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Old 04-23-2015, 08:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movingtoillinois View Post
thank you to everyone for the helpful replies. much appreciated.

i've heard Wheaton described as quite conservative in terms of politics and religion. i mean no disrespect in sharing this, and i have no idea how accurate it is. i imagine the town is more diverse than what the rumors or stereotypes reflect, but compared to other towns in the area, is it more conservative?
Yes. Apparently some version of Trivial Pursuit actually featured a question about Wheaton having the most churches per capita in the country. That said, its generally known as a more conservative town with Evangelical leanings. But that's not the whole story.

Wheaton is also quite diverse. It's home to the headquarters of The Theosophical Society in America, which gave birth the Baha'i movement. There's also a spiritual convent called The Lorretto Center and a New Age bookshop called Quest Bookstore -- very hard to find in Chicagoland. Wheaton is also home to a Sikh temple, a Chinese church and a mosque. Wheaton College was founded by a fierce abolitionist and was the first college in Illinois to admit a black student. It was also a stop on the underground railroad and insofar as I can tell has always been active fighting for racial and religious civil rights. There is rabbi on staff at Wheaton, named Steven Bob, who also serves as the chair of the DuPage Interfaith Resource Network. Aside from religion, there are dozens upon dozens of charities serving everyone from the homeless to refugees who have fled war-ravaged countries. Seems like nearly everyone I've met in Wheaton is involved with a charity in some capacity or another.

If you're easily agitated by other people's worldviews, especially Christians, Wheaton might not be a good fit. I think most folks who've pigeonholed Wheaton in the past for it's Evangelism have suffered from oversensitivity and tunnel vision. Wheaton, or any town, is what you make of it.

There's a strong community spirit, rich history, attractive tree-lined streets, outstanding schools and an abundance of friendly, young families. It's a great place to live.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Tri-Cities
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While I think that Wheaton is more conservative than the other two, I don't think it's as far right as people make it out to be.
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:15 AM
 
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Milton Township contains nearly all of Wheaton and Glen Ellyn, and you can see how each precinct voted here:

https://www.dupageco.org/Election/Elections/39108/

Totals for the township are below:

D Barack Obama 26,284 (45.32%)
R Mitt Romney 30,370 (52.37%)
L Gary Johnson 634 (1.09%)
GP Jill Stein 308 (0.53%)


There is hardly a dominant conservative bend to the area. Clearly, you will be able to find like-minded people no matter where you fall on the spectrum--though the vast majority of voters stick to the two major parties.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:33 AM
 
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Default This is very much the most accurate way of viewing things!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
...
As a somewhat liberal guy who lived in "liberal bubble" communities for 20 years prior to moving out here, I checked the 2012 election results for each precinct in Glen Ellyn. I found that the community definitely tilts a little bit Republican, but that it was about 55%/45%, or just a little under the 50/50 mix according to people who voted for Romeny over Obama (which I thought could be a good barometer, since most true Republicans DETESTED Obama by the time of the 2012 election). I decided I could live with that mix.

Wheaton seems to me to be a bit more Republican-leaning in elections, but not overwhelmingly so. There are certainly liberals who live there too. It has a reputation for being "churchy", and it's hard for me to gauge this since all of the suburbs seem "churchy" compared to where I have been living previously. But I certainly know a decent number of atheist/agnostic/nones.
The facts, as demonstrated by election returns, the range of "spiritually based organizations" (many of which do some very small l liberal do-gooder type work in awful parts around the globe...), the offerings of various retail stores (not just Whole Foods but also little mom & pop type health food / vitamin / organic pet supplies) and even the offerings of the public libraries and performing arts centers ALL paint a very different picture than some poorly researched Trivial Pursuit question!

I've spent a fair amount of time in parts of Texas that truly are dominated by bible thumping law makers that still require one to drive to the next county to get a bottle of bourbon or tequila and believe me that sort of thing is NOT part of the deal anywhere in the Chicago suburbs.

Heck, I still have connections to friends from college that live right next door to Mennonites in Iowa and even that sort of very visible religious affiliation is pretty much nonexistent anywhere in the whole Chicago region save for travelers moving through the part of Union Station that serves Amtrak. (btw that particular friend actually works for the University and has a teen aged son that is math wiz AND plays in a speed metal band in addition to helping keep a few dozen honey bee hives productive as a hobby. The little farmettes are big enough that neighbors don't complain about the metal band practicing and they do buy raw honey from the kid so maybe things are a whole lot different out in the country...)

In practical terms, there are is certainly a feeling of "community" that supports quality education and rational local taxes, but unless you feel compelled to paint a pentagram on your roof when other folks are stringing up Easter Eggs from their shrubbery no one is really going to know or care about your personal beliefs...
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:27 PM
 
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a sincere thanks to everyone who's replied. this is very helpful.
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:22 AM
 
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I've lived in Wheaton since 1989 and I don't think its that conservative. It does have some fundamentalist here but they are not in great numbers. It has a lot of churches and many people belong to them but they are not necessarily conservative. Wheaton supports two large Catholic churches as well as a Sikh temple. I think the south end of Wheaton with the newer homes is more like Naperville in its population.
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:19 PM
 
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The poster should check out Lombard, close to Glen Ellyn. Downtown isn't great, but they do have cruise nights and easy access to metra for Chicago events. People are a bit more laid back, than what you'd find in Glen Ellyn, Wheaton or even Naperville. Housing is more affordable as well, but options are slightly limited.
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Old 04-25-2015, 02:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
Wow, not a lot of people WORK in Glen Ellyn, with the exception of the College of DuPage...

The towns people are recommending above will work well, but the challenge, particularly in Glen Ellyn, Downers Grove, and Naperville, will be getting a house in with a "walk to town" location. Most of the houses in Glen Ellyn near the downtown area are probably in the $400,000-$1,000,000 range, and even the $400,000 houses aren't great.

You might be able to find something near downtown Wheaton, though, and Batavia is probably the most affordable of the group being further west without a train stop (though it's still a nice town).
The President of that college was paid very well, and got a great severance package, currently being investigated by the State. He probably owns one of those million dollar homes.
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
The President of that college was paid very well, and got a great severance package, currently being investigated by the State. He probably owns one of those million dollar homes.
Thankfully he doesn't live in Glen Ellyn!
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Old 05-03-2015, 01:56 PM
 
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Glen Ellyn is just about as nice as a place as you will find in the western suburbs. If you work there, why not try to live there? It will make your live easier. Only think is, your price point for housing is low and it will be challenging to find something at it.
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