Lucio Estrada: 2023 candidate for Elgin Community College District 509 board
Age on Election Day: 29
Occupation: No answer given
Employer: No answer given
Previous offices held: None
Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?
A: I am running for ECC trustee, because I am passionate about serving our students and community. One of the reasons of why I am serving is because as a recent ECC graduate some of the material that was being thought seemed to push a political agenda. I believe that our education system should be focusing on helping us become successful in our careers.
Q: In tough economic times, many students (and working professionals) turn to a community college for its educational value. How do you ensure that a person's financial sacrifice results in an educational benefit?
A: By providing the resources necessary for those who might need financial aid, and not increasing the school fees. I know that it can be discouraging to go back to school and have to fill out many forms or worry about expensive payment plans. I want to ensure that we make filling out financial aid forms easier and payment plans less stressful.
Q: How would you describe the state of your college's finances? What issues will your district have to confront in coming years and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, what programs and expenses should be reduced or eliminated? On the income side, do you support any tax or fee increases?
A: I believe that ECC finances are in good order, the current board is doing an amazing job in ensuring that so no need to cut or eliminate any programs. I do not support a tax or fee increase reasons being is that it could potentially drive away the taxpayers somewhere else and we would only end up losing money for the school. ECC is in a good position and we should not mess that up.
Q: What are three specific nonfinancial challenges your community college will have to face in the next four years and what are your thoughts about how each should be addressed?
A: I believe that in the next four years, ECC enrollment will increase therefore we would have to add new classrooms or offer more online programs. Another challenge that I see and experience at ECC is that many students are starting to see the political bias and agenda that some of the teachers are pushing on us. I believe that it takes time away from the actual learning material, not only that but politics tend to create division and mental stress on our students, one way to help solve this provides a safe and nonpolitical space for our students outside the political science classes.
Q: Describe your experience working in a group setting to determine policy. What is your style in such a setting to reach agreement and manage school district policy? Explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions of your school board.
A: My style in reaching for an agreement is to use logic, reasoning, and evidence to make my decision. I try not to think with my personal feelings when making decisions that are going to impact the lives of our youth. I want them to be successful so I will make decisions on what is best for them using logic, reasoning, and evidence. I believe that would be effective because we are only focused on what is best for our students. This is what most boards tend to forget many candidates or board members put their personal feelings or the interest of political parties, or the teacher unions before our youth.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A: What makes me the best candidate for this elected position is the leadership skills that I gained over the years by serving our nation, another thing that makes me a good candidate is that I have been fighting and involved with the community for the past 4-5 years and something that I have gained is great listening skills and selfless service.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better your district that no one is talking about yet?
A: Offering a Master Gardener program, I believe this program will go a long way and benefit our community by helping fight off food insecurity and bringing awareness about our environment.