Elizabeth 'Liz' Doody Gorman: 2022 candidate for Cook County Board District 17
City: Orland Park
Occupation: Regional Business Leader-Energy Service
Previous offices held: Cook County Commissioner (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014)
Q: 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?
A: I was not planning to re-enter public life after over a dozen years on the Cook County (CC) Board and subsequent service at the IL Tollway and on the RTA. I was motivated to return for two main reasons.
1) The failings of the legislature and our criminal justice system to protect families and businesses from a crime wave of their own making, while abandoning law enforcement and crushing morale of first responders.
2) The unacceptable personal, professional and political conduct of the person that I regrettably endorsed to succeed me has forced me to rectify that mistake. CC needs reasonable and responsible adults who will work with representatives of all economic and social backgrounds in CC to accomplish what is best for all of us and not just throw political hand grenades at the opposition.
Q: Cook County was alone in the six-county Chicago area to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter restaurants, bars and other establishments earlier this year. Did you agree with that decision, and would you support reimposing that requirement should the region face another surge in infections?
A: I think businesses should decide for themselves whether they want to require customers to require vaccinations to enter, just as private homeowners should be able to decide for themselves who they want to allow in their homes. I think 2019 and 2020 proved one thing and that is that lockdowns don't stop the spread of disease but they do destroy the economy. If another airborne pandemic arises we should personally mitigate as much as possible while going about our daily lives in terms of school, work, shopping and dining.
Q: Did the county do enough to support businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic? If yes, please name one specific program you supported that did that. If no, please name one specific action the county could have taken to help.
A: Yes. The county mainly served as an administrative conduit for federal funds and distributed funds in accordance with the guidelines that came attached with them. We all learn from our mistakes and I believe businesses are better left to manage their own affairs, but as I stated above, I believe lockdowns don't stop the spread of disease but they do destroy the economy if we overreact with mitigation efforts that don't actually mitigate anything.
Q: There's been a concerted effort within the county's criminal justice system to incarcerate fewer pretrial defendants in the county jail. Some, particularly in the suburbs, blame this for a rise in crime. Do you support these policies? If not, what would you suggest instead?
A: Violent armed habitual criminals, organized retail theft ring members and gun toting gang members using underage teens to do their dirty work need to be placed in custody, not allowed back on the street. The revolving door at the county jail, forced on us by the idiotic reduction in policing and judicial authority by the state legislature and governor, definitely caused this crime wave. Criminals are emboldened by the lack of consequences and others follow their lead.
Q: In July 2020, the county board passed a resolution that called for, in part, the county to "redirect funds from policing and incarceration to public services not administered by law enforcement." Did or do you support this measure and the philosophy behind it? Why or why not?
A: I do not support it. Given the current increase in crime, now is not the time to reduce funding for public safety. Instead, we need to provide all sheriff's police and Cook County correctional officers with the training, equipment and moral support they need to do their jobs as we work to undo the damage done by recent changes in state law that permitted a revolving door of habitual armed criminals to prey on Cook County residents when these criminals should be behind bars. We need to take the handcuffs off judges, prosecutors and police and put them back on the violent criminals who need to be removed from society for the protection of all of our families and businesses.
Q: Some elected officials have proposed a "gas-tax holiday" to ease the burden of rising gasoline prices on county residents. Would you support such a proposal for Cook County? Why or why not?
A: I was against gas tax increases while serving on the County Board. Now Gov Pritzker wants to appear he is concerned about the outrageous increase in gas prices and taxes by allowing an only-until-after-the-election tax discount to residents. It does not solve the problem. It's a pre-election band aid slapped on the hemorrhaging of dollars from taxpayers into a gvmt. that has an unsustainable debt. Much of CC, Chgo, and IL have a crumbling infrastructure crisis with no long-term funding source identified to sufficiently repair, replace or rehabilitate roads, bridges, underpasses, sewers and anti-flooding systems. The county and state MFT funds are needed for this purpose even though it is less than 100%. Financing these much-needed improvements are sometimes a regional effort shared by multiple taxing bodies, but CC is responsible for much of its own repairs. The pressing need is not only to increase funding but to identify the budget tradeoffs needed to increase funding.