Emmanuel Llamas: Candidate profile
Name: Emmanuel S. Llamas
Office sought: Alderman Ward 1, City of Aurora
Occupation: Attorney at Dreyer, Foote, Streit, Furgason & Slocum, P.A.
Education: East Aurora H.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (B.A.), Northern Illinois Univ. (M.A.) & Chicago-Kent College of Law (J.D.)
Civic involvement: Precinct Committee Person, Guest Speaker at Aurora grade schools; Boys II Men (mentorship program); Aurora Weightlifting Club
Previous elected offices held: None
Incumbent? If yes, when were you first elected? No.
What are the most important issues facing your community and how do you intend to address them?
Support for our seniors and senior services. I will work with the Mayor's Office and the Community Services department to ensure that we have a person dedicated to addressing and working on issues that affect our seniors. I also want to have a sidewalk program to repair, replace, and create sidewalks so that seniors have a safe path to travel.
Property taxes. I will make sure that we use our tax dollars efficiently and effectively so that we are not putting a strain on homeowners.
Jobs and economic development for our working families. I will continue the drive for economic development in the city in order to create jobs and lessen the tax burden on homeowners.
Crime and public safety. I will work closely with the Aurora Police Department and the Division of Property Standards to protect the quality and safety of our neighborhoods.
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
I am a 4th generation resident of the first ward. My great grandfather moved to the Pigeon Hill neighborhood of the first ward in 1918. I was born and raised in the same neighborhood. After graduating from East Aurora, I studied at Champaign, DeKalb, and Chicago, but all along the way I never planned to leave the first ward because I know and love the community. It was always my goal to give back to the community that gave me and my family so much. Now, as an attorney at an Aurora law firm, I am able to do that. And as an alderman, I will be able to do much more.
Describe your leadership style and explain how you think that will be effective in producing actions and decisions with your village board or city council.
I lead by example. Leaders cannot ask of others what they are unwilling to do themselves. The citizens in the first ward are hardworking people. They need someone that will work just as hard on city council. My family taught me the value of hard work. From high school to law school graduation, I was a full-time student and part-time pharmacy technician working up to 30 hours a week. I will continue this work ethic and partner with active members of the community to help make a better Aurora.
How would you describe the condition of your community's budget, and what are the most important specific actions the town should take to assure providing the level of services people want?
While the city is in good financial standing, I would advocate for pension reform in Illinois in order to free up the budget for city services. In the meantime, we can spread the tax burden through economic development rather than rely on homeowners.
What's one good idea you have to better the community that no one is talking about yet?
Senior services. Seniors are the cornerstone of our community. My grandfather passed away before I was born. I always knew my grandmother, Sacora Vera, as the matriarch of our family. As she got older, my mother and I became her caregivers. I proudly did it because it was the right thing to do. I take that same approach to our seniors. They served this community; now it is our time to serve them. My goal is to provide seniors with an array of services, including snow removal and lawn care.