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Commissioner Laurie Nowak works with communities to take the next step forward and stand up to the establishment politics that hold them back. A lifelong DuPage resident and one of the only full time elected officials on the DuPage County Board, Laurie has introduced common sense reforms that do what they claim: address tax accountability, invest in our communities, and cut out government waste that hits taxpayers in the pocket where they can ill-afford it.
Laurie has a history of finding solutions and keeping an eye on government. She attended school in-state at Knox College in Galesburg where she received the Ida Tarbell prize for Investigative Journalism. After graduating, Laurie worked with St. Joseph Services helping neighborhood leaders in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood budget and plan for the future.
We’ve heard you: you’re sick of establishment politics on either side of the aisle and, frankly, you can’t afford it anymore. Laurie knows how out of touch the County Board is with constituents. In June, she cast one of four votes against stipends and salary increases for county politicians on an eighteen member board. Laurie believes it’s common sense that our representatives in government should spend with the same prudence we do. From standing up to raising salaries, to pay-to-play contracts and double-dipping pensions, Laurie puts her money where her mouth is.
Holding the Line on Property Taxes
Families and communities take the hit from ballooning property taxes. Laurie’s working with state legislators to bring property tax relief home, including freezing property taxes when property values drop and reinvesting surplus operating revenue in our communities to grow the tax base and offset property tax rates.
Taking the Next Step for Our Communities and Growing DuPage
Many DuPage residents are still struggling after the Great Recession. It’s difficult for young adults to build their careers while balancing hefty student loan obligations, and for those approaching retirement age, planning for bills, health expenses, and property taxes on fixed-incomes can put their futures in jeopardy. The County has the ability to coordinate economic policy at a larger level and encourage development between municipalities that will raise our communities and take the pressure off of hard-working families and residents.
We should be proactive in setting the stage for a 21st century innovation economy in DuPage, attracting next generation businesses and skilled labor to the County and minimizing the red-tape that stands in the way of businesses looking to relocate here. DuPage can also take a leading role in preparing the transportation networks of today for tomorrow. We have a responsibility to plan for a county-wide future that includes a strong transportation infrastructure and should continue to investigate efficient transportation options that reduce costs and improve efficiency, keeping DuPage on the road–and rail–map.
Providing High-Quality Services at a Low-Cost
Laurie comes from a family of health service professionals – her father is a pharmacist, and both her mother and sister are nurses–so she intimately understands and cares for community health issues. The well-being of individuals affects the well-being of our community, and the County provides services that enable all of us to keep moving forward.
On the Board, Laurie has partnered with non-profits and religious organizations in the fight against the Heroin Epidemic to get those suffering help so they can rebuild their lives. Serving on the Board of a local food pantry, she has applied this same belief in the combined strength of public/private partnerships to combat homelessness, mental illness, and food-insecurity, helping individuals and families get back on their feet.
DuPage County also provides a range of services that are integral to helping seniors stay independent and active, from home-delivered meals, transportation, and health-care consultations. Upholding our responsibilities to those who have contributed so much to our communities should continue to be a priority.
Government Waste and Ethics
Government waste hurts taxpayers and detracts from critical county services when balancing the budget means taking funds from dollars earmarked to grow DuPage. This isn’t taking the next step for DuPage, it’s establishment politicians holding DuPage back for personal perks. We’ve fought back to put service to the public back at the forefront. Laurie has:
- ■ Declined a pension, and opposed pensions for elected officials who don’t put in the time.
- ■ Fought against “Pay to Play” Contributions and Contracts to Friends and Political Donors
- ■ Helped develop Online Ethics Training for County employees
- ■ Demanded more oversight on selection and compensation of county appointments
- ■ Suggested recording County Board Committee Meetings where the ‘meat of county business happens.
- ■ Worked hard to enhance community outreach and communication. When it comes down to keeping local government honest, we’ve gone door to door to communicate with district residents and keep them in the loop with what we as representatives do.
Building our workforce and putting people to work is the best path to prosperity, but many of our training resources are clustered in other parts of the county where the residents who need them most cannot reach them. Providing more local workforce training centers will help boost employment, provide a larger pool of skilled laborers for employers and build our communities. Let’s give our hard-working residents equal access to opportunity