Maggie Trevor: 2022 candidate for Cook County Board District 9

  • Margaret "Maggie" Trevor

    Margaret "Maggie" Trevor

 
Posted5/28/2022 1:00 AM

Bio

Party: Democrat

 

City: Rolling Meadows

Age: 59

Occupation: Market research

Previous offices held: None elected. I was twice a candidate for the 54th IL House District, and currently serve in an appointed capacity on the Rolling Meadows Environmental Committee

Q&A

Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?

A: I have deep roots in this district. I was born and raised here. I was educated in the area's public schools. I attended the University of Chicago, earning a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a master's degree and Ph.D. in political science.

I spent the next 30 years as an academic and a business researcher that gave me deep experience in government, education and the workings of the health care marketplace.

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I am running for Cook County commissioner because I can bring my deep experience in health care to the board and use it to be an effective commissioner for the 9th District. Amid the health threat posed by COVID-19 and its economic fallout, the residents of the 9th District deserve productive, responsible Cook County government. Guided by compassion, empathy, deep experience and hard facts, I will fight for the well-being of our families, access to health care, good stewardship of our environment and natural areas, and equitable taxes and efficient use of our tax dollars.

Q: Cook County was alone in the six-county Chicago area to require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter restaurants, bars and other establishments earlier this year. Did you agree with that decision, and would you support reimposing that requirement should the region face another surge in infections?

A: I agreed with that decision. Public health officials, relying on available data, worked tirelessly to keep us safe under unprecedented circumstances. I understand the reasoning and science behind this step: the purpose was to slow the spread of the virus and thereby reduce the enormous strain COVID-19 was putting on the health care system. Still, requiring proof of vaccination placed a real burden on restaurants and other businesses. Considering our high vaccination rates and early-onset treatments, I'm optimistic that we will not have to resort to it again. But if the choice is between efforts to slow the infection rate and overwhelmed hospitals and clinics, I will support reimposing these requirements for the near term. A longer-term solution is to be better prepared for public health emergencies. Elected leaders, learning from this pandemic and guided by science, need to work with public health departments to develop and approve protocols for future crises.

Q: Did the county do enough to support businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic? If yes, please name one specific program you supported that did that. If no, please name one specific action the county could have taken to help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

A: No level of government was capable of fully compensating the businesses that suffered losses during the pandemic, but Cook County did a good job with limited resources. The Cook County Community Recovery Initiative provided grants and zero-interest loans to businesses, and coordinated with trade and community groups to get information on this and other state, federal, and local programs out to affected businesses and to help with the application process. But there was room for improvement. Ideally, county government could have provided assistance directly related to the cost of county-imposed mandates, such as mask and vaccination requirements. Such efforts should be considered as we learn from this pandemic and consider preparations for possible future public health emergencies.

Q: There's been a concerted effort within the county's criminal justice system to incarcerate fewer pretrial defendants in the county jail. Some, particularly in the suburbs, blame this for a rise in crime. Do you support these policies? If not, what would you suggest instead?

A: Cook County needs to use its criminal justice system budget to keep residents safe while still respecting due process. When they do not pose a clear danger to the public, people charged with nonviolent crimes should not be incarcerated simply because they cannot afford bail. The cost is high -- and unnecessary -- for the county as well as for those accused but not yet convicted. Judges must be allowed the discretion to keep behind bars those who are charged with violent crimes, pose a danger to the public or are a flight risk. But scarce county resources spent to house those who do not fall into these categories should be better used to decrease violent crime by funding mental health and social services designed to prevent crime and increasing law enforcement budgets in ways that help solve or deter violent crimes.

Q: In July 2020, the county board passed a resolution that called for, in part, the county to "redirect funds from policing and incarceration to public services not administered by law enforcement." Did or do you support this measure and the philosophy behind it? Why or why not?

A: We currently underfund both law enforcement and other public services that should provide resources to deal with residents in crisis. A fuller reading of this resolution reveals that there was a 26% increase in the Cook County Department of Corrections budget between 2013 and 2020 despite a 50% decrease in the number of people incarcerated during that same period. Public services that address mental health and the root causes of violence and criminality are underfunded even more dramatically than law enforcement. If we are ever to succeed in reducing crime rates, we need to strike a smarter balance between providing greater resources for mental health care and social workers who can deal with emergencies and providing law enforcement officers with the resources they need to deter crime and put violent offenders behind bars.

Q: Some elected officials have proposed a "gas-tax holiday" to ease the burden of rising gasoline prices on county residents. Would you support such a proposal for Cook County? Why or why not?

A: Cook County receives revenues from the sale of gasoline in two ways: a tax of 6 cents per gallon and a 1.75% sales tax. As gas prices rapidly rise, tax revenue may exceed projected levels. However, county expenses that are related to the cost of fuel will also be rising. I would be open to proposals that return a portion of excess revenue from gasoline beyond what will cover those increased expenses.

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