County Board Candidate - District 5
What is the importance of the County Board to your constituents in Champaign County?
The County Board is one of the first levels of government that impact their daily lives. The operation and availability of many local services depend on what the Board decides to budget for, prioritize, or privatize. Ideally, the Board works to improve the quality of life for its constituents through funding and building services that promote equality, equity, and justice.
What is a key policy difference between you and your Opponent?
I know very little about my opponent at this time, so I’ll guess he shares the views of the Republican County Board members and answer with that in mind. I opposed the sale of the county nursing home. In general, I oppose the privatization of public services. It has become popular to say that privatizing is more efficient, but it’s merely a way for someone to make more money off of us. We need to fund our services adequately, have realistic long-term strategies in place for expansion or reduction, and explore new ideas and innovative ways to enable everyone in our community to succeed.
The County Board is responsible for a yearly budget of nearly $130 million. How would prioritize this money, and are there any parts of the current budget you would change?
I would prioritize expansion in healthcare access, including mental health. I would work to implement the recommendations of the Racial Justice Task Force. We need to reduce recidivism, with a long term goal of reducing that very first entrance into the criminal justice system. I do not want the jail expanded, that is not a good use of the budget.
Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter in Champaign County?
A vote for me is a vote for a progressive voice in our local government. I am committed to helping the people of this county to live their lives with dignity and to the fullest of their abilities. I have two mottoes in life - “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” - Maya Angelou, and “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I want to be part of the riding tide that lifts Champaign County, by doing better for its people.