Hadiya Afzal: Candidate Profile
DuPage County board District 4 (Democrat)
Back to DuPage County board District 4
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: Glen Ellyn
Family: Lives with parents and three younger siblings
Education: Graduated from Glenbard South High School as an Illinois State Scholar, undergraduate at DePaul University in the Honors College
Civic involvement: I was an election judge in the 2016 primary and general elections, and I interned at the DuPage Democrats in the summer of 2017, canvassing DuPage and asking constituents their opinions on local politics. I've also worked with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association in the city of Chicago.
Elected offices held: Interim precinct committeeman for Milton Precinct 69
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?
This is my first time running for political office, and I'm motivated by my desire to give back to my community. I want to open new lines of dialogue between constituents and officials and work to establish progressive policies to propel DuPage County forward, such a county-wide Tobacco 21 ordinance
What is your stance on county board members' pay? Too high, too low, just right? Would you propose any changes?
I believe that County Board members are being paid too much. If elected, I would follow the example set by Liz Chaplin of District 2, who gives back the raise that County Board members. I'm not running for money or benefits-I'm running because of my passion to make DuPage County a better place, and I don't need to be paid an excessive salary for that, especially in times of budget cuts.
With DuPage County's budget being squeezed by the state funding reductions, what initiatives would you support to increase revenue and/or save money?
The budget cuts from the state are forcing cuts in the DuPage County budget as well. The recent 2018 budget passed by the Board contains cuts from vital departments like the sheriff's-if elected, I'd call for reductions in excessive expenditures such as "car stipends" for county-wide officials and the 2016 salary raise for Board members. Consolidation of departments such as the Election Commission and the County Clerk's office could also help cut excessive spending.
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 that the ACT Initiative has been a role model for local government reform since it was launched in 2012. However, I also think that DuPage can go farther in efforts to streamline local government. The upcoming vote on March's primary ballot to consolidate the DuPage Election Commission and bring it under the umbrella of the County Clerk is just one example of the efficient consolidation we should be pushing for.
What initiatives, if any, do you have in mind for your specific county board district?
I want to pass a county-wide Tobacco 21 ordinance that would raise the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21. We would be following in the footsteps of cities and villages all over Illinois, from Chicago to our very own Naperville. Cutting the youth smoking rate without negatively affecting local businesses is a key goal for this ordinance.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
As a candidate for County Board District 4, I feel very passionate about environmental issues. I believe that progressive policies in the areas of conservation and green energy are important. Accessibility to local officials and raising awareness of local politics is also very important to me. I believe that people should know who is representing them, how they are representing them, and how they, as constituents, can reach out to them. I want to be a easy point person on local issues for the people of District 4, and that comes with a combination of social media outreach and frequent public meetings.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Senator Dick Durbin inspires me to emulate both his firm stance on progressive issues and commitment to bipartisan solutions to difficult problems.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
The value of "treating others the way I want to be treated," now extending to decency in political dialogue and respectful debate of controversial issues.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
If I was given one do-over in life, I'd use it to spend more time with my grandmother before she passed away.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
History and English were my two favorite subjects, and they've granted me both a wide range of knowledge and the articulation to employ it.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would advise them to look back and learn from their mistakes. Acknowledgement of failures means nothing without subsequent introspection and growth.