also served on the committee which brought about the construction of the new Westinghouse High School building. Her community service extends to education. Ms. Logan is a board member at the Austin Business and Entrepreneurship Academy located on the Austin high school campus.

Ade Onayemi, a 25-year resident of Oak Park, is a licensed architect and president of Urban Resource, Inc., an architectural firm located in Austin; and he is an adjunct instructor of construction technology at Triton Community College in River Grove. His civic work includes volunteering as the vice chairman of ED-RED (Education Resource Development), an Illinois education advocacy organization representing more than 300,000 elementary and high school children. Since the business academy’s inception, Mr. Onayemi has chaired the school’s board of directors. A former member and president of Oak Park’s elementary school board, he oversaw an annual budget of $62 million serving roughly 5,000 children.

Both Phyllis Logan and Ade Onayemi bring diverse experiences as business people and civic leaders to merit strong consideration for the vacant 78th District representative seat.

The Austin and Oak Park communities deserve a fair and transparent process so that we may have the best person appointed and not have any more backroom deals.

Please email me if you agree (