Hanover Park clerk is first Latina elected to MWRD board
Eira Corral Sepúlveda of Hanover Park is the first Latina elected to the board of commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, which has been in existence for 131 years.
Corral Sepúlveda, 35, also adds representation from the Northwest suburbs, which historically has been lacking on the board.
"I am incredibly proud and excited. It's always exciting to be a trailblazer," said Corral Sepúlveda, who also serves as Hanover Park's clerk.
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District is governed by a nine-member board whose commissioners serve on a salaried, part-time basis. The board is responsible for treating wastewater and providing stormwater management for residents and businesses in its service area, which includes Chicago and 128 suburban communities in Cook County, according to its website.
Corral Sepúlveda said that as MWRD commissioner, she will focus on green infrastructure, equitable investment, community engagement and transparency. It's especially critical to add more Latino representation on the board because Black and brown communities are most impacted by flooding and climate change, she said.
The Democratic primary had a crowded field of 10 candidates for three nominations, and Corral Sepúlveda edged out an incumbent who'd served for 18 years. She won one of three seats in Tuesday's election.
Corral Sepúlveda started her career in government when she was elected village clerk for Hanover Park as a 23-year-old single mother. In the more than 10 years since, Corral Sepúlveda has focused on inclusive government, diverse representation and environmental stewardship, her campaign said.
In Hanover Park, she led efforts to elect the first Black trustees, the first Muslim trustee and the first Latina trustee. She also has been involved in the election of Democrats including U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, state Sen. Cristina Castro and Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison, and has promoted youth engagement and voter registration at the local and national levels.
The daughter of Mexican immigrants, "Corral Sepúlveda is driven by a passion to ensure that government is accessible and inclusive of all communities," her campaign said.