Anna Valencia: 2022 candidate for Illinois Secretary of State
Office sought: Secretary of State
Occupation: Chicago City Clerk
Previous offices held:
What personal background and experiences particularly qualify you for the role of secretary of state?
For the last 5 years I have served as the Chicago City Clerk. Prioritizing customer service and putting public service first are the most important aspects of both offices. On top of putting constituents first, my office created the Chicago CityKey program from the ground up. The CityKey is a first of its kind municipal ID card that provides resources to Chicagoans. This proactive approach is the reason that current Secretary of State Jesse White has endorsed our campaign and why I believe I can help move the Secretary of State's Office forward.
How efficiently do you think the Secretary of State's office operates currently? What, if anything, would you do to streamline the office?
The SOS's office has come a long way but there is more we can do to build on the success of Secretary White. Serving as City Clerk during the COVID-19 pandemic taught me that you need to bring services to people. In our SOS offices, we will continue to accept appointments and grow the self service programs implemented by Secretary White. In addition, we will form fully mobile service teams that work every day to bring SOS resources into underserved communities around the state.
Are there enough branch offices in Chicago, the suburbs and downstate?
I believe we need to put more resources into the offices we have, as opposed to expanding the number of offices. I would also like to look at expanding the places services are available. We can and should bring drivers license renewal, business services and voter registration directly to voters through pop up offices. We can set up short term offices within schools and libraries. The SOS office should come to Illinois residents, wherever they are.
How would you rate customer service at secretary of state branch offices? If it needs improvements, how would you make them?
I have had both good and bad experiences at SOS offices. As SOS, I would invest in our employees. I would offer professional development and advancement opportunities. As Chicago City Clerk I saw first hand that you could improve service delivery by embracing your employees.
Are you satisfied with the rate of organ donation? Is this an appropriate initiative for the secretary of state? Should the office do more to promote the practice?
As the daughter of a transplant survivor, I understand first-hand that organ donation is one of the most important things that a person can do for others. It is not an easy conversation to have with anyone but it's an extremely important one. I believe we should always be looking at ways to expand organ donation rates. Secretary White has done a great job, getting the word out and I will continue to build on his work.