Daniel Calandriello: 2022 candidate for Cook County Board
Office sought: Cook County Board
City: Orland Park
Previous offices held: Village of Orland Park Trustee (2013- 2021)
Q: What is the county board's role in addressing rising crime rates and what specific policies, programs or initiatives might you support toward reducing violence in Cook County?
A: The County Board has a tremendous role in addressing the rising crime rate. As a former Prosecutor, I have the experience necessary to protect our community. The Board needs to make better and smarter investments in our County Sheriff and local law enforcement. We need to make sure law enforcement has the training and technology to reduce violent crimes including carjackings, organized thefts, and illegal gun possessions. Additionally, the Board needs to evaluate the funding for the State's Attorney's Office to make sure the funding is focused properly, particularly to fully staff courtrooms and to reinvest in successful units which focus on guns, gangs, and organized crime. We need a Commissioner who actually addresses the crime issue in Cook County, not just make political statements about it.
Q: Where do you see the greatest need for transportation enhancements in Cook County and how would you address that on the county board?
A: The greatest need for transportation is better maintenance of the more than 1,600 miles of roads and bridges. We need to make sure that the County government is working with local government leaders to find, analyze, construct and maintain County Roads to improve traffic conditions for our residents and promote our businesses. While improving this infrastructure, we need to remain mindful of the benefits of bike usage and local flood control improvements.
Q: Should the county board enact a fuel or sales tax holiday to assist residents struggling with rising costs of gas, groceries and other needs? Why or why not?
A: I support easing the burden of rising gasoline prices on County residents and would welcome some type of gas-tax holiday. Our residents are being confronted with rising costs of everyday goods, including increasing gas prices caused by the current conflict overseas, while they are still trying to recover from financial losses ensued during the pandemic. A gas-tax holiday is a feasible way to provide some relief to residents.
Q: What is one county service that is not adequately provided or could be improved in your district, and how would you address that?
A: We need to increase access to mental health services in our County. The mental health crisis affects every area of our community, and the County Health System can help. We need to expand the Cook County Department of Mental Health to ensure all residents have access to the mental health services they need.
Q: Do you see the Cook County government serving the city of Chicago too much and not paying enough attention to the needs in the suburbs?
A: County government has focused solely on Chicago for too long. While the needs of the city are important in our region, we need a Commissioner who will also bring results back to his own district; a Commissioner who will address the concerns of the suburbs. It's time for a Commissioner who delivers results in public safety, infrastructure improvements and actual constituent services.
Q: What's your view of the Chicago Bears' possible move to Arlington Heights? Do you think that would put a strain on Cook County government, such as with sheriff's patrols, other services, or infrastructure needs? Or do you think it would help other Cook County businesses and tax revenue?
A: Overlooking the emotional side of moving the Monsters of the Midway off the Lake, if the Bears moved out of Chicago, there would be a greater drain on Cook County resources including public safety and the need for additional infrastructure around the new stadium. While there may be increased tax revenue in Arlington Heights, I am not sure it will make up for the increase in costs. Cook County Government needs to connect all the government agencies from Arlington Heights to the State of Illinois, making sure County residents' interests are being protected.
Q: Do you support efforts to further restrict guns sales or access to guns otherwise in light of the Highland Park mass shooting, and/or in light of continuing gun violence overall?
A: As a former Prosecutor, I worked with law enforcement to prosecute cases against violent offenders who use guns and drugs to fuel their criminal enterprises. I support common sense gun laws like the prohibition of ghost guns, or non-serialized firearms, which violent offenders use with absolutely no tracking. Such tracking is vital to criminal investigations. Additionally, I support banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. These types of weapons are made for mass killing. No one should ever have to go through the devastation that too many families have suffered in the aftermath of mass shootings. Public Safety will be my number one priority as Commissioner and addressing gun violence is a major part of keeping our communities safe.
Q: How could Cook County benefit from recently passed federal spending measures, such as on infrastructure, health care and climate change?
A: Cook County needs to use the federal spending measures to make generational investments in our community's infrastructure. This would include improvements in stormwater management to resolve the many flooding issues in our district, much needed road improvements, and investments in our Forest Preserve, which hasn't had major investments since the New Deal's Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. Finally, we need to help build and repurpose our health care facilities for changing medical demands, ensuring that adequate physical and mental health care is provided by the Cook County Health System.