(Vote for 1)As the second-largest constitutional office, the Office of the Secretary of State is visited by more Illinois residents than any other in state government. The office generates approximately $2 billion in annual revenue with about $1.2 billion a year designated for state highway construction funds.The Secretary of State manages one of the largest computer databases in Illinois, keeping track of approximately 8.7 million drivers; 11 million registered vehicles; 466,000 corporations; 230,000 limited liability entities; 159,000 registered securities sales-persons; and 16,000 investment advisor representatives. The office also is an important resource for educating citizens about issues that affect their everyday lives, including anti-drunk driving, traffic safety, school bus safety, securities fraud, literacy, and organ/tissue donation. [Source: https://www.ilsos.gov/about_us/home.html]Salary: $156,541 [Source: https://ballotpedia.org/Illinois_state_government_salary]
I have firsthand experience with operations of the office and a background of unique knowledge that will help me be an agent for change in the Secretary of State's office. I am qualified for the office from my experience working with the SOS on a number of fronts. As Former McLean County Coroner, I worked with organ and tissue donation agencies and as State Representative I have worked on legislation for organ and tissue donation, distracted driving, senior citizen issues, and the voting and election process, just to name a few! I will be a Secretary of State who possesses the leadership, energy, and concern for the citizens of Illinois that this state needs.
The Secretary of State's office touches more lives of Illinois residents than any other office in state government. The office is in charge of driver's services, business articles of incorporation, registration of lobbyists, a police force for capitol security, chief librarian and the chief record keeper in Illinois. My main priority will be reducing wait times and providing better online resources to streamline services to the people of Illinois.
I have many goals for the office. I would like to cut wait times in DMV facilities, improve technology, streamline services, cross train employees, and offer more digital options. These are necessary changes that need to be made to enhance the Secretary of State's office.
As the only candidate in this race that has previously held a constitutional office, I bring experience overseeing hundreds of office employees at a statewide agency to the Secretary of State’s office.
When I was Treasurer from 2007-2011, I implemented an executive ethics order that cracked down on pay-to-play politics and ushered in programs that generated jobs and safely invested taxpayer dollars. I led by example, prohibiting my campaign from taking contributions from contractors, banks and employees of the office, taking on credit card companies that preyed on college students, and saved jobs by threatening to pull the state’s $8 billion investment portfolio out of Wells Fargo when they attempted shut down the Hartmarx plant in Des Plaines.
Beyond my time as Treasurer, I was appointed by the Governor to serve as Chair of the Illinois Community College system and on the board of the Chicago Public Library.
Perhaps the greatest challenge facing constituents is the time it takes to obtain government services. I will eliminate the time tax through my “Skip the Line” program, which will allow visitors to facilities to make appointments in advance of a visit online and head to the front of the line when they arrive.
We also need to do more to modernize the office to streamline services and improve the office experience. I plan to do this by implementing digital driver’s licenses which Illinoisans can access on their phones. I will also make more remote services available through the introduction of a Secretary of State’s office app that would allow residents to upload documents in advance of a visit and receive notifications about renewals.
I will also assign office advocates who will help walk visitors through the process of obtaining the services they need, especially seniors, people with disabilities and non-English speakers.
As Secretary of State, I plan to protect voting rights, modernize the office, strengthen our ethics laws and enhance our library services. I will change our state’s Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) system which will eliminate the extra steps voters need to take when registering to vote at a facility. To modernize the office, I will implement digital driver’s licenses and a Secretary of State office app, launch the “Skip the Line” program and assign office advocates. To strengthen ethics laws, I will prohibit elected officials from serving as lobbyists, institute a two-year ban on legislators becoming lobbyists after leaving office, strengthen the inspector general’s authority and provide more disclosure on lobbyists and their clients. To enhance library services, I will launch my universal “License to Read” program, which will improve access and equity across our state library system by increasing sharing of electronic learning resources and e-books.