Running on truth, transparency, and with a lengthy resume to back it up, Marcel Bright intends to be a man of the people if elected the new 4th District Cook County Commissioner.
A lifelong resident of Cook County’s fourth district, Bright said his decision to run for office initially came from various community groups urging him to throw his hat into the race. He said he wanted to run in years past but this election just felt right. Through his run for office, he said he wants to instill hope in individuals that it isn’t a requirement to be “part of the machine or be connected” to run for and win public office.
“This is the right time because I’ve worked in government, I’ve worked with elected officials, and it’s time for someone to run who will just be honest with people, who will tell people the truth and not just what they think they want to hear,” said Bright. “I just didn’t see anyone running for this particular office talk about telling the truth and just being honest with people and representing them in a straightforward and honest way.”
Few could claim Bright is unqualified for the position of Cook County Commissioner as his resume boasts a history of public service. He has previously served as the chief of staff for 3rd Ward Ald. Pat Dowell; a Chicago police officer, a reporter for the Defender, and much more.
“I learned how important it is to listen to people, to engage people, to make sure they are aware of the issues, and take input from them on what they want; I think that’s important, unfortunately the currently elected official in the fourth district for the county board has never done that,” said Bright.
Bright was referring to incumbent 4th Dist. Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore, a man he said he has not met before. However, his criticism of Moore was razor-sharp. He suggested recently Moore’s electorate has become aware of his performance while in office, which Bright hinted at being poor.
“The residents in the districts until recently never really heard from him, but after the sugar tax fiasco, all of a sudden he’s made more efforts to attend meetings to try and let people know he’s there,” said Bright. “The remnants of the old Chicago machine decided to place him in that office with no respect for the people, no respect for how it looks to our children.”
Bright declared improving the financial standing of the county is a priority of his. He said the county is in “bad shape,” noting the financial issues were apparent long before the failed sugar tax. He said he would propose a hiring freeze for the county for “at least two years.” He suggested too an independent audit of the current system should be administered to become more efficient, provide more services, and address a system “that’s been a political football for years.” Additionally, he proposed the county prepare to take on great costs in its health services arena given the various changes taking place in Washington to the Affordable Care Act.
“People are talking about we need to increase services but those cannot happen until we get the county on firm financial footing and preparations have to be for what is obviously happening with the Trump Administration,” said Bright.
Running for Cook County Commissioner isn’t Bright’s first attempt at securing elected office as he ran for the 33rd district Illinois House seat in 2016. He said his name wasn’t on the ballot that year due to a challenge to his petition, an experience he said he has learned from.
“This time I’ve gotten stronger petitions, I’ve gotten more signatures, I did a little bit of studying so this time when they challenged me, I understood what I needed to do,” said Bright. “We are a little bit more prepared this time and actually anticipate doing really well this time. Last time I was just responding to the people in my community and that’s what I am doing now.”