Sadia Covert: Candidate Profile
DuPage County board District 5 (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.
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Facebook: Sadia Covert for Dupage County 5
Family: I am married to my amazing and supportive husband, Brian,and we have three beautiful children together. We have been residents of Naperville (district 5) for a decade now.
Education: -Juris Doctorate (Law) degree from Western Michigan University
-Bachelor's of Arts in Political Science with a Minor in Philosophy from Benedictine University.
-State-certification as a law enforcement instructor in Illinois.
Civic involvement: I am the Co-author of the updated Hate Crime Bill which passed unanimously in Illinois with support from Governor Rauner. Effective date of law January 1, 2018.
I am the Chair of the Women and Minority Committee and one of the Vice-Chairs of the Democratic Party of DuPage County.
I am a Board Member of Unity Partnership (a committee under the DuPage Chiefs of Police Association), improving relations between police and communities.
My non-profit, UCARE, conducts civics training for diverse communities and unites all people together in mutual understanding and respect. I help communities understand police officers' perspectives as well.
Elected offices held: -Vice-Chair of Democratic Party of DuPage County
-Board Member of Unity Partnership (committee of DuPage Chiefs of Police Association)
-Precinct Committeeman of Precinct 79
Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?
I am running for DuPage County Board to bring balance and unity to the board and represent the moderate voices in my district. Currently, only one Democrat woman serves on the Board. As a moderate Democrat, I will work with all parties regardless of their political affiliation. My work in co-authoring hate crime legislation, which passed unanimously in the House and Senate of Illinois and was signed into law, has proven that I reach across the aisle to work with everyone and find bipartisan solutions.
Most of the voters in my district are not on the extreme right or the extreme left. I believe in American values, a concept that transcends party lines. I plan to use these values for a smooth, efficient, and functioning county board. We need team players that have the skills it takes to get the job done, as well as cooperative and positive attitudes.
As a lawyer, a co-author of legislation, a founder of a non-profit organization, and a state-certified police instructor, I have been working on improving our county for years. Becoming a County Board member allows me to broaden the work that I do to serve the people in the best way possible.
What is your stance on county board members' pay? Too high, too low, just right? Would you propose any changes?
I believe we should reassess the pay of County Board Members. It is considered a part-time job and I have always been a believer in truly earning my pay, and I welcome re-examining Board pay.
With DuPage County's budget being squeezed by the state funding reductions, what initiatives would you support to increase revenue and/or save money?
I would look for ways to streamline county services and functions without sacrificing quality. We should investigate ways to cut costs wherever possible and make sure each and every tax dollar is being spent as efficiently as possible. Ultimately, to increase revenue in DuPage County, we should avoid raising taxes, and instead look to expand our tax base through economic development. I would be a strong advocate for bringing new development projects to the county.
What are your thoughts about the county's Accountability, Consolidation and Transparency Initiative? What role should DuPage play in efforts to streamline and consolidate local government?
I believe one of the most immediate ways we can increase accountability and transparency on the Board is by moving our regular meeting times from 10:00 a.m. to an afternoon time when more residents are off work and can attend or provide public comment. We need to maximize our contact with voters when conducting public business.
I am also a supporter of consolidating departments or local governing bodies if we have sound evidence that it will save tax dollars and maintain services. The county should aid in providing information or offering proposals for consolidation.
What initiatives, if any, do you have in mind for your specific county board district?
I am running to advocate for my voters, and I will hold monthly community meetings to stay in touch with my district and hear their stance on the issues.
I would also like to be a part of the solution to the opioid crisis by welcoming prevention education and outreach programs through the workplace, and working with local law enforcement to eliminate the problem at its root.
Regarding mental health issues in our county, we need to work with non-profits to raise awareness about mental health, and welcome businesses who strive towards excellence in the improvement of mental health for all.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
I will always fight for property tax relief, ensure our board is transparent and accessible, operate in a fiscally responsible manner, and recognize that the diversity of DuPage County is one of its many strengths. I will continue my work to unite local faith communities and improve our residents' relationships with law enforcement as well.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
My parents inspire me. It is their leadership and hard work that has shaped me into who I am today. They deserve all the credit.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
We are human first, before anything else, and I work for all people regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, disability, or faith.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I would not change one second of my life timeline. All the events and circumstances in my life have shaped me into who I am.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
International Relations was my favorite subject because I learned that countries operate a lot like individuals. It provides perspective on relationships.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
You do not work hard to compete against others. You work hard to compete against yourselves, to improve yourselves for the service to others.