Trustee now won't quit Obama spot

  • Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski

    Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski

Published: 4/8/2008 11:36 AM | Updated: 4/10/2008 8:14 AM

Carpentersville Trustee Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski, who Saturday likened her black neighbors' children to monkeys, did not quit her post as a Barack Obama delegate after all, the campaign confirmed late this morning.

Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the Obama campaign that's seeking to elect the nation's first-ever black president, said the trustee had a change of heart after initial discussions with the campaign, in which she said she'd resign from that post after the neighborhood controversy.

"Ramirez-Sliwinski is an elected delegate and we respect her decision to represent the campaign at the convention," LaBolt said.


Moreover, after discussing the incident with Ramirez-Sliwinski, the lone Latino on the Carpentersville village board, the Obama campaign is convinced she didn't mean her comments in a derogatory way, a position she's maintained throughout the fracas.

"It is clear that the incident was a misunderstanding," LaBolt said.

On Saturday, police issued the first-term trustee a $75 citation for disorderly conduct after she told her neighbors' tree-climbing children to "quit playing in the tree like monkeys," according to the police report.

The children's parents say the trustee, who they've had problems with over the years, meant the remark as a racial slur.

Ramirez-Sliwinski, said she wasn't trying to offend anyone and that she calls her own grandchildren monkeys.

She also singled out the Obama campaign sign in her yard as evidence that she supports African Americans.

After initially saying she wouldn't contest the $75 citation, she's changed her mind about that as well.

Georgia Lockett, whose child was one of those in the tree and called police, has vowed to involve the Rainbow PUSH Coalition if Ramirez-Sliwinski challenges the ticket.

She had no comment Wednesday morning about the Obama campaign's stance on the incident.

Dametta Stewart, whose children were also targets of the trustee's remark, could not be reached for comment.

It was unknown if the Ramirez-Sliwinski would change her mind about not seeking a second term as a result of the incident.

The trustee, whose term expires in April 2009, did not return phone calls for comment.