March 15, 2016

Elections Matter 2.0

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As I have been out and about the last few weeks volunteering for several candidates, passing literature at train stations on cold mornings and greeting voters, I am reminded of my own campaign for a seat on the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago ten years ago.

Running for public office was the most humbling experience of my life.

As a candidate, you go out in the face of colossal indifference and sometimes outright hostility. And you have to ask people for things — you have to ask for their signature on a petition so you can get on the ballot, you have to ask for money, you have to ask them to take your literature, and — don't forget this part! — you have to ask for their vote. It is illuminating, exhausting, enlivening, and sometimes humiliating. People are grouchy: “It's too early” or “Not today.”

“No time for democracy today?” I wonder.

Still, I can testify from my own experience that elections matter. Next week the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District will host a ceremony to celebrate the launch of disinfection at the O’Brien treatment plant located at Howard & McCormick in Skokie. This means that water will pass through an array of ultraviolet lights, which will kill bacteria and other pathogens before the water is discharged into the North Shore Channel. This is a big deal but it's just one of the significant steps that the MWRD has taken and will be taking to improve water quality, protect water supply, reduce flooding, and recover resources from the waste stream.

Because a number of people have asked, I am sharing the list of candidates I am supporting in the Democratic primary:

President: Hillary Clinton, #1

U.S. Senate: Tammy Duckworth, #22

U.S. House of Representatives (10th District): Nancy Rotering, #42

Cook County State’ss Attorney: Kim Foxx, #151

Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court: Jacob Meister, #161

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District:

(6-year term)

(2-year term)

*Note: Some people have asked about candidate Andrew Seo. I do not recommend a vote for Mr. Seo. The Election Board found that the petitions circulated by Mr. Seo himself showed a pattern of fraud and were tossed out and that his answers to questions were "evasive." His former colleagues at the MWRD nicknamed him "Trump" because of the high regard he has for himself. He would not be a productive member of the Board. No to Seo.

Voting Information

Cook County Early Voting information is here.

City of Chicago Early Voting information is here.