December 05, 2022
Election


Election

Maryann Vazquez, DuPage County Board 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

DuPage County Board, District 2 candidate Maryann Vazquez

DuPage County Board District 2 candidate Maryann Vazquez answered Shaw Local’s election questionnaire for the DuPage County Board primary election.

Voting ends for the primary election on the evening of June 28.

Full Name: Maryann Vazquez

What office are you seeking? DuPage County Board Member, District 2

What offices, if any, have you previously held? None

City: Downers Grove

Occupation: Retiree

Education: BS Urban & Community Studies, Organizing, Winona State University

Campaign Website: mavazquez2022.com

What steps should DuPage County health and sheriff’s departments take to prevent opioid addiction and overdose?

DuPage County should Strengthen and financially support Narcan programs, and continue to train and educate first responders. Provide community outreach to educate affected families and access to overdose prevention sites.

What is your opinion of the county board’s actions and initiatives since Democrats assumed control of the board two years ago?

There are several Democratic-led initiatives I was particularly happy to see. The purchase of the Red Roof Inn as a permanent shelter fulfills a long-overdue need in DuPage County, and that was a fantastic initiative I was thrilled to see put into action.

Do you support the merger of additional county offices/departments?

The consolidation of county offices and departments has the potential to decrease wasteful county spending, however, if a merger were to occur, ensuring the financial security of county staff and employees would be my first priority.

What are your overall thoughts of the sheriff’s department’s job performance?

Overall the Sheriff’s department has done a nice job. I do appreciate the initiatives to reduce recidivism and initiatives for inmates to reenter the workforce.

The county sheriff has taken several initiatives to help reform inmates (tattoo removal services, gardening classes, job placement). What other initiatives would you like to see in an effort to reform inmates?

I believe there should be a high priority on Mental Health Treatment for inmates because mental health issues and trauma tend to be a major theme in a person engaging in criminal activity. Expanding programs that offer occupational training and give inmates marketable skills which provide them with resources to obtain jobs after incarceration.

DuPage County recently provided the DuPage Foundation $10.6 million for a grant program designed to support nonprofit organizations that address food and housing insecurity, mental health and substance use issues. Discuss the county’s role to further tackle these issues.

The county must continue to support and fund initiatives that prioritize our residents’ health, safety, and security.

Assess the DuPage County Health Department’s actions to combat COVID-19.

The DuPage County Health Department had an excellent response to COVID-19. Covid testing drive-thrus, vaccination drive-thrus and pop-up events were advertised and were integral to maintaining DuPage’s economic stability during the pandemic.

What changes, if any, need to be made related to the pandemic?

None.

What actions can the DuPage County Board take to minimize the tax burden on residents while not sacrificing services?

I believe there should be a larger focus on increasing Sales tax revenue to offset property taxes.

DuPage should be focusing efforts on comprehensive suburban planning. Most of the business centers tend to be off the metra line. Developing businesses in the underdeveloped parts of DuPage would increase sales revenue, and with additional investments in affordable public transportation to those areas, there is an incredible opportunity for economic growth in the county.

How would you encourage economic and employment growth within DuPage County?

Low-cost transit to areas not within walking distance of the Metra Train would support economic growth for small businesses in those areas and provide job opportunities to those who do not have a vehicle. It would also increase Sales tax revenue across the county which could be used to offset property taxes.

What local road and bridge projects should be a priority to get done in the county?

I’m unfamiliar with specific projects, however, I believe we can always do more to better develop our local infrastructure.

Do you support decreasing local property taxes? If so, how would the county make up the difference?

I am in favor of decreasing property taxes if we are able to offset the loss of revenue by increasing sales tax revenue. The county can achieve this by better supporting local businesses to bring in new sales tax revenue.

Do you support stronger county government ethics laws? What measures do you support?

Yes, I do. I believe in transparency within government. As public servants, we work for the constituents, and maintaining a transparent and open office is necessary to ensure an ethical county government.

What are your thoughts on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act?

It is necessary to keep the government transparent. FOIA acts as a safety measure for the public to access public information on their elected officials and their decisions.

Please state your plan to maintain government transparency.

As a County Board Member, I’ll continue to update the public through social media pages to maintain contact with constituents. I plan on hosting community conversation events, similar to townhalls, to educate the public on the business of the board. After talking with voters at the door, it’s evident a number of residents are not aware of what the county government does, and members of the board hold the responsibility of communicating their work to their constituents.

What would you push for as a member of county government to boost local businesses?

I would push for further investments in public transit to areas in the county that are currently underserved to bring in more economic development to local businesses.

Should government employees and officials be allowed to sign nondisclosure agreements with private businesses?

No. We need to maintain transparency.

Would you push for or against government officials and employees being allowed to sign non-disclosure agreements with private businesses?

Against.


Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois