Sadia Covert: Candidate profile
Name: Sadia Covert
Office sought: DuPage County Board, District 5
Family: Married with three children
Education: J.D. from Western Michigan University; bachelor's from Benedictine University
Civic involvement: Unity Partnership board member; co-author of hate crime legislation
Elected offices held: Precinct committeeman
Questions & Answers
Q. Why are you running for county board?
I am running for DuPage County Board to bring balance and unity to the board, and represent the voices in my district.
Currently, only one Democrat woman serves on the board. As an independent-minded 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, proves that I reach across the aisle to work with everyone to find bipartisan solutions.
As a lawyer, a co-author of legislation, a founder of a nonprofit 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.
Q. Describe two ways you would contribute to the board.
DuPage County Board is involved in ordinances, regulations and contracts. As a lawyer, I am able to assist with analyzing ordinances and contracts to ensure efficiency and compliance. Out of all the candidates running for DuPage County Board in District 5, I am the only candidate that is an attorney.
The experience I have gained from co-authoring legislation in Illinois allows me to bring a unique skill set for the legislative agenda for the DuPage County Board. The legislative agenda is a platform to bring about policy changes for the board and the constituents of District 5.
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?
While I was speaking with constituents in District 5, there were many that expressed concerns that there were not enough services for children and adults with special needs.
I would like to help with this issue by tapping into nonprofits and other resources that we already have to provide more services without raising costs. As a nonprofit founder, I am able to connect with other nonprofits that may be able to assist with this issue at the county level.
Q. With DuPage County's budget being squeezed by state funding cuts and other factors, 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.
Q. The county has been focused on consolidation of services and government agencies. How effective has that effort been and how could it be improved?
I support the consolidation portion of the new ACT Initiative. The sharing of the Juvenile Detention facility with Kane County's facilities was impressive. It not only saved costs for DuPage County, but it also allowed us to build better relations with another county. Another good example of effective consolidation is the merger of the election commission with the county clerk's office. This cooperation and sharing of responsibilities makes us stronger.
Q. What is the single most important issue facing your district and how should the county address it?
Property taxes are the most important issue facing my district and are causing many people to think about not only leaving DuPage County, but Illinois as well. As a lawyer who has been fighting to save families from losing their homes to foreclosure, I have seen too many of my own clients continue to struggle with their property tax payments, even after having a loan modification reduce their mortgage payments.
Although only a small fraction of property taxes go to the county board, we should do what we can at any level of government to provide some sort of relief for our constituents. This may include exploring how we can work with the state, municipalities, and other local government agencies to help our residents. I would also like to use the legislative agenda as a resource to fight for property tax relief.