Adam Broad: Candidate Profile
Lake County Clerk (Democrat)
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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
City: Buffalo Grove
Family: Married to Dr. Lisa Peck. She has 3 adult sons from a previous marriage: Howard, Neil, & Adam Rosen. My son from a previous marriage, Deacon, 16, lives w/ his mom in Naperville. He spends weekends & breaks w/ us when we can talk him out of the basketball gym. My mom, Karen Fabian is retired & lives in Chicago. My dad, Michael Brodzky, is a Vietnam vet living in Plainfield. At 77 still works full-time running his limousine company. My brother Matt is an actor living near LA. My sister Melissa is in sales & lives in Park Ridge.
Occupation: Tracker/Field Researcher
Education: Dropped out of HS at 16 and moved in with my grandparents in Buffalo Grove working full time in my grandfather's scrap metal business. I joined the Marines at 17. Was Honorably Discharged after being injured in a training accident. Earned my GED while attending night school. Completed 3 years of undergrad as a philosophy major Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Left school to pursue life as a writer-activist. Got into professional politics in 2000 by becoming a student-organizer with the Strategic Consulting Group's Democratic Campaign Leadership Program.
Civic involvement: Currently a co-organizer of Our Revolution and a member of 10th Dems Voter Protection Team. For the past 8 yrs, been involved with J Street. Past and current donor to a wide variety of progressive causes and publications, SPLC, NAACP, In These Times, Dissent. Active in protest politics in Carbondale from the mid '80s to early '90s: The Divestment Movement against Apartheid South Africa and protesting Contra aid. Recruited writers and co-organized alternative newspaper, Satyagraha, as contributing editor. Volunteer Legal Assistant at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance in 1988.
Elected offices held: Vernon Township Trustee since May
Regardless of whether this is a problem, what can the clerk do to reduce harassment, especially sexual harassment against women, in the office? Are new policies needed?
First, the clerk must absolutely follow state-mandated policy. Second, As Vernon Township Trustee, I contributed to implementing a new, strict policy against harassment before it was mandated by the state and I am currently being sued for contributing to the enforcement of this policy. It is a matter of public record that the threats and execution of legal action against me, along with concurrent smears about my motivation and character, do not deter me from standing up for workers. If the current policy of the Clerk is not as strict as the one we implemented in Vernon Township, I will make it so. If it already is, I will hold myself accountable to it, not only to the public, but to my co-workers. Accountability is a vital part of a positive work place culture and it is a two way street. I must be accountable to my co-workers in any office and I will gain respect by giving it.
Do you believe same-sex couples should be able to marry? Regardless of that personal belief, will you support the legal right of same-sex couples to marry if elected?
I do. And I do.
How will you ensure the security of ballots and guard against hacking efforts?
Recruiting, training, and deploying volunteers for massive Get Out The Vote efforts was part of my work as a campaign and voting rights organizer. This managerial skill can be applied for having a larger roster of better-trained election judges. Through my volunteer Voter Protection work and otherwise being active in local politics, I know we have many excellent judges. They are a great resource. Some could use more training and help. Poll watchers, with the right training and supervision, can be a great resource matching the number of voters with ballots cast. Cross-checking, rather than purging voters, might be a method for providing numbered paper receipts not only confirming tabulation, but as a way for voters to verify online that the numbered receipt matches the record. Admittedly, cyber-security is not an area of expertise for me, but as a first step, my friend of over 40 years, Dan Dagher, a retired USAF Colonel formerly assigned to the Pentagon currently working as a cyber-security analyst, thoughtfully prepared research for me to study. I intend to complete that and build on it. Aside from education and diligence, if elected, networking with relevant experts and agencies to discover options and policies would supplement my duties as clerk.
Are there additional measures the county should take to allow for fair and equal access to voting for all residents?
Greater access to early voting might increase election integrity through greater participation and a larger timeframe for properly resolving discrepancies. Long lines and inconvenient access is discriminatory against citizens who work long hours and those who have limited options for childcare.
What are your thoughts on consolidating the county clerk's and recorder's offices? How would this benefit/hurt the county?
I am open to reviewing a cost-benefit analysis and would attend public hearings on this matter. I am currently involved in a consolidation effort within Vernon Township. The hearings are ongoing and I have not yet cast my vote on that matter though I am finding compelling reasons for consolidating our highway department into the Township government, mainly because it's inefficient to disburse public funds carte blanche with no system of accountability in place. In principle, consolidating government sounds attractive as a matter of reducing bureaucracy, but in practice there is the danger of eliminating one unit to create a larger, less accountable unit. The devil is in the details.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
I want to learn the full effect of the crosscheck purge in Illinois and I want to prevent it from happening again. I do not know the exact impact of the crosscheck purge on Lake County, but as a volunteer with the Tenth Dems Voter Protection Team I did see an example of a scrubbed voter in Lake County being turned away from the polling place and being treated rudely by an election judge and then leaving rather than casting a provisional ballot. To me, one voter in the county illegally denied the right to vote, or being denied the vote because of bureaucratic imposition that, in effect, suppressed the vote, is unacceptable. This sort of thing: votes Ã’legally stolenÃ“ has a tendency to breed cynicism and further erodes democracy. Rather than being disillusioned, I am now compelled to make a difference to end such practices.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Barack Obama, not just nostalgia for basic competence and dignity. He personifies HOPE many of us continue to realize.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
War has a price that can't be calculated by counting killed or wounded in action or lost treasure.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I'd give it to someone who really needed it.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
History. It brought me to progressive politics.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don't be a hero fighting in a war. Be a hero that prevents a war.