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I am a lifelong Lombardian who has dedicated my life to serving my community. I'm a 16-year Oak Brook Police Department veteran who proudly served as a Lombard Village Trustee for eight years.
I have been a Police Officer for the City of Oakbrook Terrace and then the Village of Oak Brook since graduating from the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy in Glen Ellyn. I've earned promotions to the Investigation Division as a Detective, Patrol Sergeant, and most recently, to Administrative Sergeant.
My desire to protect and serve our community-led me to run for Lombard Village Trustee in 2013, defeating an incumbent, then winning reelection in 2017. During my tenure, I chaired the Finance & Administration Committee and the Public Safety & Transportation Committee.
I give back to my hometown by volunteering for local organizations and events, including the Lombard Kiwanis Club, the Lombard Historical Society, and the Maple Street Preservation Society.
Our biggest challenge is the crime coming out of Chicago and Cook County. I’m done with this violent crime invading DuPage County. Our top priority must be keeping people safe. We need to prevent crime, and when crime does occur, criminals must be charged and locked up. Thankfully, we have an excellent sheriff, state’s attorney, and judges in our county who are doing just that.
To help strengthen our efforts to keep families safe, I will work to make sure our sheriff’s department and local police departments have the training and personnel they need to continue to evolve and improve. I will also work to prioritize victim services and mental health. I will fight to make combatting the heroin and the opioid epidemic in our community a priority. And I will work to institute a countywide “Citizen’s Police Academy” to help educate residents on ways to help keep themselves and their families safe.
In addition to keeping our communities and families safe, my goals are to actively serve our residents and work to lower taxes, and bring jobs to our county.
As your Board Member, I will continue to focus on local community service. Immediately after being elected, I will go to the families, small businesses, and local organizations throughout the community to find out what DuPage County and I can do to help. We’re there to serve DuPage, not grandstand or create division. I will work with anyone willing to put politics aside and do what’s best for the families of DuPage County.
On the board, I will demand a balanced budget that plans for the future. I will focus on core services while finding creative ways to save tax dollars. I will fight Springfield politicians’ unfunded mandates and push our state legislators to address the pension crisis. And I will work to support our county businesses and bring new job creators to DuPage County.
I bring my experience as a sitting DuPage County Board member to my re-election. With my passion for serving the most vulnerable members of our community, I'm proud to Chair the Community Development Committee. As the only woman Union member holding elected office in DuPage County, I serve as Vice-Chair of Collective Bargaining. I also have the unique skill sets and advanced education of being a professional violinist and violist, which is what guides my brand new Arts initiative for the county that I created: a bipartisan Ad Hoc Fine Arts Committee, which I also Chair. I invited leading arts and community organizations to join my committee, so we can use the arts to drive economic development and COVID recovery in DuPage County.
We have members of our community experiencing homelessness, exacerbated by the pandemic. Families were fleeing domestic violence situations and needed a safe place to begin the process of healing. I am so proud of our work to help our constituents who are experiencing homelessness by voting to fund $5 million to DuPage PADS in order to turn a former hotel into the first ever permanent homeless shelter in the county. I chaired the Community Development Committee where the very first vote for the funding occurred and was thrilled to see it pass. The only way to break the cycle of homelessness is to provide access to safe and stable living situations, especially for families who need privacy, security, safety, and access to schools. What an impact we have made for so many families with this one initiative!
I am very interested in health equity and accessablity. As the parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes, I know all too well the stories of people who can't afford insulin, or who have to ration their insulin. I would love to create an insulin bank in DuPage County, to create a safety net for those who need help accessing and affording insulin. No one should ever have to choose between paying their bills or paying for life-saving insulin. Until we cap the cost of insulin at the federal level, we can help the people of DuPage County access this life-saving medicine with an insulin bank.
My goal as a member of the Wheaton City Council and the County Board is to deliver essential governmental services with the lowest possible tax rate. I initiated the revitalization of downtown Wheaton because I knew that the increase in sales tax revenue would reduce the pressure on property taxes. I initiated changes in personal in the former Sheriff's office in order to reduce costs while maintaining safety in order to again lower the pressure on property tax revenue.
I have been strong advocate to enhance public safety and to fully fund the Sheriff's and States Attorney's offices. I attempted to pass a resolution urging the Governor to veto the Crime/Safety bill, but the Democrats tabled the motion on 3 separate occasions.
I worked over the last 10 years to pass budgets that prepared for eventual economic downturns which is one of the reasons why DuPage County was able to continue to provide its essential services during the pandemic.
