Full Name: Bryson Calvin
What office are you seeking? Woodstock City Council
What is your political party? Republican
What is your current age? 38
Occupation and Employer: Realtor - Berkshire Hathaway Starck
What offices, if any, have you previously held? Dorr Township Trustee 2016-2022
Education: Indiana University 2006
Woodstock High School 2002
Community involvement: First United Methodist Church
Ducks Unlimited - Marengo Flyway
Marital status/Immediate family: Wife - Yesenia Calvin
Daughter - Ivy
2nd daughter due in May
Why are you running for office?
Several people in the community have asked me to consider running. I’ve always had a vested interest in giving back and would like the opportunity to help guide Woodstock into the future.
What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?
The ability to keep an even keeled approach to most any issue. Practicing fiscally conservative management of taxpayer dollars, as evidenced by my time spent at Dorr Township as a trustee. In a time with high political volatility I think it best to find common ground in the middle, where ideas can be vetted and more importantly solutions can be made.
What is your position on the Illinois weapons ban that took effect in January 2023?
I am opposed to the weapons ban on several fronts. First, it is unconstitutional and a clear obstruction of our second amendment rights. Criminals do not acknowledge nor will they care if there is a weapons ban in place. They will still commit crimes, find ways to obtain and distribute weapons, and sow discord in our communities. As a hunter, it is obnoxious to think that I have to register (again) a firearm used responsibly for decades simply to appease legislators. My stance on firearms is you would rather have one and not need it, than need it and not have one.
Is crime a problem in your community and, if so, what would you do to curb it?
Our law enforcement officers do a splendid job of controlling crime in Woodstock. We as a community need to continue to be vigilant of our surroundings, report suspicious activity, and realize that it falls on all of us to keep our community safe.
What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?
Our county and local health departments did they best they could with the guidance and directives they were given. It was a very stressful time and a stark reminder of how lives can change in an instant.
What did you learn from the pandemic?
There were / are still a lot of strong feelings regarding the pandemic. I will forever defend a persons right to voice their opinion regardless of whether I agree with them. To that end, I believe our federal government tried to inject a significant amount of fear in the country. They practically demanded we all get jabbed with an experimental vaccine. They tarnished the reputations of Dr.’s Robert Malone and Peter McCullough with their stances on hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir, which have since been vindicated. Ultimately it was reinforced to me that everyone should do their own research, fact finding, and to ask as many questions as possible until they can form an opinion they feel secure about moving forward.
How would you spur economic development in your community?
Appropriate funds into a small business incubator. Work with city officials, the chamber of commerce, banks, and other government entities to find grants, business friendly loans, and financing options help get small business owners off the ground. As a former small business owner, I understand the dedication and seemingly endless work ethic it takes be successful. Small businesses and the American consumer are the catalyst to a successful community, and I would work vigilantly to see that through.
Would/can/should local governments do anything to help reduce the tax burden on residents?
Government entities seem to have an insatiable appetite for tax dollars. As a candidate for city council, I would feverishly make sure these tax dollars are being put to good use. There is no reason for these entities to have massive reserves or bloated rainy day funds. If tax payers are living within their means, then government agencies need to do the same.
Do you support recreational marijuana being sold in your community to help lower residents’ tax burden?
I don’t have a problem with it if it is in fact used to lower taxes. These tax dollars could also be used to expand or fund educational opportunities in our school districts.
What projects or infrastructure would you look to address in your community and how would you do it?
I would like to see the square continue with it’s green renovation. Geothermal, solar, anything that is renewable but also cost effective. Overseeing the old Die-Cast redevelopment will be a prominent issue with the next council. Making sure there are solid financial opportunities for new and current small businesses will be of the utmost importance.
Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?
What is your position on open, transparent government?
The more transparent and open they are, the better.
Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?
Unequivocally. This goes back to citizens being able to do their own research, compile their own data, and make confident decisions.
Would you sign a nondisclosure agreement with a prospective company that would limit your ability to communicate with your community?
It depends on the length of the NDA, what it pertains to, and who would be affected. If it would benefit the community in the long run, potentially. If it’s to simply keep the public in the dark for no good reason, absolutely not.