Sadia Covert: 2022 candidate for DuPage County Board District 5


Party: Democratic

Office sought: DuPage County Board District 5

City: Naperville

Age: Prefer not to answer

Occupation: Attorney

Previous offices held: DuPage County Board District 5 member since 2018


Q: Describe your position regarding the balance between county spending and revenues as it exists today, then describe the chief threats you see looming in the future and how the county should deal with them.

A: Because of a relatively smaller budget (compared to Cook County) and a lack of home rule (rule that allows a government entity to be a taxing body), we have to be balanced with our spending. As an incumbent DuPage County Board Member, I look for alternative ways to fund items we need so we did not need to use tax payer dollars. For example, I suggested we apply for grants and funding from the state of Illinois for our new election equipment. When I chaired the Complete Count Committee for the 2020 Census, I had a 34-member committee to help the county to target hard-to-count populations so the taxpayer didn't have to fund it. I am working on ways to increase our revenue at the county through my diversity and inclusion program that is intended for economic growth of minority-owned and women, veteran, and small businesses. This way we tap into newer markets that help the county while providing economic opportunities to the most qualified and talented pool of businesses.

Q: Is there a specific service or amenity that is lacking in the county? If so, how do you propose to provide and fund it?

A: The new Safe-T Act will have repercussions on our state's attorney's office, judiciary, and sheriff's department. We will need help and funding from the state of Illinois to accommodate this new law that will go into effect soon. I believe that different government entities should work together and help each other to ease the burden. Again, DuPage County is not home rule so we will need funding and resources for any mandate that is placed upon our county. Additional training of officers, equipment, salaries, resources among many other items will require help from the state. We need to fund our business programs more so we provide opportunities to minority, women, veteran, and small businesses. When we give to businesses, they reciprocate. This is why I support and love the business community.

Last but not least, mental health programs need more funding and priority.

Q: Should the county board continue to start its regular board meetings with an invocation? Please say why or why not.

A: Yes, as a proponent of diversity, the invocation is a platform to learn about communities of diverse backgrounds. It is another way of getting to know our community better so we can serve them. Religious communities are also a part of DuPage and we welcome them.

Q: Does there need to be more bipartisanship and cooperation on the county board? If yes, what would you do to help make that happen?

A: Absolutely. I have promoted bipartisanship since my first campaign and I am proud to say that I have delivered on my promise. I have worked across the aisle to get the job done. I was the first from my incoming group to have passed 3 ordinances/resolutions my first year in office. I continue to work with all my colleagues because I represent everyone in my district. I have worked hard on exemplifying bipartisanship and have also helped new incoming colleagues of mine to understand that we can get a lot accomplished if we work together. County board is just like any other workplace. You never go into your new workplace and start acting hostile to colleagues because they may have a different opinion. County board is no different. As I have said in my first campaign, both parties bring different perspectives on issues. The real beauty is when the good from both party perspectives come together to create policy that helps all. We need leaders that understand that.

Q: If your political party has control of the county board after the November election, how would that benefit DuPage residents?

A: County board governance is not about party; it is about the people and the county. I have constituents in my district that are not the same party as me and I have constituents that are not a part of any political party. We have to move away from partisan narratives and put the spotlight on how we are going to take care of our constituents, our county, and support policies that will have a positive impact. Right now, there is a rise in teen suicides, confusion, opioid crisis, and crime which are real issues that plague our society. We need to focus on prevention and good leadership (regardless of which political side). My goal (which I have demonstrated repeatedly) is to support policies that have a positive impact on society and try to prevent bigger problems from arising in the future.

Q: The COVID pandemic put a spotlight on the need for mental health services. What role should the county play in this?

A: Mental health should be one of the top priorities in our county. But while we are working on mental health issues, we should also not be creating them for society down the road. That is why we have to be careful in the policies that we create or support. We need more leaders in government working together to see the long term impact of policy work. Hearing about school shootings, drug overdoses, suicides, murders, depression, confusion, riots, and other problems, you have to think about the root cause of why all this is happening. We need to ask 2 questions: What is the root cause of these problems and how can we push policies right now to prevent these problems in the future?

Q: What is the single most important issue facing your district and how should the county address it?

A: Political correctness and polarization is silencing many voices in our county and preventing leaders and voters from discussing issues openly. People are afraid to speak up. And the people who do speak up are chastised. This needs to stop. Also, our county board meetings need to be watched more by the public. I would like to see more of our constituency engaged with county board because local government is what impacts them the most.

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