Fiscal responsibility is the challenge of every governmental unit all of the time. That will not change.
What has changed is other governmental agencies totally abdicating their responsibility to maintain public safety in the areas under their jurisdiction. DuPage County is not an island. The Federal government's open border policy along with Chicago and Springfield's failure to maintain public safety put all of us, not DuPage County at risk. These policies increase drug and sex trafficking while putting repeat criminals on the streets. These policies have overflowed into DuPage County so that now 50% of the inmates in the DuPage county jail are from outside of DuPage County and have cost DuPage County millions in tax dollars.
DuPage County is becoming a mature community with less new development every year. We have done well to make DuPage County a great place to live and raise a family. However, new challenges have arisen.
The two largest challenges are to enhance public safety and mental health treatment. As outlined above DuPage County will have to continue to work to maintain public safety especially as other governmental agencies abdicate their responsibility to do so. However, increased mental health treatment is another tool that will enhance our quality of life in general and is another tool to create public safety. Enhanced mental health will be the challenge of this generation and will take a long time to fully improve due to all of the factors involved. However, such treatment is necessary to continue to improve our quality of life as individuals and a society.
I have a unique set of work and academic experiences. First, I have extensive experience working with families as a Social Service Representative. Providing referrals for all manner of needs and doing hundreds of home visits has given me a very realistic perspective regarding struggling members of our communities. Next, as a teacher and coach I have worked with many students and families developing communication skills at a different level than most people. Additionally, as a coach and educator I have worked on countless committees and facilitated hundreds of meetings. These positions required me to develop research and planning abilities as well while learning how to interact with community organizations. My academic background includes completion of two separate graduate level programs focusing on administration and organization. Finally, I have spent a number of years as an Inventory and Purchasing manager responsible for a multimillion dollar budget.
The residents I have spoke with feel that the influx of crime and their living expenses are the most pressing challenges currently. I would address these concerns by providing information to the community that shows how we are working toward building a safer and more secure county. That would include sharing action plans and budget details for the edification of the community. I support staffing and training improvements within our sheriff's department but more than anything I would reach out to let everyone know that even though we are a statistically safe county we are always working to improve. Regarding the cost of living issues, I would seek to create some type of county wide task force with the job of rooting out price gouging.
While in office I would hope to contribute to improvements in the social service areas as well as the community outreach elements of the Sherriff's department. I am personally interested in seeing more of a focus on helping families and individuals before crisis occurs. Overall, at the end of my time on the board I would like to say that we made a noticeable improvement in the way our community members felt with regard to safety and security throughout the county without adding additional financial burden.
The foremost skill-set I will bring to the County Board is my legal experience. While I currently focus on domestic relations matters in my practice, my legal background is varied and diverse. It includes practice in employment, contracts, construction
litigation, and tort litigation. I also worked with my husband in establishing our own business and, as a result, garnered practical experience in the many areas that touch on establishing a business and bringing a product to market. As a sitting Trustee of
the College of DuPage Board, I will also bring my leadership skills and experience as a board member. I create consensus and lead by listening. Therefore, one of my objectives will be to reach out to residents in District 4 and my fellow County Board Members to learn what is important to them, what they believe DuPage County is doing well and what areas need improvement.
I believe that Cook County State's Attorney Kim Fox's failure-to-prosecute approach in Cook County has allowed the Chicago crime epidemic to spill over into DuPage County. We are all aware that car-jackings and robberies have severely increased. We need to support our local law enforcement agencies, DuPage County Sheriff Jim Mendrick, and our own State's attorney Bob Berlin who do the work to investigate, arrest, prosecute and incarcerate people guilty of crimes. We need to continue to send the message to would-be DuPage offenders that we are NOT Cook County! We must have the new "SAFE-T" act repealed/revised, or, in my opinion, the increase in crime in DuPage County and across the State will drastically worsen.
We want new businesses to choose DuPage County as their home. We should capitalize now on promoting our community's resources, better quality of life, safer streets and neighborhoods, and proximity to Chicago (and all the "other" things it has to offer) to encourage businesses to move here. A rigorous marketing plan combined with an ambassador program would be a starting point.
Also, I would support any plan that would work to decrease local property taxes. The constant increases in our property taxes since my husband and I moved to DuPage County 30 years ago have made being able to afford living here very expensive for our own family and impossible for others. My approach would be to look at the current allocation of funds to determine if there are areas of waste or duplication of resources that need to be addressed to find internal cost savings. The common-sense budgeting we all must implement in our own lives should be