Depending on whom you listen to nowadays the March 17 primary election will either make or break candidates running for office unless you’re U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st) or Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Kim Neely DuBuclet.
The pair is running for re-election and both said voters have plenty of reasons to keep them as public servant officials.
CONGRESSMAN BOBBY RUSH
“I live the life I love and I love the life I live and with that I plan to win re-election and keep doing what the voters want me to do and that’s fight for them in Washington,” said Rush, who also serves as chairman of the House subcommittee on Energy. “Therefore, retirement will have to wait a while.”
First elected in 1993 Rush said his political agenda includes education, jobs, economy, veterans, safety and gun control, healthcare, energy, and getting the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act (H.R. 35), which Congress passed last month, signed into law by President Donald Trump.
“And once it passes the Senate I have full confidence that President Trump will sign it because it would be in his interest to sign it,” added Rush, who will turn 74-years-old in November.
Additionally, the former Black Panther said he plans to fight to get The Rescue Act (H.R. 41) signed into law as well, which aims to encourage affordable lending, expand the use of minority banks and low-income credit unions.
This bill would “provide regulatory relief for black and community banks, to codify the Minority Bank Deposit Program, and for other purposes,” said Rush.
WATER COMMISSIONER KIM NEELY DUBUCLET
Many voters may not know but the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is a $1.1 billion agency and is responsible for protecting drinking water in Cook County, which includes many south and west suburbs whose residents are mostly black and brown.
“In Chicago we all get our fresh, drinking water from Lake Michigan and what we do at the Water Reclamation District is make sure waste, storm and drain water does not make its way back into the fresh water supply,” explained DuBuclet. “We process all the water that leaves your house from the toilet and sink to the washing machine.”
But unlike other elected officials who pass laws the bulk of what water commissioners do is set policies as it pertains to the water system in Cook County.
As chairman of the MWRD’s Storm Water Committee, DuBuclet said she led efforts to pass an updated Watershed Management ordinance, which requires developers, whose paved parking lots and developments could create flood problems, to build additional storm water storage for their projects as a protective measure.
First elected December 2018 DuBuclet is now seeking a full, six-year term after finishing the remaining two years for a former water commissioner who left the board. Previously, DuBuclet was a state representative from 2011 to 2013, but left office to become the director of Legislative and Community Affairs for the Chicago Park District.
The MWRD has nine elected commissioners and in January it elected Kari Steele, a 43-year-old environmentalist and former water commissioner, as its first black, female president in its 130-year existence.
Armed with an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago the wife, mother of two and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. member said she has no plans on running for another office “because I am very happy with my current role as a water commissioner.”
By Wendell Hutson