Policies on the Midterm Ballot

Candidates at the Oct. 24 Voter Expo discussed some of the main political issues that are on the midterm ballot.

Mariyam Syed, Staff Writer

Lynn LaPlante, DuPage County Board District 4 member, reminds voters to pay attention to pending legislation, because it can have a county-wide effect. This is also related to the work the County Board officials do.

“I really try to take a much broader approach, and I represent everyone in DuPage.” LaPlante said. “When we vote on something for the board, it’s not just one district or another. It’s for the entire county of almost 1 million people, so I always keep that in mind.”

LaPlante is chairwoman of the County Board’s Community Development Commission, which has recently taken actions to economically boost DuPage County.

Lynn LaPlante, candidate for DuPage County Board, District 4. (Photo by Mariyam Syed)

Mary Fitzgerald Ozog, who is seeking reelection to DuPage County Board District 4, described how the recent $5 million to support food pantries and other investments can help the community recover from COVID.

“The county still has a lot of federal money to spend. We need to do things for mental health, affordable housing, and food security,” Ozog said.

These issues are brought to voters on the ballot, which includes a proposition on whether DuPage should give grants to small businesses to promote local economy and jobs.

In relation to employment opportunities, some candidates discussed Amendment 1, the Workers’ Rights Amendment, which will be on the ballot this election. Tina Tyson-Dunne, a candidate for DuPage Forest Preserve Commissioner of District 2, explained the intended benefit of the amendment.

“The Workers’ Right Amendment is a pro-union amendment to protect workers,” Tyson-Dunne stated. “It’s simple, although many people are confused about it.”

There is debate over whether it will serve both private and public-sector workers and if it will raise taxes.

The ballot also has a proposition to fund non-profit organizations that treat substance abuse and mental health.

The third and final proposition involves electric vehicles, which is relevant to the work of environmental task forces. Marybeth Carlson is a candidate for DuPage Forest Preserve Commissioner of District 3. As a conservationist, she meets many DuPage citizens who are concerned about the environment. She encourages them to translate this into political action. One way is voting on the proposition about whether DuPage should invest in public electric vehicle charging stations.

“We have to work together to protect our planet, and you college students need to vote to shape the future,” Carlson said. 

Many of the candidate’s messages were directed at college students.

Jackie Williamson, candidate for DuPage Representative for Illinois District 47. (photo by Mariyam Syed)

Jackie Williamson is running for Representative of Illinois of District 47. As a recent university graduate who also attended COD, she is familiar with how pertinent the issue of student loan debt is.

“I know the state is working on approving funds for people who get MAP grants or scholarships.” Williamson mentioned that this can attract out-of-state college students. “We want a strong student base here, so that we can have a strong economy and great jobs ready for people who are graduating college,” she concluded.

Williamson also mentioned reproductive health as a pressing issue that many citizens are attentive to. She was influenced to join the race after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

“Currently at the state-level we’ve got great reproductive healthcare laws in place,” she said. “But there are people in the state legislature that are trying to undo that.”

LaPlante encouraged people to research candidates’ policies and vote on the propositions if they want a say in DuPage policies. 

“We can march, we can protest, we can write letters, but the only way change will happen is through legislation, at the voting box,” LaPlante said.

Elected officials have formulated these statewide referendums in response to widespread political and social concerns. Now it is up to DuPage citizens to vote on the ballot. Voters can use the Illinois Voter Guide online to view the candidates and statewide referendums. There is also general election information on the DuPage County website.