1.) What is the importance of the Champaign County Board to residents in your district?
That the elected official, they vote into office, represent the well-being of them (the constituents) as honest and hardworking tax paying citizens, then implement the initiatives that seem to be fair and make sense to them according to their wishes, desires and interest as it relates to the residents’ community and district as a whole. Many of my residents in my district want me as a County Board rep to keep their property taxes low as possible, which I'm planning on doing and fighting for to the best of my ability.
2.) Why are you qualified to be on the Champaign County Board?
Currently, I am the County Board Policy, Personnel & Appointment Chairperson, and the County Democratic Caucus Vice-Chairperson and since being in these positions, I've fought tooth and nails for my constituents, and rewrote two of the County’s major policies/rules that's now more inclusive, fair and transparent. At first these policies and practices discriminated and disenfranchised many outside people from being totally involved and part of this new form of County government inside practices and functions. Also, I hold a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from the great University of Illinois and have studied and researched local politics and how it truly works. I also have over 20 years of local political experiences, and I am from Champaign-Urbana, born and raised, and know the Twin Cities and the County very well! I know all the stakeholders and they all know me, and I am no stranger to this community or the County, along with a good reputation of trust and keeping my words to the people who voted me into office. I am also a good listener which makes a great leader and representative too.
3.) If elected, what is something you want to accomplish on the County Board, and how long will it take?
I think the County needs to be more diverse still in 2020 with its elected members as it relates to race, gender, disability and military experience. I think this new form of Executive County government is a big waste of taxpayers dollars that may need to be looked into again because too much of taxpayers’ money are going into these six figure salaries' administrative/executive positions unfairly, and not into County real issues that matters the most. This is not the real reason why we are elected into these positions to gain healthy financial benefits. I believe both of these initiatives can be achieved if I am re-elected within a four year term I serve, by reeducating County board members, community people, voters, and constituents about how a big part of citizens’ tax-paying dollars are being used haphazardly, and this new government need to be revised and reintroduce by a referendum that’s clearly stated and on ballots for voters to know exactly where their money going to, which should be to community and County issues and not to high paying elected officials' salaries/jobs and positions. Diversifying the County Board more through community political-education that promotes trainings and practices that emphasize the importance of a wide-range of people’s involvement into local politics, along with mandating term-limits by any means necessary. One last accomplishment I would like to do if re-elected, would definitely be sell or demolish the downtown jail, then consolidate only a small portion build/attached to the satellite jail for high crime inmates and staff, but not invest all the estimated $50 million dollars price tag cost to rebuild more jails, but instead invest more money and time into building rehab programs and 24 hour shelters to accommodate low crime inmates with petty criminal records and mental health problems, along with hiring counselors and social workers to help these types of inmates out.
4.) Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter?
Yes to my undecided voters, let me say, about both political parties (Ds & Rs) and the County political system as a whole, I am an independent elected official, and always thinking outside the box of politics, by trying to keep things more humane and fair as equal human beings first. If you want a traditional local politician that's part of a corrupt system, then vote for them. But, if you want someone different and a fighter for truth and justice and for you, then yes vote for me! I believe, we don't need any more local political leaders or other political ideas, but instead, we need more "other leaders" and "other ideas"! We need more, “do the right thing leaders and ideas” then ordinary, traditional or new political leaders. With this being say, I am more so a thinker and intellectual that so happens to be in politics; I did not choose politics, politics chose me. For these reasons, I believe that I am the right choice for undecided voters.