Hailey Nicewanner: Candidate profile
City: Glen Ellyn
Office sought: DuPage County Board, District 4
Occupation: Special events manager with Ray Graham Association
Education: Bachelor's in political science From Northern Illinois University
Civic involvement: Clean Energy advocacy through Clean Energy Illinois
Elected offices held: None
Questions and Answers
1. Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?
When I first began my work in DuPage County, my job was to advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities and to help integrate them into their communities. I was so pleasantly surprised to find that the people of DuPage embraced these individuals and were more than happy to make some accommodations for them when necessary. When I saw what kind and wonderful people made up this county I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to enhance the community and be an active participant and I knew I had the most to offer with public service.
I have a degree in political science from NIU and from my time there public safety and emergency planning became a main concern for me. My freshmen year of college a mass shooter entered a lecture hall and killed five. I had a firsthand look at how a community is shaken by an event like that and on the county board I would like to ensure there is access to mental health care and awareness of services available. It is also important to me that the board is working closely with public agencies to make sure emergency plans are up to date.
2. If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you've led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priority be?
My background in clean energy advocacy is what I bring to the table. Climate change is going to be at the forefront of the minds of constituents and an energy efficient response will be expected. DuPage can lead the way by improving the energy efficiency of facilities, requiring energy efficient product procurement, and green power procurement.
3. Should county board members continue to start their regular board meetings with an invocation? Please say why or why not.
Absolutely not, religion does not belong in our politics and an invocation is exclusive and unnecessary. We live in a country where the third largest religious group is "no religion" and an invocation is an inappropriate use of time that is allotted for meetings.
4. How do you rate the county government on transparency and the public's access to records? If you consider it adequate, please explain why. If you think improvements are needed, please describe them and why they are important.
The county board posts the county budget online each year and their meeting minutes and agendas are easily accessible online. As a constituent, I am comfortable with the transparency of the county board.
5. Does there need to be more bipartisanship and cooperation on the county board? If yes, what would you do to help make that happen?
No, lack of bipartisanship is not the issue. When you have members of the board who say they are "certain" that the legalization of marijuana will lead to a "public health problem," there are no benefits for the county to try and compromise with archaic and misguided opinions like that. Those on the board who are standing in the way of progress and growth opportunities need to catch up with the county or get out of the way.
6. Do you support a plan to merge the recorder's office with the county clerk's office? Why or why not?
Yes, 90 out of 102 counties in Illinois have already done so. It saves the taxpayers money. The recorder's office is of a bygone era and is no longer necessary.