Michael L. Childress: 2022 candidate for DuPage County Board District 1
Office sought: DuPage County Board District 1
Occupation: Customer service manager, American Income Life
Previous offices held: Former Bloomingdale Park District Commissioner
Q: Describe your position regarding the balance between county spending and revenues as it exists today, then describe the chief threats you see looming in the future and how the county should deal with them.
A: We need to balance the need to service the underserved communities by partnering with the state and federal governments to acquire grant funding whenever possible. The Inflation Reduction Act as well at the bipartisan infrastructure bill will provide a historic down payment by investing in clean energy production and as well as create manufacturing jobs here in DuPage County. Acquiring our fair share of these will enhance the quality of life for all DuPage County residents with little to no tax increases.
The looming threat is the Roe decision. Illinois is seen as women's reproductive oasis in the Midwest. There will be an increase of women coming to DuPage County seeking reproductive services. We should be actively seeking increased funding to support these critical needs from the state and federal governments.
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?
A: Public transportation services and the knowledge of how to access them is an issue. We need to provide renewable energy vehicle paid through the Inflation Reduction Act coupled with an aggressive marketing campaign to educate the community on how to access them.
Q: Should the county board continue to start its regular board meetings with an invocation? Please say why or why not.
A: County board meetings should begin with the prayer of each individual's choice. Prayer and religions are as diverse as the people in our communities and should be respected as such.
Q: Does there need to be more bipartisanship and cooperation on the county board? If yes, what would you do to help make that happen?
A: The need for bipartisanship and cooperation should be dependent on the issue being addressed. We must always seek to understand then be understood. Spending issues can be negotiated but human rights and freedoms cannot. There is no such thing as half-way freedom.
Q: If your political party has control of the county board after the November election, how would that benefit DuPage residents?
A: My political party is the party that will work to expand access for all DuPage County citizens. Our county board is made up of problem solvers that will seek to find solutions to the everyday issues facing the county. We will work for equity for all the citizens and not just the well connected.
Q: The COVID pandemic put a spotlight on the need for mental health services. What role should the county play in this?
A: The county can play a role by expanding mental health professionals that are experts in depression and isolation, domestic violence intervention, and suicide preventions. We also need to address the needs thru the eyes of the youth. COVID as exposed just how vulnerable our community's resources are being stretched.
Q: What is the single most important issue facing your district and how should the county address it?
A: Increasing manufacturing jobs in our district is the single most important issue facing our district. These types of jobs will allow more citizens to move into the middle class. We can accomplish this by working directly with the trades to create and nurture apprentice programs without creating student debt. Not only should products be built in America but built in DuPage County District 1.