D219 Board Member Jill Manrique Resigns

D219 Board Member Jill Manrique Resigns

By Ella Lindemann, Editor in Chief

D219 Board Member Jill Manrique resigned from her position on July 14, indicating that rising rent prices made it no longer possible for Manrique to live within the school district. The board announced a new member, Matthew Flink, will take the oath to join the school board at the regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 8.

“It is with intensely mixed and messy feelings that I am writing today to let you all know that I have to resign from the District 219 School Board effective immediately. This wasn’t a decision I came to lightly or even willingly,” Manrique wrote in her letter of resignation to the community in July.

Her letter cited financial strain as the primary reason for her departure.

“Like many people across the country and many here in our own community, I got priced out of the rental market. As a single mother of three on an organizer’s salary, I simply could not afford to stay here,” Manrique wrote.

Manrique sparked controversy in the district throughout her tenure, most recently for wearing a keffiyeh to the class of 2022 graduation. A keffiyeh is a traditional Palestinian scarf.

In Manrique’s letter of resignation she included a list of people who made a positive impact on her time on the D219 School Board including, Niles West social studies teacher Daniel Kosiba.

“For as long as I have known Ms. Jill Manrique, she has been steadfast in her commitment to equity, social justice and serving our community. Jill represents and fights for many of the historically marginalized groups in our community, something our school community (and every other school community) desperately needs and deserves,” Kosiba said. “Although Ms. Manrique’s leadership on our school board will be sorely missed, her commitment to making our community, country, and world a better and more equitable place for all people remains unwavering.”

Manrique also credits her persistence to change the D219 community to those in favor of her resignation.

“I would also like to thank my most dedicated adversaries for always reminding me that I’m doing the right thing. Your emails, [F]acebook posts, next door rants, tweets, and calls for my resignation were a consistent reminder that my co-conspirators and I are on the right track to dismantle the white supremacy you so steadfastly defend,” Manrique wrote.

Manrique expressed her hopes for other board members following her resignation.

“To my former fellow board members: Please always be aware of the voices that aren’t present. Keep your minds and hearts open to the experiences of the BIPOC community, the LGBTQIA+ community, the low wage worker, the single parents, and those directly impacted by historical violence and oppression,” Manrique wrote.