David Moore: 2022 candidate for Illinois Secretary of State
Office sought: Secretary of State
Occupation: Alderman of Chicago 17th Ward
Previous offices held: Elected alderman of Chicago's 17th Ward in 2015 and reelected in 2019. Elected Democratic committeeperson in 2016 and 2020.
What personal background and experiences particularly qualify you for the role of secretary of state?
It is paramount the Secretary of State seat does not revert to a political one marred by scandal and corruption. I am the only candidate who has pledged to maintain it as one of service, rather than merely a steppingstone to higher office, who has the unique independence to pursue progressive issues without ties to machine politics or organization leaders with deep pockets.
Illinois' Secretary of State office has one of the largest, most diverse collections of responsibilities nationwide. I graduated Western Illinois University with a dual major in accounting and operations management and earned an MA with emphasis in government studies at Loyola University-Chicago. Prior to my election as alderman of my home ward, I established a successful accounting career in the private sector at several Fortune 500 companies, as well as with Chicago's Department of Aviation and Housing Authority. My work has exposed me to nearly every aspect of government management.
How efficiently do you think the Secretary of State's office operates currently? What, if anything, would you do to streamline the office?
The FY 2021 state budget for SOS gives insight into how functions are extremely segmented, often by separate funding streams. I have proposed ways to enhance services -- making them less costly, more accessible and likely to improve outcomes. For example, implementing digital license plates could not only help reduce uninsured driver costs, but work in concert with technical upgrades in the REAL ID Act to reduce activities related to both vehicular and identity fraud issues. This could mean more funding available for public awareness campaigns (e.g., literacy advocacy, traffic safety, organ/tissue donation).
I would want to study which interrelated functions and technical upgrades might work more effectively in harmony, rather than as separate entities, especially in administering grants, for which over $48 million was requested for FY2021 for everything from police-related memorials/family assistance, to support for health and education initiatives.
Are there enough branch offices in Chicago, the suburbs and downstate?
On paper, it seems the office has sufficiently covered areas of each designated sector of the state, with about 29 branches in Chicago and vicinity, 18 in the Northern, 16 in the Western, 27 in the Central and 32 in the Southern sectors.
If elected secretary of state, however, I will open pop up express offices in various communities throughout Illinois to give residents better access. While I realize the technology is pushing us to do more online, we can't become elitist and forget residents who are technologically challenged either because they don't have smartphones, access to the internet or proficient computer skills. There are always going to be people who need to do business with the SOS's office in person, and we must make it as convenient and customer friendly as possible.
How would you rate customer service at secretary of state branch offices? If it needs improvements, how would you make them?
During my recent statewide tours, I have generally heard positive feedback about the courtesy, responsiveness and efficiency of various branches. Obviously, responses have been more mixed during the pandemic in terms of balancing branch closures with health-related issues. Given the office's heavy reliance on electronic service, those who prefer/have internet access have been more favorable.
I do believe that, even in the best of times, the office needs to ensure satisfactory accommodations for senior, rural and economically disadvantaged populations without adequate internet, for whom even phone and in-person access may be limited. I would investigate using mobile units to survey and best respond to those populations. I believe the challenge to improve customer service should be ongoing.
Are you satisfied with the rate of organ donation? Is this an appropriate initiative for the secretary of state? Should the office do more to promote the practice?
Last year, I held a news conference to emphasize the importance of living donors. In particular, research indicates that investing in educating communities of color about the facts of organ donation can produce major dividends for individuals, families and the state.
Currently, 4,700 Illinois residents are on the waiting list for an organ/tissue transplant. Each year, more than 300 Illinoisans die while waiting. In 2016, African Americans accounted for about a third of the overall organ donation and kidney waiting lists, despite being only 13% of the U.S. population.
In addition to public education about organ donation, I would work with federal elected officials and Organ Procurement Organizations to make sure they're being racially sensitive to all patients; work to make sure staff at OPOs are diverse and reflect the patient community; and make sure Latino, Asian and Native American populations receive factual information in their own language and from trusted sources.